Hotel CIPRIANI Venice

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Hotel Cipriani, Venice


 

At the tip of Giudecca Island, the Belmond Hotel Cipriani is a true oasis of calm just five minutes from the bustle of St Mark’s Square, offering breathtaking views over its lush gardens or the serene lagoon. This luxury icon has 95 exquisitely decorated rooms and suites and the moment I entered my wonderful suite with a magnificent view over the open lagoon, I realised I was in a very special place. The list of celebrity guests is endless and includes Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman, Sophia Loren, Henry Kissinger and Brad Pitt. And of course we must not forget George Clooney, who celebrated his wedding to Amal Alamuddin at the Belmond Hotel Cipriani. The hotel was opened in 1958 by Giuseppe Cipriani, founder of Harry’s Bar in Venice and inventor of the Bellini cocktail. He had long entertained the idea of building a peaceful, secluded hotel away from the multitudes of tourists but within easy reach of St Mark’s. He received enthusiastic support from the three daughters of the Earl of Iveagh, head of the Guinness family, and they soon formed a company and purchased two hectares of land where the hotel now stands. Now, after almost 60 years, there is arguably no better place to stay in Venice than the Belmond Hotel Cipriani thanks to its singular blend of an unrivalled location, impeccable service, history and charm. I have been an enthusiastic swimmer for many years and it was a real pleasure to do my everyday laps in the hotel’s beautiful Olympic-sized pool. A treat during my stay was to hear the stories told by Walter Bolzonella, the hotel’s famous head barman since 1978, who recently created the Lucky Spritz, a restyling of the classic Venetian Spritz, and also invented two other cocktails with the names Buonanotte and La Nina’s Passion for one of Cipriani’s loyal guests: George Clooney. On my last evening, I had the pleasure to be invited to Oro, the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant and was easily persuaded to try the seven-course tasting menu, which started with a delicious seppia o lardo (cuttlefish carpaccio with marinated daikon and clam sherbet). I then tried a heavenly l’orto (herbs, flowers and vegetables with a vegetable dressing) followed by a sublime risotto with sweet and sour sardines. After this I enjoyed an exquisite slow-cooked sea bass and miso-scented fricassee with dried caviar. I also have to mention the unforgettable Barolo, Gaja – Sperrs 1996. After dinner, I had the opportunity to meet chef Davide Bisetto and his team to thank them and seeing them at work I realised only perfection is the standard at Oro. It truly was a magical stay.

 
—Copyright 2016 Mart Engelen
 
 

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Hotel Cipriani, Venice

 
 

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Hotel Cipriani, Venice

 
 

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Hotel Cipriani, Venice