Baglioni Hotel Luna, Venice
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Quiet luxury beside St Mark’s Square
Venice is packed with a bewildering number of atmospheric
hotels that come with varying degrees of attitude. Choice does depend to a certain degree on
budget, but if you’re wanting to mark a special occasion – and when is Venice not a special occasion? – the Baglioni
Hotel Luna should tick your boxes.
We stayed two nights in September before and after a 7-day
cruise to celebrate our wedding anniversary, and this elegant waterfront hotel offered
everything we could have wanted in terms of comfort, elegance and tranquillity
without the hype associated with some of the city’s iconic hotels.
The location is outstanding, about 30 seconds walk from the
corner of St Mark’s Square, and fronting onto a short canal that leads off the
busy Grand Canal. So the best – and
arguably the only – way to arrive is by water taxi from the airport or train
station. Water taxis in Venice are as
common as black cabs in London, only pricier, but what price the chance to
swish coolly up to the hotel landing stage in your own private motorboat? The photo opportunities are thrown in for
A great advantage of this stylish but unpretentious hotel is that with facing onto the lagoon, there are no issues in water taxi access. When the tide is high, taxis cannot pass under some of the bridges deeper into the island and we met travellers who had been dropped on a main canal and left to lug suitcases up and down bridges. No such problem here. We were dropped at the jetty and our cases whisked to our room.
There’s been a hostelry on this site since medieval times
when pilgrims passed through Venice en route to the Holy Land. And as the city flourished as a trading port
between east and west, so merchants came here to stay at the Hotel de la Luna,
the name reflecting the Christian symbol of the full moon.
A small church stood on the site of the hotel’s current lobby,
demolished under Napoleon at the end of the 18th century. Today, its gleaming marble floors and Art
Deco style balustrade set the tone for the rest of the interior. Expanded beyond the original site of that
pilgrims’ resting place, the hotel now boasts 91 rooms and suites.
We stayed in a Superior room on both nights, the rooms
sumptuously furnished with heavy drapes, Murano glass wall lamps and
chandeliers, and period furniture.
Bathrooms offered twin washbasins, large bath with shower over, and
piles of fluffy towels, plus white dressing gowns and complimentary black
I generally avoid hotel restaurants in big cities, preferring
to sample independent establishments, but Venice is an expensive city and it’s
easy to make the wrong choice and pay over the odds for mediocre food. So we decided to give the hotel’s Canova
restaurant a try and liked it so much we ate there both nights.
The restaurant is small, intimate and atmospherically
furnished; the service friendly; and the food from chef Cosimo Giampaolo is excellent. What’s more, their set meal option from the
Venetian specialities menus was excellent value, including a glass of
Prosecco, two courses, a generous glass of wine, plus water and coffee. We are still talking about the delicious
porcini risotto and zabaglione dessert.
There’s also the ground floor Caffè Baglioni for lighter snacks with a
view on the small canal.
The other thing that guests here never forget is the dining
room. Little documentation exists, but
hotel manager Gianmatteo Zampieri believes it was once a ballroom attached to
the casino fronting the street behind.
Either way, the joyful frescoes of 17th century Venetian
life, the rich colours and gleaming tableware are a great start to anyone’s
Only one very minor one. The
hotel website does show a rooftop terrace with a stunning view across the
water, but sadly this is only visible from the prestige suite, not from a
public space. But with views in every
direction outside the main door, it’s hardly a disadvantage.
A member of the Leading Hotels of the World and Fine Hotels
& Resorts, the Baglioni Hotel Luna is not a cheap place to stay, but
it’s worth watching the website for seasonal offers, especially during the
colder months when you can enjoy Venice with the locals.
Despite several visits to this glorious city, I’d happily go
back tomorrow and I’d also head back to the Baglioni Hotel Luna – a real
home-from-home for anyone wanting to sample the palazzo lifestyle!
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