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Island of San Clemente: San Clemente Palace


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Reviewed by: cyndy from USA, review #2908

When: August 2010

I can highly recommend this luxury hotel in Venice. It was very well run, with excellent service and offered a nice place to relax in Venice in August!

We recently stayed at this hotel with our two children. I was hesitant to stay here because it is located on its private island, about a 10 minute boat ride from Venice. I quickly found that staying here was perfect for us for so many reasons.

The hotel is beautiful, with fine linens, beds, and bathroom facilities. We were very comfortable and well taken care of in this hotel. The service and staff was excellent and very professional. In spite of its 5 star status there was a friendly and welcoming vibe to the place.

The breakfast, which was included in our rate was excellent. The children enjoyed the pool and we enjoyed the steam room and sauna after running around Venice all morning.

I thought it would be unappealing to have to get on the launch to travel between the island and Venice, but it was such a nice way to get out on the water and see Venice in a different way. The boats used are older wooden beauties and quite chic! They were on time and only took about 8 minutes or so to make the journey.

We got a nice rate, still expensive, but worth every penny for the hotel compared to what is available in Venice!

Reviewed by: wendyash from U K, review #533

When: April 2004

Beauty and Peace on a Budget. Well ... for Venice, that is ! {5-star luxury hotel}

The Isola di San Clemente has been home to Monasteries, Convents and a hospital. It is now home to a lovely 5*Luxe Hotel, set peacefully in lovely gardens just 12 minutes or so away by boat from Piazza San Marco. This is not the hotel for people who like small, owner managed establishments - as it has 205 rooms and miles of wide corridors. It is, however, very friendly and the bargain rates should be enjoyed whilst they are still available. Our Easter package was very good value for money. We had a smallish bedroom with wonderful views over to Venice. There was a good desk, a small sitting area with table and chairs, ample, and very well thought out storage and Internet connection if desired. Our only complaint was the fact that the artificial lighting needed to be better. The bathroom was excellent with top of the range toiletries and an abundance of pampering, huge, soft and fluffy bath towels.

This room category is deluxe; many rooms are bigger but without the view and there are several categories higher that combine both space and views. Our huge bed was beautifully dressed in the finest of linens and we were very, very comfortable.

Breakfast was superb with the nice touch of a health food table with a very comprehensive range of juices, yoghurts, cereals, ricotta and fruit.

The unhealthy ate fruit, too - strawberries, peaches, pears, prunes, etc., but probably added at least one or two of the following: sausages, pancetta, eggs, cereals, pastries, yoghurt, chocolate and pear cake, apple cake,etc and very good coffee.

Staff were charming and polite throughout our stay adding to the lovely relaxing atmosphere.

We dined in "Le Maschere" one evening and feel prices are too high, about 28-30 euros per course, and the menu too Venetian for most European palates. Each course featured very strong flavours only but the duck casserole with vinegar and rosemary was surprisingly palatable, as was the salmon cooked in fennel.

One irritation was the awful choice of piped music which plays throughout nearly all the public areas in the hotel. We loved the grounds and were able to enjoy sitting in the sunshine on 2 afternoons just listening to the bells and the birds.

There is a super heated outdoor pool open from June until September and lots of little courtyards, newly planted with camellias, herbs and spring bulbs.

We enjoyed cocktails in the "Gli Specchi Bar" which is very cleverly decorated and a triumph over the previous austere building.

In total there are 4 restaurants, one for gourmets: "Ca Frati" - which is in a beautiful room with stunning views. Prices are similar to those in "Le Maschere" but offer a set menu for 90 euros.

There is a spa and health centre with a gym and a convention centre, a shop and excellent concierge service. The boat service was good, reliable and fun and really enhanced our Venetian experience. They currently run every 20 minutes in the daytime and hourly after 10 pm but are available 24 hours a day. In Summer the service will be increased.

We would definitely stay there again but it will be interesting to see how things go when the new Sofitel hotel with some apartments opens soon on the island directly behind San Clemente, Isola di Sacca Sessola.

To sum up this is a lovely, calm, peaceful oasis in the madness of Venice and with the high standards and attention to detail it must surely be a success ?

Some fine-tuning is required but this is reflected in the generous room rental reductions.

We offer our thanks and congratulations to all concerned.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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