I am ashamed to admit that until last month I had never stayed in a hostel before. Student friends who have backpacked round the world recount horror stories of bug-infested hellholes, places to rest your head but certainly not fall into a deep, carefree sleep. Walking into one of Venice’s few hostels, Generator, late at night, my opinion of hostels was instantly reformed – a happy stylish home for cultured and creative travellers… my kind of place. Located on Giudecca Island (a few minutes boat ride from the main island of Venice) you can only reach this idyllic strip of land by boat.
Travelling towards the historic property, moving slowly through the shimmering water, I felt like a character in a continental film; despite the surrounding darkness I felt the magical structure of this city, beautiful basilicas rising majestically in the distance. Gen Venice is an immaculately designed converted grain house, with traditional Fantini mosaic tiling, an elegant Murano glass chandelier and grand Rubelli textile curtains. For the tech-savvy visitors, modern quirks are placed throughout the bedrooms and common areas, a photo machine for memory making, free wifi throughout and even hair straighteners in the private rooms!
Downstairs at Gen Venice, there is always something exciting going on, from live music and DJ nights to art installations and sport watching. In the dining area rugged wooden tables with stools accommodate the hungry travellers. Food is fresh and flavoursome, all priced very competitively.
We stayed in a lovely private room, slightly removed from the corridor of dorms. It was the ultimate in simple luxury, blissfully easy and relaxed. The rooms exude rustic charm, the original features of the building are kept intact while offering contemporary features for all your 21st century needs. The double bed was cleanly dressed in pristine white sheets, a small table with leather armchair and the wooden floorboards was covered in a decorative carpet on the floor. I appreciated the easy access plug sockets and bedside lamps. The spacious en-suite bathroom had all the necessities and more, a power shower, separate toilet, two sinks, complimentary towels, hairdryer and straighteners and even miniature toiletries. A welcome bottle of Prosecco and personalised travel notebook made me feel very special and well looked after.
I was so comfortable at Gen Venice that I soon forgot we were in a hostel and tried to find the phone to call the concierge! And although this is something you won’t find at a hostel, Generator caters for curious travellers and the staff are happy to help you out with directions and recommendations.
Opening the shutters in the morning let in the natural light and sea breeze, I gasped noticing the captivating scene in front of me. I doubt there is a hostel anywhere in the world with such an enchanting view. Generator Venice is a wonderful, characterful and cost efficient way of experiencing this magical city.
More information and book a stay at Generator Venice here.