Venice, Italy with the New SPG Amex Card

Unless you’re new to reading this blog, you know I have had a relationship with SPG in the past, and this post is part of a new on-going project to promote The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express.

I was very happy to learn that this month Starwood Preferred Guest® and American Express debuted new features for the SPG Amex card including, most importantly for frequent travelers like myself, the elimination of foreign transaction fees on international purchases.

So when they asked Dante and I to take a visit to any international destination of our choosing in order to experience the new benefits firsthand, I didn’t hesitate in deciding we should visit Venice, Italy and The Gritti Palace where I had been on my own in the Fall of 2014.

venice italy with spgamex samsung nx500 photo by kirstenalana

Luckily, Danté was of the same mind to want to visit as much as I did and so we spent four blissful nights there this month experiencing the same grandeur and elegance that I remember falling so deeply in love with before.

August is perhaps not the very best month of the year to visit Venice, as it is very warm and there are a lot of tourists in the city. However, we didn’t mind either of those things in the end. And it was a perfect time to visit in order to test all the new Card Member benefits that just went live August 11; like complimentary and unlimited Boingo WiFi, Complimentary Premium In-Room Internet Access and Access to Sheraton Club Lounges for SPG American Express OPEN Card Members.

Of course the latter didn’t apply in our circumstance since The Gritti Palace is not part of a chain but it is part of SPG’s The Luxury Collection. Dante and I both remarked at how impressed we were with just how fast and reliable the Premium In-Room Internet Access was. We were very happy about that since it made it so easy to keep in touch with loved ones back home, and post to social media. We didn’t miss having any access to any Club Level since The Gritti Palace itself is like its own club. And then some!

gritti palace venice italy with spgamex samsung nx500 photo by kirstenalana

We loved our opulent room, the newly re-designed Riva Lounge, the morning breakfasts that put all others to shame in terms of setting and china and the location of the hotel generally. It made sightseeing so easy when we were so centrally located to everything we wanted to see. We also loved the ease of using our SPG Amex all over the city of Venice.

gritti palace spgamex by kirstenalana nx500 samsung 1





Riva Lounge at Night and the Grand Canal
Inside Bar Longhi

Inside Bar Longhi

gritti palace spgamex by kirstenalana nx500 samsung 4
Breakfast is always an elevated experience with between the setting and Gritti's iconic blue & white china.

Breakfast is always an elevated experience with between the setting and Gritti’s iconic blue & white china.

another look inside our bedroom at Gritti Palace

another look inside our bedroom at Gritti Palace

We also used our SPG Amex to take a day trip to the island of Burano in the Venetian Lagoon.burano in venice italy by kirstenalana with samsung nx500 spgamex

We ate at many wonderful restaurants in the city and we used our card to purchase unlimited ride passes for the public water bus so that we could cruise up and down the Grand Canal without restriction, which is, in my opinion — one of the best values to be had in Venice. It also saves tired feet !cruising grand canal venice italy by water bus kirstenalana samsung nx500 spgamexcruising venice italy by water bus spgamex by kirstenalana samsung nx500eating at Ca'Segredo Hotel Venice Italy by kirstenalana spgamexdessert at Ca'Segredo Hotel Venice Italy by kirstenalana spgamexAnd since we’re loyal SPG Members (and have been for years), we’ll look forward to using all the Starpoints that we were able to earn on this trip at a later date. We’re considering somewhere with a beach since we’ve never been on a relaxing holiday together, we always have the tendency to go to a city for lots and lots of walking and sightseeing!

Where will you use your new SPG Amex benefits?

I have in the past worked for SPG on a one-off project basis and I now have a relationship with SPG Amex. I receive financial compensation for my services and SPG Amex sponsored my trip to Italy with Dante by providing complimentary airfare and accommodation at The Gritti Palace. We paid for everything else with our SPG Amex card. I wrote this post and all opinions are my own.


For more on the new card benefits, and its brand new design, read this post.

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