Stately and unique, with a heavy dose of elegance, the Hilton Molino Stucky Venice – Venice’s largest hotel with the city’s only rooftop pool – is the ideal place for a weekend break.
The historical, neo-gothic building on Giudecca Island, used to be a huge flour mill owned by Swiss industrialist Giovanni Stucky, one of the first flour producers in Italy and by far the richest man in Venice.
He was murdered in 1910 by a former worker and his death caused scandal and great mourning. Then the mill went through a critical time during World War One, and the building was used as an air-raid shelter. It closed in 1955, reopened as Hilton Molino Stucky Venice in 2007 and the results are quite spectacular.
I knew that the floating city will be crushed under the weight of tourists arriving for Easter and was more than happy to have chosen the Hilton, which is protected from the crowds. Everything is efficiently organised for the guests, from being picked up by a private shuttle boat at the parking station, to being booked on to VIP tables at the best restaurants in Venice.
The hotel retains many of the building’s original features and upon entering the lobby, we were struck by the sense of space. Unlike the other more palatial hotels in Venice, this one offers a huge modern lounge and feels bright, airy, and large.
The renovation was designed to respect the historic setting while giving it a boost of contemporary styling: steel columns and wood-beamed ceilings are a reminder of its past, and the highlight of the lobby is the gleaming marble floor.
ROOMS & SUITES
Scattered around various levels and buildings, the 379 rooms and suites are spacious, warm and classic in style with features such as dramatic curtains and Murano chandeliers. Nevertheless, in Venice you won’t spend that much time in your room, and when you do you will be exhausted.
We had a King Family Suite with one heavenly bed, a comfortable living room with a large sofa bed, and a spacious marble bathroom. The ambiance made me feel like a character in a period movie.
BARS & RESTAURANTS
The hotel’s excellent range of services include a choice of 7 bars and restaurants, and most important: there are a lot of dining options for time-pressed travelers. My favorite spot was the Skyline Rooftop Bar, where you have no choice other than sit back and relax. It’s the best place to sip on a Bellini while appreciating the astonishing beauty of the city and enjoying the spectacular view of the Canale Giudecca.
We had breakfast at the Il Molino Restaurant and were treated to a never-ending buffet. Kids received painting books and colored pencils, and we felt like being part of a big family.
At the Rialto Lobby Bar & Lounge we savoured coffee, snacks & sandwiches, and awesome Nutella-stuffed pancakes. It was the perfect way to fuel up after a busy day tripping Venice.
Hilton Molino Stucky Venice could not be better placed for avoiding the tourist crowds but in the same time enjoying Venice’s great cultural attractions, including the Doge’s Palace, the San Marco Basilica, or the Peggy Guggenheim Museum.
The hotel offers a regular shuttle boat service right to Piazza San Marco in the heart of the city.
Usually I don’t punish myself with an overly-ambitious itinerary… All I wanted was to relax & indulge. We spent lazy hours in the Piazza San Marco, soaking up the beauty of the Basilica – a mixture of Byzantine, Roman and Venetian architecture, and one of the things I looked forward to the most was a gondola ride.
The gondoliers are fantastic, they charmed us with their wonderful stories and introduced us to the history of the Venetian Lagoon dating from the sixth century. The standard rate is 80 Euro for a 30 minute ride – definitely worth it!
Nevertheless, after a full day in the heart of Venice, I was eager to return to Giudecca Island – one of the few remaining places of utterly authentic Venetian life. It’s also the place where locals eat out.
Special tip: while you’re there you absolutely must dine at Ai Cacciatori, a cosy trattoria with ultra tasty sea food. Upscale in culinary ambition but comfortably casual, this trattoria serves one of the best desserts you’ll find in the Venetian Lagoon. Don’t bother to book a table – you won’t succeed, it’s fully packed with residents. Ask the Hilton’s concierge for a last-minute seating and a table by the window, and he will make the impossible possible.
Giudecca Island is a particularly romantic and special destination in itself – anyone who is into history will love it! For guests or business travelers wanting a quiet retreat still near the city’s hustle and bustle, the Hilton Molino Stucky Venice is a prime pick.
Thank you to Hilton Molino Stucky Venice for welcoming Expat Trip! Opinions are, as always, my own.