For our two-night trip to Venice we chose the Hilton on Giudecca Island – just across the canal from the main city of Venice. The reasons for our choice:

  • Giudecca Island looked like a peaceful haven, away from the busy tourist area and with some good restaurants.
  • The additional benefits offered to HHonors Platinum card holders; upgraded room, lounge access, breakfast.

We landed at Venice Marco Polo airport and had pre-paid for return boat tickets (25 EUR per person) to Giudecca as part of the Venice Unica City Pass:

The walk from the airport to the quay is short and there are moving walkways.

There was a queue waiting to board our (Alilaguna Blue Line) boat. Boarding completed leaving several people still in front of us. So we had to wait maybe 20 minutes for the next boat. When you board the boat, you need to go down steps into the front or rear compartment – it would be difficult for anyone infirm or disabled to board. The boat left, still with many seats free, but with people left behind on the quayside.

The trip to Giudecca takes 1 hour and 40 minutes, stopping at several places along the way. We started to think about a private taxi for our return.

We were the only passengers left when the boat arrived at Giudecca – as close to the Hilton entrance as you can get.

There was a queue for check in and no priority line for HHonors members. The receptionist was really friendly, spoke to us in English and advised that we’d been upgraded to an Executive Room with view.

Our room was nicely appointed and had a great view.

There wasn’t the usual two complimentary bottles of water – although these were left the next morning. I would have preferred a dedicated shower rather than a bath with shower.

The Executive Lounge ‘Happy Hour’ was 5-7pm – quite an early start and finish compared to other Hiltons. The lounge is on the ground floor of the hotel and is a effectively a narrow corridor, separated from the bar area, with tables squeezed either side.

The food and drink selection was the worst I’ve ever experienced in a Hilton lounge; no strong alcohol like Whisky, Cognac, Vodka, a really poor food selection, the single hot choice was inedible fried mozzarella balls. The red wine was poor quality. The only positive thing was a small table with prosecco, soda water and Aperol where you could make yourself an Aperol Spritz cocktail.

Later, we decided to take a walk along the promenade (turn right as you leave the hotel entrance). The hotel looked majestic and beautifully illuminated.

Giudecca is a lovely peaceful island and we found an excellent restaurant called Majer.

The following day we headed to the Il Molino Restaurant for breakfast. The receptionist advised that breakfast wasn’t included until I explained that I was a Diamond member. We were seated, ordered coffee and went to the buffet. On our return, another couple had taken our table – our coffee was just arriving and there was some confusion until the couple decided to move.

The buffet was very good, although there wasn’t an omelette station.

In a corridor, just outside of the buffet room, I found two lonely mini-buffets; Arabic and Chinese. It was clear that nobody knew these existed.

I was initially excited until I found that there wasn’t anything of interest – the Chinese wasn’t dim sum, just fried rice.

We took the hotel shuttle boat to the main island – the hotel adds 7.50 EUR per person, per stay, for unlimited use of the shuttle. We were lucky to make it on board as there were more passengers waiting than could be accommodated (max. 39). I would have been pretty cross had we not been able to board, with a 40 minute wait for the next boat. The trip to San Marco took 15 minutes.

We had a wonderful day in Venice (review shortly) and returned on the 5pm shuttle – which we lucky to board as it was almost full.

One additional HHonors Diamond benefit was 2 hours access to the Spa. The hotel is huge and it was quite a walk through a labyrinth of corridors and stairs (in hotel slippers and bathrobes!) before we found the Spa. We really shouldn’t have bothered. There was a small Jacuzzi, a mixed wet steam sauna plus men- and women-only saunas. There was also a relaxation room with a few beds with water and tea available. I didn’t check on the gym.

We visited the Skyline Rooftop Bar. The rooftop pool was closed for maintenance work. The bar had two open-air terraces with good views.

On our second breakfast visit, the waitress asked if I would like an omelette or poached eggs – I asked if I could have Eggs Benedict and was delighted to find that I could. What arrived wasn’t a bad attempt, but couldn’t really be described as Eggs Benedict.

Checkout time was 11am – I hadn’t even realised and checked out just before noon. There was a queue for checkout.

We had decided to use our return Alilaguna tickets, rather than pay the 130 EUR private taxi quoted by the hotel concierge. The return trip was still 1 hour and 40 minutes, but the time went quicker than on the outbound.

The airport security was fast and we were soon in the excellent Marco Polo lounge – open to Lounge/Priority Pass holders.

I love the Giudecca Island location and the views from the room.
The breakfast was pretty good.
The hotel is spotless and looks great illuminated at night.

The Executive Lounge: The biggest improvement the hotel could make would be relocate the executive lounge to a larger area on a higher floor and provide a better selection of food and drinks over a longer ‘Happy Hour’. I’m sure that all Hilton hotels hate to provide free food and drinks, but that is part of the deal – a deal that this hotel is not honouring.
Check-in: Needs more staff and a dedicated HHonors desk.
Spa: Needs at least a hydrotherapy pool, otherwise it’s just a Jacuzzi and a sauna.

I would be happy to stay at this hotel again if the price was right.


TEL: +39-041-2723311