St.Regis Venice opened a few months ago which sparked my interest and I took a chance and booked there. My overall take-away is that StR has several strong positives particularly the top notch room...
St.Regis Venice opened a few months ago which sparked my interest and I took a chance and booked there. My overall take-away is that StR has several strong positives particularly the top notch room, while service is still a work in progress as is the case for many new hotels.
As Marriott Ambassador Elite guest I received a fantastic upgrade to a Grand Canal View Suite; in terms of loyalty recognition that???s hard to beat. Our suite at StR was not very large (63 sq meters) but it???s a proper suite with the living room separate from the bedroom although only 1 bathroom so no powder room unfortunately. The living room, bathroom, and even the closet were very spacious, all of it at the expense of the bedroom which is narrow: you need to sneak between the bed and the wall to reach the window side of the bed and you have to lean to avoid knocking down the wall-mounted TV. Many guests will tend to spend most of their time in the airy living room rather than the small-ish bedroom. The views were fantastic not only from the living room but also from the bedroom and it???s definitely the highlight of this suite because you are facing straight at the canal and the Basilica on the other side of the canal.
The room is finished to a high standard with quality furniture and great hardwood floors with carpets laid on top which means that over time it will be easier for the hotel to keep carpets clean and/or to replace them when stained. I much prefer this kind of set-up than full carpet floors such as St.Regis Florence which had deteriorating spongy floors underneath the carpet in our room when we stayed a few months ago. The all-marble bathroom was fantastic as well; I preferred the large shower in Venice than StR Florence where I kept knocking my elbows on the soap holder, and the toilet enclosure had heated floors in Venice which was a plus in February. We had the standard Le Rem??de bathroom amenities and water pressure from the shower was excellent which is not always the case in older historical renovated buildings such as this one.
St.Regis Venice is only a few months old post renovations so the room was in pristine condition. The only problem is that the design will not please all tastes. For people going to Italy for a once in a lifetime experience, I suspect some would prefer a room with more Venetian or Italian flavor. While the room was very nice, it felt a bit naked and in that regard, StR Florence and StR Rome are superior in my opinion. While I have not seen it personally, based on pictures I think the same argument can be made when comparing with Gritti Palace (Luxury Collection). Despite this observation about design, all in all I rate the room we had in StR Venice ahead of our room in StR Florence and StR Rome because of how new and high quality the hardware was in Venice plus the unbeatable view, compared to the other two.
Breakfast at StR Venice was definitely in the bottom quartile of all StR breakfasts we have had anywhere in the world. Maybe comparisons to Asia or the Middle East can be unfair to some extent but if compared with StR Florence and StR Rome, the breakfast in Venice is last in all three aspects: (1) Service (2) Food (3) Venue.
Service in the restaurant was lacking - when we arrived we were given a table and nobody came later to offer drinks or even hand out the a la carte menu. We ended up grabbing ourselves water, Prosecco, and the menu, to finally decide not to order anything off that menu. I don???t mind a luxury hotel without a hot buffet station, as long as the a la carte menu is extensive. The problem here is that the cold buffet is fairly small, there are no hot choices, and the menu is not so elaborate and not nearly as impressive as other luxury hotels. The layout of the restaurant is also far from the best and it was somewhat crowded despite hotel occupancy being at about 50%. In the summer the hotel will probably be close to full, but at least there are tables available outside right by the canal which will be a popular sitting spot during the warmer months. The seating areas outside are great, but in the restaurant indoors ceilings are low and doors to the kitchen are on both sides of the buffet so staff are walking there frequently, right where guests are. To make matters worse they seemed to have a high stress level and walked very fast to the kitchen and bumped into guests on occasion. I guess their stress might be related to the fact that they don???t have enough time to serve customers, including us since we ended up doing everything self-service. We don???t mind all that much but to be fully transparent in this review, some guests paying 4 digits for a premium room will be far more demanding than we are and should know service might not be stellar during breakfast, and the restaurant itself is a far cry from the visually pleasing and peaceful restaurant in StR Florence and Rome. Back to food, the buffet did have some luxury options for example fruits were nice including blackberries, strawberries, and redcurrant, and there was also free-flow Prosecco available, like StR Florence and StR Rome have too. The smoked salmon was good quality and there was a decent selection of vegetables, but bottom line breakfast in the restaurant at StR Venice is not a strength. The one positive feature of breakfast is that you can order whatever you want and have it delivered to the room as the Ambassador breakfast benefit; we only had to pay the 20 EUR delivery fee. That said, room service breakfast is also available in StR Florence and StR Rome so StR Venice does not stand out in that regard either. Since we did not like the restaurant setting much, service was not that great, the coronavirus was floating around Venice at the time, plus the fact that we had a fantastic suite, we ended up just ordering in the room all mornings after the first morning. Also for room service the menu is somewhat limited for a hotel of this caliber but we liked the avocado on toast and the truffle omelets; those choices were better than room service breakfast in StR Rome.
We rarely watch TV in hotels but given the virus outbreak we spent more time in front of the screen than usual. I was somewhat surprised to find out that all movies were free ??? this is a very nice feature of this hotel.
Overall we had a fine stay and got fantastic value for what we paid thanks to an awesome suite upgrade overlooking the canal. Breakfast choices and service would be easy to improve for the hotel down the road while hardware is great except perhaps for guests who prefer a room design with a more local flavor. I was pleased enough to return to StR Venice in the future. As a Marriott loyalist I would probably split my stay between StR and Gritti Palace to compare given how easy it will be to check out of one and check in at the other one ??? it???s just a short walk between the two.
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