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Uniworld S.S. La Venezia

Room Request! Uniworld S.S. La Venezia

The most requested rooms on the newly-renovated river cruise vessel, which just debuted its 7-night Venice & The Jewels of Veneto itinerary

Uniworld, a company that provides river cruises in areas from the Danube to the Nile, calls its various ships “floating boutique hotels.” That’s the perfect description for the redesigned S.S. La Venezia vessel, which sails Northern Italy in season on the regular. Imagine it as your home away from home—but on the seas. On the 7-night Venice & The Jewels of Veneto itinerary, any of its common spaces are your living room, be it Rialto’s the main restaurant with booths and etched panels reminiscent of the Orient Express; Hari’s Bar and Lounge, for a Panini and a spritz; Cielo’s for a mid-cruise, wood-fired al-fresco pizza or the ship’s top floor for stunning views of St. Mark’s Basilica or the cozy isles of Murano and Burano. (Blankets provided, should the spring air be particularly nippy.)  Much of the boat’s design was inspired by Fortuny, the local Venetian design house known for its handmade fabrics whose original home is often in direct view of the boat’s main docking location.

DuJour spoke with Uniworld’s president and CEO Ellen Bettridge to discover what makes it so special

What’s the most requested room at the property?

The highly coveted Grand Suite (of which there are two, rooms 415 and 416), located on the Murano deck near our specialty restaurant, Rialto’s.

What makes it so special?

The Grand Suites are new additions that were previously two separate staterooms, now combined into one spacious suite. Grand Suites are the epitome of luxury river cruising with Uniworld, featuring high end touches and design elements that reflect the destination and can’t be found anywhere else on the rivers. They’re true boutique hotel rooms with their own uniquely Venetian personality. Grand Suites feature a large bedroom with plush Savoir of England king-sized beds outfitted with fine linens and pillows, a separate living room with a hidden TV, mini bar and spacious closets and a spectacular marble bathroom with dual sinks, a bathtub and large walk-in shower. The suite is adorned with fabrics made by revered local textile house Fortuny and Venetian artwork for a regal and authentic feel. Plus, the suite has two French balconies to let in the breeze while sailing along the Venetian Lagoon.

Uniworld S.S. La Venezia

Uniworld S.S. La Venezia

What is the nightly rate for this room?

For the 2023 season, the Grand Suite ranges from $9,799 to $10,299 per guest based on double occupancy on our 7-night Venice & The Jewels of Veneto itinerary. Like all Uniworld bookings, the experience is truly all-inclusive. Guests will receive three farm-to-table meals daily, unlimited premium wines, beers and spirits, airport transfers, excursions, entertainment, onboard WiFi and laundry service plus unique to the Grand Suite, in-suite butler service, a fully stocked mini bar, Nespresso coffee machine and fine teas, the option to enjoy breakfast in-room and daily fruit and cookie plates.

What’s an interesting tidbit about the hotel that speaks to its status as an icon?

The S.S. La Venezia marks the first time that Mario Fortuny and the House of Fortuny, which debuted in 1907, has had its designs widely used on a cruise line, which is really special. The entire ship was designed to celebrate the magic that is Venice and evoke the essence of the city, beginning with the lobby that resembles Mario Fortuny’s 1930s showroom. As a tribute to the destination, guests will find pops of color in Murano-blown glass, intricate masquerade masks found at Venice’s annual carnival, outlines of famous Venetian bridges within the fabric patterns and so much more. You’ll notice little details and homages to the region at every turn.

What’s your personal favorite room? Why?

My personal favorite room is suite 411. It uses a burnt orange color palette that really pops and encapsulates Italian opulence. The suite and headboard are wrapped in orange and white Fortuny fabrics, complemented with an orange velvet couch at the foot of the bed and a matching velvet accent pillow and orange Venetian glass sconces on each bedside to bring it all together.

What’s your favorite design element on property?

The gorgeous Fortuny fabrics are really something special. All suites and hallways, and the lobby are adorned in them, and all patterns are unique. Fortuny’s textiles are handmade with impeccable craftsmanship and attention to detail. Their creation process is still a closely held company secret of over 100 years. In terms of common spaces, Hari’s Bar and Lounge is really beautiful, using blues and shimmering golds. You’ll find upholstered loveseats perfect for enjoying a cocktail while watching the evening entertainment, a large bar at the center of the room wrapped in gold, and glass tables with a variety of Italian-themed coffee table books. The lounge also has a separate panini bar at the front end, which is a quiet place to read or grab fresh paninis, pastries, or coffees and teas throughout the day.

The sundeck on the Uniworld S.S. La Venezia

The sundeck on the Uniworld S.S. La Venezia

What special perk or amenity do you offer that no one knows about?

We have three exclusive culinary experiences onboard that go above and beyond guests’ everyday dining. There’s a lunchtime cooking class at Cielo’s, where guests get to make a few Italian dishes, a small and private dinner in La Cantinetta, with the chef cooking right in front of guests and a progressive dinner, where a small group of guests have parts of their dinner in different locations of the ship.

How about one more fun fact about the property?

The S.S. La Venezia is currently the only cruise ship sailing in the Venetian Lagoon. The city of Venice banned large cruise ships from entering the lagoon in 2020 to better preserve the fragile floating city, so cruising with us is an experience like no other and gives a one-of-a-kind look at the Veneto region and special access to its top sites and hidden gems. For example, our guests have exclusive after-hours access to St. Mark’s Basilica through our ‘Nights Out’ program, allowing Uniworld passengers to explore the famed church sans crowds, led by an expert historian. The basilica’s staff turns the lights on just for us, lighting the church up slowly to unveil the spectacular ceilings, fully covered in gold mosaics depicting saints, prophets and biblical scenes.