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Private Island Fun in Venice, Italy

by Debra Bokur

Jun 28, 2019

Europhotos | Dreamstime.com

Destinations / Europe

When it comes to dreamy destinations that can make everyone happy, few destinations measure up to Venice, Italy. Set upon the idyllic Isola delle Rose in the lagoon waters of Venice, the JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa is both resort and retreat, offering experiences for those bound on family expeditions or setting off with romance as the goal.

The property is housed within a historic structure on a private island that once welcomed guests on health quests. The lovely breezes sweeping across the water and over the small mound of land rising from the lagoon proved particularly helpful to those seeking relief from respiratory ailments. Later, after being shut during World War II, the island became home to a small populace that cultivated the olive groves and nutrient-dense soils to produce vegetables and flowers.

Now home to the 250-room resort, the original century-old buildings have been converted to contemporary 5-star luxury. You’ll arrive via private complimentary water shuttle that departs from historic St. Mark’s Square for the short, 20-minute journey to the resort’s exclusive pier. Once there, slip into the serenity of the fragrant gardens and wander among the olive trees that create a refuge that seems separated from the bustling city by both space and time.

There’s no danger of going hungry. Kids will love the barbecue area and Dispensa Delicatessen near the boat docks, where you can stock up on picnic supplies for casual meals beneath the Italian sun. Near the pool, families can explore a menu of locally inspired dishes at Giardino Grill, while couples can retreat to the Sagra Rooftop Restaurant to sip wine while drenched in views of Venice. At Cucina Daily, kids (and parents) have the opportunity to create their own bespoke pizzas.

The former men’s club is now the location of Fiola at Dopolavoro Venezia, with a menu by Michelin-starred Chef Fabio Trabocchi and a world-class wine list, perfect for the ultimate in romantic dinners. The menu showcases ingredients found in Italy and the Adriatic, while the dining room is one of the resort spaces designed by architect Matteo Thun. It was Thun who transformed the space into one of elegance and luxury by incorporating fabrics created by Italian and local artisans, along with gorgeous textiles by Rubelli and glittering glass chandeliers by Murano.

Bicycles are available for exploring, and the newly refurbished family pool is the perfect spot for whiling away an afternoon. Along with brand-new cabanas, the family pool features its own nearby playground and adventure park. If you’re more inclined toward tranquility, the rooftop pool is for adults only, while the spa pool delivers its own serene setting. In the spa, a wide range of indulgent therapies and personalized rituals can be enjoyed, such as heat and water experiences and therapies with luxurious AMALA plant-based body care products. Yoga and meditation sessions are offered in gardens and on outdoor decks.

For excursions slightly farther afield, kids and families can take part in Sapori Cooking Academy, where a chef escort reveals the secrets of Venice‘s legendary Rialto Market and helps students make selections. There’s also a visit to the resort’s own gardens to gather olives, herbs and vegetables before heading to the kitchen’s cooking school stations for a hands-on session in meal preparation (six-hour Authentic Venice expeditions can also be arranged).

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