The antiquity of Venice proper is absent on Isola delle Rose, though it does have its own admirable history. The island served as a convalescing infirmary for patients with pulmonary disorders from 1914 (though closed during World War I) to 1980. The main building’s exterior still hints at early 20th-century institutional; it’s easy to imagine the former residents taking in fresh air on the rooftop terrace or numerous balconies. But inside, the Italian architect and designer Matteo Thun created a sleek white lobby with mirrored columns and upholstered furnishings.
We booked the basic room, a “De Luxe” (not the two-bedroom Villa with private pool for 4,445 euros). Our small space was outfitted with contemporary wood furnishings. It had a king bed, flat-screen TV, a tiny refrigerator filled with treats and a closet with a safe.
Lined with tan marble, the bathroom had a glassed-in shower, plush towels and robes and Aromatherapy Associates toiletries.
Spa is housed in its own pristine building, where there’s an indoor-outdoor pool, a hammam, a sauna and an outdoor yoga garden. A three-hour visit, costing €35, allows hotel guests to freely roam the facilities; massages, facials and other treatments are booked separately, averaging €130 each. One of the two additional pools for guests is near a little playground; the other is on the hotel’s rooftop terrace where there is a splendid view of Venice and the lagoon. A well-equipped gym is open 24 hours and is free to guests. The free shuttle boat service to and from Venice proper runs every day on the half-hour, from morning through the late evening.
The buffet breakfast, included in the price, is such a feast of delicacies, from ham to platters of grilled tomatoes, it prompted my companion to text me “bring a knapsack.” Just give the brewed coffee a pass; ask for a cappuccino or espresso. We had every intention of returning to Venice for dinner, but the island’s seductive tranquillity, coupled with a neon orange and pink sunset, led us to dine at Sagra, the rooftop restaurant. I had crispy layered eggplant topped with huge capers, which was delightful; my companion praised his roasted monkfish with chanterelles as one of the best meals he had in Venice; main courses began at €20. The more lavish dinner option is the Dopolavoro, housed in its own elegant building. Some of the chef Giancarlo Perbellini’s ingredients are harvested from the back garden. The seven-course tasting menu is 150 euros.
For travelers with deep pockets who want to experience the splendor of Venice with serene breaks from the crowds, this hotel is ideal.
JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa, Isola delle Rose, Venice Lagoon; jwmarriottvenice.com