As many of you may or may not know, I manage the Twitter account and the blog for Italian Talks, whose parent company is Baglioni Hotels. I was privileged to spend one night as a guest in the Luna Hotel Baglioni, the 5-star luxury accommodation near Piazza san Marco. What a treat for me from the moment I set foot inside the oldest hotel in Venice. This elegant 12th-century palazzo was originally a convent, a shelter for the Knights Templar during the Crusades, and later became an aristocratic Venetian palace. Today the Luna Hotel Baglioni is a member of the Leading Hotels of the World and Fine Hotels & Resorts, and was named on Conde’ Nast Traveler’s Gold List for 2013.
With an elegant entrance on a small canal, the Luna was a short walk from St. Mark’s Square. A private landing allows for hotel guests to arrive by gondola or water taxi. The lovely Carolina Giudice, Room Division Manager, could not have been more accommodating and offered to give me a tour of the hotel. Beginning with the magnificent lobby, I knew that I was in for a treat. Tall ceilings and marble floors and columns punctuated this open space with a warm welcome. A fireplace and Murano glass chandeliers added to the opulence.Many of the original features are in evidence such as ornate stucco walls and Murano chandeliers, but every detail has been attended to so that the hotel with its 91 rooms and suites is very modern. Almost like a museum of art, watercolor paintings, period furniture, and gold fixtures can be found throughout. The stunning Marco Polo Salone, where I enjoyed a sumptuous breakfast, is one of the most beautiful rooms I have seen, and entire ceiling is frescoed with original works from pupils of Tiepolo, the famous 18th century Venetian painter. I learned that in the 16th century the Luna Hotel Baglioni had been called Locanda della Luna, which means ‘inn of the moon.’
Although the hotel was fully booked, the recently opened San Giorgio Terrace Suite was vacant, so I was able to see this luxurious suite, which is priced at six thousand euros a night. Carolina assured me that it is booked most of the time. I could only envision what a dream it would be to stay in such a luxurious space which even had its own kitchen with chef. The best part, though, was the huge furnished terrace, which overlooked the lagoon and and the island of San Giorgio. I thought I was in heaven.My deluxe room was total luxury, with its marble bath and silk fabrics. I could get easily used to this fantasy, but for one night, I enjoyed the reality of opulence, glamour, and luxury.
A tempting plate of Venetian dolce awaited me as a surprise welcome. The balcony and very modern bathroom spoiled me forever.
The quiet and pleasant Caffè Baglioni was the perfect spot for me to wait for my friends, Angela and Alessandro. Maria Teresa, the maitre d and head sommelier, was happy to offer me a Spritz, the traditional Venetian drink. A small patio with a few tables extends outside and I decided to sit there and enjoy the view of the canal. A complimentary triple set of bowls filled with cashews, peanuts, and chips tempted me and I felt relaxed here.
I enjoyed conversing with Maria Teresa, who speaks perfect English. Not long afterward, Signor Gianmatteo Zampieri came out to the balcony and introduced himself as the general manager of the Luna Hotel Baglioni. His passion for Venice and his hotel was unmistakable. He could not have been more accommodating to me, and I felt like some kind of VIP. Although he was busy, he made himself accessible to me, inviting me to contact him anytime for any information I might need.
While I did not dine in the famous Canova Restaurant, I could see that it would make for a very romantic experience, just by the ambience itself. Perhaps on another visit I will be able to enjoy the fine dining experience provided by the world-renowned Chef Cosimo.
Grazie mille Signor Zampieri, for a wonderful and unforgettable experience at your beautiful hotel.