Venice might not be the first destination you would think of for a ‘Hip & Healthy’ escape; however, in a city with no cars, you can spend your days walking the streets discovering hidden corners of history as well as endless restaurants, cafés and bars serving fresh and delicious Italian food. After spending our days exploring the city, San Clemente Palace Kempinski Venice was the ideal place for us to stay. 

This haven of luxury is set on its own private island, dating back to the 11th Century, and only ten minutes by boat from San Marco Square in the middle of Venice.   Over the centuries the island has played various roles, including a monastery, a hospital and a military garrison to name a few.  It’s the perfect escape from a day spent sightseeing in busy Venice. With an abundance of trees, green open spaces ideal for Yoga sessions, a beautiful swimming pool, its own natural lake, golf pitch and putt, tennis court, jogging trail and volleyball, there is plenty to do to keep yourself active. 

Meanwhile, for a more relaxing experience, the award-winning Merchant of Venice Spa at the hotel is the place to unwind and relax.  Choose from the endless spa experiences including Hamman, Sauna, steam rooms and fitness studio. The Spa treatments have been beautifully curated using oils and perfumes carefully created to evoke ancient Oriental traditions which have been imported by Venetian merchants over the centuries. We tried the ‘Massaggio Rosa Moceniga’ massage.  Our therapist ensured we had a relaxing yet therapeutic experience, with the use of jojoba, almond and argan oil leaving our skin glowing and dewy. The spa hero treatment must be the ‘Gold Mask’ – an innovative treatment and the first in Italy to use 24-carat gold leaves. The treatment uses eleven gold leaves with two serums.   The vitamin E base in the serums ensures that the micro-active particles of gold are absorbed by the skin – to soften, tone and stimulate the cells in the skin, resulting in a glowing complexion. 

Known by locals as the ‘Island of Art’ and part of the hotel’s ‘hip’ attraction are the visiting art exhibitions that run throughout the year, showcasing bold installations through thought-provoking paintings. During our stay, Seung-Hwan Kim’s ‘Organism’ exhibition was on and displayed around the hotel grounds. It made our walks and runs around the island even more interesting, observing the artist’s passion to showcase his exploration of the world’s natural wonders. 

To whet your appetite, the menu options are deliciously inviting, where vegetables and herbs come from the hotel’s own kitchen garden. As well as fine Italian fayre being offered at the restaurants, Japanese cuisine is available at the Buddha Bar. The hotel has a fine selection of drinks and juices on offer, as well as its own exclusive San Clemente wines – which include zero-sugar Prosecco. 

We stayed in a Grand Deluxe room, overlooking the beautiful gardens, quiet and secluded with sumptuous linens and beds, the perfect place to rest and rejuvenate.

San Clemente Palace Kempinski Venice – Price start from Euro 600 B&B basis

words by Claire Howe