Venice with a view

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What is so exciting about the newly opened JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa? Quite simply, it allows guests to dip in and out of one of the most enchanting, enthralling and mystical destinations in the world, by transporting them to and from St Marks Square in an exhilarating James Bond-esque, leather upholstered luxury speedboat. That is a treat in itself!

This complementary shuttle service is available every 15 minutes at peak times (every half hour off-peak), allowing you to plan your day down to a tee, deciding how much time you want to spend among the fascinated, noisy and colourful tourists – in fact 24 million of them visited Venice last year.

The JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa is a contemporary resort hide-away on the Venetian Lagoon, filled with bright streams of natural sunlight. Its ambience is welcoming, energetic and bright, in contrast to the many opulent, grand and velvet-laden hotels that fill every crowded corner of Venice.

The hotel’s restoration project was tastefully designed by the revered architects Matteo Thun & Partners. There are 250 rooms and suites spread across four floors within the main building and a magnificent private villa nestled within its own private garden. The original outhouses have been redesigned, with many original walls kept intact and new structures built around them, creating outstanding sized accommodation in a tranquil setting overlooking the extensive gardens, the olive groves and Venice itself.

A paradise on its own private island – 16 hectares in totality – Isola Delle Rose was once home to a hospital, which healed patients suffering from respiratory problems. In fact the freshness of the air seems equally evident today, especially when taking a deep breath to admire the magnificence of the Venetian architecture in the distance.

The most perfect spot to admire this expansive vista is by the rooftop restaurant and bar – adjacent to the infinity pool – which makes the perfect setting for an Al Fresco lunch or dinner. When the sun is setting, the array of lit candles seems to create a magical ambience that is woven into every fibre of this awesome city.

There are four restaurants at the JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa with the culinary jewel in the crown, Dopolavoro, under the guidance of the two-star Michelin Chef, Giancarlo Perbellini.  The name of the restaurant literally translates as “after work” – keeping the original name of the building the hospital staff would flock to after hours. Food is delicate and intricately served, with the menu taking inspiration from its Venetian roots.

The risotto was the most delicious ever tasted and the sole fillets, flash fried in semolina, were the lightest and most delicate imaginable. Dopolavaro’s proud and engaging sommelier, the renowned Ottavio Licitra Venditto, was crowned as the premier sommelier in Italy in 2014. It was particularly interesting to learn about the different wines on offer at his entertaining and informative wine class.

Another unique experience on offer at the resort is held at the Sapori cookery school under the guidance of the hugely charismatic Micki Milan (that is his real name). Guests are invited to join Micki on a visit to Rialto market where they select ingredients from an array of fresh produce. Micki then offers detailed instructions and hands-on practical guidance on how to prepare a sumptuous Italian meal – the two-hour session in the specially allocated kitchen simply whizzes by.

The hotel’s impressive leisure facilities include an extensively equipped gym and oversized spa – complete with an indoor/outdoor pool, steam room and private treatment rooms (offering the best Thai massage imaginable). The JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa is a seasonal resort hotel, opening from March until October, with summer activities for children including a kids club, a Murano glass art school and a carnival mask-making workshop.

Although Venice has traditionally been considered a city break destination, the arrival of the JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa transforms Venice into an attractive summer vacation option for enthusiastic families wanting to explore Venice or into an extended romantic break for two. Either way, a visit to this beautiful retreat should be firmly placed on your 2016 wish list.

by Amanda Bernstein

JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa, Isola delle Rose, Laguna di San Marco, PO Box 731, 30133 Venezia, Italy
Tel: +39 041 296 8111