Roof Garden Terrace at the St Regis, Venice

The Best View in Venice?: The St Regis Hotel – Review

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Spacious rooms and unparalleled views at the St Regis, Venice

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There has been a hotel on the site of the St Regis in Venice, Italy – consisting of five linked buildings – since the 19th Century under a variety of names; the last was the Europa & Regina. Though very good, it was very much a classic hotel of the old school. The St Regis, which opened amid much fanfare at the end of 2019 (after a huge two year refurbishment) is different: much more glitzy and glamorous, and the sort of place where it’s no surprise to see movie stars and models.

Hotel Review:  St Regis, Venice

Luxury grand canal view room at the St Regis, Venice

STAY

Quite simply, the St Regis has the best views in Venice. It’s right at the beginning of the Grand Canal, directly opposite the Santa Maria della Salute church. And, though a smattering of Venice’s other luxury hotels also occupy fine positions on the Grand Canal, they only offer a handful of rooms that overlook it, and very few with balconies. 

At the St Regis, on the other hand, 70 of the 130 rooms and 39 suites have canal views, 14 with terraces (some of them substantial), and several others have balconies. If you don’t have a view from your room, the elegant garden at the front of the hotel provides ample space to watch life on the water. 

Italianate Garden at St Regis hotel, Venice

The public spaces – which impart a sense of serenity and sophistication – are there to impress, with specially commissioned contemporary art works, many made of glass from Adriano Berengo’s celebrated studio on Murano, including a chandelier in the main lounge by Ai Weiwei. 

The spacious, very comfortable rooms (with velvet sofas) are decorated in calming, muted tones, with the occasional flash of colour and carefully curated ornaments. The marble bathrooms have rain showers, but only some of the room have tubs, so ask ahead if you prefer a soak. There’s also a small spa and an exercise room on site.

The suites come with impeccable butler service, bigger TVs, and Remède toiletries in the bathrooms. The views from those with terraces are unmatched in Venice, as are the terraces themselves – furnished, big enough to sit down to a room service meal, some with gardens.

EAT

The St Regis’ restaurant, Giò’s (so named because you can see Palladio’s San Giorgio Maggiore church in the distance) is overseen by chef Nadia Frisina, originally from Sicily. The menu is largely Italian and light, with several Venetian specialities; the bread is freshly made in the hotel. Typical dishes include spaghetti with a sauce made with three tomato varieties, and cuttlefish in Venetian saor sauce. For a truly romantic time, the restaurant has a table for two on its own small platform over the canal, just beyond the main terrace.

Gio's restaurant at St Regis Venice

Next door is the hotel’s main bar – classically long, with stools. It serves an all-day menu, best enjoyed in the garden right by it, which is also pretty much unbeatable in Venice for an early evening aperitivo with a view.

The St Regis’s lounge-style, creatively decorated Arts Bar, only open in the evening, is the place for a post prandial cocktail.

DO

The St Regis is reached through a narrow lane which leads on to Venice’s main luxury shopping streets. It’s also very close to St Mark’s Square, the main San Marco vaporetto stop, and the legendary Harry’s Bar. It’s within walking distance of the Rialto Bridge and the Accademia – and only one vaporetto stop from Santa Maria della Salute, the Punta della Dogana gallery and the Guggenheim museum. 

A deserted St Marks Square at night (Venice, Italy)

St Mark’s Square

The location is ideal for the main sights – but it’s also worth going to the Berengo studio on Murano to see just how versatile glass can be as a medium for sculpture, and see the place where some of the hotel’s best pieces originated.

FINAL WORD

It might not have the old school charm of hotels like the Gritti, but the St Regis really can’t be beaten if you want a room – and a pretty plush one at that – with a view. If you go for a terrace, the experience is unforgettable.

BOOK

Double rooms at the St Regis start at £680 per night B&B. marriott.co.uk

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