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St Regis Takes On Venice's San Clemente Palace, But Will It Reopen This Month?

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: Isola di San Clemente 1, Venice, Italy, 30124
June 3, 2014 at 9:41 AM | by | Comment (1)

If there were one major European city where we’d pick a hotel for its far out, rather than central, location, Venice would probably be it. La Serenissima, as everyone who’s elbowed their way through the crowds on the Riva degli Schiavoni or queued to walk across the Rialto bridge will know, is anything but calm in the touristy bits.

That’s why the San Clemente Palace – far from the madding crowd on a private island, only accessible by its own shuttle – has always sounded ideal to us. A 17th-century monastery (though island life dates back to the 1100s), it sits in the lagoon between Giudecca and the Lido – about a 12-minute boatride to San Marco on the hotel’s private shuttle.

And now it’s got a little more ideal with the news that, following an 18-month, €25m refurbishment after it ran out of money in 2012, it’s reopening as a St Regis property – mmm, butler service – on June 15. (Somehow, Starwood has won out over Four Seasons, which initially was slated to take it on.)

The St Regis Venice San Clemente Palace will have 146 rooms, with views either over the island or towards Venice proper. “Contemporary Venetian” is the theme for the decor, though exactly what that means is slightly open to interpretation, since there are only generic photos on the website and the Facebook page is embryonic at best. We scoured the net to find this picture of a Junior Suite, but it looks a bit blandly traditional, rather than contemporary, to us.

Amenity-wise, there will be three restaurants, a bar, and a wine tasting spot. Outside, amid 14 acres of gardens, will be a pool, spa, kids’ club and a 15th-century church.

Which all sounds great, of course, if it opens on schedule. It has no photos and no prices on the website, and you can’t book it online (in fact, according to the St Regis website, it’s “not bookable yet”). To reserve, you have to email the hotel (at a Permak – the owners – address, not Starwood). When we did this, we were offered a room for €510 ($694), or €459 ($624) non-refundable. For a lagoon view, it'll be €940 ($1280) or €859 ($1170) prepaid. Sounds obscene (and a huge hike from the old San Clemente rates), but compare that to the newly refurbished Gritti Palace (also Starwood), is sold out 15 June but will set you back €1100 (£893) for a standard room (and no breakfast) the following night, while the Bauer is €648 ($881). Looks like this could be a budget option in crazy Venice terms.

Let's just hope it stays on schedule to open in two weeks. Forza San Clemente! Thanks to a HC tipster for alerting us to this story!

[Photo: CPP-Luxury.com/Starwood]

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Room renovation

They are going to need to renovate the rooms. Or at least throw the hideous bed skirt into the canals. How do you say  "VOM" in Italian?

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