Robin Roth reviews the oldest hotel in Venice, Luna Hotel Baglioni, five-star luxury next to St. Mark's Square.
30 August 2012
I arrived at the hotel's private pier which provides a dock for gondolas and taxis. The moment the doors to the entrance were opened for me, I was swept away by the grandeur, art and elegance in every corner of the hotel.
Luna Hotel Baglioni is the oldest hotel in Venice and this is where Templar Knights stayed in the 12th century before leaving for the Holyland.
The entrance is spacious and stunning lit by Murano Glass Chandeliers radiating the walls covered with Italian and French silks and the red Verona marble floor.
Ancient works of art, antiques, sofas,armchairs, large mirrors and paintings by Venetian artist enhanced this tremendous storybook lobby setting.
The cordial, warm, eager to please staff were there to assist me at my every turn and need with the desire to make me feel as comfortable as I am in my own home.
The Luna Hotel Baglioni features 104 guestrooms, including 15 Suites and 22 Junior Suites, many with balconies overlooking the Grand Canal and superbly appointed. All rooms and suites have modern technology for entertainment, such as flat panel TV receiver with satellite multichannel TV, Wi-Fi network available and free, direct dial telephone, mini-bar, and iPod docking station in Suites.
The stylish and contemporary bathrooms, contain fine Italian marble, bathtub, shower, large mirrors, direct dial telephone and complimentary toiletries customized by Baglioni Hotels.
The furniture represents the classic style of the eighteenth century and the fine Italian and French Silks covering the walls make for an intimate and charming room.
Each room in the hotel is decorated with Murano Glass Chandeliers, objects of art and gorgeous French silk tapestries and beds are cozy and comfortable.
If you are looking for a more extravagant room, go for one of the two Grand Lagune Suites with Terrace. These exclusive, gorgeous rooms are enhanced by the panoramic views of the beautiful lagoon of Venice, St. Mark's Basin and the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore.
For special occasions, I also suggest to stay in the stunning Presidential Suite, "Giorgione Suite" which is the finest of the Luna Hotel Baglioni. This very sought after suite with antique furniture of the eighteenth century is two levels and brings an ambience of absolute privilege. It boasts two living rooms and a large bedroom with two bathrooms and a wardrobe on the upper floor. The luxurious bathrooms have two comfortable Jacuzzis made of Italian marble. However, the wonder of this room in my opinion, is the huge typical Venetian wooden terrace with breathtaking views over the rooftops of Venice. Again, storybook!
The jewel of the Luna Hotel Baglioni is the astounding Marco Polo Ballroom where breakfast is served.
Take breakfast, while enjoying brilliant original art work. The ceiling displays luminous Eighteenth century frescoes, painted by Pupils of the School of Giovan Battista Tiepolo, which represent the four seasons. These paintings are intended to grasp the intensity of the fleeting joys of earthly life. There are two other valuable canvases painted in 1876 by Ermolao Paoletti, depicting moments of genteel life of Eighteenth century Venice. These works are absolutely tremendous.
Every year during Carnival, lavish masked parties are celebrated in this ballroom allowing guests to experience and enjoy the awesome charm of the typical Venetian Carnival.
The Luna Hotel Baglioni's restaurant, The Canova won the prestigious "Fogher d'Oro" and "Gambero Rosso" awards. Canova places a special focus on the tradition of Venetian dishes.
The restaurant is lined with soft silk colors and illuminated by the lights of chandeliers and appliqués in Murano Glass. The windows decorated with fine Venetian lace and original paintings enrich this already chic setting that surrounds you while enjoying the recipes of the Master Chef Cosimo Giampaolo.
The Fillet of Beef with parmesan cheese and rosemary is simply divine and utter food perfection, the Pappardelle with crab sauce is extraordinarily sensational, the Crispy Sea Bass with artichokes from sant' Erasmo is delicate, yummy and magical, and the Spaghetti with carpet shells is a tasty burst of robust Venetian delectable flavors! Do order every scrumptious dessert on the menu (I embarrassingly did). Enjoy an Italian bottle of wine or two which is an absolute must.
Various celebrities have stayed at the Luna including Sean Connery, Patrick Swayze, Michael Douglas, John Travolta, Rutger Hauer, Eli Wallach, Donald Sutherland, the Masters Ennio Morricone, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Maurizio Pollini, Zubin Meht, the Nobel Prize Carlo Rubbia, film director Robert Zemeckis, musicians like David Guilmour, Van Halen, Andrea Bocelli, Frank Sinatra, Elton John, Prince Rainieri of Monaco, Roberto Vecchioni, astronaut Neil Armstrong, the Dalai Lama President and Nobel Prize recipient Nelson Mandela and many others.
The Luna hotel is child friendly.
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