Early October, I was supposed to travel to Namibia but that did not happen because of the ongoing pandemic (and government advice against travel outside the EU, where I am based). Instead, I planned a last-minute holiday to some of Italy’s most beautiful areas. You can read my trip reports here:
- Review: Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo, Sicily
- Review: Belmond Villa Sant’Andrea, Sicily
- Review: Verdura Resort, a Rocco Forte Hotel, Sicily
- Review: Lefay Resort & Spa, Lake Garda
- Review: Forestis, Dolomites
- Review: The St Regis Venice Hotel (today)
Today (December 9, 2020): Review of The St Regis Venice Hotel (Italy)
- Location: Google maps
- Hotel website: The St Regis Venice
- Tip: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso
Avant-garde in outlook and design, The St. Regis Venice merges striking, modern interiors with its historic provenance as one of the best addresses in the city. Flanked by the Grand Canal with views across iconic landmarks, the hotel has stood in this privileged position for over a century and a half. Stylish design, intelligent technology and St. Regis Butlers cultivate an environment of impeccable comfort in 130 guestrooms and 39 suites, a selection of which graced with private terrace. The preserve for relaxation and socializing, the hotel’s Italianate garden presents access to a range of dining and beverage options, while the Spa Suites and an exercise room provide avenues for unwinding.
The St Regis Venice features in my top 10 list of the best luxury hotels in Venice.
Have you ever stayed at The St Regis Venice? If so, what was your experience? Leave a comment.
In this review (more info and photos below my Youtube clip & slideshow):
- Pros & things I like
- Cons & things to know
- My verdict
- Tips for future guests & save money
- Best time to visit
- How to get there
REVIEW OF THE ST REGIS VENICE – PROS & THINGS I LIKE
- The St Regis Venice enjoys one of the best locations in Venice, sitting right on the mouth of the Grand Canal. Occupying five baroque palaces and formerly known as the Westin Europa & Regina, the hotel boasts the largest water-frontage in the city, offering unparalleled vistas of some of Venice’s most celebrated landmarks, including the Santa Maria della Salute Basilica and the Punta della Dogana Museum across the water. Behind the property lies Calle XXII Marzo, a street which is home to elite boutiques and contemporary art galleries, and which leads to Piazza San Marcon a five minute walk from the hotel. The St Regis Venice also features a private jetty on the Grand Canal, which means guests can arrive in style by boat.
- The St Regis Venice opened in October 2019, following a two-year, full-scale renovation. The hotel is made up of five interconnected ‘palazzi’, with Badoer Tiepolo being the oldest palazzo (dating back to the 17th century). By the 19th century, palazzi Tiepolo, Barozzi and Regina were converted into the Grand Hotel Britannia, which opened in 1895 – the same year as the inaugural Venice Biennale. The Grand Hotel Britannia was the first in Venice to have electricity in every room. In 1938, the hotel was sold to the Compagnia Italiana Grandi Alberghi (Ciga). In the late 1990s, Starwood rebranded the hotel as the Westin Europa & Regina after it purchased a 70% stake in Ciga. After Marriott acquired Starwood, it was decided to convert the hotel into a St Regis.
- Throughout its storied history, the palazzi which now house The St. Regis Venice, have played host to a roster of illustrious guests, global influencers and tastemakers. During its time as the Grand Hotel Britannia, the property attracted notable intellectuals and socialites as well as renowned painters J.M.W. Turner, John Singer Sargent and Claude Monet, who in the autumn of 1908 was inspired by the hotel’s spectacular views during his stay as a guest and worked to capture the passage of light in his artwork. It is recorded in the book “Monet in Venice” by Philippe Piguet that Claude Monet’s wife, Alice, remarked in her daily letters to her daughter during their stay, “the views from our hotel room are the most magnificent of all Venice, and it’s all for Monet!”
- Inspired by the Venetian masterpieces of former guest and Impressionist painter Claude Monet, the contemporary design of the ground floor’s public spaces exudes restrained opulence and is at it’s most beautiful in the gorgeous, high-ceilinged Grand Salon (next to the lobby). Led by London-based interior design studio Sagrada, Venetian styling and a soothing color palette was incorporated throughout the hotel in tailored fabrics and handcrafted furnishings, inspired by the gentle curves of gondolas, the patterns of the Doge’s Palace, the pavements of St. George’s churchyard, and the water flow of the canal. In the hotel’s Arts Bar, Carlo Scarpa – one of Venice’s greatest artists and architects – is honored through thoughtful decor.
- The St Regis Venice offers 129 guestrooms and 40 suites, many of which boast private terraces or Juliet balconies for sweeping views of Venice’s iconic landmarks. All accommodations are fitted in a modern design, which is welcome respite from the city’s mostly classically styled hotels. During my two-night visit, I was upgraded to a top-floor ‘Venice View Guest Room’, which overlooked the city’s characteristic terracotta rooftops. Dressed in soothing dawn color palettes, the room featured a large bedroom with kingsize bed, a tiny table with two chairs near the windows, and a plush velvet chaise sofa. The ensuite marble bathroom featured one sink and a gorgeous rain head shower; Laboratoire Remède toiletries were provided and daily replenished.
- The hotel’s secluded, Grand Canal-side garden, with curated landscaping, sets the St Regis Venice apart from its many 5-star competitors in the city. A lifestyle destination designed to provide a refined space for local tastemakers and guests to mingle, the small garden reflects a modern interpretation of classic Venice, featuring geometric patterning, curlicue topiary, flowering plants and fluid pathways. With extraordinary views across the Grand Canal, the social heart of the hotel is one of Venice’s loveliest spots to enjoy an evening aperitif. I highly recommend the famous Spritz from the roaming, custom-made Spritz Trolley, or the Santa Maria – the hotel’s unique twist on the brand’s signature cocktail, the Bloody Mary.
- Anchored by the Grand Canal and the hotel’s private garden is Gio, the hotel’s signature restaurant whose name is a reference to the beautiful Palladian church of San Giorgio across the water. With immediate access to the inviting garden, the mood of the restaurant transitions seamlessly from a smart-casual setting during the day, to a more refined scene in the evening, as the nightly St. Regis champagne-sabering ritual begins. At the helm of Gio’s culinary experience – which celebrates authentic, modern Italian cuisine – is Sicilian born Executive Chef Nadia Frisina. Breakfast is also served at Gio, with the regular breakfast buffet currently being replaced by à la carte dishes due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
- Paying homage to the hotel’s tradition of welcoming famed artists, The St. Regis Venice hosts artists from around the world to take residence and create an eclectic collection of artwork and sculptures inspired by the hotel and its beloved locale. The hotel’s first resident artist, Parisian Olivier Masmonteil, has been commissioned to create original artworks for the Grand Salon and some of the suites. The Venetian tradition of glassmaking also lives on, celebrated through a partnership with Glasstress. This unique partnership marries contemporary art and historical glass blowing techniques, inviting world class artists of various disciplines to collaborate with Murano Maestros (masters) to create one-of-a-kind glass works of art.
- Advocating total relaxation, The St. Regis Venice feature a couple of Spa Suites on its first floor, in partnership with Carita Paris. Treatments Treatments incorporate local ingredients prized for their healing benefits and may be cultivated around time – permitting short but effective beauty lifts, or longer, more in-depth therapies and programs. For those keen to uphold their fitness regimes, there’s also a gym on the first floor: state-of-the-art Technogym equipment features personal television screens and iPod docking stations, providing an ultra-modern environment for targeted workouts.
- Combining classic sophistication with a modern sensibility, St. Regis Hotels & Resorts is one of my favorite luxury hotel brands in the world. Part of the Marriott International Hotel Group, the St Regis brand is committed to delivering exceptional experiences at over 40 luxury hotels and resorts in the best addresses around the world. Since the opening of the first St. Regis hotel in New York City over a century ago by John Jacob Astor IV, the brand has remained committed to an uncompromising level of bespoke and anticipatory service for all of its guests, delivered flawlessly by signature St. Regis Butler Service. The St. Regis Venice marks the brand’s third location in Italy, joining The St. Regis Florence and The St. Regis Rome.
REVIEW OF THE ST REGIS VENICE – CONS & THINGS TO KNOW
- The St Regis Venice doesn’t have a swimming pool, although that’s not different from most other luxury hotels in Venice’s historic city center. While this won’t be a problem for most guests (Venice is all about sightseeing, not about relaxing near a pool), I couldn’t help but wonder why the architects did not add a small pool to the canal-side garden courtyard during the recent renovation. If a pool is a must for you during your Venice getaway, you’ll need to stay at either the Belmond Cipriani, San Clemente Palace Kempinski, or the JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa.
- The St Regis Venice is a very expensive property, which should not come as a surprise since it’s one of the most exclusively located hotels in Venice, a city where travel budgets come to die. Room rates are well above $850 USD per night in high season, although you can score a free night here by making a booking with Marriott points (cf tips below).
- The hotel is a great option for couples, but friends traveling together might be disappointed that St Regis Venice hardly offers rooms with twin bed configuration. If you want a room with separate beds, you’ll need to book one of the very expensive suites. Also keep in mind that most of the lower-end category rooms are small and don’t offer any view to speak of.
- The hotel features fabulous interiors. The only problem is that the modern design will not please all tastes, as I suspect some travelers would prefer a hotel with more Venetian or Italian flavor and authenticity (which is lacking here, especially when compared to other luxury hotels in the city).
- The hotel’s restaurant Gio has an expansive outdoor terrace along the Grand Canal in addition to a small indoor dining room. When the terrace cannot be used because of unfavorable weather conditions, the indoor place is too small to accommodate all guests and will feel very crowded. For example, it rained during my stay, and guests had to queue for more than 20 minutes to be seated for breakfast.
REVIEW OF THE ST REGIS VENICE – MY VERDICT
- Location: 10/10
- Design: 9/10
- Pool: not available
- Rooms: 8/10
- Food: 8/10
- Breakfast: 8/10
- Spa: 8/10
- Service: 8/10
- Value for money: 8/10
- Overall experience: very good 8,2/10
REVIEW OF THE ST REGIS VENICE – TIPS FOR FUTURE GUESTS & SAVE MONEY
- Save money: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and $100 USD food & beverage credit). Booking via Virtuoso will also earn you Marriott Bonvoy points (cf below).
- Save money: Marriott Bonvoy elite members are well treated here, with – among other benefits – free WiFi, a room upgrade (when available), early check-in or late check-out (when available), and complementary breakfast (for top tier members). Read here my review of Marriott Bonvoy.
- Save money: book your room with an additional 25% off making use of a Best Rate Guarantee.
- Save money: read here my tips for getting the best deal at a luxury hotel like The St Regis Venice (and/or receive many free perks).
- Room tip: For the full Venice experience, book a room with balcony directly overlooking the Grand Canal or a top-floor room with private roof terrace.
- Read my tips for preparing your trip in time.
REVIEW OF THE ST REGIS VENICE – BEST TIME TO VISIT
Late spring and early summer are the best times to visit Venice as far as weather is concerned. But the city during these beautiful warm days is packed with tourists, meaning that there can be long waits to enter museums and sights. Also during this peak time, finding accommodations – budget or otherwise – can be a challenge. In summer, the city can be oppressively hot, the canals ripe with odor, and the inevitable mosquitoes are bothersome. Venice’s location, in northern Italy on the Adriatic Sea, means that the city has colder, longer winters. While winter can be a great time of year to visit, especially in terms of getting a bargain and avoiding crowds, it can be harsh (the winds that whip off the Adriatic and down the alleyways are bone-chilling).
REVIEW OF THE ST REGIS VENICE – HOW TO GET THERE
Venice is served by 2 airports:
- Venice Marco Polo Airport is located 8 km north of the city and it served by most European full-service carriers (click here for a direct link to their websites) as well as by some non-European airlines. Check the Wikipedia page of Venice Marco Polo Airport for an updated list of airlines that offer direct flights to Venice.
- Treviso Airport is located 20 km from the Venice city center and is served by some European low-cost carriers (click here for a direct link to their websites). Check the Wikipedia page of Treviso Airport for an updated list of airlines that offer direct flights to Treviso.
REVIEW OF THE ST REGIS VENICE – PHOTOS