The Hilton Molino Stucky in Venice was a terrible disappointment. Uninspired and inconvenient. Caters to huge package tour groups: if you are interested in arts and culture and the mystery of this exquisite city, you should skip this hotel altogether. And if you enjoy fine food, you should avoid the restaurants. You can do much better.
Location: poor. Very inconvenient. The hotel is not located near the center of the action. It is located on an island quite far from the center of Venice. The hotel provides a free shuttle service which stops at only two locations in Venice... but the shuttle stops completely in mid-day. Twice I found myself running through the narrow streets of Venice to make it to the shuttle boat in time. Nothing is more frustrating than arriving at the jetty just after the boat has departed. Sometimes you must wait an hour or more for the next boat. Difficult if you are on a schedule or meeting people.
Quality of the hotel: below average. For a five-star hotel, it is a great disappointment. Uninspired decoration, cheap materials, bland decor. Ugly layout. The hallways are chopped up by a series of ugly columns, endless corridors, and a confusing scheme. It is a vast sprawling mess. There is nothing memorable or distinctive about this hotel. Imagine a typical airport hotel transferred to Venice: that's the Hilton Stucky. They managed to drain any historical interest or beauty from this building.
Service: just average. Everyone who works there is friendly and some were helpful, but there was nothing special or memorable about the service. At these prices, one expects the pinnacle of service. It is a five star hotel, after all.
Food. I ate at both restaurants. A massive disappointment. The food was bland and boring. The expensive restaurant puts on a show of presentation... but then the flavor and texture of the food is a crushing disappointment. Again, nothing special or memorable. It is hotel food. This is a disgrace in a city with many good restaurants. Even the breakfast buffet is boring: yes, they have many choices but the food is quite mediocre.
WiFi. The Internet service is terrible. It hardly works and it is always quite slow even if you pay for the lavishly expensive executive package: during busy hours of the afternoon just before dinner, the service sometimes fails completely. At scandalous prices, this so-called service is an insult to the customer.
Rooftop bar: again, nothing spectacular. It is located in the back of the vast building complex, on the far side of a huge canal. Venice is a distant line of lights across the water. The bar happens to be closed during sunset hours, which is a shame because the view might be better then.
My advice to the Hilton Stucky management: drop the prices for the WiFi (make it free) and be honest about the fact that the fancy restaurant really just offers the same dull hotel food as the breakfast cafe, and drop the pretense of being a five star hotel. Embrace the reality that this is just another boring business hotel that happens to be situated across a busy canal from one of the most fascinating cities on earth.
My advice to travelers: if your plans include the Hilton Stucky, you can count on a clean room and decent accommodations with none of the flair or originality that is the essence of Venice. Use it as a dormitory. Plan to get out of bed early, jump on the first shuttle boat, and spend your entire day in Venice exploring the hidden corners of this mysterious and beautiful city.