By Christine Jenner
I was lucky enough to stay at the Luna Hotel Baglioni recently. The site of this hotel has a tradition of hospitality dating back to the 12th century when it was owned by the Knights Templar. The location is simply wonderful as Piazza San Marco is no more than 20 metres away from the glamorous main entrance of the hotel with its convenient dock for water taxis and gondolas. A few steps in one direction will take you to Harry’s Bar and in another to Caffè Florian. When you are suitably refreshed at one or the other you may be ready for the many designer shops that surround the hotel.
I was welcomed at the reception area by multilingual members of staff, who were attentive, efficient and… smiling. The polished marble floor and sparkling Murano glass chandeliers make this an attractive area and opposite the desk there is an elegant salon with beautifully draped sofas, chairs and marble tables. The antiques and fine art that adorn the public areas and rooms have been chosen with care to enhance the atmosphere of elegance and luxury.
There are 104 guestrooms including 15 Suites and 22 Junior Suites. All rooms have free Wi-Fi and flat screen TVs with multi-language satellite channels, are decorated in Venetian style and tastefully furnished. The marble-embellished bathrooms are bright and well equipped and the toiletries are divine.
The finest Italian cuisine is served in the setting of the sophisticated Canova Restaurant on the ground floor but I chose to invite my guest to the Caffè Baglioni, a convivial place for cocktails, refreshments and light snacks. There are a few external tables on a small terrace over the canal where we enjoyed typical Venetian ‘Spritz’ and a lovely view of the Giardini Reali.
The generous buffet breakfast includes smoked salmon and hot dishes as well as plentiful fresh fruit and an array of tempting pastries. The coffee was so delicious I was able to resist the prosecco that was available. It is served in the Marco Polo Ballroom, a magnificent room decorated with frescoes and paintings. It is also used for formal banquets and masked balls during the Venetian Carnival and is one of three meeting rooms that are available for business or social functions.
Sadly, my stay ended all too soon but I hope to return and I am sure that visitors to the Luna Hotel Baglioni will find ‘Luxury with an Italian touch’ and their experience of the magical city of Venice enriched.