Greetings friends, clients, and trusted global suppliers!
It’s been quite some time since we dedicated a Snapshot to extraordinary Venice. We have included our favorite luxury properties in Venice: the exclusive 24-room Aman Venice, the Gritti Palace, the iconic Cipriani, and the not-so-well-known, recently opened, JW Marriot Venice.
Despite the growing presence of the cruise ship industry stressing the city’s resources, Venice is still among the wolrd’s most special places.
Many thanks for giving us the opportunity to serve you + safe travels!
CEO Kipling & Clark and travNET
Being huge fans of Aman, we were certainly not disappointed with our first visit here. Lavishly converted from the 16th century Palazzo Papadopol, the 24-room Aman Venice is a proper reflection of other Aman properties we have stayed worldwide: personal, high-touch service, upper 5-Star luxury, and special commitment to the local, cultural uniqueness of the area. Located on the Grand Canal with private access to Palazzo Ducale, the Aman includes beautifully decorated public areas, with contrasting Rococo-style rooms designed in a more contemporary aesthetic. We particularly enjoyed the hotel’s rooftop terrace offering 360° views over the roofs of Venice. The luxurious 2nd floor dining room includes a nice balcony overlooking the Canal. In addition to a small spa and gym, a nice plus here are the hotel’s two small gardens. The quiet, shady back garden is of a particular value, offering a nice, quiet respite from the noise of Venice summers. Though kids are welcome here, we believe young ones (12 or under) may be a bit disinterested.
Gritti Palace Hotel
We love this hotel and it is one of our favorite Venetian properties for couples or a small family group (especially for those who may not opt for the more premium-priced Aman). This 82-room luxury boutique hotel is housed in a 16th century palazzo and is a perfect location on the Grand Canal with views of Santa Maria della Salute. A recent $50 million renovation includes handcrafted refurbishment of its treasures, such as guest room mirrors, chandeliers, antique furniture and artwork. Other updated features are a wonderful new library and several new suites individually decorated with Murano glass light fixtures and exquisite Rubelli fabrics. The Gritti’s Club del Dodge Restaurant offers a terrific people-watching terrace on the Grand Canal. Summer morning breakfast on the terrace of Bar Longhi overlooking the Grand Canal is among our favorite daily rituals at this wondrous place. We recommend you wake up early one morning in order to glimpse the more magical, quiet side of this beautiful city. The façade of St. Mark’s Basilica above a relatively empty St. Mark’s Square is quite an amazing site.
Belmond Hotel Cipriani
Only accessible by boat, the iconic Hotel Cipriani is among our clients’ favorite 5-Star luxury properties in Venice. The Cipriani’s walled compound is set amid lush green gardens at the tip of Giudecca Island, a quick 5 minute private launch to St. Mark’s Square. If you wish for an informal dinner setting, we love the “Cip’s Club,” the hotel’s Italian pizzeria/grill that offers a large terrace with great views of the Piazza San Marco. If interested in a morning swim, Cipriani is the only hotel in Venice city proper with an indoor Olympic-size swimming pool.
JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa
Though JW Marriott is certainly not one of our favored global hotel brands, we were quite surprised and impressed with the recently-opened JW Marriott Venice. In the past, we used the iconic Cipriani for families traveling to Venice. Set on its own 40-acre private island, within sight of St. Mark’s Square, we feel the 266-room 5-Star JW Marriott to be the finest family-friendly luxury hotel in all of Venice. Based on the big summer tourist crowds in Venice, JW’s private island is an oasis from the craziness in the main tourist areas.
With regular 20 minute water-shuttle service from the hotel to the docks of St. Mark’s Square, you have easy access to the many cultural activities of the city. In addition to the property’s lush grounds (and nice walking trails), various amenities include an expansive Goco Spa (the largest spa in Venice), a nice gym, and two outside pools (a must for families traveling to Venice in the summer!). The pools include a children’s pool, as well as a rooftop adult-only pool. Four restaurants offer a nice mix of casual/fine dining.
Fun Venice Activities
Private Gondola Experience
The gondola is as unique as Venice itself. The crescent-shaped hulls and their forcole allow for the Gondolier to position their oars in many different ways, which is the secret to how these long, slender crafts can navigate the narrow and intricate network of Venice waterways.
As long as you avoid the Grand Canal during the day, this is a fun, quintessentially Venetian activity for your family. Sadly, based on the massive summer tourist crowds, taking a gondola along the Grand Canal during the day results in maddening bumper-to-bumper boat traffic. Opting for back canals offers a more authentic, much less crowded gondola experience.
Islands of Murano & Burano
Center of the Venetian glass-making industry, Murano is a compelling, unique island stopover. A visit to the glass-blowing workshops of Basilica of San Ponato is most interesting! Famous for its lace-making in the 16th century, Burano is an approx. 30 min. boat ride from Murano. We particularly like the small, uniquely Burano painted houses here- lively, loud, and wonderfully colorful.
Venetian Mask Making Studio Experience
The staff at the studio will teach you how to decorate an authentic Venetian mask, choosing among Carnival, Venetian daily life, Theatre (Commedia dell-arte) or modern, fantasy models. The craftsman will explain the meaning of the various color techniques used to express their creativity. Following the lesson, you may wish to wear the mask while walking the streets of Venice!
Historically, Venetians wore masks to hide their social standings vs. strictly hiding their identity. With the mask incognito, those in a lower social status could confidently mix with the aristocracy of the day. Any servant could be mistaken for an aristocrat and vice versa. Men and women could be flirting more freely, without the fear of moral judgement. You often could not even tell women from men.
Greetings Fellow Global Teen Travelers!
Looking forward to Burma and Bhutan in the sping of 2018 and Iceland in the summer (we’re hoping that the Hilfman’s and Compton’s join us again! Hey ya hey ya!!).
After weeks of hard work and prep, our Francis W. Park spring musical, “Wiz”, is opening this week! Congrats to my fellow stagecraft members for a job well done (behind the scenes!)!