Venice Travel Guide

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Starwood Just Sold the Gritti Palace, But Don't Panic Just Yet

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  Site Where: Campo Santa Maria del Giglio 2467, Venice, Italy, 30124
May 13, 2015 at 8:25 AM | by | Comments (0)

#Thatmomentwhen one of the most famous hotels in Europe gets sold and you start panicking that it’s the end of an era until you realize that everything’s going to be just fine and it’s just the owners, not the management, that are swapping keys.

That panic was all over us earlier this morning when saw a press release with the words “Gritti Palace” and “closing” in the headline. Could one of Starwood’s two flagship properties in Venice really be leaving the Luxury Collection?

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Thanks to Starwood, Venice's San Clemente Island is Open Once More

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  Site Where: Isola di San Clemente 1, Venice, Italy, 30124
April 22, 2015 at 9:30 AM | by | Comments (0)

This time last year, the San Clemente Palace was a shuttered, slightly battered grand old hotel in Venice, quietly wasting away on her own private island.

How things have changed – because after being picked up by Starwood and promptly closed for €25m of renovations, the St. Regis Venice San Clemente Palace is now open. Doesn’t she look better?

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Remember the Heavenly View from the JW Marriott Venice? That's Not the View

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  Site Where: Isola delle Rose, Venice, Italy, 30133
March 27, 2015 at 9:10 AM | by | Comments (0)

This view is not what it seems

It seems like only yesterday that we were freaking out over the amazing renderings of the JW Marriott Venice, which, at that point, was soon to open on its own private island in the Venetian lagoon. The major freak-out point? Those dreamy views from the rooftop pool, overlooking St Mark’s Square and the Doge’s Palace.

And then, a couple of weeks ago, we were in Venice, saw where the JW Marriott is located, and got a hold on the view situation. And you know what?

The view in that rendering - which, today, is the cover photo on the hotel's Facebook page and the first image to greet you on the hotel's homepage - is not the view from the JW Marriott.

It is, let’s say generously, a rather free interpretation of the actual view.

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Like Cocktails? You Have to Get to This Venice Pop-Up in April

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  Site Where: Venice, Italy
March 25, 2015 at 10:32 AM | by | Comments (0)

Walter Bolzonella at the Cipriani

Having a drink in one iconic hotel is good enough. Having a drink in one iconic hotel that’s mixed by the staff from another iconic hotel – even better. Having a drink from one iconic hotel that’s made by the staff of another iconic hotel while on the most iconic train on the planet? We need a drink. Preferably one made by the Ritz Paris bartenders, but made at the Belmond Cipriani in Venice, or served on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express.

In a collaboration between the two hotels and the famous train, the head bartenders of the Ritz Paris (Colin Field - who, of course, is currently homeless, since the hotel is closed, and is going around the world staging pop-ups) and the Cipriani (Walter Bolzonella) will run a pop-up bar at the Cip from 9-15 April.

But wait! It gets better than that.

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We Can See You! Creeping on Venice's Newest Hotels

Where: Venice, Italy
March 18, 2015 at 9:05 AM | by | Comments (0)

Excitement is building for this year’s two big openings in Venice: the JW Marriott, which opens this month, and the St Regis, reopening after a €25 million refurb in April.

So when we were in town last week, we couldn’t help popping over to get a peek of both of them from the rooftop bar at the Hilton Molino Stucky.

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Does the Danieli Have the Strongest WiFi Signal in Venice?

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  Site Where: Castello 4196, Venice, Italy, 30122
March 9, 2015 at 8:59 AM | by | Comment (1)

WiFi options from a ferry 10 minutes away from St Mark's Square

Fast, free WiFi is, in our opinion, a basic hotel right. Mobile WiFi? That’s an amazing added extra. WiFi that’s so strong the signal stretches across the city? Monsieur, now you are really spoiling us.

So hats off to the Danieli in Venice, whose WiFi signal is so astonishingly strong that we were picking it up all over Venice last week.

* Out around the Biennale/Arsenale, coming in on the ferry from the airport (about a 20-minute walk from the Danieli);

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These Are The Must Have Breakfast Accessories at the Bauer Il Palazzo in Venice

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  Site Where: San Marco, 1413/d, Venice, Italy, 30124
March 5, 2015 at 9:45 AM | by | Comments (0)

If you stay at the Bauer Il Palazzo, one of the four Bauer hotels (owned by a local family) in Venice, you’ll have breakfast at Settimo Cielo, a seventh floor rooftop terrace with sweeping, weep-inducing views of La Serenissima taking in everything from St Mark’s Square, the Doge’s Palace and the Riva degli Schiavoni to the Grand Canal, the Santa Maria della Salute church on Dorsoduro, the island of Giudecca, the islands of the forthcoming St Regis and JW Marriott, and the Lido, stretching out in the distance.

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St. Regis and JW Marriott Will Duke it Out Private-Island Style in Venice from April

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  Site Where: Venice, Italy
January 26, 2015 at 8:25 AM | by | Comments (0)

The setting: Venezia, Queen of the Adriatic. The contenders: Starwood v. Marriott. The prize: best new hotel in the category “private islands”.

That’s what’s on the menu this spring in Italy, where both Starwood (by way of St. Regis) and Marriott (by way of JW Marriott) are entering the Venetian hotel scene with a splash (ha!) on Isola di San Clemente and Isola delle Rose, respectively. But who will be victorious? Let’s look at what each brings to their corner before things get real around March / April time.

We’ve established they're fighting for your attention in the same category: private islands, ensuring the ultimate Venice experience of hopping on a complimentary shuttle when you want to be whisked away from the crowds on San Marco. We’ve known for a while that the JW Marriott would be opening in March, but the St. Regis is now confirmed for the month after. If all goes as planned, then Marriott will have a (minor) head start.

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JW Marriott Venice Will Have Fruit Arbors and Olive Groves Overlooking San Marco

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  Site Where: Isola delle Rose, Venice, Italy
December 4, 2014 at 9:30 AM | by | Comments (0)

Last time we talked about the JW Marriott Venice, we were getting overly excited about the infinity pool overlooking Piazza San Marco. Ready for more excitement? Because we have more news.

First piece of exciting news: the project is being overseen by Matteo Thun, he of Hotel Missoni (RIP) fame. There will now be 266 rooms (instead of 230), furnished with locally made materials: bricks, glass and tiles.

Second piece of exciting news: this isn’t just a private island hotel, it’s a private island with 16 acres of grounds. These will be landscaped with gardens, olive groves, “fruit arbours” and vegetable plots. There will now be four restaurants, five bars and – third piece of exciting news – a cooking school and wine academy.

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These Are the New Rooms at St. Regis San Clemente Palace

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  Site Where: Isola di San Clemente 1, Venice, Italy, 30124
November 17, 2014 at 9:04 AM | by | Comments (0)

We feel so much better now! Forget the disappointing images from inside St. Regis San Clemente Palace in Venice; we finally have some renderings that show what the hotel will look like following its €25 million renovation.

Gone are the golden-hued walls, the dark wood, and, most importantly, that wonky bed skirt. Instead, we have much lighter décor, a purely white bed, a beautiful coffee table, and a few pops of blue in the furniture and pillow. The Grand Deluxe room above has a low headboard and statement mirror, while the one below goes for something with a bit more flourish and replaces the blue accents with green.

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Is This Where George Clooney Will Be Getting Married This Weekend?

Where: Venice, Italy
September 26, 2014 at 11:22 AM | by | Comments (0)

UPDATE, 9.30.14:The wedding was held at the Aman Canal Grande with a brunch to celebrate the couple the following day at the Belmond. As you were.

Lately, our issues with the water world city that is Venice, Italy have been centered around lackluster hotel design and obscene prices. But when you're George Clooney on the eve of your nuptials, none of that even enters your mind. Or so we imagine.

Clooney and his betrothed, Amal Allamuddin, are set to marry this weekend in Venice and according to the Telegraph UK, speculation about where the couple will marry is in "overdrive." Here's the top contender for the wedding site:

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San Clemente Palace Will Close in October to Get the St. Regis Treatment

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  Site Where: Isola di San Clemente 1, Venice, Italy, 30124
September 11, 2014 at 8:24 AM | by | Comment (1)

We highlighted both the rooms at Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem and St. Regis San Clemente Palace Venice recently as examples of luxury hotels that failed to inspire with their design. The Waldorf landed on a palette of browns that escapes us and the St. Regis didn’t look like we’d expect it after a €25 million do-over.

Turns out we weren’t wrong to be disappointed: while the Venetian island resort has joined Starwood under the St. Regis brand earlier this year, the closure period that will see those €25 million making a splash starts this October and lasts until spring 2015.

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