Review: The Westin Europa Regina, Venice, Italy.
Hotel selection in Venice is exceptionally tricky. There is limited inventory and rooms are often small and expensive. After some research, we ended up at the Westin Europa Regina Venice. We were able to obtain a suite upgrade to a larger room, an excellent included breakfast thanks to elite benefits and an excellent anniversary dinner on a private table at the hotel.
This post is one chapter on our trip to Malta, Italy and Germany. This trip was enhanced through Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status and credited to Alaska Mileage Plan and Air Canada’s Aeroplan. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.
Read More from This Trip
- Trip Introduction: Valetta Gozo – Malta, Venice – Italy, and Oktoberfest Munich – Germany via Air France Business Class
- Air France Business Class: Vancouver – Paris
- Air France Business Lounge: Paris Charles de Gaulle Terminal 2F
- Air France Business Class: Paris – Munich
- Lufthansa Airlines: Munich – Malta
- The Westin Dragonara Resort, Malta
- Boating to Gozo and a last look at the Azure Window, Malta
- Swimming on the Island of Comino and Exploring the Coastal Caves of Malta
- Wandering in the Walled City of Valetta, Malta
- Lufthansa Airlines: Malta – Frankfurt
- Lufthansa Airlines: Frankfurt – Venice
- The Westin Regina Europa, Venice, Italy
- Getting Lost in the Streets of Venice, Italy
- Is a Gondola Ride through the Canals of Venice worth it?
- Air Dolomiti: Venice – Munich
- The Westin Grand Munich, Germany
- Drinking at the Beer Garden at Hofbrahaus, Oktoberfest, Munich, Germany
- Taking in BMW World and the Alstat, Munich, Germany
- Air France / KLM Business Lounge, Munich Terminal One
- Air France Business Class: Munich – Paris
- Air France Business Lounge: Paris Charles de Gaulle Terminal 2E – Concourse L
- Air France Business Class: Paris – Vancouver
Review: The Westin Europa Regina, Venice, Italy.
Booking the Hotel:
Venice, Italy is a bit of a tough market for hotels. Everything is expensive and for the price, it’s not like you’re getting water views. In making our selection, the JW Marriott Venice was out, since it’s off on a private island, and you miss the charm of wandering Venice’s streets after everyone has gone home for the evening. I didn’t have any Hilton Honors points at the time, and the Aman hotel was priced a bit too dear.
I took a look at all the Starwood Properties in Venice. I had my eyes set on the Gritti Palace by Luxury collection. Given that most hotel rooms were around 400€ during our visit, and the Gritti Palace’s were around 1,600 €, I decided it would be a good use of SPG points. Unfortunately, by the time I got around to booking, all the reward inventory had disappeared from the Gritti Palace availability pool and there were only suites available to purchase.
After reading the reviews, I ended up turning to the Westin Regina Europa Venice. We ended up redeeming 25,500 Starwood Preferred Guest points per night (now the equivalent of 76,500 Marriott Bonvoy points) for a Premium Deluxe Room. We applied SPG Suite Night Awards (SNA’s) and were upgraded at the 5 day mark into a One Bedroom Suite. The suite type did not appear to be listed on the website – but it was a typical suute configured with a bedroom and separate living space with courtyard views.
Getting to the Westin Europa Regina Venice from the Airport:
We only had three days and two nights planned in Venice and really wanted to make the most of our time. As a result, I sprung for the private water taxi transfer by Consorzio Motoscafi Venezia both ways and got a 10% discount as a result of the return trip arrangements.
On arrival, we left the airport and walked ourselves down toward the water taxi pier. It’s actually quite a ways (I’d say around 800 m). I wouldn’t attempt it without porters without having rolling suitcases. We rolled the bags ourselves, although there were some porters there wanting an over the top 25 € for porter-age for a flat deck cart.
As a private water taxi, we had the whole boat to ourselves. The boat had an indoor and outdoor space for relaxing.
We passed by some nice hardware on the way in. Needless to say, they were a bit above my price point.
We used the main canal and took a side short cut through the canals. Wow – what an awesome way to arrive in Venice; cruising the canals in your own private water taxi! I was super happy with the water transfer investment at this point. My advice is don’t think of it as paying for a transfer, but a private charter with views on the trip that you’ll remember for a lifetime. There’s nothing like cruising the canals with structures all around you on your way to your hotel.
We arrived to a private water taxi arrival dock. The water taxi arrival was truly an awesome way to arrive and well worth the cash outlay provided the weather is favorable. There’s only a few places in the world where you can arrive to your hotel by boat and this option definitely beats the alternative of bus, vaporetto, walk (stairs) walk, with suitcases and bags in tow.
If you happen to be arriving from the Vaporetto, you’ll have a slightly different view. The entry is off the courtyard into an understated entrance.
Checking into the Westin Europa Regina Venice:
S. Marco, 2159, 20124 Venezia, VE
The property is situated right on the Grand Canal of Venice. It is an excellent location immediately across the canal from the Basilica Santa Maria Del Salute; a 1600’s era iconic church with a massive cupola. It is also approximately a five minutes walk from the Piazza San Marco – St Marc’s Square in the heart of all the action in Venice, Italy.
Arriving to the Westin Europa Regina Venice hotel, the initial impressions at the lobby and arrival ports impressions were very good. Based on the décor, it was unlike any Westin that I had stayed in before. The building was more old school castle with Westin themes; such as their usual healthy food / stay well themes. The lobby was quite impressive on arrival.
I had applied Suite Night Awards to the reservation, which cleared in advance at the five day mark. It was a bit difficult to tell what the occupancy rates were since the hotel has such an unusual shaped lay out making it hard to guess how busy the spaces were. Using the Suite Night Awards and holding Starwood Preferred Guest Platinum status (now Marriott Bonvoy Platinum) we were upgraded to a one bedroom suite with a courtyard view. Unfortunately, there were no suites with canal view upgrades along with beautiful terraces available, despite past reports of Platinums being luck enough to be upgraded into these categories. I think those days are long over unless you pay the posted 2,400 € for such a suite.
The Room: A One Bedroom Executive Suite
We led ourselves up to the One Bedroom Suite. The One Bedroom Suite room was quite large and probably one of the larger rooms that I had stayed in for a historic hotel. The furniture did not take up all the space provided, and as a result, made for a very roomy and spacious feel.
The room featured a proper King Size bed. Thankfully, it was not two doubles pushed together but an actual comfortable Westin Heavenly bed.
The Ensuite Bathroom:
The ensuite bathroom was functional with a double vanity sink and a smallish shower and tub consistent with the era.
The toiletries were not the usual Westin branded White Tea Aloe but instead upgraded ETRO branding. I took them home with me and they lasted for almost a month worth of use. There may have been a few road trips on the road there when I was away from home as well.
The Living Space:
The room had a fully separate living area with large window views of the courtyard. The décor was consistent with the period. I think this is a win and a lose. I personally found it was a win considering where we were.
In the living room, there was a small period style desk with a Keurig style coffee maker.
Being an SPG Platinum, coupled with a special anniversary stay, the hotel reached out with a nice bottle of prosecco and some strawberries for our arrival. I did message the hotel concierge in advance for the special occasion. It was a nice touch and certainly made us feel welcomed. There must be so many anniversaries here in Venice, the hotel actually has a “Anniversary” card.
With the windows open in the hotel room, even with a back courtyard view, you could hear gondoliers signing their songs serenading their guests which was one of the most memorable events of the trip.
I did have a challenge in getting my “Make a Green Choice” points to post (despite turning in the cards) and wrote the hotel no less than 4 times with after our stay begging for some attention. On the fifth time, I wrote to the Starwood Guest management at head office and had to get them to intervene due to hotel in-action. It was the only disappointing event that otherwise stained a bit of a perfect stay. The hotel was so receptive for most other requests in advance and during the stay but completely ignored us after we left.
Food and Beverage:
The day after our arrival, we took in the breakfast buffet in the restaurant. I ended up taking free breakfast as the SPG Platinum benefit. It was a wise decision as the buffet was priced at 38€ a person. The breakfast was one of the better free breakfast’s I’ve had in the Starwood Preferred Guest stays ever as it included everything including prosecco.
The buffet seating was inside (or outside) right on the patio and there were terrific views of the grand canale. Dependent on the traffic, you could hear the gondoliers signing and serenading their passengers. This was a super unique experience to have while enjoying breakfast in Venice.
The buffet had hot and cold items. The food was of very good to excellent quality. Interestingly, the food quality was better here than it was at the Westin in Malta. The scrambled eggs were tasty and there was high quality bacon. There were also Westin fruit smoothies to drink and free flow prosecco; this alone made MrsWT73’s stay.
What a great way to start the day and an excellent use of the SPG Platinum breakfast benefit as the setting was simply beyond compare. The breakfast was almost a reason to stay at the property alone; fantastic views and a beautiful unique setting.
La Cusina Restaurant & The Floating Table
I was looking for something special to do for our anniversary dinner. The problem is in tourist town, many things probably aren’t that special.
With a bit of research, I happened to find the “Floating Table” at the La Cusina restaurant in the Westin Europa Venice. While there were probably nicer restaurants out there, the ease and convenience of enjoying a drink and rolling downstairs can’t be beat. That’s not to mention the awesome view. I booked the Floating Table table for 50€ cover through the hotel concierge, and they were prompt in organizing the reservation as requested.
We arrived at our 7 PM reservation time. The restaurant was just getting going and it was much quieter than compared to the breakfast hour. There were only three or four other tables being served throughout the course of the evening, making it a quiet experience. The scene was set with a beautiful sunset over the Grand Canal. It is surprisingly much quieter at night when most of the traffic dies down.
With the floating table being away from the restaurant, it got dark quite quickly. We had a nice candle lit dinner away from anyone else with some pretty neat Murano themed glassware. We saw the glassware on a later walk through Venice and it was about 200€ a set.
In honour of our anniversary, the restaurant offered a glass a prosecco as a starter. We had a sea bass and carrot puree amuse bouche.
I had the starter of spaghetti di grano selezione “martelli” con pomorodirni freschi e ricotta affucmicate di Malaga (Selected spaghetti with fresh tomatoes and artisanal smoked ricotta from Malaga) My gosh – spectacular!! It was the freshest spaghetti and basil I’d ever had the opportunity to enjoy. I still dream of it to this date.
We enjoyed a bottle of Pio Cesare Nebbiolo, which was terrific; well balanced and not over the top with tannins.
For the main, I had the Carre di angella in crosta di herbe montane, zuchine infornate e salae all amarone della valpolicca or herb crusted lamb cutlet, zucchini and amarone della valpolicella sauce. It was perfectly cooked. Overall, it was a solid choice, although I enjoyed the pasta starter more
We passed on the dolce serving and the restaurant brought us some petit fours to conclude.
My wife had the better views as the guest of honour. I kept flipping around to take photographs however. I don’t know how I couldn’t with views like that!
The Floating Table was a nice experience. It was quiet, serene and romantic. We’ll remember it for quite a while considering the setting that it was in; a super special evening for an anniversary. The fact that it was in Venice certainly didn’t hurt either…
The Bottom Line: The Westin Europa Regina Venice
The Westin Europa Venice was surprisingly good for what I was expecting. The décor was nothing like I had experienced at a Venice before and the hotel fit with the area – even if it wasn’t very “Westin-like” (chic and contemporary). Please see the second day in Venice for the experience at the hotel restaurants’ Floating Table.