(Photos courtesy of Generator Venice)Hostels have come a long way, baby. Gone are the moldy showers and uncomfortable beds, the buggy bathrooms and less-than-stellar interiors. Now, $25 per night rooms look worthy of even the buzziest design hotel. The latest entry in this new breed of fashion-forward, wallet-friendly accommodations, Generator Venice is an unexpectedly affordable gem in one of Italy's most expensive enclaves. And the surprises keep coming.
On the neighboring island of Giudecca, just across the lagoon from Venice proper, the recently opened hostel retains its links to the past in its original wooden beams and brick walls, the remnants of the building's former life as a grain warehouse. But modern design touches abound. Traditional wingbacks in a seating area at the on-site bar get a contemporary update thanks to eye-popping pink velvet upholstery; they flank a futuristic chrome coffee table that's somehow as subtle as it is reflective.
A mix of counter-height stools—many resemble the seats in your high-school woodshop class, some look like they belong in a green-hued factory, and still others call to mind the pieces in a giant chess board—steal the spotlight elsewhere in the bar, which is lined with antique wood communal tables. The social atmosphere is further encouraged with a diminutive billiards table tucked in the back. We may have to drop in for a game on our next trip to Venice.