Even after a few weeks back from Venice, we’re still gushing about our stay at Belmond Cipriani.
As we pulled into Santa Lucia train station in Venice, the bustling activity we saw outside the train window was an indication that it’s peak season in the city. Battling our way through the crowds from the station to St. Mark’s Square under the blazing midday sun, we maneuvered to find shady spots for that brief reprieve from the unrelenting heat. Many years ago I had visited Venice in summer, and the insanity of it all deterred me from visiting the city for a good 10 years.
This time around, more knowledgeable about Venice, I took solace in that we will be staying in Giudecca, the island where only a handful of visitors to the city will venture to.
When we got to St. Mark’s Square, we were more than ready to leave the crowds behind and hurried along as we saw that the private boat shuttle for Belmond Cipriani was about to leave. We hopped onto the boat and as it left the square, we knew this was the start of our journey to the otherworldly realm of luxury and elegance.
Considered one of the best hotels in the world, you know that you’ll be lapping in luxury, but what elevates Belmond Cipriani to an entirely different level is the exceptional service. From Giulia at the front desk who checked us in to Giorgio who heartily delivered breakfast to the room, all the staff that we had met went above and beyond to make sure we had an experience of a lifetime.
While magazines and website do a fabulous job in highlighting the features of the hotel, only experiencing it with all your senses will give you a real feel of why this hotel is so deserving of the accolades it receives.
Grounds of Belmond Cipriani
In its enchanting garden, you might come across a chef from the hotel’s Michelin star restaurant, Oro, picking edible flowers and herbs from the vegetable garden, guests relaxing in the hammock or even a rabbit hopping around. It’s here where I felt like that I’ve found myself in a secret garden, with the lovely scent from the bundles of colorful flowers, mesmerizing rows of verdant vineyards and the gently trickling sound of water from the fountain.
If you prefer a vacation by the water, Belmond Cipriani boasts an Olympic-sized saltwater pool that has a constant temperature of 29C. With summer in full swing, we were happy to spend the entire afternoon chilling by the pool, where you could order drinks from the pool bar and staff hand out popsicles to help keep guests cool.
Looking for more action? What we didn’t realize before our arrival is that you’ll also find a gym as well as clay tennis court and the next time around, we’ll be bringing our tennis gear.
When the sun was setting and we were the only ones left by the pool, we knew it was time to pack up. We hesitantly left and decided to head over to Cip’s Club, which sits along the lagoon with a splendid view of St. Mark’s. We knew the view would be breathtaking but we didn’t expect the stunning sunset that cast an intense golden glow over La Serenissima that left us speechless.
Suite with a terrace and lagoon view
Our suite with a terrace and lagoon view was designed for some serious lounging. The spacious, bright suite with floor to ceiling windows is separated into two areas: the living room, which is elegantly decorated yet warm and cosy while the bedroom is simple and classy. The oversized bathroom had us in awe with generous wardrobe space, a huge bathtub with a headrest, a separate marble shower, and with Bulgari and Molton Brown toiletries.
The suite also has a few modern touches such as an ipod dock and a widescreen HDTV. However, with a view of the lagoon from the terrace, we were dazzled by the spectacular view and entertained by the occasionally boats that passed the hotel. Also awaiting us was rustic welcome box with two bottles of fruit nectar made by the hotel itself and some fruits.
It was the evening turndown that I found the most impressive. Upon our return to the room after dinner, bottles of water and cookies were placed by the bedside and on the living room table, a ravishing chocolate shoe filled with macaroons. That was sure a lovely and sweet surprise!
With a magnificent full moon that evening casting a glistening light on the canal, we stayed out on the terrace to take in this mesmerizing scene until we could no longer keep our drooping eyes open.
But before heading to bed, there was one more thing we had to take care of: breakfast. At Belmond Cipriani you can choose to either have an in-room breakfast or a buffet breakfast at the restaurant. Since we intended to have a relaxing morning, we chose the former, checked items from an extensive menu, indicated the time that we would like to have breakfast, and placed it on the external door handle before calling it a day.
The next morning, before breakfast, I took the opportunity to go out for an early run along the lagoon. Belmond Cipriani has a morning fun run several times a week led by the Rooms Division Manager, Francesco Berto, call “Run for Croissant”. Unfortunately, there wasn’t one scheduled for that morning, so I headed out on my own, though I didn’t come back with a croissant as I knew breakfast would be a feast.
Right on the dot, our doorbell rang and the cheerful Giorgio pushed in a cart filled with our breakfast that ranged from eggs and bacon to fresh fruits to pancakes to cheeses. I did mention it would be a feast.
Breakfast was a long drawn out affair and at noon we figured it would be best to spend the rest of the day by the pool. Yes, it was that kind of relaxing holiday, and a much needed one.
Here’s a video of our dreamy getaway and our story on Snapchat the day we traveled to Belmond Cipriani from Rome: