Living Like A Local With @Roomorama: Venice Edition pt. 1.

By Posted in - Accommodations & Europe on January 6th, 2012

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This is the first review out of two. Stay tuned for a different Venice property review tomorrow.

It’s no secret that I adore Venice. I can’t get enough of it. So when we had the chance to swing by Venice on our last jaunt through Europe this past fall, we couldn’t pass it up. We only had a couple days in this magical city, but the minute we walked through the station doors and into the city we were in love with Venice. Again.

I would love to stay there for months on end and really learn my way around the city and live like a local.

On this past trip, I got a step closer to that dream because we were able to stay in two Roomorama apartments in the city instead of in a tiny hotel room. Why two?

The one we wanted to stay at was only available for one night, but the owner actually managed a couple of properties in Venice and she offered to put us in a different one for the last couple of nights.

This actually turned out well because we not only got to live like a local in two different areas of Venice, but we also realized through the process just how helpful a potential host can be when you fill them in on your travel plans.

Before we get into the reviews I do want to make a note that Stefy (the host of both properties) was an absolute gem. She helped us understand the city, buy a sim card for our phone & she even gave us a short tour of Venice. She showed us one of her favorite coffee shops and demystified the several types of coffee (and which is best) – and in Venice there are a lot of coffees to choose from! She even told us how to best enjoy wine in the town squares and introduced us to a great cheese shop. It was through her help that we really experienced a different side of Venice and enjoyed activities alongside the locals. She made our trip to Venice memorable and easy.

While staying in holiday apartments in Europe, we discovered that one of the nicest things about renting a holiday apartment during your travels is that it makes you feel like you have a friend in the city. You feel like you have someone to turn to if you have a question or if something happens that you need help with (finding a doctor, etc.). It’s like having someone in your corner and in a new city that is a real plus. You know the host is never going to lead you astray, and they will do their best to make sure you enjoy the city. It’s a perk we’ve come to really enjoy as it takes a little stress off traveling to a new place.

We loved both properties. But in an effort to provide a fair review, we will let you know our honest thoughts about each place and provide you with photos to help you get a better idea of the apartments so you can make the best choice for your next trip to Venice.

Without further ado I present: Venice – A Tale Of Two Reviews.

Venice Italy

(The Grand Canal as photographed from the Rialto Bridge.)

 

Apartment #1: Venice Romantic Dream

(Currently listed on Roomorama as Stefydream.)

This was the apartment that caught our eye in the Roomorama listings. We were in love with the loft style apartment that had its own balcony. The huge plus was the fact that it was only 100 Euro a night. On our previous trip to Venice, we stayed in a hotel that cost us 100 Euros/night and while it was nice, it was extremely tiny and we had to share a bathroom with all the other hotel guests. This apartment was a great deal because it was bigger, had a balcony and was much more private.

This Venice short term rental was actually a fantastic find, but initially we were a bit confused when we arrived. I’m going to talk about why we were confused so that it can help you book this place if you want to. And we do recommend it – this place really is great.

If you click the link to view this apartment, you’ll see it actually costs 140 Euro and you might be wondering why we got such a good deal. Well the reason for the price difference and the confusion is that there were originally 2 listings for this property (which we did not realize at the time of booking). There is currently now only one listing for this property.

Why two listings? Stefy felt that she could offer the entire apartment as a family sized rental and she could also offer just the loft as a more budget friendly option for a solo person or a couple traveling alone. She listed them at two different price points. It’s smart and makes a ton of sense. The only thing was that it was a little confusing.

When we showed up we were brought to our room by two other ladies (her aunt Linda and a friend) because Stefy was at work. At first we couldn’t believe how huge the place was, then we were a bit taken back when our room (the loft) didn’t have a door. We had no idea that we had rented a room in an apartment. We thought we had rented our own small loft apartment. These two ladies, while very sweet, didn’t speak much English and we didn’t speak much Italian so we were under the impression that they lived on the first floor and that we had this loft room with absolutely no real privacy or security. There were a ton of personal items and photos throughout the apartment that gave it a very lived in feeling.

Our room was spacious and the bathroom and balcony were great but we were completely confused at what was going on. From what we could tell, we had nowhere private to keep our gear and we had no door. We were wondering how this could be billed a “Romantic Dream” without a door and with other people living on the first floor.

Stefy stopped by about 30 minutes later to explain things to us.

This apartment used to be Stefy’s home and she has a real soft spot in her heart for it. One of the reasons there are so many personal effects in the house is because she hopes one day that she can move back into it (she now lives right outside of Venice). Her personal stories about growing up and living in Venice were very touching and I could easily see why she was reluctant to give up hope of moving back into such a great flat.

She also explained that no one lived on the bottom floor and that we had the whole place to ourselves. We were allowed to use the living room and the kitchen. Yah! She has an additional bedroom and bathroom on the bottom floor but unless the entire apartment is rented she keeps those two rooms locked (which makes sense – less to clean). So not only did we not need to worry about the missing door to our room but we actually had access to a beautiful apartment that was much bigger than we were anticipating. Talk about a plus!

She explained the two different listings she had on Roomorama and her reasoning for both. Basically, she wanted a way to help out people traveling on a budget. She asked us if it was confusing and also asked us for our opinion and our help on improving her listings.

It looks like she has decided to remove the initial listing we saw because of the confusion created by it, but she asked that when we reviewed the property on our blog, that we mention this issue and point out that the apartment is available both ways and all you need to do is ask her when you inquire through the Roomorama website.

So if you are a solo or a couple traveling to Venice and looking for a great spot for only two people, be sure to inquire with Stefy and see if the loft is available. You will still get access to kitchen and living room but with a discounted rate. Of course, if you are traveling with a family or small group renting the entire apartment (current 140 Euro listing) is another fantastic option and comes with the bonus of two bathrooms and bedrooms!

Sorry for the lengthy write up but we really needed to point out the different options available with this apartment so you can book accordingly. Now it’s time for the review!

The Apartment

Amazing. This apartment is fantastic. It’s spacious and cozy at the same time. There’s plenty of room to move around. The entire flat is updated and modern. In fact, the bathtub in our bathroom was actually a jacuzzi! The apartment was very clean and it has WiFi throughout. All the family photos and memorabilia really make you feel like you are truly at home in a foreign land. There are also plenty of books in English and Italian to read and there a variety of Venice travel guides and maps to help get you around the city. The balcony is fabulous and provides great views of the neighborhood. It’s a great spot to hang out and drink a bottle of wine. The wood beamed ceilings and loft add a feeling of openness to the entire space. Stefy is a great host and a little bird told me if you hit it off with her Aunt Linda (who lives on the ground floor of the same building but in a different apartment) she might surprise you by cooking you a homemade Italian meal! Guests often leave tokens of thanks for Stefy because they enjoy the place so much. I always felt terrible that we didn’t leave one so Stefy, if you’re reading this, I hope these reviews can be our gift to you. 🙂

The Kitchen and Living Room:

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Stairs that lead to the loft:

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Family photos of Stefy & her son, books and travel guides:

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The loft bedroom & bathroom (the stairs in the bedroom lead to the balcony):

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The great balcony and views:

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Location

Fantastic! This section of Venice is a very local spot but still near St. Mark’s Square. Venice can be extremely touristy and if you’ve been there you might have been put off about the general ‘tourists are cattle’ feel that happens around the big sites. This apartment will keep you far from the tourists crowds and allow you to experience a side of Venice you might have only dreamed of. Instead of tourist trap shops, there are local shop that sell things you actually need when you live somewhere. There was a large grocery store nearby (about a two minute walk) and even a pet store on a adjacent street. This is the place to rent when you want to be surrounded by Venetian locals. There are plenty of cute little old Italian women chatting in the streets, school kids running around and neighbors running errands. In fact, everyone we saw looked like a local. If you want to live like a Venice local, hit up local grocery stores and stay in a very relaxed, quiet, non-touristy section of Venice, this would be a perfect fit for you.

Views of the street the apartment is located on:

Rent-a-Venice-Apartment-23-sfb Roomorama Venice Apartment 1

Map that shows the location of the apartment in relation to St. Mark’s Square (listed as San Marco on the map):

Map-of-Venice-Italy

Tip for renting a holiday apartment anywhere in the world: Keep in mind you are renting, most likely, from a local. This is a huge perk because you can get an insiders view to the city but there may be language barriers and customary differences. Be sure to be clear in your questions to the owner. For instance, instead of asking what floor the apartment is on you might want to ask how many stairs there are. In the U.S. we start our floor numbers on the first floor and we call that floor #1. This isn’t the case in different countries around the world; for instance, in Italy, the first floor is actually what we consider to be the 2nd floor. Their ground floor is what Americans would consider to be the first floor (their 1st floor is what we consider to be the 2nd floor). When booking your apartment try to clarify anything that confuses you so that when you arrive you aren’t surprised.

Our apartments in Venice were provided by the good folks at Roomorama who have short term rentals all across the world. If you would like to stay in the flat mentioned in this story you can find it online here: Venice Holiday Rental

Editors note: This is the third review of our stays with Roomorama. Headed to Prague or Istanbul? Be sure to check out our reviews for those two fantastic cities as well!

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*Please remember all photos on this website, unless otherwise noted, are copyrighted and property of Beers and Beans Travel Website, Nariko’ s Nest Weddings & Bethany Salvon. Please do not use them without my permission. If you do want to use one of them please contact me first because I do love to share and I would be flattered. Thanks!

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(3) awesome folk have had something to say...

  • Andi of My Beautiful Adventures -

    January 7, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    Wow what a thorough review! Your pics are seriously so freaking amazing!!! I miss Venice 🙁

  • Escape Hunter Travel Writer -

    January 3, 2014 at 7:04 am

    Great photos! My compliments!
    Venice is an awesome place and it was my first ever Italian destination. Must be very expensive living there… Even hotels are shockingly expensive. That 100 EUR per night for an apartment is more than just a great bargain! It’s awesome!