When I was twenty years of age, I took my first footstep onto Venetian cobblestones. At the time, I was young, travelling around Europe and had little understanding of just how much there was to see in the world. But, that first step into a floating city was a magical moment. Fast forward fifteen years and I find nothing at all has changed. The city remains, as it did fifteen years ago, fifty years ago and hundreds of years before that. The charm that exists on these city streets is timeless, just as are the people that call this place home. However, on my triumphant return to Venice, I wasn’t actually staying a stone’s throw from St. Mark’s Square, it was a boat ride. That doesn’t say much, to be honest. Everywhere is a boat ride when you are travelling around a city built on water. But, this time around I was staying on an island 20 minutes from the heart of Venice proper and while it was close, it felt like another world entirely. At the JW Marriott Resort in Venice, you get all the thrills of the city without the hustle and bustle of daily life. You are swept away from the tourist filled streets and given a taste of Italy like nothing I’ve ever seen before.
Now it must be said that I was in residence at the official Grand Opening of the JW Marriott Venice. Even the main man, Bill Marriott, was in attendance on the weekend. Things work a little differently when this sort of event is taking place. Parties and picnics are part of the agenda and very little is left to chance for journalists in attendance. We are there to see the best the hotel has to offer and I must say we all certainly felt spoiled by the offering. The food service alone deserves a standing ovation. For each meal we were greeted with a spread that reminded me of pictures of medieval feasts. Weight watchers beware, you will eat and eat well when staying at the JW Marriott in Venice. But, you’re in Italy. To not eat well would be a crime of epic proportions. And, thank heavens, with every meal there seemed to be just enough time post “stuffing” to take a siesta in the room. When your room comes with a veranda surrounded by rose bushes and piled with comfortable lounges, it’s impossible to say no to a little snooze in the sun. So, if I were to be completely honest I’d admit that my time at the JW Marriott felt more like a mini vacation of eating and sleeping than anything else.
Even the spa at the JW Marriott Venice lends itself to changing the whole game. Hands down, the best full body massage I have ever had in my life. The woman had magical hands and techniques up her sleeve that left me snoring and drooling on the table – what a lovely visual, right? Yes, when not sleeping or eating, I was enjoying the comforts of the spa facilities. The indoor/outdoor pool, sauna and sun loungers are of a five star rating level. I could have stayed for days, content in my location, just by the pool. But alas, there was so much to see and do.
That’s the thing about the JW Marriott Venice. You can do as little or as much as you want and you’ll still feel like you are getting the best of all worlds. You can wonder the 40 acres of grounds, take in the restored buildings on site and the beautiful plant life that compliments the new and old structures. You can enjoy a swim on the rooftop pool or a Bellini in the sun on the lawn. You can even shun the world in its entirety and order food straight to the room for enjoyment in your outdoor space – the JW Marriott Venice offers several different room options that feature all sorts of different indoor/outdoor living options. The one thing you cannot miss, and I truly cannot communicate this enough, is a visit to Venice itself. The JW Marriott offers a shuttle service to and from St. Mark’s Square every half an hour, running throughout the day. The city is there and waiting for you. While the JW Marriott will easily make you forget the rest of the world, you cannot ignore the beauty that is just a boatride away from hotel paradise.
So who should stay at the JW Marriott Venice? My first thought is honeymooners. This is a paradise for the romantic. You have privacy, close proximity to a city that might just be the romantic place on earth, and a team of people on the island that exist to service your every need. That being said, it is also a great solo destination. I’d definitely come back on my own for a vacation and a bit or R&R. In fact, I guarantee I’ll be coming back. My lounging is nowhere near completion. Now, the only problem is all that food. It’s trouble, wrapped in Italian charm! You can’t say no.