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Review: Hotel Aquarius Venice, Italy using Choice Privileges points

Hotel Aquarius Venice, Italy is a member of Choice Hotels Ascend Collection and arguably has been the best deal available for Choice Privileges points worldwide during the past few years. In April 2022 Kelley and I booked a 6-night stay for 16,000 points per night for a suite that had published rates of 500 EUR per night. Our second stay at Hotel Aquarius was 8 nights in February 2023 for 170,000 Choice Privileges points with 4 nights in a junior suite (90,000 points) and 4 nights in a suite (80,000 points), different from the suite we stayed at in 2022. Again, the published rates for these rooms were 380 EUR and 495 EUR per night at the time I booked our stays.

Kelley and I enjoyed our stay immensely at Hotel Aquarius Venice in 2022 (LT hotel review of suite 201). The best airfare deal I could find for travel from SFO to Europe in February 2023 was a United Airlines round trip flight to Milan. We chose to take advantage once again of Choice Privileges suite availability at Hotel Aquarius for a 4-night stay with 4 nights at weekday rates of 20,000 points ($104 points cost/night for rate I purchased Choice Privileges points during 2022 Daily Getaways).

We initially could have booked a suite for our entire eight night stay, but our original travel plan was a 4-night stay at InterContinental Ljubljana before Venice. About a month after booking Hotel Aquarius Venice, I decided 8 hours of train travel from Milan, Italy to Ljubljana, Slovenia was a bit too long for Kelley the day after arriving in Italy. Too bad, since I had booked IC Ljubljana for 21,000 IHG points per night ($105 points cost).

Anyway, there was only availability at Hotel Aquarius for a junior suite when I booked the preceding four nights to our initial suite reservation for 22,500 points per night due to 2 nights at weekend rates for 25,000 points ($130 cost/night). Truth be told, I preferred the junior suite room we had to the suite.


One of the advantages of Hotel Aquarius is the property is only a 10 to 15 minute walk from the arrival points for the bus or train drop-off points in Venice, if you don’t get lost in one of the alleys along the way to the hotel. The bus terminal is a bit easier walk with fewer canal bridge stairs. We arrived at Stazione di Venezia Santa Lucia, the Venice train station after a 2.5 hour trip from Milan. This meant pulling our luggage over Ponte degli Scalzi, one of the four main pedestrian bridges over the Grand Canal. There are porters hanging around the train station who will haul your luggage with a hand-truck for 20 EUR or more, depending on your hotel location. Many, if not most, hotels in Venice are best accessed by ACTV passenger transit boats.

Probably one of the most confusing parts of a tourist arriving in Venice for the first time is how to find your way to the place you plan to stay. There is no motorized transportation within the Metropolitan City of Venice, except boats. A hotel near St. Mark’s Square will be a long and likely crowd-congested 30+ minutes walk, especially if pulling luggage. IHG’s Hotel Indigo Sant’Elena is at the far end of the connected islands of Metropolitan Venice and an hour’s walk. Even by boat it is about a 40-minute ride to Sant’Elena.

Stazione di Venezia Santa Lucia is the name of Venice train station. The ACTV boat station seen here is on the Grand Canal.


Ponte Deglia Scalzi pedestiran bridge over Venice Grand Canal at sunset (Venice train station building to right of sun).


Ponte deglia Scalzi bridge over Grand Canal entering Santa Croce sestiere.


Hotel Aquarius Venice, Italy

TripAdvisor ranked Hotel Aquarius #41 of 387 hotels in Venice at time of writing.

Hotel Aquarius Venice, Campo San Giacomo da l’Orio, Santa Croce, Venice


Hotel Aquarius Venice – 4 stars


Hotel Aquarius Venice Room 201 balcony view over San Giacomo dell Orio square. Coop market across from hotel.


Hotel Aquarius Lobby

Hotel Aquarius Venice lobby aquarium and lighted jellies.


Several times during the week I noticed tourists from the square enter to photograph the two aquariums in the small lobby.

Hotel Aquarius lobby is primarily a functional space with the main indoor seating lounge-library on Floor 2.


Hotel Aquarius Junior Suite Room 208

Venice Aquarius terrace outside the junior suite room 208.


The junior suite room 208 was so quiet compared to the 201 large suite we stayed facing the square of San Giacomo dell’Orio in 2022.

View of Hotel Aquarius Room 208 Junior Suite exterior seen from Suite 301 (nights 5-8 of our stay). Junior suite room 208 is left of red chairs and accessed from main building across the second floor terrace. Top window is bathroom window. Courtyard wall on left extends through Junior Suite room and separates hotel from connected neighboring property.


Hotel Aquarius Room 208 junior suite bed (photos below show room moving in clockwise direction)


What made the Hotel Aquarius room 208 junior suite a special place is the room we had is located in a separate building from other Floor 2 rooms, above the hotel bar in the garden. During our February 2023 stay the bar had been relocated to the second floor lounge adjacent to the breakfast dining room. Given the temperature in Venice during our winter stay was mostly in the 40s Fahrenheit, the terrace outside our room was only used by us.

If you have read many of my hotel reviews, then you probably have noticed the quirk when traveling with Kelley is she wants a cold room, often resulting in chilly to icy cold bedroom temperatures. Some of the coldest nights I recall have been in Poland during winter like Gdansk, Poland in December 2022.

Kelley loved keeping the three room windows in Hotel Aquarius room 208 junior suite open at night. I loved the fact that a 10-inch high piece of glass on the window ledge was perfect for keeping bottles of beer and water chilled in the cold of February and safe from falling.

Hotel Aquarius Venice room 208 junior suite


My chilled Birra Moretti on Hotel Aquarius junior suite window ledge with 10-inch glass barrier.


Hotel Aquarius Venice junior suite


Hotel Aquarius Venice junior suite chandelier and wood ceiling beams


Hotel Aquarius junior suite TV and closet behind open room door.


Apparently I did not take a photo of the coffee cabinet with the mini-refrigerator below. The bathroom is behind the TV wall.

Hotel Aquarius junior suite bathroom


Hotel Aquarius junior suite shower stall


Hotel Aquarius junior suite bathroom with bidet.


Hotel Aquarius chandelier close-up in junior suite room 208.


Hotel Aquarius room 208 junior suite bedroom view to canal entrance (by boat only) in back of hotel.


Hotel Aquarius main courtyard view seen from room 208 junior suite bathroom window.


Hotel Aquarius Second Floor bar, lounge and library

Hotel Aquarius second floor lounge and library.


Hotel Aquarius second floor lounge and library.


Hotel Aquarius second floor lounge and library.


Hotel Aquarius evening bar service in lounge-library room was stationed in this corner during our February 2023 stay.


Hotel Aquarius Breakfast Room

Hotel Aquarius breakfast room.


Hotel Aquarius breakfast bacon, scrambled eggs and hard-boiled eggs.


The breakfast at Hotel Aquarius is a set buffet each morning with the only real variation being slightly different assorted fruits and desserts. There are no made-to-order menu choices.

Hotel Aquarius breakfast yogurts.


Hotel Aquarius breakfast cucumbers, tomatoes and sliced beets.


Hotel Aquarius prepared tuna and egg sandwiches.


Hotel Aquarius breakfast deli meats.


Hotel Aquarius breakfast cheese tray.


Hotel Aquarius breakfast coffee machine.


My complaint last year was the wait for coffee with only one machine. I think there were fewer guests in February than last April.

Hotel Aquarius breakfast selection of croissants.


Hotel Aquarius breakfast sweets.


Apparently Italians enjoy sweets for breakfast or at least tourists in Italy enjoy sweets. There were a large number of desserts for breakfast at Hotel Indigo Milan too.

Hotel Aquarius breakfast – more desserts


Hotel Aquarius breakfast fruits.


Hotel Aquarius breakfast – selection of nuts.


There were breads and cereals available in the breakfast buffet too.

Another Hotel Aquarius article and more on touring Venice to come on Loyalty Traveler

I will post another Hotel Aquarius article showing Suite 301, where we stayed four nights. I consider Hotel Aquarius an art hotel with a collection of paintings and sculptures around the property. My post on Suite 301 Hotel Aquarius will include some photos of the art pieces.

Hotel Aquarius staff were delightful and we recognized many of the hotel employees from last year’s stay. Last year they were helpful in scheduling Covid-19 test appointments when those were necessary to enter the USA. This year they helped Kelley by scheduling an appointment for her at a nail salon when she had the crisis of a chipped nail that ruined her manicure look.

Hotel Aquarius full moon seen from Suite 301.


Looks to me like Hotel Aquarius Venice is leaving Choice Hotels September 1, 2023

Unfortunately, at time of writing Hotel Aquarius is not bookable for stays after August 31, 2023 through Choice Hotels website. It appears to me the hotel will be leaving the Choice chain. Bookings are available through the website for Hotel Aquarius for dates after September 1.

I found a date in July with junior suite availability for one night, but mostly I see only double bed rooms available for the next three months using Choice Privileges points. Those double rooms are still a bargain at 20,000 to 25,000 Choice Privileges points compared to prevailing rates around 325 EUR per night. The two suites we stayed in at Hotel Aquarius Venice in 2022 and 2023 are priced at 700 to 800 EUR per night for September 2023 dates at time of writing this post.

Loyalty Traveler – Hotel Aquarius Venice, Choice Hotels Ascend Collection (April 22, 2022). This stay was suite 202, which might be considered the top of the line room in the hotel, although in actuality it is a very large one room junior suite.

Loyalty Traveler – Hotel Aquarius Venice art and space (April 25, 2022).

Loyalty Traveler Venice articles from 2022:

The cost of stuff in Venice, Italy (May 18, 2022).

Imagine Venice without mobile directions (April 2022).

The cost of stuff in Venice, Italy

Views from the four bridges over Venice’s Grand Canal

I plan to write much more extensively about Venice, ACTV passenger ferry boat service, Lido and the island of Burano from our February 2023 travels. I tracked a lot of walking miles across all six Metropolitan Venice sestieres on this year’s trip and even walked across Venice from Hotel Aquarius to IHG’s Hotel Indigo Sant’Elena for a hotel tour.




  • Lydia May 21, 2023

    Suite or not, this hotel looks cheapo…

  • Ric Garrido May 21, 2023

    I’ve looked through dozens of TripAdvisor reviews and I do not see anyone else who has stayed at Hotel Aquarius express that sentiment. I have been in quite a few cheapo hotels over the past 40 years of travel across the USA and world with a couple thousand hotel nights and cheapo is not an adjective I would apply to this property.

  • Chris May 21, 2023

    The only amazing thing about it is that they’re charging hundreds of euros for such a dingy place

  • Ric Garrido May 22, 2023

    Tough crowd.

    Please name a better hotel in Venice you can book for $100 to $130 per night.

Comments are closed.