During our time in Venice, we stayed at the landmark Molino Stucky Hilton hotel on Giudecca Island. This Neo-Gothic style building, once the largest structure in Venice, was built in 1895 as a flour mill for Giovanni Stucky.
In its prime, the mill employed 1500 people – the largest employer in Venice at the time, producing 50 tonnes of flour each day. Giovanni was quite the entrepreneur, trading wheat, flour and pasta internationally. He went on to become the richest man in Venice!
However, his riches could not prevent his death – he was murdered by a former employee in 1910. By 1955, the mill was closed and the building slid into decline, becoming derelict for many years.
Hilton purchased the old mill, undertaking an extensive renovation incorporating many of the building’s original features, and opened it as a luxury hotel in 2007.
Giudecca Island, despite what many people assume, was never a Jewish Ghetto. It’s actually a collection of 8 small islands joined by bridges over the canals. The Island has an eclectic mix of buildings and residents. It was first used as a fishing village in the year 500AD, and later, market gardens were planted there. During the 19th century, a range of grand homes had been built on Giudecca, followed by a range of industrial additions include shipyards, factories and a movie studio.
The 5-star hotel has 7 different restaurants and bars. If you want to wander outside the hotel to eat, there are a couple of great little places down along the water’s edge, but the choice is quite limited on the island itself. You can take advantage of the free shuttle to Dorsoduro and San Marco to enjoy a wider range of choices for eating and entertainment.
The Molino Stucky Hilton features an iconic rooftop pool, which unfortunately was being renovated at the time of our visit. Despite our please, we weren’t even allowed to go out and have a look at the view – BOO!
Thank goodness for the amazing rooftop Skyline Bar, which offers one of the best views in Venice and some very funky furniture. On the evening of our arrival, we enjoyed an expensive glass of Prosecco – 10 Euros each (at least it came with complimentary snacks!) and took in the ambience of this once in a lifetime experience before heading to San Marco for dinner.
After a large late lunch on our day trip to Burano, we didn’t really want dinner, however we did indulge in a dessert from the Nutella station. The Nutella crepe was absolutely delicious!
The food at the breakfast buffet was unlike anything I’ve seen before. The buffet occupies an entire room full of food stations offering a wide variety of breads, cereals, eggs, bacon, sausages, cold cuts, miso soup, noodles, pancakes, pastries, cakes, fruit, cheese, vegetables (even salad!) and an entire table devoted to gluten-free options. You also had the choice of a range of hot and cold beverages, with the hot drinks brought to your table.
Our room was quite spacious, with lovely timber-panelled doors, stylish wallpaper, black and white prints of local scenes on the walls and a Venetian glass chandelier.
The bathroom was definitely on the bigger side of European bathrooms, with a full bath, separate shower, bidet and all the complimentary toiletries you could want.
This hotel is LARGE! There are various different wings, each with their own elevators. We couldn’t get our bearings on the floor we were on, unable to work out exactly where we were within the structure of the hotel itself, despite having something of a view of an internal courtyard (there are several of them). The rooms with water views would be a delight, but naturally, they come with a heftier price tag!
I should tell you that we only stayed at this hotel because we were part of a group – it’s not a choice we would have made on our own, as we prefer smaller establishments, particularly B&Bs. Had we not received the group rate, it would have been beyond our accommodation budget.
While it certainly isn’t the cheapest option available in Venice, the Molino Stucky Hilton is certainly an experience hotel. I’m not sure whether all 5 star hotels are the same, as I haven’t stayed in many. It’s also a very welcome escape from the hordes of tourists who flock into the San Marco and Rialto Bridge areas in the centre of Venice on any given day. It would be ideal for a special occasion, a honeymoon or if you have a generous employer with a sizeable expense account.
Have you stayed in Venice? Which area did you stay in? What type of accommodation do you prefer when you’re travelling?
The Besties Do Italy series details how Seize The Day Project’s Lyndall and her long time best friend Jane ventured to Italy to celebrate a significant birthday – sans husbands and children. Shhh, don’t tell anyone they’ve gone! Read more posts in this fascinating series here:
Linking up with A Brit & A Southerner for #WeekendWanderlust
Also linking up with Albom Adventures for #WkendTravelInspiration