At the far eastern tip of the Giudecca island, the Cipriani has its own extensive grounds, plus spectacular views over the southern lagoon and out towards the Lido. It’s a boat trip (a hotel launch leaves every quarter hour) from the centro storico, however. (If you want to leave the hotel on foot, you have to leave through the tradesmen’s entrance: I find this quite amusing but… is it taking ‘exclusive’ a little too far?)
A slow-moving renovation programme has now returned well over half the hotel’s 79 bedrooms and suites to the high standard you’d expect at this level: to avoid disappointment, check that you’re getting one of the freshened-up ones, where the colour scheme is Venetian pastel, the floors are beautiful parquet and the lights are gorgeous Fortuny designs. The stunning Palladio suite has a 360-degree view over the water to Venice proper, and its own private garden and water entrance. But even the ‘humbler’ rooms right above reception are pleasant: I stayed in 114, a junior suite, where the larger-than-average terrace was a temptation to spend my whole day sitting in the sun. If the main hotel isn’t luxurious enough for you, the suites in the Palazzo Vendramin annexe across the garden have their own butler and chef.
Eating and drinking
A brand new raised deck extending into the lagoon beyond the pool garden means you can enjoy your selection from the lunch buffet or à la carte menu with water lapping beneath you, as well as pool-side. The informal Cip’s Club restaurant looks across to St Mark’s square; the Fortuny restaurant, with tables inside and out in the garden, is more elegant. The cuisine in both is good, but prices reflect the setting and luxurious ambience.
The Cipriani’s pool is enormous. Its Casanova spa and wellness centre boasts a huge array of pampering treatments, including a mother-and-daughter package to amuse accompanying offspring.
Who stays there
I tried to extract information from Gigi Raccanelli about the illustrious guests who have stayed during the 40 years he’s been at the concierge’s desk but he’s the soul of discretion. Suffice it to say, expect to find yourself rubbing shoulders with stars if you’re here during the Film Festival.
When visitors are scarce, you may well find better deals on larger rooms.
- Business Centre
- Fitness Centre
- High-Speed Internet
- Room Service
- Swimming Pool
- Families with teenagers
- Families with younger children
- Seasoned travellers
- Celebrity spotting
- Escaping the crowds
- Special occasions
Pros & Cons
- Utter luxury and exclusive atmosphere
- Total tranquillity
- A boat trip away from the heart of historic Venice