St Regis San Clemente Venice Becomes a Kempinski Property

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After a $25 Million refurbishment, the San Clemente Palace reopened in June of 2014 as the St Regis San Clemente Venice. Tucked away on a private island just 10 minutes by boat from St Mark’s square in Venice, the property had prices around 570 EUR (about 612 USD) for the lowest category Superior room and was an SPG category 7, requiring 30,000 Starpoints for a free night.

On a glorious summer trip to Italy, I used cash & points (15,000 Starpoints + $275) to stay there. I had redeemed for a basic room, but as a Platinum staying there during their soft opening I ended up in their St Regis Lagoon view suite which had a typical rate of 3,930 EUR.

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St Regis San Clemente Venice Lagoon View Suite

The room was lovely, the staff was great, and breakfast in the little outside courtyard was enjoyable.

Breakfast courtyard

Breakfast courtyard

I took the unique opportunity to explore the island’s empty church from the 1100’s one night and the setting for dinner was romantic and beautiful, but the meal itself was pretty much a disaster. The prices were exorbitantly high, the kitchen was out of most everything, and portions were way too small.

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Overall, the hotel faced some challenges and although I gave it four stars in my review I noted that there seemed to be potential but that it definitely wasn’t my go-to property in Venice nor would I return unless some changes were made.

Shortly after the summer ended, the hotel closed for more refurbishments and reopened April 2015. Then earlier this week I noticed via an industry news bulletin (not directly from Starwood, perhaps I missed it) that the San Clemente property was quietly leaving Starwood and joining the Kempinski Hotels portfolio. The property is now closed down during the winter for refurbishments and then reopening March 24, 2016 as the San Clemente Palace Kempinski.

Looking at Kempinski’s website and selecting the random date of Saturday April 24, 2016 it looks like they are keeping the rates the same for now. The Superior room that I had booked when it was with Starwood is showing a rate of 550 EUR.

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I don’t think that the property leaving Starwood is a big loss at all, but I will be curious to see what Kempinski does with the hotel.

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  1. Bill

    Inside word is that Starwood wanted the ownership to invest more money into the room/restaurant upgrades that supposedly were promised for the Starwood St. Regis management contract…but the owner balked. So after discussion, it was decided to cancel the management contract by both parties, which led the ownership to go with Kempinski. San Clemente Palace never looked as impressive or was as well located as the Gritti or Danieli and even the Westin to many, so it lost out to the competition big-time within SPG.

    Not a big loss for StR, to be honest.

    • Melinda

      That doesn’t surprise me Bill. When I stayed at the property it didn’t seem like any changes had been made to the rooms at all, and I agree that the sale isn’t a big loss to Starwood or a disappointment to me either. Thanks for sharing the inside scoop!

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