A city defined by its web of canals, alleyways and bridges, Venice, Italy, is easily one of the world’s most recognizable destinations. Though the hustle and bustle of Venice proper is undeniably the heartbeat of the area, when it comes to home base, the best place to stay is tucked away from it all—and ensconced in luxury.
Nestled on its own private island just 10 minutes away (by water taxi, of course) from Venice’s St. Mark’s Square, the five-star San Clemente Palace Kempinski offers 190 impeccably appointed rooms and suites
offering panoramic views of the water or lush hotel lawn.
The water taxi ride from the Venice airport to San Clemente provides spectacular up-close views of the city, a sight that can only be matched by the picturesque grandeur of the hotel’s sprawling grounds. Formerly a monastery, the property is comprised of a centuries-old park, charming courtyards and the 12th-century San Clemente Church. Also among the amenities are outdoor jogging trails, a heated outdoor pool, a private dock with complimentary boat service, a kids’ club and The Merchant of Venice Spa.
An ideal day begins with breakfast at San Clemente’s Insieme Restaurant, followed by a water taxi ride into town. Pay a visit to Piazza San Marco, the city’s bustling public square, but also make time to get lost wandering the back streets of Venice—and to sample gelato and an aperol spritz (or two). And if a ride through the canals is on your bucket list, the city’s iconic gondolas are perpetually accepting passengers.
For a taste of the arts, don’t miss thought-provoking art and design installations at the Venice Biennale—which is held May through November and encompasses the Art Biennale (on odd years) and the Architecture Biennale (on even years). The 17th International Architecture Exhibition will be on view May 23 to November 29, 2020, with the theme How Will We Live Together?
Back at the San Clemente, unwind with cocktails by the pool or cicchetti (Venetian tapas) from the outdoor lounge, Al Bacaro, where you’ll enjoy sweeping views of the lagoon and skyline. Those looking to recharge should book a treatment at the The Merchant of Venice Spa, where the menu includes everything from the Relaxing and Tension-Relieving Massage to the 24-carat gold mask facial treatment.
A stay at San Clemente isn’t complete without a Chef’s Table dinner among the hotel’s best view of the water and city skyline. Guests will enjoy an intimate homemade dinner prepared by executive chef Giorgio Schifferegger and served against the backdrop of the sunset beyond. It doesn’t get better than this.