San Clemente Palace is not your standard Venice luxury hotel. It is nowhere near Piazzo San Marco, and it doesn’t have views of the Grand Canal. Despite these potential drawbacks, it is still one of the greatest hotels in Venice.
Located on it’s own island, out in the lagoon, the San Clemente Palace Kempinski Venice (to give the full title) is about a ten minute launch south of the main island and about half an hour across the lagoon from Marco Polo international airport.
Settled in 1131, San Clemente Island housed a church and hospice for travelling pilgrims and soldiers. The island served as one time hospital and garrison before the 2003 transformation into a luxury hotel. Kempinski hotels took over management in 2016, rebranding to San Clemente Palace Kempinski Venice.
We stayed at the palace for 2 days in July 2016, before boarding the Crystal Espirit for a Croatian Cruise. This was our second stay at the Palace; we had checked in back in 2007 for the Venice Carnival.
Arriving by launch at the The San Clemente Palace you walk through beautifully manicured grounds and into the entrance lobby. After a quick check in you start the long, beautiful walk to your room. This large main building offers high ceilings and long corridors, with views into the inner garden and out across the lagoon.
I think we booked two Deluxe Rooms, with high Venetian ceilings and plenty of space. A huge soft bed, separate living area and vast walk in closet. From our window we could just see the top of St. Mark’s Tower across the lagoon.
The bathroom, with his and hers sinks, deep Italian marble bath bath and spacious shower. The complimentary Acqua Di Parma toiletries were a nice treat.
Thick walls, and your own island ensures a peaceful night’s sleep. Only the sound of church bells wafting across the lagoon would compliment the sense of tranquility.
Eating at the San Clemente Palace
You will never go hungry at the San Clemente Palace! In the summer you can choose from fine dining at Acquerello or eat more rustic (think Pizza and Pasta) by the pool at La Dolce Restaurant. We love breakfast at Insieme Restaurant. Choose from freshly prepared fruit, continental or cooked breakfast and sit inside or out. In the warm Venetian morning we found a secluded courtyard to demolish our Croissants and Coffee.
Lunch at La Dolce Restaurant is great, sitting by the pool with great views across the lagoon, a bowl of pasta and some Italian Rosé.
For the Redentore Festival (massive fireworks + party) we enjoyed a gala dinner. Served outside by the old chapel, we basked in the evening sun, dining on specially created dishes whilst waiting for the fireworks.
The complimentary boat shuttle makes it easy to pop into the main city for a for lunch or dinner. We ate lunch in the city and book a private taxi for one special dinner at Locando Cipriani across the lagoon.
The Palace sits within beautiful grounds. During the summer you congregate around the pool, or find a quieter shady spot in the surrounding manicured gardens.
You will often find beautiful artwork dotted around the gardens (which you can buy!) and for special occasions you can also enjoy private dining al fresco.
I don’t think you are supposed to visit the historic kitchen gardens but we snuck in to find another space of tranquility full of fresh veg and herbs.
The old church is also open for you to pop into.
We enjoyed Impeccable service throughout our stay at the San Clemente Palace. Like many luxury hotels, there were no shortage of staff who were both present and invisible, allowing us to enjoy the full hotel experience.
Our concierge helped on many occasions, with dining recommendations, taxi bookings and airport confirmations. After an exuberant shopping trip, they even helped us ship items home!
On arrival your luggage will be collected from the waterside and taken all the way to your room – and back when you check out.
The complimentary shuttle service, to and from Piazzo San Marco was efficient. Simply rock up to the Palace boat launch or pier and hop on. Just flash your room key and hop on.
San Clemente Palace – a majestic stay in Summer and Winter
We’ve enjoyed both our stays at the San Clemente Palace. The February Stay was all cosy fires and candlelight whilst the summer stay was poolside and blue skies. Both stays were brilliant and I hope we can stay again soon.
San Clemente Palace Kempinski Venice Isola di San Clemente
1, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy
Have you been to Venice? Where did you stay, what do you recommend?