April 17, 2016

Exploring The J W Marriott Hotel in Venice

Earlier this month, I was invited on a group trip to discover the J W Marriott Hotel in Venice. At the end of last year an ex-colleague of mine at a magazine had visited this exact same resort and the main thing I remember her saying to me was: “I felt like James Bond.” So, yes, it’s safe to say that I was rather excited to visit this amazing hotel. The only way to access the hotel is BY BOAT – so, it’s true, this hotel does make you feel rather like James Bond. But let me elaborate…

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Photo credit: A.A. Miln

Welcome To Your Own Private Island

The hotel is situated on it’s very own island called Isola delle Rose. I know. It sounds like something out of a film…it did kind of feel that way. On the top floor of the hotel is a pool and restaurant and you get a panoramic 360 degree view of the water surrounding you. It’s important to mention that even though the hotel is away from everything there is still a really great atmosphere on the island – the hotel is a nice level of busy (it was at full capacity when we arrived and yet it will still a good level of buzzing but still very relaxing and spacious).

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Photo credit: A.A.Miln

After dinner, at around midnight most nights, I would sit out in the little garden outside my room and just look up at the sky and stars, I could hear the faint sound of a party going on in one of the hotel buildings and a few people walking back to their rooms. This is my favourite kind of atmosphere, you feel totally relaxed and away from the business of a city, but there’s still people milling around and stuff going on around you. It felt safe, friendly and exciting to be there.

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“Can I pretend travelling everywhere by boat is my real life?”

Upon landing in Venice, the private car service picks you up and takes you directly to the boat. It pulls right up to the front door of the hotel (practically) and the leather seats make it all the more luxy. You can poke your head out of the back and get sprayed with some water as the boat bounces a long, plus great views of the surrounding islands. The THRILLS.

Hi, yes, that is me in the photo below getting into a very fancy boat with sadly some very frizzy hair. The Blitz service is the VIP transfer service from the airport which costs €215 per way for up to 4 people with 6 pieces of luggage. But there is a complimentary shuttle service that runs between the hotel and St Mark’s Square. It’s funny that for the three days we only travelled by boat to and from the other islands. Made you forget momentarily that any other type of transport exists. To those following me on Snapchat you would have seen videos of the boat journey from the airport to the hotel…..

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Photo Credit: A.A. Miln

Room With A View

The hotel is pretty new; it opened in March 2015. The resort features 266 contemporary-styled rooms. We stayed in the La Maisonette Loft Suite with a small garden area out the front, minutes walk away from the main hotel and the Michelin star restaurant. It felt like such a treat staying in a hotel room with TWO floors.

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Fancy a dip?

One of the major selling points of this hotel is the amazing GOCO spa. There are so many treatments to choose from (body scrub, wrap, facials, massages and a really good steam room. Plus a beautiful lagoon type swimming pool which really allows you to rest your body and mind. The indoor pool goes through some arches into an outdoor area and the views were SO brilliant. It was one of the most relaxing spas I’ve ever been to.

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Ready, Steady, Cook

The Resort has 4 restaurants, including the Michelin-starred Dopolavoro Dining Room. The famous Chef Giancarlo Perbellini oversees the kitchen, and the restaurant offers Veneto inspired cooking with amazing tasting menu complimented by the finest wine list. I ATE CAVIAR. We also sampled the Sapori Cooking Academy, which I really really enjoyed. I learned some very practical skills on this course. (How to cook pasta correctly! How to fill pasta with interesting stuff! What herbs to add where and when! HOW TO CHOP PROPERLY!) Italian food is my favourite. I’m obsessed with pesto, caprese salads, pizza and creamy pasta. I will never diet because I love Italian food too much. Also: I got a certificate!! Which made as proud as I used to be when I was 8 and would get a swimming certificate for not drowning. (Very proud.)

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Murano & Burano

We took day trips to Murano and Burano which are about 30 mins by boat from the hotel. We discovered the beautiful glass-making and works of art in Murano – I saw someone make a horse out of burning hot glass which he’d been practising for 15 years, it was incredible. Glass-making has been going on in Murano for 700 years.

But I have to say, I COMPLETELY fell in love with Burano, the picturesque fishing village (as seen in the photos below!). Look at those colours! I felt like I had climbed inside Instagram – it was like I was living in a real-life Instagram filter, but there was no filter. My phone ran out of battery after I took a few pictures and I was gutted as I wanted to take more. But I wandered around soaking up the buildings, colours, food, noises, cobbled streets, balconies, flowers, neighbours, people roller-blading to the shops. It was actually much more enjoyable without trying to get lots of photos. Our eyes are better than a camera. I often forget that.

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Photo credit: A.A.Miln

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Photo credit: A.A.Miln

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Photo credit: A.A.Miln

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Thank you JW Marriot Hotel for an amazing stay & some incredible photos/memories.

****J W Mariott Hotel gave me a complimentary stay in return for a blog post, but as you know I only ever write about things I genuinely like and would be happy to recommend to others. This hotel experience was truly fantastic and I can’t wait to go back one day.****

For more information: JW Marriott Venice Resort and Spa, Isola Delle Rose, Laguna di San Marco, Venice, jwmarriottvenice.com 

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