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Alessia the “Lady in Red,” something only Kempinski Hotels have, is the equivalent to a Guest Relations Assistant. She takes care of her guests’ requests and is dressed in red patent leather heels and a classic A-line dress. Alessia guided us to our rooms, her heels clicking against the marble. It’s Alessia’s first season at the hotel and she knows the entire history of the property. A seasoned traveler herself, Alessia immediately greeted us with grace and informed us with exquisite detail on the hotel and island. Between the 15th and 16th centuries, San Clemente became prominent for being “the gateway to Venice.” Captured from the writing of Venice in 1493, the famous Marino Sanudo described the Bucentaur as “a marvel, in which the Prince and Senate go to any great lord visiting the city; they go to San Clemente or elsewhere, depending on the direction from which the visitor is coming” Eventually, the buildings on the private island were transformed into a luxurious hotel — now newly managed by the Kempinski group. The island and building was used in the 12th century as a monastery, smaller than this back then. After that, it became the home of the Lord of Venice where he hosted his special guests — giving the hotel a very significant and historical background. The hotel’s occupancy is high because there are three restaurants, a bar, fitness center, spa, pool, and boutique on site (with some of the cutest resort wear our team has seen). Any one location on site is rarely crowded, offering guests plenty of private time with their traveling companions. Make no mistake, the hotel is large and it may take a day or two to get familiar with the layout and the grounds. Our team and several other guests experienced issues with their key cards

during the stay causing quite a bit of up and down. Hopefully this is something the hotel will fix in the future. As far as cuisine goes, our recommendation is to go straight to Acquerello, located in the churchyard on a large terrace. Enjoy views of the lagoon, flickering candlelight, and the sky at sunset, surreal and seemingly stolen from a painting. The Italian-Mediterranean fusion restaurant’s menu changes every Friday with new creative cuisines. From hamburgers made from prawns and smoked egg spaghetti marinated inside a pig’s bladder (en vessie) to deconstructed tiramisu and a delightfully gelatinous rhubarb mousse with a house-made jam garnish, here you will find dishes you’ve never experienced. Don’t hesitate to ask for recommendations from the highly knowledgeable wait staff. If you’re lucky enough to be served by Elio, whose background as a sommelier and experience serving at the Gritti Palace, Rome Grand Hotel, New York St. Regis, and The Savoy show his ingrained passion and love for gastronomy — you will be guided to the best service and recommendations in all of Venice. If you are considering a destination wedding, San Clemente Kempinski seems to have been designed for this very purpose, sacred in its beginnings and its spiritual essence provide the perfect place to pronounce a new marriage. Its magnificence and charm will assure you to experience the most magical day of your life. Overall, there is nothing that we would not recommend to anyone about our experience at San Clemente Kempinski. Staying here stimulated relaxation but also creativity that you do not normally feel on your everyday routine. ■

L E FA I R MA G A Z I NE | 5 9

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LEFAIR Volume 10  

LEFAIR Volume 10  

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