The arrival couldn’t be better. We arrived by water taxi from Marco Polo airport. The trip takes about 30 minutes. First you sail past the city with a view of San Marco square and then you get closer and closer to San Clemente island. The pink building with the church can be seen from afar.
When we arrived the bellboy took our suitcase out of the boat and walked down the red carpet to the entrance. The first impression is impressive. The building, the long corridors, the classical music in the hall. We came into a completely different world. This should be a wonderful, unforgettable weekend.
The receptionist was friendly. Indicated that she was expecting us. Unfortunately, the room was not ready yet. This can happen, however we had indicated in advance that we would arrive around 12pm. We had lunch at the poolside restaurant. After lunch on to the room. We got a Venice suite.
Upon entering the room you enter a hall. On the left is the bathroom, on the right the walk-in closet and straight through the living room. Everything is stylish and minimalistic. From the living room you walk to the bedroom. This can be shielded with sliding doors.
The bedroom is large and also minimalistic. A bed, TV, chair and nightstand. A second seat wouldn’t look out of place in this big room. The view is partly to the lagoon. Because it is a building from the 11th century, the windows are quite high. You have a view when you’re standing.
The bathroom is nicely decorated. Separate toilet, separate shower and bath. The bath products are from Salvatore Ferragamo. Kempinski’s house supplier.
The hotel is breathtakingly beautiful. Large wide corridors, a stately staircase with chandeliers, classical music on the ground floor. It is a hugely impressive property. Every time we came back to the island, we arrived in a different world. Back in time.
The garden is very well maintained. The grass is short, the borders are weed-free. There’s art in the garden. A very nice hotel with lovely garden.
There is a hiking trail around the island. Within 5 minutes the lap is walked, but it is wonderful to walk the island and taste the peace and quiet after the hustle and bustle of the city. Everywhere you look there’s water. All you hear is peace.
Pool and Fitness
What is unique in Venice is that the hotel has a swimming pool. I think there are two hotels in Venice with a swimming pool: Belmond Cipriani and San Clemente Palace. The water was cold, but this made it wonderfully cooling. There are no umbrellas around the pool, but the trees provide plenty of shade. The service by the pool was unfortunately below level. Not always there was towel service, drinks were not always delivered while they were ordered.
The fitness area was unfortunately closed due to COVID-19. As a result, we were unable to use the fitness room. Some equipment has been deposited by the pool to do the workout. We didn’t use this.
Bar and Restaurant
San Clemente has one restaurant Acquarello and you can have lunch at the pool. Lunch at the pool is good. A standard lunch menu for hotels, but that’s what we want: club sandwich, salad, burger etc. The club sandwich is very tasty. Unfortunately, the service is not optimal. Wrong drinks are delivered and unordered dishes are served. If the service here improved it’s great to stay at the pool.
Acquarello serves both outdoors and indoors. The location is magnificent. In front of the church, views of the lagoon and Venice. The sunset is immensely beautiful and almost as beautiful as at Cip’s Club. I normally write a separate report for the restaurants where we ate, even if it was at a hotel. I’m not going to do this. We had dinner here, but so much went wrong that we didn’t have to pay our bill at the end of the evening. I appreciate this very much, but that is why I am not writing about our experience.
The sunset bar (outside) also has a great view and the drinks are very good. The view, as in all other places in the hotel, is beautiful.
The bar inside is breathtakingly beautiful. We never sat here because the weather was too nice.
Due to COVID-19 breakfast was limited. A lady scooped up the food you asked for from a limited buffet. All in all, there was more than enough, but Kempinski is known as well for its extensive breakfast buffets.
The service was also not very good. For example, coffee was brought without a cup, water bottle without glasses, and open jam jars were on the jam tray.
The cleaning is good. The room was clean. The general areas look spick and span.
Every 40 minutes there is a free shuttle boat from San Clemente Palace to San Marco Square. The trip takes about 15 minutes. The boat offers enough space to transport guests to the city. If the boat gets full, a second boat will be used immediately, we really appreciate that.
It is not possible to reserve the boat, but because a second boat is ready in case, this is also not necessary. The last boat departs San Marco Square at 11:10 p.m. If you want to sail to the hotel afterwards the water taxis still. There is always a good alternative to go back to the hotel at night if needed.
The hotel was a monastery in the 11th – 13th century. Because of this there is a church on the island. Fortunately, the church has remained in tact. Guests of the hotel can visit the church.
There are also opportunities to give private dinners in the church. This is great.
The church is incredibly beautiful inside.
San Clemente Palace Kempinski has been named Venice’s best hotel by CN Traveler in 2020. We don’t recognize this. The hotel is in a grandiose location. The boat service to San Marco square is very good. Unfortunately, the service leaves much to be desired on all fronts. Restaurant, Bar, Pool and Reception all departments made stitches. We saw a lot of interns and little to no senior staff, so the service did not have the level we expected and that you should expect for the price you pay.
- Ambiance: The atmosphere in the hotel is very good and the location could not be better. 10.0
- Room / Suite: The rooms are nicely, minimalistically decorated. 9.5
- Price: The value for money was a little off considering the service. 9.0
- Service: Unfortunately, the service leaves much to be desired. 7.0
- Cleaning: The cleaning is very good. 9.9
- Total impression: 9.1