I haven’t had a lot of noteworthy travel of late, so I figured I’d share some more photos from a past trip.
Venice was always a place that intrigued me. My wife and I made a trip there in January 2010. It was cold and damp, but there is so much to see, we were always on the move and rarely cold.
Trans-Atlantic flights were in Delta Business Elite. Branded as such, but it was early in the Delta Northwest merger, so service was mostly Northwest except for menus and amenity kits. We connected in Amsterdam onward to Venice on KLM Cityhopper. This was booked using a perks saver award at the 100,000 mile level for business.
We split our time at 2 hotels, the Hilton Molino Stucky and the Westin Europa and Regina.
View from Hilton room
Our first few nights in Venice were at the Hilton Molino Stucky which we booked with points. I was a Hilton Diamond at the time, and was upgraded to an King Executive View room. The hotel is housed is in an old flour mill, but other than the exterior walls, it is quite modern.
There is also an executive lounge, oddly separated from the lobby by a rail, and accessible via small gate. There are snacks, drinks and hors d’oeuvres available through the day. The property is on Giudecca Island, a few minutes from the main parts of Venice via a free shuttle boat provided by the hotel. The Vaporetto (Venice public transit via water bus) also access Giudecca, but it’s a bit of walk to hotel).
The previously mentioned shuttle boat was nice to get to the main sights in Venice, but required a bit of planning, since it wasn’t very frequent.
View from shuttle
One environmental concern in Venice is the increased frequency of flooding. We experienced this to some degree. Most locals wear rubber boots which allows them to go about their business and to stay dry. On bad flooding days, there are raised walkways which allow people to move around without getting too wet.
After a few days at the Hilton, we moved over to the Westin Europa and Regina. There are several Starwood properties in Venice. The Gritti Palace is a category 7, the Hotel Danieli is category 6. As I recall the Danieli was not available when booking, and despite good reviews for the Gritti Palace, we opted to save the points to and book at the ‘cheaper’ category 5 property.
We were upgraded to junior suite, with separate living room and bedroom. Certainly not the typical modern vibe from most Westins in the US, but it was a decent upgrade to a spacious room. This is a more classical European hotel, and in fact, the Europa and Regina used to be separate properties. More history on the property can be found here.
The Westin is in a more central location in Venice than the Hilton, and is directly on the Grand Canal. It’s a short walk to many other notable sights, including St. Mark’s Square (shown in top photo), the Doge’s Palace(below), and the Rialto Bridge among many other destinations.
Venice is a great city to explore. There are no cars, and there is so much to see in a relatively compact place. I never studied Italian art, but even as a novice there is beauty everywhere be it just the architecture to art within churches and galleries. Visiting in the January cold has the advantage of smaller crowds, but appropriate attire is required to be comfortable. There are many hotel options for your stay in Venice. Depending on what your needs are, I think either of these property would be an excellent choice for a visit to this beautiful place.