For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of visiting Venice yet I urge you to book immediately. It really is like stepping out onto a film set, where the beauty of the architecture that envelops you pacifies the hustle and bustle of eager tourists. This historic city is everything that people say it is – elegant, charming and unique.
The lagoon itself is of breathtaking beauty, with the most interesting and vibrant colour that fills your eyes with anticipation to hop on a gondola and lie back whilst being serenaded by gorgeous burley Gondoliers. You will fall in love with this city as soon as your foot hits the ground – I guarantee it.
It is easy to get lost in Venice, which is part her charm, turning corners and traversing small fist-fighting bridges to access different districts as you wonder around thinking how is this place even real? The buildings literally are bursting from the lagoon, in a variety of sizes, angles and colours. It is definitely one of those places that you have to look up through fear of missing something above your eye level.
Be prepared for a whole host of tourist interest in Venice – although it is wonderful to see budding faces smiling in wonder at the history of this old place. For eager culture cravers, such as myself, the sites are easy to spot, with some hidden gems thrown in for good measure. It is easy to just switch off and enjoy the city just as it is, sipping local wine and eating chichetti, however there are some must-see places to visit. I won’t go into the detail of all of Venice’s tourist activities, however be sure to visit The Doge’s Palace – it is honestly one of the most beautiful and impressive buildings I’ve ever visited, with the most sublime and overwhelming spectacular interiors one could imagine (they don’t do things by halves!).
For those of us who appreciate the fine balance of cultural exploration and escape for relaxation there is the glorious Belmond Cipriani Hotel. As you wait for your personal boat to enter the harbour you have an immediate sense of what’s to come as you cross the lagoon with the breeze blowing through your hair. It truly is like something out of a Hollywood movie – words really can’t do it justice and it was one of my personal highlights from my trip.
The Belmond Hotel Cipriani is the place to stay when you’re visiting Venice. The interiors of this charming hotel are absolute luxury with a real sense of being at home which you immediately feel when you’re greeted by the warmest and most friendly people you could ever meet. To say that they look after you is an understatement. I felt like I made instant friends – there was a familiarity that was effortless and so welcomed.
The rooms at the Belmond Hotel Cipriani has all uniquely furnished, but with a typical finish of quality that you expect from Belmond – absolutely perfect. From the comfort of the bed to the view, every detail was carefully considered to ensure my stay was as comfortable and unforgettable as possible.
With a range of onsite facilities, including a beautiful heated saltwater pool, to gourmet restaurants and a small farm with friendly animals, the Belmond Hotel Cipirani had a real sense of discovery attached to its offering. You could feel the heritage running through the veins of the building, complemented by some of the stories the team had to share from their time spent at the property. Some of the stories will stay with me forever.
One particular highlight for me was being introduced to Roberta the terrapin, who is as famous (or more so) than some of the biggest celebrities that have stayed at the hotel. Roberta has been in residence for over ten years, being saved from the lagoon by Roberto (one of the most charming men at the hotel) who now lives in the pond on the front lawn. When you visit the Belmond Hotel Cipriani it will be impossible for you not to fall in love with Roberta.
I personally don’t think of the Cipriani as a hotel – it is more than that. It really is a home from home and somewhere that you are guaranteed to remember years after you’ve been. It is no surprise that guests return year after year – I certainly will be.
As I watched the sunset over Venice, the beautiful dusky pinks and orange tones warming my face, I turned back to the Cipriani and waved farewell. As I sit here and write this I smile thinking that I was so privileged to stay there and excited at the thought of staying again.
Written by Christopher Mills
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