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Hotel Cipriani, Venice, Italy
This is one of the world's most sophisticated and desirable hotels and its roll call of famous guests include the Clooneys, Sophia Loren, Elizabeth Taylor, and Angelina Jolie. Situated on the eastern end of Giudecca island, just a swift luxury boat transfer from St Mark's Square, it's an oasis of tranquillity in the hectic peak season when Venice city can get smelly and crowded. It was built in the late 1950s by Giuseppe Cipriani, the owner of Harry's Bar, who wanted a place for his jet-set clientele to stay. An indulgently large swimming pool is the result of a mistake in measurements (the Italian architect was talking in metres and the London architect was talking in feet) but it's a mistake that guests adore. The lush gardens are filled with herbs used in the fine cocktails and food and many rooms have views of the lagoon.
The lagoon views are of the Canale di San Maggiore, which has a different energy to the Grand Canal.
The hotel is on the end of Giudecca island, away from the tourist hubbub - although St Mark's Square and the Doge's Palace are only a five-minute shuttle ride away.
By plane: flights from London to Venice take 2 hours. Take an airport boat (over 1 hour) to reach the hotel, or a water taxi. skyscanner.net
Style & Character
This hotel suits the jet set and those who follow them. We loved that the large potted palms and orchids help bring the outside in.
Service & Facilities
There's a complimentary shuttle service to St Mark's Square, which runs every 20 minutes 24 hours a day.
- Swimming pool
- Fitness centre
- Tennis court
- Free Wi-Fi
The Dogressa suite in the Palazzo Vendramin annexe is one of the few rooms with views across to St Mark's Square. Each room has an espresso machine, a rarity in Venice.
Superior, Premium, Junior Suite, Suite, Dogaressa Suite, Palladio Suite, Serenissima Suite, San Giorgio Suite
Facilities include: ensuite bathroom with toiletries, bathrobes and slippers, hairdryer, mini-bar, TV, free Wi-Fi
Food & Drink
Cipriani is credited with inventing the bellini cocktail, so this is the perfect place to order one. The linguine with clams at Il Porticciolo is a classic dish superbly executed.
Il Portiocciolo: oyster bar and seafood restaurant, lagoon views. Open daily for lunch.
Oro: fine dining, Venetian cuisine. Open Tue-Sat for dinner. Eight-course taster menu from €250.
Cip's Club: elegant restaurant with terrace, seasonal ingredients, Venetian cuisine. Open for lunch and dinner.