A Taste of La Dolce Vita with Hilton
By Richard Jones
Iconic sights, dramatic landscapes, uber-cool and friendly people, and a relaxed way of life.
Italy is one of my favourite holiday destinations, and year after year I am drawn back to ‘Bel Paese’.
Of all the Italian places I have visited, two stand out.
My first trip to Italy, back in the early Noughties, was to Venice, and I was instantly enchanted by the iconic City of Water.
Venice has long been a tourist’s dream, with millions each year descending on the Adriatic outpost to enjoy its glittering canals, narrow alleys, Gothic palazzi and waterfront promenades.
While the Floating City was my first destination, my most recent, Lake Como, also holds some special memories.
“Historic lakeshore villas”
I have spent a couple of summers on the shores of the Y-shaped stretch of water, strolling around the picturesque Victorian gardens, relaxing in the glamorous and historic lakeshore villas and dining at world-class waterfront restaurants.
If, like me, you are a fan of those two destinations, and Italian holidays in general, then the news that their government is now allowing double-jabbed Brits into the country without having to quarantine will have been like an operatic aria to your ears.
To mark the return of Italian holidays, Hilton Molino Stucky Venice and Hilton Lake Como have teamed up to offer guests a special offer.
After visiting either property, you can head to the other and receive a free upgrade, as well as discounted food and beverage, spa treatments and special VIP in-room amenities.
Here, we look at each hotel and destination.
And if you can’t decide on which to visit, why not try both – they are easily reachable by train, bus or car.
Hilton Molino Stucky Venice
Formerly a flour mill on the peaceful island of Giudecca, Hilton Molino Stucky Venice is a modern Venetian masterpiece steeped in history.
The listed building has been exquisitely restored with deluxe rooms and spacious elegant suites offering guests picture-perfect views of the City of Bridges.
After arriving at Hilton Molino Stucky Venice by water taxi and checking into one of the 379 rooms and suites, you are ideally positioned to enjoy one of the largest spas in Venice, an unrivalled conference centre and a fine collection of bars and restaurants.
Fondly referred to as the First Lady Suite following a visit by Michelle Obama, the spacious new Presidential Suite is the highest and largest accommodation in town and has private access to the hotel’s popular rooftop pool and bar.
If you’re keen to explore, the concierge team at Hilton Molino Stucky Venice will happily plan a ‘best of Venice’ city break including Murano glass-blowing workshops, island boat tours around the city, its lagoon and colourful islands, trips to wonderful local museums such as the Guggenheim Collection, historic walking tours, romantic gondola rides and exclusive private shopping trips.
And after a busy day of exploring the Doge’s Palace, Rialto Bridge and Bridge of Sighs, the only thing to do is cool off with a refreshing dip in the rooftop pool followed by a signature cocktail at Skyline Bar.
If you are travelling with little ones, the property has also launched a number of new, authentic Venetian menus and activities for kids and families.
Meanwhile, the 2021 Venice Film Festival has recently taken place in the city, and the concierge team can organise a variety of cinematic activities year-round, including visiting famous and secret filming locations of The Italian Job, The Talented Mr Ripley and Casino Royale.
Hilton Lake Como
Perched on the Southern tip of Italy’s third largest lake, Hilton Lake Como opened in 2018 having previously been a silk factory.
It is home to 170 spacious guest rooms, with a variety of stunning suites, the renowned eforea Spa and Health Club, whose treatments are designed to leave guests feeling pampered and rejuvenated, and a popular rooftop cocktail bar and restaurant boasting panoramic views over Lago di Como.
Catering for families, business travellers and couples, Hilton Lake Como can arrange for guests to discover the Lombardy area on boat tours, picnic bike rides, family-friendly walks to local villages, and even cruises around the lake on a Vespa.
For those who like to stay active on holiday, the concierge can also book golfing, hiking, kite surfing, sailing, tennis and motorised water sport day trips.
If you’re planning a special event or private celebration, there are several spacious rooms to choose from, including the superior rooftop suites and the presidential rooftop suite, which provides guests with stunning 180-degree panoramic views from a private terrace, as well as a whirlpool tub, sun beds and an outdoor lounge and dining area.
“Explosion of colours”
This summer, Hilton Lake Como also introduced the new Pink Summer Lounge at its signature restaurant Terrazza 241.
The hotel’s sun deck was transformed by an explosion of colours and furnishings, while the furniture has been exclusively designed by Leolori.
As well as Terrazza 241, Hilton Lake Como is also home to a new pop-up street food bar.
A quirky red-and-white coloured portable pizza oven has been positioned at the entrance of the hotel, in collaboration with renowned Neapolitan pizzeria L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele.
Finally, the hotel’s resident mixologist and barman Vincenzo Sulmona’s Smoked Negroni cocktail, containing vermouth rosso, Campari bitter, gin, orange peel, dried thyme and ice is a must-try.
Stay at Hilton Molino Stucky Venice and Hilton Lake Como using their special staycation combo offer. After visiting either property, guests can visit the other hotel for a stay within four months to receive a free upgrade (subject to availability), 10 per cent off at their preferred food and beverage outlet, 10 per cent off spa treatments and special VIP in-room amenities.
For more information on Hilton Hotels and Resorts, go to: www.hilton.com