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Molino Stucky Hilton, Giudecca, Venice 

810 Giudecca
Italy 30133
Tel: 39 041 272 3311
view web site ›'s insider take:

It may be a Hilton, but it's one of the brand's most distinctive and luxurious properties. Opened in June 2007, the 389-room giant occupies the largest single historic complex in Venice—a former flour mill and biscuit factory founded by Swiss-Italian Giovanni Stucky in 1895. At the eastern end of the Giudecca Island—an authentic, lived-in slice of Venice—the hotel is housed in a series of connected buildings, with original details like cast-iron columns and (in the efficiently run Espace spa) Belle Époque terrazzo flooring. The layout is so complex that they give you a map at reception, but the hotel's high point—in both senses of the word—is easily located: the rooftop pool (relatively shallow, at not quite four feet deep throughout) and sundeck, which enjoy 360-degree views over Venice and the southern lagoon. Venice's tough historic-preservation regulations mean there are no umbrellas and relatively few lounge chairs (in summer, you need to be up here soon after the pool's 9 am opening to be sure of a place). Here, too, is the aptly named Skyline Bar—worth a visit for a panoramic sunset cocktail experience even if you're not a hotel guest. The pleasant but dull bedrooms revert to Hilton type, with cookie-cutter classic modern decor and decent-size bathrooms. Individual travelers should be warned that the hotel is heavily convention-oriented: In spring and autumn especially, be prepared to be surrounded by hundreds of osteopaths. Considering the hotel's business slant, it's a shame Internet access is so pricey, with a minimum charge of $17 for one hour.

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