30133 Travel Guide
Tomorrow, July 1, marks the 125th birthday of mystery writer extraordinaire, Agatha Christie. This grande dame, though, wrote more than mere mysteries; she wrote of exotic lands and places that she herself had explored and consequently served to whet the appetite of her readers for travel.
In 1934, Ms. Christie traveled from Venice to Istanbul on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, penning one of her finest stories, Murder on the Orient–Express, at the end of her journey while at the Pera Palace Hotel in Istanbul (you knew there had to a hotel in here somewhere, right?).
To commemorate this grand journey, the chefs of the Belmond Hotel Cipriani (David Bisetto), the Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah (Arif Kemal Dogan) and the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express (Christian Bodiguel) have come together to prepare a 1930s-themed feast on her big day.
Killer View / Venice Hotels / JW Marriott Hotels / Marriott International / Hotel Scams / Hotel Scandals / → All Tags
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?
It is, let’s say generously, a rather free interpretation of the actual view.
Hotel Openings / Hotel Opening Rates / JW Marriott Hotels / Venice Hotels / Private Island Hotels / → All Tags
The last time we heard anything about the JW Marriott Venice, it was March 2013 and it had an expected opening date of this year.
It was not to be. But the good news is that it’s now expecting to open in March 2015 – and the website is taking reservations from 12 March.
Twitter / Venice Hotels / Italy Hotels / Hotel Snapshots / Killer View / Hotel Restaurants / → All Tags
In the ever-expanding universe of Twitter, there is one particular trend @HotelChatter happens to quite enjoy: candid hotel photos. These Twitpics range from stunning views to anti-views to celebrity tomfoolery and everything in between. And we can't get enough of 'em! Every Monday, we feature one "Twitpic of the Week" to commemorate our favorite hotel-themed snapshot. Got a favorite of your own? Want to show off your sweet suite? Send it in!
This week, we're dreaming of tiny arched bridges and cups of espresso by Piazza San Marco. Venice, seen here from the Hotel Cipriani, may be an over-exposed tourist trap, but she's also a classic.
Cipriani Hotels / Laura Landro / Venice Hotel Reviews / Orient-Express Hotels / Paula Abdul Hotels / → All Tags
Introducing our first submission for a Paula Abdul Hotel.
Earlier this month we wrote about how the Hotel Cipriani in Venice was undergoing an 50th "anniversary facelift", but too bad the Wall Street Journal's Finicky Traveler got there before the new look was completed.
Our fave hotel critic Laura Landro spent a few nights there and the opening of her review says it all:
Our suite at Venice's legendary Hotel Cipriani has stained mauve carpet, ratty faux-bamboo furniture and a platform bed looking into a whirlpool tub-for-two that seems not to have been scrubbed out since the 1970s. We feel positively transported -- to a honeymoon motel in the Poconos.
We have to sing "Happy Birthday" to the Hotel Cipriani in Venice this year, because they're celebrating their 50th anniversary. And to celebrate they're in the middle of a three-year renovation (pity it wasn't finished for the birthday, but still).
So far they say they're nearly done with the first phase, which has involved refurbishing ten rooms and suites in the Redentore and San Giorgio wings of the hotel. They've pulled out all the stops to make these made-over rooms fancy: cashmere and silk blankets, Murano glass, Fortuny and Rubelli fabrics and some genuine Venetian artwork.
We've already been quite excited about the Hilton Molino Stucky in Venice, largely because of the rooftop pool with amazing views over Venice, which is surely one of the cities in the world where you most want to have a good view.
But now the people at the Hilton Stucky have got extra creative and put together a deal that has made us get pretty excited. Here's a question: what is more Venetian than the Rialto Bridge and glass works put together? Of course, it's the ultimate in Venetian style, a gondola ride. And the gondoliers themselves are the kind of people you can only envy. Hilton knows this and is giving its guests the chance to be a gondolier. At least for a day or two.
Here's what the Gondolier Training Program involves: you get training in both the physical side of being a gondolier (mainly rowing and balance skills) and the spiritual side (etiquette, attitude and what it really means to be a gondolier). You'll also be taken on a visit to the Venice Squero, an old factory where gondolas are still produced.
Courses start from 360 Euros for three hours and we've saved the best bit of news for last: at the end of the day, you'll be given a classic gondolier's black and white striped shirt. That's a souvenir we'd be very proud of.
· New to Venice: Rooftop Pool and the Largest Spa [HotelChatter]
· Hilton Gives a Venetian Flour Mill a Face Lift [HotelChatter]
We've been watching it for a while, and now it's finally open: the all-new (but in an old building) Hilton Molino Stucky Venice. Hilton bought up an old flour mill in a pretty delightful neo-gothic building and they've turned it into a something-special luxury hotel. Well, let's put a proviso on that: the first guests are still sleeping, so we'll wait for more confirmation, but it certainly sounds good.
Why? Well, if you believe the hype, you can get fantastic views over Venice from the rooftop pool. That's the first (and only) rooftop pool in Venice, and we know that any views over super-photogenic Venice from a reasonable height are pretty spectacular. And this is one of Venice's tallest buildings. The Hilton Molino Stucky also has a 7000-square-foot spa--the largest in the city--all done up in old Turkish bath style.
There are five restaurants in the new hotel complex, and chef Franco Luise is promising to source at least 80% of the ingredients from fresh local produce, including some seafood, of course. The cheapest room you can get will be 295 Euros (almost $400) in low season, 750 ($1000) in high; if you're thinking presidential suite, think 12,000 Euros or $16,000 (but the butler's included).
· Hilton Gives a Venetian Flour Mill a Face Lift [HotelChatter]
Cubicle Dreamin' is a feature in which we ask the hotel mavens to take some time out of their busy work day, surf the Internet, and tell us what hotel they wish they could beam themselves to right that very second--all on the slave driving companies dime, of course. Oh, like these people aren't surfing aimlessly anyway--at least now their purposeless clicking will be cobbled together into useful hotel stories--we hope. Have a destination hotel you are just dying to leave your cube for? Send the story our way.
In this episode, Hotel Maven Amanda K let's us know where she wants to go for some romance. Enjoy.
With an anniversary in the wind I've been dreamin' romance this week, and when you think of romance you can't get past Venice, right? Well, what you usually can't get past in Venice is all the gawking, gondola-riding tourists (yeah, yeah, we're different of course), but if you manage to stay in totally luxury perhaps you don't notice them so much.
This time round my dreaming's taken me to Hotel Cipriani--pronounced, as they helpfully announce at the top of the website, as Chipriani. Located in gardens at one end of Giudecca Island, and just a short boat ride from St Mark's Square, and thirty minutes from the airport; for a mere 130 Euro ($170) they'll meet and greet you and get you to the hotel.
And while the name sounds a little unromantic, the Dogaressa Suite sounds like the kind of luxury we're after:
This new Suite is located right opposite St. Mark's square and the world-famous piazza appears through its four gothic windows. The sitting room, the largest in the palazzo, is decorated with original Coromandel screens, antique Chinese lamps, Fortuny and Rubelli fabrics. The imposing, airy bedroom overlooks peaceful gardens; a spacious corridor leads to an elegant pink-marble bathroom.
This sounds like the kind of place you can actually spend your entire holiday in your hotel and still be able to say you've experienced Venice--without having to mingle with the millions of tourists.
[Photo:* * Claire * *]
· Hotel Cipriani reviews [TripAdvisor]