Nothing says ‘holiday mode: ON’ like an impromptu getaway within an already special getaway. My return to Italy was already one of a kind before Venice was anywhere listed on the itinerary. Filling my days were pretty views, good food, memorable nights out and precious company. However, I think my sister and I were a little greedy for more…
I took a trip to Venice, and it was the most spontaneous thing I’ve ever done in my life!
The idea to go was sparked only the afternoon before my sister and I drifted off and by the morning of departure, we still didn’t have any tickets bought. We ended up buying them when we were on board the first train, but that’s a story for another day.
We scoured booking.com and trivago for the perfect hotel that was great for sightseeing, wheelchair accessible and didn’t break the bank. Stumbling upon Hotel Ca’ Dei Conti was just the answer we so desperately needed to make the trip happen. It wasn’t a perfect match, but where it lacked, it made up for in other ways.
The list of hotels we called was endless. The reasons they weren’t suitable were likewise endless. Most of them were just plainly inaccessible in ways that couldn’t be simply managed. Some were accessible but weren’t suitable in other ways. Others were so abrupt in telling us they did not have accessible facilities that they hung up before we could even put forward any requirements. Anyway, it was a long evening of dial tones and letdowns, luckily, Hotel Ca’ Dei Conti was also on our list of prospects.
We secured our booking over the phone and received the confirmation email we requested on the same day. A down payment wasn’t required to reserve the rooms, however, the email specified there would be an additional tax separate from the initial quoted price. It’s called ‘Tassa Di Soggiorno’ (city tax) and gets added on at the end of the stay.
Our predicted time of arrival was requested and added to the same email. We arrived in Venezia by train a little later than we expected due to transportation delays. As we began to try to find our way to the hotel, the staff called us to ensure we arrived safely and then advised us on which vaporetto to take.
Check-in was pretty quick. and smooth. They requested an ID document, told us all about breakfast and offered to register us for a guided tour of Murano and Burano. They proceeded to hand us the keys to room 201.
At 7 am sharp, breakfast is served. Our room was right next to the breakfast hall to make accessing it in my wheelchair a lot easier. The breakfast room was smaller than most I’ve been to. Roughly I’d say it could sit 20-30 people at a time.
Nonetheless, there was a variety of choices, although nothing crazy overwhelming really. I’d say overall, the breakfast was mid. I didn’t like the eggs one bit, but aside from that, I had no major complaints. I left the table always eating enough to keep me till about midday.
If you were to ask me if Hotel Ca’ Dei Conti is perfectly accessible in a wheelchair the answer would be simple. NO. The flight of stairs at the entrance would be enough to indicate that much.
So, why did we choose this particular hotel, you may ask? Well, there isn’t only one simple answer for that. As I’ve mentioned already, our trip was rather spontaneous and random. Usually, before I travel in a wheelchair there are things I prepare in advance; an accessible hotel room is one of them. However, in this instance, time wasn’t really on our side at all. We had only about 6 hours to find a hotel for the next day, so our options were instantly limited.
Through our calls to various hotels, we quickly realised not many could meet the accessibility requirements I needed. Due to the time restraints, all I needed was step-free access obviously and a bathtub in the bathroom. I thought finding a room with these two things wouldn’t be too difficult, but oh boy, I couldn’t have been more wrong.
We were also advised that some areas in Venice were a lot less accessible than others. The tricky part about navigating Venice in a wheelchair is there are many bridges that have no accessible routes. Piazza San Marco is one of the most accessible areas we were told by the information centre as transportation to all major attractions is easy to access there.
All of these factors together were the reason why after much enquiry we chose Hotel Ca’ Dei Conti regardless.
They offered a pretty affordable price for two nights. They had the bathtub I so desperately needed (you’d be surprised how many didn’t!) as well as an indoor lift to take me up and down the floors.
The main reason for choosing this hotel was its ideal location. Otherwise, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it for people with wheelchair access needs. I can climb a few stairs by holding rails, and the staff were eager to help carry the wheelchair in and out of the hotel, however, it was an obvious hassle. Plus, a lot of people won’t be able to climb the stairs, nor should they have to.
I’d say more time is required to find the perfect accessible hotel in Venice that doesn’t break the bank. If I were to return to the city on water, I’d take more time to find it.
A Room For Two.
Even before checking in, we were offered to look at two different rooms first. The staff wanted to ensure my accessibility needs were met. I appreciated their effort.
Room 201 was the one we chose. The room itself was very spacious for the price – at least it was way bigger than I imagined. I’d describe the interior as the opposite of modern but felt cosy and comfortable regardless. There were multiple cabinets, a mini fridge, a small TV and a mini wardrobe by the entrance.
Initially, my sister and I were given a double bed, however, we preferred separate beds. Following our request, the staff separated them into two double beds whilst we were out.
Air conditioning was available and worked perfectly. Do keep in mind, that it doesn’t work when a window is open. We didn’t notice a window was slightly open, so it took my sister and me much time and luck to realise that! Of course, WI-FI was also available.
The Bathroom was pretty narrow and small, but it was okay. They left a stool available in the bathroom which made it a lot easier to shower in too.
Oh, one thing that was a little unusual was that each time you have to exit the property, you must hand in your room key at reception. Whenever you return, the staff gives it back to you.
I assumed this was for the safety of all visitors at the hotel as the keys are traditional rather than metal key cards.
Our train back to Milan was scheduled for 2 p.m., whilst we were asked to check out at noon. We headed downstairs to the reception a little before then where we paid for the snacks we enjoyed from the mini bar and the additional city tax.
Getting a vaporetto to the station was very simple from the hotel. Piazza San Marco is only about a 5-minute walking distance from Hotel Ca’ Dei Conti which means there was an array of vaporetti at the dock to take us to our next destination. Before he hopped on, we stopped briefly at the Piazza to buy keepsakes and souvenirs – a tangible way to keep a beautiful city like Venice in our hearts always.
Your restless romantic roamer