10 Days In Italy: St. Regis San Clemente Island, Part 2

I’m giving away Starbucks every day for Christmas and Hannukah.

I hope you enjoyed part 1 of my St. Regis San Clemente review.  Here’s a recap of previous posts and a list of what’s upcoming for our recent trip to Italy.

There was a path around the island just along the interior of the brick wall that separated San Clemente from the lagoon.  There were a handful of spots to capture the view beyond, but the rest was enclosed.  In some ways, this lead to a serene feeling of being in a place all on your own.  There were a number of secluded spots to sit on a bench and reflect.  For those that preferred more activity, there’s a pool, some grass tennis courts and a small area for pitching golf balls.  The pool was pristine when we enjoyed it, along with all new furniture.

St. Regis

St. Regis

St. Regis

St. Regis

St. Regis

St. Regis

St. Regis

St. Regis

We chose to have lunch alongside the pool and the meal was absolutely excellent, if not a bit painfully priced.  Michelle chose “The Green” which was a kiwi smoothie with pears, pineapple, orange and lemon juice.  She thought it was incredible.  It weighed in at 14 Euro.  The roasted chicken I had was prepared in an open kitchen about 15 feet from our table and was absolutely excellent.  This was a solid meal but not for the price conscious.  If you’re staying at this property, you likely have to amortize in a decent amount of your meals given the relative distance to Venice.

St. Regis

St. Regis

There are a couple of courtyards that are formed by the buildings.  They create another feeling of being in the middle of nowhere, extremely peaceful.  There are small details like the duck-adorned faucets that remind you this isn’t your normal chain hotel.  Our room looked out over a courtyard that the staff was using as overflow space during some renovations.  Beyond that, Venice beckoned on the skyline.

St. Regis

St. Regis

St. Regis

Before we changed plans and booked a stay at this property, I had reached out to see if we could get a tour.  I had been in contact with the interim Front Office Manager who was actually a part of the management team at the St. Regis Rome.  He was living on property during the transition and offered to give me a tour of the property.

We toured a number of rooms and I learned a great deal about the property.  When we were there, they only had a few dozen rooms in service, with plans to get more open when the hotel shut down in the winter.  He also said there were a handful of rooms on property that likely wouldn’t remain in inventory based on their undesirable configuration.

Based on the configuration of the property, connecting rooms isn’t something that’s very easy for to manage.  As a parent who generally travels with kids (and in Europe, where 4 people generally aren’t allowed in a standard room), I was encouraged to hear that the property was considering constructing secondary doors in some of the hallways that would allow multiple rooms to be blocked off with the addition of a large hallway as communal space for larger families traveling together.

I specifically asked to see the room type the property expected to use as an upgrade for SPG Platinums.  These rooms are located throughout the property and take advantage of the architecture of the building.  They’re quite spacious and the two we visited had a ton of natural light.  While they’re still one room as opposed to the multi-room Junior Suite we stayed in (which may be available as a suite upgrade in the future, TBD), there’s plenty of space and a sizable bathroom as well, both noticeably bigger than a standard room.

St. Regis

St. Regis

St. Regis

There’s an outdoor massage area protected by trees that I imagine would be quite peaceful.  It’s located near the champagne bar, where you’d likely find me if given a choice between the two (Mrs. Pizza would be getting the massage WITH champagne).

The church is integrated into the property, directly adjacent to one of the outdoor restaurants, Acquarello.  It’s in a surprisingly good state of repair given that not much attention has been paid to it over the years.  It’s just another example of how this property stands out as being in a different place and time.

St. Regis

St. Regis

St. Regis

Knowing that we wouldn’t have access to a pool at the Danieli, the kids were enjoying themselves as it got later in the day.  The answer I got from the hotel when I asked for a late check-out is likely to be the best answer I’ll ever get, “6pm, 7pm, check-out whenever you like Mr. Pizza.”

Priceless.

As we departed late in the evening, one of the security guards took us up to the top of a hill near the dock to get a view of the skyline in the opposite direction of Venice.  It wasn’t far from the owner’s quarters and it looked out onto mostly open sea.  The one significant item that occupied some of the landscape was an island property that appeared to be under construction.  The employee shared with us that this was the announced Marriott property, and that construction had been stopped for quite some time.

St. Regis

The St. Regis San Clemente Palace is a Category 7 property in the Starwood Preferred Guest program.  That means it will cost you 30,000 Starpoints for a free night or 15,000 Starpoints and $275 for a Cash & Points room.  Other than the Westin Europa & Regina, the other 3 Venice properties are all Category 7, so expect to spend this amount at pretty much any SPG property in town.  Considering that the rates for these properties are generally above 500 Euro in season (and sometimes over 1000 Euro), these can mark a fabulous value for redemption.

But, do you recommend the property, Ed?

It really depends on what type of trip you want.  I thoroughly enjoyed the property itself.  It’s a place where you can relax and forget about the outside world.  I have a high level of confidence the property will be even better when it reopens this spring.

I thought the staff did an excellent job catering to our kids.  Everywhere we went the staff doted on them, making them feel special.   The pool and other outdoor areas were a treat for them to explore.

But, we love Venice.  The lure of opening our windows at the Hotel Danieli early in the morning and hearing San Zaccaria pier wake up as the merchants take their places for the day is something we find special.  Walking out of our hotel and wandering the city is why we come to Venice.  To some degree, that’s lost, even though it’s a short boat ride back and forth.

The history of this property and the setting make it easy to like, it’s just a matter of figuring out the type of Venice experience you’re looking for.  If you want the seclusion from the tourist areas, this property is a perfect fit.

 


The post 10 Days In Italy: St. Regis San Clemente Palace, Part 2 was published first on Pizza In Motion.

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