'The name's McPherson. Jamie McPherson,' I quip at the check-in desk. Who could blame me for feeling a bit like Britain's most famous secret agent, after being swept along Venice's watery streets in a private river-taxi and arriving at the jetty of the legendary Hotel Cipriani?
Overlooking the stunning church of San Giorgio Maggiore and the azure Venetian lagoon, the hotel is situated on the Eastern tip of Giudecca Island. Opened in 1956 by Commendatore Giuseppe Cipriani, founder of the inimitable Harry's Bar, along with the three daughters of the Earl of Iveagh (head of the Guinness family), it is furnished with vintage pieces and fabulous Fortuny fabrics and has featured in a host of films including Casino Royale.
The guest list is as decadent as the decor: Johnny Depp, the Coen brothers, Sir Roger Moore, Keira Knightley and Angelina and Brad are just a few recent visitors.
My wife and I might not be film stars, but we certainly felt like we'd joined the glitterati as we relaxed in the private hot tub of suite 38's roof terrace. Enjoying beers and sparkling Bellinis we soaked up the fantastic views over the lagoon. It felt blissfully far away from the crowded art galleries, bustling streets and hoardes of cruise ship passengers at St Mark's Square - but is just a five-minute water-taxi ride away.
The facilities include an Olympic-size swimming pool, which is heated and filled with filtered sea water, tennis courts, stunning gardens and a kids' club, open six days a week, to keep the children out of mischief. The hotel has a few of its own mischievous stories to tell - the vineyards which surround the grounds are known as 'the Casanova orchards' as it's said that this is where the renowned Lothario seduced girls who were being kept in seclusion in nearby monasteries. The hotel's Casanova Wellness Centre offers indulgent and relaxing couples' massages as well as a full range of spa treatments to leave you unwound and blissed-out.
Cip's Club, which offers unrivalled panoramas of St Mark's Square and a beautiful terrace decked out in the style of a plush yacht's interior, became our favourite place to enjoy dinner. Dishes are traditional Italian, specialities including melt in the mouth carpaccio, a divine 'Cippamisu' (a luxe take on the traditional tiramisu) as well as a rainbow of flavoured Martinis. Other options include the romantic Fortuny Restaurant and the Pool Restaurant for relaxed alfresco dining, as well as three bars where you can mingle with Venice's beautiful people.
A true Italian gem, the Cipriani caters for your every wish and will certainly restore a sense of peace and balance in stressed-out workers. I'm not sure how James Bond would have felt about his favourite tipple having green tea or passion fruit added but they certainly taste good. Take my word for it, or better still, try it for yourself and see. Order shaken, not stirred, naturally.
Hotel Cipriani & Palazzo Vendramin, Giudecca 10, 30133, Venice, Italy (+39 041 520 7744; hotelcipriani.com). Room rates start from £850 per room per night.