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Hotel Aquarius Venice, Choice Hotels Ascend Collection

Hotel Aquarius Venice had been in my sights these past three years since I first read about the hotel in a Choice Hotels press release in 2019 before it opened. Some readers in the past have commented on a couple of my articles that it was incomprehensible why someone would travel to a place specifically for a hotel. A good hotel deal is frequently the motivating factor in my choice of destinations. In this case my travel to Venice was motivated by a great hotel deal ($83 night), a cheap airline ticket option ($557 from Monterey to Venice) and the ability to maintain my Star Alliance Gold status with Aegean Miles+Bonus by making this trip before my summer trip to Portugal and Greece.

Hotel Aquarius Venice is located on the square of San Giacomo d’Orio in the Santa Croce district. While tourists visibly outnumbered residents in many areas of Venice we walked during our five days at the hotel, the people hanging out during the day in the square outside the hotel were overwhelmingly locals. Each weekday morning the campanile/church tower bells rang out at 8:00am for several minutes, and again at 17:45 and 20:00. Kids heading to school were on the square at 8am and by 15:30 to 18:00 the square was alive with children playing and a gathering of adults and parents.

San Giacomo dell’Orio at sunrise
San Giacomo dell’Orio
San Giacomo dell’Orio, Sestiere Santa Croce, Venice

Hotel Aquarius Venice, Choice Hotels Ascend Collection

Hotel Aquarius Venice – 4 stars

The hotel is relatively small and boutique with only 28 rooms on three floors. The lobby at the entrance is relatively small with two large aquariums and glass jellies art hanging from the ceiling. The hotel spaces all around are an art showcase.

Hanging glass jellies and aquariums near front desk.
Aquarius aquarium fish
Hotel Aquarius Venice Room 201
Hotel Aquarius Room 201

It has been some time passed since we walked into a room and said “wow!”

Hotel Aquarius Venice Room 201
Hotel Aquarius Venice Room 201

The art piece seen above is one thing I would change in the room. It adds color, but did not seem to fit the overall character of the room for our taste.

The ceiling at 11 to 12 feet high gave the room an extraordinary sense of spaciousness, especially with a large enough space for dancing across the room. A small dining table would have been a nice addition, even if it would cut down the dancefloor space.

Hotel Aquarius Venice Room 201 King Bed
Hotel Aquarious Venice Room 201

We rearranged the chairs to face the window and spent many hours sitting, staring out the balcony windows at the activity in the square.

A chandelier over the bed too.

The chandeliers looked lovely, but we only turned them on for the end of our stay when we were packing. The 30 or so little lights on the chandeliers were brilliantly bright. We would have loved a dimmer switch option.

Hotel Aquarius Venice Room 201 balcony window.
Hotel Aquarius Venice Room 201 closets and refrigerator.

The room had a mini-frig with 5 items. I removed the door shelves and one of the racks inside. I could fit two bottles of sparkling water (frizzante), and 6 bottles of 660ml beers inside along with our seafood of the day.

The Coop Market was across the square directly opposite the hotel and offered all the basic supplies at what were lower prices than Monterey, California for almost everything I purchased. Calamari and mussels from Coop were seafood items I snacked on all week.

Coop Market at San Giacomo dell’Orio, Venice
Hotel Aquarius Venice, Room 201 bathroom

Kelley felt for the size of the room there should have been a larger bathroom. Not being an architect I have no idea of the constraints in designing the space.

Hotel Aquarius Venice, Room 201 bathroom

Towel rack was nice for drying hand laundry through the week.

Hotel Aquarius Venice, Room 201 bathroom rain shower

The rain shower provided ample water for a shower and the temperature was regulated for constant temperature.

Hotel Aquarius Venice, Room 201 bathroom

Acqua dell’Elba bath products.

Breakfast Room

Hotel Aquarius breakfast room

Buffet breakfast was included. For social distancing the hotel required guests to select a time of 7:30-8:30; 8:30-9:30 or 9:30-10:30.

Hotel Aquarius Venice breakfast buffet

The day of checkout we went to breakfast at 7:00am and that was the one time I actually saw the full spread before it was eaten into. There were three kinds of croissants, two honey filled. More desserts than I have ever seen in a breakfast spread. The first morning revealed a three layer chocolate cake. There was still half the following day. Sweets in the morning are not my appetite, but I sure wished I had access to that chocolate cake in the evening.

Fruit jars and yogurt jars
Cereal and fruit
Cheese tray
Meat tray
Vegetable tray of cucumbers, tomatoes and beets.

There were also hard boiled eggs and hot scrambled eggs and bacon slices.

My only complaint with breakfast is there was one machine for coffee drinks and almost always a line of three or more. Each drink took 60 to 90 seconds to make. There was no coffee pot in the breakfast room, so getting a coffee at breakfast generally meant lining up for the machine.

Hotel Aquarius Venice breakfast room

I will write another article to show photos of Hotel Aquarius courtyard and more of hotel art.

View of San Giacomo dell’Orio at night.

Hotel Aquarius Venice was 16,000 Choice Privileges points per night during my stay. The current reward night rate is 25,000 points through September 15, 2022.

Venice Stairways and Canals (April 2022)

Stairways across Venice for Star Alliance Gold status renewal

Would pre-trip illness cancel our trip to Venice?

Venice Delayed after Catering Truck Hits United 772 at SFO Gate

Hotel NH München Airport free night from Lufthansa

Imagine Venice without mobile directions

Hotel Aquarius Venice, Choice Hotels Ascend Collection

Hotel Aquarius Venice Art and Space



  • The real beej April 22, 2022

    The hotel looks great, especially with the market across the street. When booking with Choice Privileges points can you select suites/bigger rooms or are you limited to the basic room? Also curious if you found a local in Venice to have beer.

  • LM April 22, 2022

    I was looking at this hotel for my trip in October when I saw your first post about your Venice trip. Thanks for the quick review. Hopefully I can get a reservation 100 nights out (hate that as a planner). I have a back up cheap B & B reservation if I cannot.

  • Björn April 23, 2022

    Rick! I missed you. 🙂

    Not sure if it was the pandemic or whatever but I concur with … em “beej”, did you find a nice local one or naw?


  • Ric Garrido April 24, 2022

    Osterio da Filo is a bar about 100 meters from Hotel Aquarius that was one of the liveliest bars I saw in Venice with a crowd standing outside in the alley every night. One of our favorite beers of the trip was Menabrea Blonda Lager, which I never found in the supermarkets I checked.

    Kelley was also very happy with Margeret DuChamp on Campo Santa Margherita, where they served draught Stella Artois. Campo Santa Margherita is a lively spot for drinking and dining with several high rated restaurants offering Asian, Vegan, Seafood and Italian dishes.

  • Ric Garrido April 24, 2022

    @the real beej – all room types were available when I booked Hotel Aquarius with points.

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