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After arriving in Venice on Swiss from ZRH, I picked up the rental car and set about orienting myself in the direction of Padova (Padua), Italy.
I went to Italy for my “round” birthday. After reading up on Venice, I made the executive decision to stay off site at the Radisson Blu in Terme di Galzignano. I wanted the freedom to spend a day or two in Venice, and then drive down to Florence if I wanted. I also wanted to see some of the Italian countryside, and it seemed like the resort was well-situated for day trips in multiple directions. And so it was.
My boyfriend and I booked 4 nights. We both have the US Bank Club Carlson Visa Signature, and both used our BOGO award night for 2 nights each.
We booked a “Superior Room” for 57,000 Club Carlson Gold Points for each 2-night block.
But why the Superior Room?
We are both Gold in the Club Carlson program, wifi is free at all of their hotels, and for what’s it worth, breakfast is included in every room rate here. I might’ve even scored an upgrade to this room, owing to my status.
I just didn’t want to chance it. It was my birthday trip, and I wanted to be assured of my room choice before I got there.
The normal booking rate is 38,000 Gold Points, so we paid the extra 19,000 points to have our room preference locked in. Plus, I wanted to make sure I had the view of the hills. It was admittedly a purely emotional decision, and probably not the smartest, but I feel like for special occasions it’s worth it to have the peace of mind.
And also, Club Carlson points are just so easy to earn. So I never really overthink my redemptions with this program.
Getting there and first impressions
Dear lord, driving in Italy just about gave me a brain aneurysm – the highways are so poorly signed. Even though Padova was a “straight shot” on the map, in actuality, it required about half a dozen exits, each one leaving me second guessing for miles (or kilos) if I’d done the right thing.
When we finally got onto the one correct highway, I saw a series of (tiny) signs pointing toward the next turn, until finally, after about a hour, we were at the Radisson Blu.
It is very isolated. There is nothing going on in the hamlet of Terme di Galzignano.
There was another tiny town nearby, Battaglia Terme, that had a couple of restaurants and not much more.
Parking was easy outside of the Radisson Blu, and we went inside to check-in. It was a beautiful, sunny day and right away, the resort felt welcoming and friendly.
The agent checking us in spoke little English and we don’t speak Italian, so it involved a huge variety of hand movements, but after a few minutes, we had our room keys. He wrote down the phone number to the hotel office and indicated that they spoke English if we needed anything. Despite the language barrier, we understood that they recognized our Gold status, combined our reservations, and were fine to let us keep the same room all 4 nights.
Then we headed up to Room 306.
The hallways and design of the hotel felt very put-together and modern.
I thought the design of the room, overall, was very nice. There were a couple of little things I would change here and there, like a different runner on the bed, and maybe remove the quote from the wall, although both things were innocuous enough.
The other thing to note is that the bed faces away from the TV, so no movies in bed. I don’t watch TV in hotel rooms, personally, so this wasn’t a loss for me, but if you like the TV on for ambient noise or whatever, this might be worth mentioning.
We were given a welcome amenity that was a fruit plate, which was a nice gesture from the hotel.
And indeed, we did have a view of the hills, but not from the fifth floor as promised in the room description. The balcony was pretty spacious, but if you look directly down, there isn’t much of a view at all. These rooms are in the back of the building and they have some groundskeeping stuff under the balconies. But the hills beyond were very beautiful.
The toiletries were nothing to write home (or a blog post) about, although all the basics were covered. And the shower had a swinging door that didn’t seal at the bottom, so in true Eurostyle, water got all over the floor each time we showered.
Beyond those few things though, the bed was large and comfortable, and the room was pretty large, with two places to sit (couch and desk).
Breakfast is included in all room rates, so I’m always a little shell-shocked about walking into those big rooms full of people first thing in the morning.
This hotel serves breakfast until 11:30 on weekends and 10:30 (if I remember correctly) during weekdays, so it gives everyone a chance to go at whatever time is best. I showed up around 9:30 each day and it was totally fine.
There is a huge spread of food set out on multiple tables. They had champagne and orange juice, so we started our day with a
couple of mimosa s.
A really lovely spread.
The area surrounding the hotel was lovely. There was a golf course, two pools, and lots of open space all around.
There was also a nice bar inside the hotel, and they served dinner in the restaurant in the evenings. The Radisson Blu is one of the few places to eat in Terme di Galzignano (that I could find).
This place is definitely not for everyone. If you are going just for Venice, you might find this to be too far. If you are coming to plan out a few day trips, this could be more your speed. Or, if you just want to lay by a pool for a few days in Italy, this could be perfect.
Of note is that the surrounding area is very rural with hardly any services or towns. You could drive the 20 minutes to Padova if you need things, but the Radisson Blu is pretty self-contained and you will be a captive audience (which I was not expecting). So keep all this in mind, and prepare to rent a car to get here.
There is a train station that’s about a 20 minute walk, but I didn’t want to be bound by train schedules. It could be an option, though.
I had a great stay, and I’m glad I did it. I don’t think it will factor into my travel plans again any time soon but it served its purpose for this trip. All in all, a solid stay and definitely more peaceful than staying among the crowds in Venice proper.
Has anyone else stayed here, or elsewhere in the Venice area? If anyone is more familiar than I am with the area, feel free to add comments below.
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