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I escaped to a private island in Venice adored by Hollywood and this is what I discovered

JW Marriott Venice has welcomed a host of Hollywood stars

I escaped to a private island in Venice adored by Hollywood and this is what I discovered
Sharnaz Shahid
Deputy Online Editor
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With its wealth of classical treasures, historic churches and exquisite masterpieces from the Italian Renaissance,  contrasted with modern-day designer stores and throngs of tourists, Venice can be an overwhelming city to explore. Fortunately, I discovered a tranquil refuge on a private island, a mere 15-minute boat ride from Piazza San Marco, the city's bustling main square.

Following a James Bond-style arrival via a private boat, I checked into the JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa, a prestigious five-star luxury haven situated on a private island in the enchanting Venetian lagoon, known as Isola delle Rose.

Once a clinic and retreat for those with respiratory problems, this stunning hotel has welcomed the elite of the film industry and serves as a discreet retreat for Hollywood stars during the Venice Film Festival, owing to its secluded and exclusive location.

Since 2015, the building has undergone meticulous restoration and now boasts; 266 suites, a fine dining restaurant, private spa and a mesmerising rooftop infinity pool with breathtaking views of the lagoon's blue waters and enchanting skyline. 

Also within the expansive private grounds are an olive grove (where the resort produces their own olive oil), a family area with a sports field and outdoor pool. Not only that, there is even a beautiful former Church, which can now be hired for private events.


Once in my suite, a Junior Suite Terrace with a Garden View, I was immediately impressed with the spacious layout and the cream-and-white aesthetic. The expansive open-plan living space boasted a walk-in closet, a cosy living area, bedroom, bathroom and a large terrace overlooking the gardens.

© Elan Fleisher / www.wlanhotelpix

The room featured taupe leather seating, contrasting black and white artwork, a muted L-shaped sofa with black stitching, a 42-inch television, a comfortable king-sized bed as well as a Scandi black wooden tripod lampstand. 

'I can see why the elite of Hollywood would flock here'

The large floor-to-ceiling windows also served as a statement feature, generously inviting an abundance of natural light and offering enchanting views of the island's petite private garden, complete with loungers. 

© Elan Fleisher / www.wlanhotelpix

The interior leant towards understated but managed to exude a timeless look with its predominantly off-white palette. Dotted around the room were leather couches, art pieces and meticulously crafted blown-glass vases – most likely Murano glass. The bathroom, in particular, was a masterpiece of marble elegance, featuring an indulgently deep tub and a walk-in shower that added a touch of luxury to the overall ambiance. 

The suite was well-equipped, air-conditioned and regularly serviced by housekeeping, ensuring things always felt fresh and well-stocked. As expected, the service here was exemplary and came with an extra dose of warm hospitality. The staff, all the best in the business, tended to my every need with warmth and dedicated professionalism. I could see why Hollywood stars would flock here. 


The resort offered a wide range of dining options, from international favourites to the most delectable Italian cuisine. A comprehensive breakfast buffet is laid on at the Cucina café, and the hotel also has a gourmet restaurant, Dopolavoro, which was awarded two stars in the Michelin Guide Italy 2023. 

During one of my nights there, I opted to dine at the Sagra Rooftop Restaurant, which had an expertly curated menu that showcased the brilliance of Italian culinary delights. But if you fancy something more relaxed, head down to the hotel's pizzeria. 

Places to visit 

You cannot travel to Venice without spending a day on two of Venice's enchanting islands: Burano and Murano. Both places offer a delightful escape from the bustling streets of the city. Luckily for guests staying at the JW Marriott Venice Resort, you can book direct excursions that will take you there in one of the hotel's private boats. 

When visiting Murano, I explored one of the numerous glass factories and workshops, witnessing skilled workers shaping molten glass into intricate forms of glassware and artwork. The factory offered a comprehensive look at the island's glassmaking history, displaying a stunning array of historic and contemporary glass pieces. Additionally, the island's charming canals and vibrant streets provide a picturesque backdrop for strolls.

Burano, elsewhere, is iconic for its brightly painted houses. It's widely believed that the houses were painted in different colours to help fishermen identify their homes in the fog. Whether or not that's true is debatable, but the island is an Instagram-worthy hot spot. Apart from the colourful facades, Burano is famous for its centuries-old tradition of lace-making. The delicate artistry of Burano lace is showcased in the local shops, where I was able to purchase a beautiful handmade lace scarf for my mum. 

You can't have a trip to Venice, without visiting some of their main attractions such as St. Mark's Basilica, Doge's Palace, La Fenice Opera House and a walk through the Ghetto and over the romantic Rialto Bridge. Here, you can stroll across the bridge, explore the nearby markets and enjoy panoramic views of the canal.

Whether you want to enjoy a brief getaway or a longer, more meaningful trip, you can't go wrong with Venice.

Rates at JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa start from £500 per night, visit for more information.

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