Hotel Review: St Regis San Clemente Palace Part II

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Welcome to Part II of my St Regis San Clemente Palace Hotel Review. For part I please click here.

After walking around the island, I returned to the room to find that turn down service had brought the shoe shine bag out and placed it on the bed along with a laundry bag in case I wanted anything cleaned for the next day, and put slippers down on a small cloth just next to the bed.

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On the bedside table was a big bottle of still water which I was glad for, and a plate of cookies and chocolates.

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The pint-sized treats were fresh, soft, and delicious.

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After a great night’s rest in a totally silent room and comfortable bed, I rang for butler service in the morning. Even though there was a dedicated line for the butler, after several rings the call routed to the front desk and they had to have the butler call me back. Quite promptly the butler delivered tea, espresso, and some fresh breakfast pastries. There was even a pretty lavender orchid decorating the tray.

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Breakfast was served on the first floor so I walked down the long hallway to the elevator. I didn’t pass any other guests along the way, and the hallways were quiet. Once I reached the breakfast room, two attendants stood nearby waiting to see if they could get me anything. The focal point of the room was a long table underneath fancy Murano glass chandeliers.

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Silver bowls were filled to the brim with fresh fruit, including cherries.

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There were a bunch of yogurts and cheeses to choose from, and many items were kept underneath protective domes to keep any bugs away since the doors to the outside were open.

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I had my choice of several chilled juices and some packaged snack bars along with cereals.

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A table was set nearby to showcase breads and rolls.

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There was even a champagne table, for those that wanted mimosas.

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As I made my way down the buffet I selected a waffle here, muffin, and a few pastries. Everything looked fresh and tasty.

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Breakfast was served in a beautiful little courtyard just outside of the buffet room. It felt like stepping back in time, with just the happy sounds of birds singing and the warmth of the early morning sun. No shouting, noisy crowds as I knew there were just a short boat trip away.

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It was a pretty scene, and a host guided me to a table with just enough sun and just enough shade. I was immediately offered coffee, tea, water, or juice. The table had an assortment of jellies, thick napkins, and a brightly colored plant.

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Such a calm experience. As I dined, the staff came by every so often to offer refills. I could have stayed there for hours, sipping a cup of tea.

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A little later in the day I took a stroll along the path leading from the hotel over to the pool area.

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The pool was well sized, with more than enough chaise lounges around.

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Cabanas formed a semi-circle, and I noticed that a member of the staff was busy skimming the pool to keep it clean. Even the nicest hotel pools are a disappointment if they are covered with floating debris.

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Cannonball, anyone?

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There was a restaurant by the pool, and down the path on the way back to the hotel there was a shaded area with more seating. I passed on the sunbathing though as I had to go back to the room to get some work done for a few hours.

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I called down to make reservations for dinner at the hotel’s Acquarello Restaurant since they recommended doing so when I checked in. They suggested a time that coincided with sunset, which sounded perfect. Unfortunately, I fell asleep for a quick nap and woke up just before the reservation time. A quick phone call confirmed that there would be no problem with a later arrival.

Once I got there I saw there was indeed no problem with seating.

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I chose a table right in the front overlooking the waterways, and the view was romantic. Occasionally a few gondolas came by, and the water would gently lap over the edge of the stones. The weather was warm but just comfortably so, and a waiter came by to offer bottled water and wine.

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I picked up my menu and took a look. Truffle-scented beef tartare, lobster salad, and Gnocchi. Everything looked good, but yikes the prices were steep! The cheapest appetizer was 30 EUR! Since there are no other places to the eat on the island except the hotel restaurants, I couldn’t just walk down the street and get something more reasonably priced.

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I finally settled on an appetizer, but was told that they were out of that particular selection for the evening so I went with a second item instead.

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While waiting for the food to come, my husband realized that we were right next to the island’s church from the 1100’s, and it was open to the public. The church was dedicated to a Pope lost at sea that was a favorite of the Venetians, and has been beautifully restored.  I’m glad we took the opportunity to go explore inside, and it was an interesting experience to walk through the church by ourselves at night with no one else in there. Quiet and beautiful.

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I returned to the table ready to start the meal.

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Some bread rolls were delivered by a smiling waiter, but they were oddly a bit hard.

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Next came a complimentary  starter.

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It was so fun to dine right by the water, watching the sun go down.

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The waiter informed me that the kitchen was out of the first two choices I made for the main course, so I settled on a third. The mains came, but the portions turned out to be too small for my liking. Have you ever gone to a restaurant and then when the meal was over you were still hungry? It was like that.

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Still hungry, we wanted to have some dessert but the kitchen was also out of ice cream and half of their dessert options featured the creamy ingredient. This presented quite a problem at the next table over as well, since the family included 2 kids that really wanted ice cream. The waiters didn’t seem to know what to suggest, as they told both our table and theirs that we could order the peach dessert without the “milk mousse” ice cream, the chocolate dessert without the ice cream, etc. They were also out of some of the other desserts entirely, like the chocolate and apricot roll. Lacking a good option, we skipped dessert and went back to the room. DSC05167

The next morning I packed up and checked out. The taxi boat was there and ready for us.

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I was torn over this hotel. The location is great, just a short boat ride away from St Mark’s Square. The rooms are spacious and quiet, the island is beautiful, the butler helpful and the staff friendly. If you want to go somewhere isolated to just relax, this definitely satisfies that requirement.

However, the nightly rate is really high, walking into the guest rooms didn’t really “wow” me, and the drawback to staying on the island is that you don’t have a lot of food options. I think if I stayed here again I would eat breakfast at the hotel, but leave for lunch and dinner and have those elsewhere else in Venice.

The hotel is closing in November to make some updates, and I’m curious to see what changes the hotel will have made once it reopens in April. I think this property has potential, but so far it is not my go-to property in Venice.

St Regis Venice San Clemente Palace

Starwood Preferred Guest Category 7. 30,000 to 35,000 Starpoints for a free night.

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Good To Go

+ Hotel is scheduled to close November 1, 2014 for some updates, and then it will open April 1, 2015
+ Resort was wonderfully peaceful
+ Easy access via free hotel boat to St Mark's Square
+ Beautiful views

Good To Know

- Most room furniture is older
- Food options on the island were extremely limited and pricey
- Hotel boat only leaves every 30 minutes and has limited hours

How many Magic Stars did this hotel stay earn?

 4/5 Magic Stars

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