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Lido: Westin Excelsior

Phone: 041.526 0201
www.starwoodhotels.com

Reviewed by: Amarena from US, review #2038

When: August 2007

Luxury hotel on the Lido beach... great when staying in Venice with the kids!!

At the Excelsior boat dock, photo by Amy Baker

LOVED this hotel. This was our third trip to Venice, but our first time to stay on the Lido. The Excelsior is a beautiful hotel, and it's a great option for families wanting to visit Venice, but who also want to be able to include beach and pool time for the children.

We used Starwood points and were upgraded to a small suite, with a view overlooking the canal rather than the sea which we had hoped for. The room decor was extravagant, although not my taste, but very clean and functional with a huge foyer with several nicely appointed closets. We had two balconies and the windows had motorized shades which completely blocked out the light... because of this, on our first morning we slept in until 10!!

Breakfast is included with the room, and it was great. Not only did it have the usual offerings of pastries and yogurt, but also included were several types of fruit, pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage, cereals, juices, coffee, even prosecco if you wanted it!

Very nice pool, but COLD! Even in August. It didn't stop our kids from enjoying it, though. Nice terrace and pool bar. We didn't ever try the upscale restaurant there, so I can't comment on that. The beach in front of the hotel is private. They will rent you cabanas, or just chairs and it's not cheap. It would be nice if they at least offered complimentary chairs for the guests. We rented one of the cabanas for a day and had a great beach day snoozing, swimming, collecting shells, building sandcastles, reading, looking for crabs.

The distance from Venice is 15-20 minutes, depending on your boat driver. There are complimentary hotel boats every 30 minutes which let you off either by the Hotel Danielli right by Piazza San Marco or at the Europa & Regina hotel on the Grand Canal, also close to San Marco. This is a little bit of an inconvenience, but at the same time, it's so much fun to arrive into the Venice Lagoon each day by boat... what a great view! I never tired of that ride.

We will definitely return to this hotel with our kids, but if we visit Venice without the kids, we will most likely stay in Venice proper.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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