CHECK IT OUT JW MAR­RIOTT VENICE RE­SORT & SPA

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel & Indulgence -

AN ur­ban re­sort in Venice, oc­cu­py­ing a pri­vate 16ha is­land in the la­goon with views to St Mark’s Square, opens on March 19.

The first prop­erty in Italy for JW Mar­riott Ho­tels & Re­sorts, the sleek 266-room hide­away fea­tures cen­tury-old olive groves, a wine and cooking academy and the largest day spa in Venice; it is just 15 min­utes by speed boat to St Mark’s Square and com­pli­men­tary trans­fers op­er­ate around the clock.

De­signed in col­lab­o­ra­tion with ac­claimed Ital­ian firm Mat­teo Thun & Part­ners, the JW Mar­riott Venice Re­sort & Spa in­cor­po­rates Isola delle Rose’s clus­ter of his­toric build­ings, up­dated to in­clude serene, un­clut­tered in­te­ri­ors fea­tur­ing lo­cally made bricks, glass and tiles.

Six­teen of the suites fea­ture pri­vate swim­ming pools, and all light-filled rooms are no­table for their cool el­e­gance and gar­den or la­goon views. La Villa, fea­tur­ing two bed­rooms and a large pri­vate gar­den, has a stunning pool with wa­tery views over Venice.

This is Mar­riott’s first re­sort in Europe and it fea­tures a gor­geous rooftop pool com­mand­ing 360de­gree la­goon views and a ded­i­cated fam­ily pool to­gether with a chil­dren’s club. Ca­noe­ing and sail­ing are also avail­able. The enor­mous Goco day spa fea­tures an in­door/out­door aqua­tonic pool, health club, eight treat­ment rooms and a ham­mam.

Ex­plor­ing the is­land’s gar­dens, where fruit or­chards, olive groves and veg­etable plots yield pro­duce for the re­sort’s restau­rants and cooking school. Or join an in-house Mu­rano glass­mak­ing work­shop.

There’s lit­tle need to leave the is­land and the re­sort’s nine restau­rants and bars helmed by ex­ec­u­tive chef Mauro Taufer. You’ll find a pool­side bar serv­ing ci­c­chetti and share plates, a dock­side deli where you can grab a quick cof­fee be­fore board­ing a boat for St Mark’s Square, a gar­den grill, a rooftop eatery and the sig­na­ture Dopola­voro Dining Room spe­cial­is­ing in in­no­va­tive Veneto cooking (cit­rus-crust lamb with bal­samic caviar is a sig­na­ture dish).

Pop over to the lace­mak­ing is­land of Bu­rano for a lunch of lo­cal seafood at the charm­ing fam­ily-run Ristorante Riva Rosa, a T&I favourite.

Vit­to­rio Tal­vac­chia sug­gests a guided walk­ing tour of Hid­den Venice ex­plor­ing the city’s maze of nar­row al­leys, or calle. Or mas­ter the art of Vene­tian cooking at the re­sort’s Sapori Cooking Academy.

Rooms from €395 ($575) in­clud­ing break­fast. More: mar­riott.com.

Blue Palace, a Luxury Col­lec­tion Re­sort & Spa, Elounda, Crete; Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Ox­ford­shire.

CHRISTINE McCABE

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