Hotel Ai Due Principi
What We Love
- It’s just a five-minute stroll to Piazza San Marco and the Doge’s Palace
- Superior Rooms face a central courtyard, while Exclusive Rooms have canal views
- Personal, knowledgable service
What To Know
- One Superior Room has a glass shower on display in the bedroom
- There’s a quiet bar and a breakfast room, but no on-site restaurant
- Free WiFi
Originally the palazzo of a wealthy trading family in the 18th century, the hotel underwent a two-year renovation before opening in 2008, restoring the classic Venetian grandeur and adding inviting modern touches. A palette of beige and gray balances out the opulent accents, and sleek new furnishings mimic 18th-century shapes without excessive ornamentation.
Bed and Bath
The face-lift preserved the palazzo’s architectural highlights and gave each of the 15 rooms its own identity. Some have trompe-l’oeil ceiling frescoes and Murano glass chandeliers, while others show off polished mosaic floors or gilded window treatments. High ceilings and long windows make all the rooms feel spacious, although they vary in size from 190 to 430 square feet (the difference between a room for sleeping only and space for lounging). Bathrooms have sparkling Bisazza mosaic tiling.
Downstairs, next to the small lobby, dramatic curtains open onto a small bar, perfect for a quiet nightcap after a day of sightseeing. Finished in kitschy decorative mirrors and red velvet chairs, the area doubles as seating for the morning breakfast buffet, which includes made-to-order cappuccinos and espressos. The intimate feel extends to the personal service throughout the hotel. The owner, Cristina, a lifelong Venetian, happily recommends the best places to find fresh seafood or hail a cheaper gondola.
How to Get There
Before I begin, I would like to say that I myself manage hotels, and thus understand the impact a negative review can have, but it is with no remorse that I provide the following. Our negative experience began at booking. I should have been more aware that something may have been off when the hotel's booking engine crashed in the middle of processing my reservation. Given that I had booked a pre-paid rate, I waited several hours to see if I would receive an email confirmation or have payment taken from my card. Upon receiving neither, I proceeded to book my reservation again. This time, booking was successful, I immediately received an email confirmation, but still no payment taken. I waited a couple of weeks, and decided to email the hotel about when I could anticipate payment being taken. I was notified that the hotel was undergoing a management change, and that I could anticipate payment being taken after the first of the year. No payment was ever taken.
Upon arriving to the hotel about 22:00, we were greeted by a lone front desk agent that seemed surprised to see just the two of us. He notified us that we had two rooms booked. I was unaware as to what he was referring to, explaining the one room, and displaying my one confirmation. He notified me that he was uncertain and new to the role, but it was a non-refundable room rate, there was nothing he could do, and that I would need to speak to them again in the morning. We proceeded to our room.
Upon arriving to our room, the preordered Prosecco was sitting in a bucket of lukewarm water with two white wine glasses. The room was very warm, so I turned the temperature down and the fan up on the very fancy touchpad thermostat. We decided to take a bath and enjoy our Prosecco anyways after our long day of travelling. Upon beginning to run the bathwater, we discovered several hairs left behind, and it was impossible to draw truly hot water. Being as tired as we were, we enjoyed the best we could and proceeded to bed. It did not take long to realize that the room was still very warm, and the air conditioning was not functioning properly. We opened a window, over a courtyard and garden (which I am sure was normally very nice, but was totally destroyed and torn up during our stay). Upon lying down, we noticed the bed sheets had many small holes, and had been patched in some spots. We also noticed that the ceiling was severely cracked throughout, and that any good rain storm could bring the whole structure tumbling down. We proceeded to sleep the best we could.
We woke up the next morning and decided to try the breakfast that is required to be paid for with any stay. It was mediocre at best. After finishing breakfast, I stopped back by the front desk to see if any headway had been made on our reservation issues. The gentleman informed me that he was new, and did not know what he could do, and that I would have to speak to the "Director". I asked when I might be able to do so, and he let me know that he would be in at 2 PM. This was going to be the middle of our day exploring the wonderful city of Venice, so I requested that he give me a call. I was informed this would not be possible, and that we would have to stop back by to speak to him. As you can understand, the frustration was mounting at this point.
Upon returning to the hotel at 2 PM, we were met by a man at the front desk, shoving a pastry into his mouth. After waiting several moments for him to finish chewing the dry pastry enough to speak, I greeted him politely and asked if he was the Director (later I learned he was actually the General Manager, Alberto). He informed me he was. I asked if he was aware of my issue, and he said he was. I asked if there was anything that could be done, and I was informed no, but if I had let them know a week ago perhaps he could have. I notified him that I was unaware of the issue a week ago. He said it made no difference, I would be paying for the second room. I attempted to explain to him the issue experienced with the website crashing, the lack of confirmation, my attempts to email the hotel in regards to payment, etc. At this point he actually called me a liar, and told me to leave a review, and to make sure I included my mistake (this is my doing so). There was no further offer for an upgrade, amenity, an opportunity to see the second room I was paying for (which I never even received keys for), or even an apology. Furious, I returned to my room.
When we left the hotel again, we found that the tiling in front of the elevator had been removed so that a grease trap or some type of septic feature could be pumped. Hoses ran through the lobby, and the entire hotel smelled terrible. You will be pleased to know that the smell there upon our return as well. Night two, again no hot water or air conditioning, and we definitely weren't going to allow ourselves any hope of receiving service at this point.
Upon checking out the next morning, the young man that checked us in was there and asked if we were able to get anything worked out. I explained we were not, and he expressed his condolences. The bills for each of the different rooms that I was forced to pay for were totally different, despite the same room type apparently being booked.
To find the diamond in the rough, I will say the location of the resort was not bad. Overall though, this was the absolute worst hotel experience of my life, and I believe the new management at the hotel has a lot of learning to do. This is the hospitality industry, and guests should be made to feel as though they are welcome. We were afraid to leave valuables in our room, and could hardly sleep at night after the way we were made to feel. I would advise staying elsewhere.
I Visited Venice in the month of october 2018 and stayed at HOTEL AI DUE PRINCIPI. We took a canal facing junior suite. The suite was very big (BY EVEN ASIAN STANDARDS) with high ceiling and beautiful interiors. Generally room sizes are small in european hotels, but this suite was beautiful, clean and big. The location was also very nice. it was 5 to 10 minutes walk to san marco square as well as from the nearest water taxi point .lots of shopping and eateries nearby. would give 10 on 10 for room and overall 9. The staff also sent our luggage to our rooms. we did not have to bother about that. the owner was very helpful lady too.
I have certainly stayed at more sophisticated four-star hotels in my life, but overall Ai Due Principi has everything it takes to deserve the positive review.
Location was great, and staff were friendly.
It's like another world, tucked away in Venice. The rooms have high ceilings, comfortable beds and great showers. Open the window and listen to the sounds of Venice as you drift off to sleep. Highly recommend this place!
Can I start by saying that the hotel is in a nice location and our room (which was a junior suite costing £225 per night) was spacious and clean. We had what appeared to be the only walk-on balcony in the hotel but nothing to sit on out there.
We have been to Venice three times and this is my least favourite hotel so far.
The main issues are with the attitudes of some of the staff. I have read a couple of recent reviews about 'friendly staff'. We certainly experienced two members of staff who were warm, friendly and helpful. One was Gonzalez and I did not get the name of the other but they both worked the evening and night shift and did all they could to help.
I asked (very apologetically) for some coffee sachets for the room and was told 'No!' But if I wanted coffee I could get it from the bar!
I then asked (very politely) if we could have some heat in our room as that evening I returned feeling really cold and could not get warmed up. I was told 'No!' and then told that all the other guests had asked to have the air conditioning on! I had to go in the bath to get warmed through.
There was no feeling of warmth or welcome after this. The attitudes of the day staff almost spoiled our holiday. We are not usually complainers. Read any of my reviews to see that they are fair and honest. I would not go back to this hotel!