Italy: Venice: Where to Stay: Most Indulgent: Hotel Cipriani
For a resort-like getaway, book at this iconic hotel on the island of Giudecca, a five-minute boat ride from San Marco. With its ninety-five beautifully appointed rooms and suites, a spa offering La Prairie treatments, lushly planted gardens and an Olympic-size swimming pool, the Cipriani is as luxurious as it gets in Venice. All rooms are traditional in decor and were designed with comfort in mind. At 183 square feet, the standard rooms are smaller than the suites but still roomy, with views of the hotel’s garden.
The Cipriani has long prided itself on creating one-of-a-kind suites, most notably the two-room Dogeressa, with four Gothic-style windows that perfectly frame perspectives of St. Mark’s Cathedral. The sumptuous Palladio Suite, which can be booked as a one- or two-bedroom, faces the lagoon and has a private heated plunge pool overlooking the water. When you’re relaxing in the living room, gazing out the floor-to-ceiling windows, you feel as if you were floating on your own Venetian ship. Families might consider a room in the hotel’s Palazzo Vendramin, whose suites come with kitchenettes.
Indagare Tip: During the siesta time, typically from 2:00-4:00pm, parents are kindly asked not to take their children to the swimming pool. The hotel offers a seasonal Smile Club, typically from 11:00am to 5:00pm, which provides a supervised playtime for children to come and enjoy some time together.
Editor’s Note: The world-famous Cipriani is looking better than ever after undergoing four years of property renovations. Thanks to a reduction of rooms in the San Marco wing, accommodations are generally lighter and more spacious with larger windows, balconies and terraces. Parisian designer Michel Jounnet revamped fifty rooms and suites with modern touches while remaining true to their original concept. Highlights include fabrics by Fortuny & Rubelli, hand-made stuccos, and Murano glass lamps and chandeliers. I stayed in one of the new pool suites equipped with a lush private garden opening onto the hotel’s picture-perfect pool. Another favorite was the Executive Junior Suite category, which offers a balcony overlooking the Lagoon. ~BH MAY 2012— Barkley Hickox 05/02/2012