Ca' Sagredo Hotel is a beautiful hotel. Loved the location. Has its own private water taxi stop. This was a former palace and all the public spaces are huge. Bright and airy spaces. Super friendly staff. Quiet location. Lovely terrace on the Grand Canal for drinks and lunch or dinner. If you are a walker you can walk everywhere, if not the vaporetto station is right next door. There are junior suites that have a private rooftop terrace. The lower floors that have Grand Canal views have floor to ceiling windows so you can sit down and see the Grand Canal, but if you are the upper floors you have to stand to see the canal, so not sure if that is worth it. We had the smallest room overlooking Campo Santo Sofia and the room size was very, very spacious. They are building a rooftop terrace that will host four or five dinner tables at a higher price, this will be wonderful when completed. Staff is superb - great suggestions offered by lunch/dinner staff. The only negative that I saw was the courtyard which needs improvement and attention so would request campo Sofia views over courtyard views, if you are booking the smaller room types.
Hotel Metropole - This is completely opposite than Ca' Sagredo - great value for the location - great location for first time travelers. Very museum like feel - dark medieval interiors, every room is different. I do not recommend classic rooms - always go for a deluxe double or above. For Grand Canal rooms on lower floors you will get some street noise but with the shutters closed at night it shouldn't be too bad. The garden courtyard is beautiful and spacious and well gardened. Small but beautiful public rooms. Restaurant looks beautiful and intimate. There is a great rooftop bar. This area is very, very busy with tourists - so it is conveniently located to saint mark square, doge palace, vaporetto stops, etc. I would personally choose the Ca' Sagredo location over this one but the price can be very competitive.
Dark Rome Secret itineraries of the Doge's Palace - this is an excellent tour IF clients can climb lots of stairs and don't mind small spaces. Would recommend first tour of the day - they don't even give this tour in the afternoon in July and parts of August because you are under neath the lead roof. You get both the back story of the palace and then you still get to see the public rooms. The tour itself lasts 2 hours and then you can go the new section of the prison and walk through the interior of the Bridge of Sighs. This is a capacity controlled entrance - need to take the tour on the date/time provided.
Vaporetto tickets - worth it or not? It really depends. You can walk the entire city of Venice. If you are in Venice more than 3 days then yes. If there only 2 days and the tours are pre-planned then probably not. If vaporetto are not pre-ordered buy tickets in a shop because a lot of the self service machines don't work.
We asked for a recommendation from the hotel for a Grand Canal tour and they said they generally tell people to just take Vaporetto #1 and it goes slowly enough to enjoy the sights. Of course you don't know what you are seeing. The guide book we had - which is excellent for sightseeing but not so good for restaurants - gave a section by section recap of the important sections of the Grand Canal but you had to be reading and looking at the same time. And the #1 goes to/from piazalle Roma > San Marco square so very crowded most of the time. You can eventually get a seat in the back in the open air. We thought we could stay on at the terminus since it is just going back the same way but they make you get off anyway
Venice Map – What is absolutely critical is a good map – I don’t think just your i-phone will do it. Combination of both would be great.