Romance in Venice is within your reach when staying at this beautiful little boutique hotel. Shopping for a hotel in this renowned city can be a little overwhelming, if not downright discouraging. As one of the most traveled cities in the world, hotel prices in Venice can be steep. But here is the good news – you can stay in one of the most fashionable areas in Venice at the elegant Hotel Al Ponte Mocenigo, without breaking the bank.
We arrived at the Hotel Al Ponte Mocenigo feeling a bit like we were in a James Bond movie. For our airport transfer to the hotel, we had booked a private water taxi (in advance at a discount via VeniceLink.com). A sleek wood paneled speedboat bearing the red, green and white Italian flag was waiting for us at the dock, and we were welcomed aboard by our captain. Soon we were rocketing across the lagoon leaving crowded public vaparoretti (Venetian public water buses) in our wake, the wind whipping through our hair. I nonchalantly adjusted my sunglasses and gazed out at the horizon. The name is Bond. James Bond. The next thing we knew, we were turning onto the legendary Grand Canal. There is eye candy at every turn! Gorgeous palaces shimmer on both sides of the water, symbols of yesteryear when Venice was the center of a great trading empire and the symbol of wealth and decadence. While we were still marveling at the majesty of the Grand Canal, our Bond taxi turned down a peaceful little side canal. And velato! We were at the “water door” of the Hotel Al Ponte Mocenigo, our Venetian home for the next four days.
We were greeted like long lost Italian family, and before we knew it were whisked away from the small European lobby to our lovely canal-side room. Our host Sondro opened the heavy wooden door, and we stepped into a spacious room marked by old-world elegance. One glance and I was impressed with lavish furniture and wall coverings, gold leafed moldings, and a gorgeous Venetian blown glass chandelier over the bed. The room had high beamed ceilings and windows that opened onto a quiet canal. A sumptuous bed with cool sage green damask coverings, dark wood flooring, an overstuffed guest chair in a rich green and gold stripe, a small table with upholstered chairs, and an antique armoire gave us all the comforts of home. A television and mini-bar assured that news or a quick snack would never be far from reach. The beautiful soft green and ivory marbled bathroom was roomy and thoroughly modern, with a big shower/tub, and heated towel racks.
Breakfast was included at Hotel Al Ponte Mocenigo, and it is an event. We chose a little table outside in the hotel’s charming brick walled courtyard. A local signora came to our table every morning and took our specialty coffee orders – due cappuccino per favore! After enjoying our first cappuccino, we wandered into the breakfast room to help ourselves to the bevy of Italian delicacies offered. Fresh pastries (try the apricot croissants), cereal, juice, fruit, yogurts and granola were all displayed on a vintage sideboard, making us feel like we were in our Italian grandma’s dining room.
After breakfast, we started out on our exploration of this fabled city. Our hosts at the front desk were marvelous guides in answering our questions, getting us maps, and recommending scrumptious places to dine. In fact, the entire hotel staff went out of their way to be helpful and pleasant. As we started out, we realized another great thing about this hotel – its location. Right off the Grand Canal, a 5 minute walk to the Rialto Bridge and 10 minutes to San Marco Piazza, Hotel Al Ponte Mocenigo is just far enough from the areas that get congested with visitors, but close enough to all the places you want to go within a few minutes’ walk. From the hotel, we enjoyed all of the fabulous sites of Venice – St. Mark’s Cathedral, the Doges Palace, the Campanile (Bell Tower), the Accademia museum, Frari church and more, including a romantic gondola ride at sunset. Bellisimo!
After a busy day filled with activity, coming home to Hotel al Ponte Mocenigo was like entering an oasis of tranquility. In the serenity of our beautiful air conditioned room, we kicked off our shoes, opened a bottle of Prosecco and celebrated this magical city. All too soon, it was time to travel on to our next destination, but the next time we return to Venice, we already know that we have a home at Hotel al Ponte Mocenigo.