I stayed at the Bauer (December 27-29) in a “Deluxe City View” room, while my sister and her husband had a one bedroom (two bath) suite.
The hotel has considerable WOW factor upon first viewing of the lobby. Shortly after that, things go downhill. In 1949 after considerable renovation, the Bauer proudly announced that it was the most modern hotel in Venice. Now 60 years later, they boast of being very “Old World.” Well, the “Old World” didn’t start in 1949, and, quite frankly, things are looking old and tired!
The 1940’s era bathroom fittings are decidedly out of fashion – and the Bauer, like so many European hotels, refuses to use shower curtains, or any other effective means of stopping the floor flooding that is a constant in so many Euro-hotels. The tub had a marble slab which extended from the wall to about the one-third point of the tub. It is annoying that water must be cleaned up, but it is also annoying that the bather has to contort in an effort to prevent too much water from getting on the floor. Taking a shower is not a pleasant, easy going event at the Bauer.
One evening I returned to the room to find water leaking thru the walls, or coming up from below the floor tiles. A call to housekeeping brought a gentleman with 8 huge towels to mop up the water. “Call if you see more water.” Fortunately, I didn’t.
Lighting in the rooms was dim and grim, the desk had two of its three drawers nailed or glued shut. There were switches on the wall which no longer seemed to have a corresponding use. There was an electronically controlled safe in my room, but none in the suite.
Front desk staff seemed off-putting. I approached the front desk and asked for a map. The uniformed gentleman informed me: “The Concierge takes care of that matter.” I could see the Concierge was fielding questions from a couple of other guests, so I waited four minutes. When he was free, I asked him for a map. He turned to the original gentleman and asked him to move, so that he, the Concierge, could open the drawer to retrieve a map. The maps were right there in front of the first man I asked. Supreme example of “It’s not my job.” A clear indicator of poor service.
Breakfast was a complete joke. The bar which adjoins the dining room is pressed into service for the breakfast event. Both the bar and the dining room are serviced by those cheap wooden chairs that are covered with a dull colored linen fabric – much like the chairs you might encountered dressed in white at a wedding reception. No style, no class. And the entire breakfast experience is very much like a mad house. Tables are pushed together to accommodate larger parties, the aisle ways are blocked by chairs taking up walkway space, choke points impede traffic flow. And all for a very mediocre buffet. I was amazed that there was no good Italian bread – only tasteless dough balls. The scrambled eggs originated as powder. The food selections were dismal. The OJ was, however, excellent. The fruit was all canned. The buffet was not worth the effort. Even if lucky enough to be seated in the main part of the main dining room, which overlooks the Grand Canal, the windows are so small, that hardly a view to the exterior can be had, unless you were super-lucky enough to be at one of the three tables that were co-located with the three forward-facing minimal windows.
Of course, the Bauer is very well located and it seems to be getting by on that one attribute alone. By no stretch of the imagination is this a great hotel. It is very short on style and grace, and the modern amenities just aren’t there. My room was on the fifth floor, and the tiny little elevator (no more than three people) could take me there. But once on the fifth floor, my room was on a slightly different fifth floor, so I had to walk up and down a flight of about 6-7 stairs. At night, I discovered that the stairs are not lit, and there is no handrail. The door to my room was so worn at the edges, that light poured out from around the door jamb. I was never really sure it was completely closed – it certainly did not seem secure. The hotel still uses old fashioned keys. However, they would not give my sister and her husband two keys. Their plan was to escort the party without a key to the room and let them in. Perhaps, to be charitable, the Bauer management thinks this is “service.”
I loved Venice, and expect to return. Now I have to start a research project to find a decent hotel.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC