Following on from the trip report from Bangkok to Frankfurt which you can read in a previous post the following flight was from Frankfurt to Venice with Lufthansa.Though I’d been to Italy many times it was our first visit to Venice and I’d heard conflicting reports “It smells”, “The most romantic place on earth”, “You can get lost”, “It smells!”. (Happy to say that Venice didn’t smell any different to any other major tourist destination that I’d visited)
Marco Polo Airport is situated about 1/2 hour by water taxi from the airport. I had pre-booked online and paid the taxi (110 Euro) as we were arriving after 36 hours of travel and the other option (public taxi) would have taken around 90 mins with all the stops.
Hilton Molino Stucky is located on the island of Giudecca about 10 mins by water taxi to Venice proper.
As a Hhonors Diamond member I had booked via Hilton’s website when they had a 30% off sale promotion. Normal rates at this hotel during peak season can be around 500 Euro or more per night. With the sale rate and using the points plus pay option the rate I got was a more reasonable 20,000 points plus 125 euro per night. Absolute bargain as far as I’m concerned!
I did have the option of pre booking a water taxi through the hotel, but the price was a lot higher. It was a 10 minute walk from the airport to where the taxi’s leave from. Nothing kind to say about Marco Polo Airport. A bit of a dive!
It was a beautiful day arriving in Venice, the weather was warm and driving down the Grand Canal en route to the hotel reminded me of the movie “The Italian Job”.
I knew what the hotel looked like from the many pictures I had seen online and looked just as good upon arrival in the water taxi.
It was 11am when we arrived and the lady at the front desk couldn’t have been more helpful with welcoming us to the property. One of the things my partner was most excited about was the dedicated Nutella bar at the hotel. Due to the San Pellegrino Cooking Cup event before held at the hotel while we were there (which was surprising to us) the bar was only open on the first day as the event organisers had booked out various spaces within the hotel for their needs.
She then asked us to wait as the Manager of the Hotel wanted to speak to me. He came out promptly and thanked me for being a Diamond member and that he was at our disposal for anything we needed throughout the stay. Incredible service!
In addition he said we were upgraded to a canal view, gave a voucher for discount to the spa, complimentary drink vouchers (in addition to the very small executive lounge). He also brought us to our room personally.
I must admit I was a little embarrassed as people behind us were probably wondering who I was and I certainly hadn’t had similar service in other Hilton properties.
The room itself was nothing to get excited over. Average size, average bathroom, small window overlooking the canal.
The hotel used to be a flour mill and lots of the original features were kept. Personally not my style and everything was quite dark.
The hotel is non smoking throughout (which is becoming quite normal for a lot of properties within Europe to have no smoking rooms whatsoever).
Bathroom products were the standard Peter Thomas Roth (personally I think it’s time Hilton ditched these and went with another brand). It varies from Hilton to Hilton which PTR products you get and the size of them.
First stop for us was the Nutella bar before it closed! Delicious strawberries and banana crepes with of course Nutella! We were actually waiting for it to open which was quite sad!
A lot of people who stay over at either this hotel or other hotels on Giudecca say that it’s too far from Venice proper. I disagree. Hilton have an hourly shuttle boat (free of charge for guests) which leaves right outside the hotel. You need to be on time for it and be quick as during the busy season can fill up. It goes over to San Marco square every hour up until midnight during the summer season.
Another bonus that this hotel has is a pool. Not many in Venice do and I’m lead to believe this is the largest one (with absolutely brilliant views across Venice from the rooftop). A shame it closes so early during summer (9:30pm). There is a bar up there where you can order drinks and snacks. Fresh towels and lockers are provided also.
For Hilton Gold and Diamond guests there is a TINY lounge which is part of the casual bar area separated only by a sliding glass door and a large glass window. You use your room key to get in. It is probably the most disappointing part of having Hhonors status as there wasn’t many tables (8 small ones) and a very small selection of drinks and snacks. The breakfast offering was just some eggs, sausages and pastries.
We didn’t dine at the hotel restaurants, instead choosing to go across to Venice or eat at the handful of places on Giudecca itself. We had some wonderful meals there and was great to dine where a lot of the locals live. A small selection of shops and bakeries were also within a 5 min walking distance to the hotel.
I did have a massage at the day spa which was nice. Located in a different section of the hotel (lots of twists and turns trying to find it!) but the service and massage was quite good. Expensive but good.
Hotel staff were all friendly throughout and the housekeepers were quick and seemed to know when we were in and out. 2 bottles of water were left with us every day also which was appreciated during the hot weather. We were also able to store a few drinks we purchased ourselves in the fridge to avoid the mini bar charges.
We stayed 3 nights at the Hilton Molino Stucky and if I went back to Venice I wouldn’t stay there again. The staff were wonderful, but the rooms themselves were quite dark and depressing and the offerings in the lounge were not up to standard.
Closer to the trip I tried to extend by one extra night but the hotel was completely sold out (probably due to the event) so we booked a different hotel right near Santa Lucia Station for our train trip to Bologna (which worked out to be the best option in hindsight).