Here at House of Coco, there is never a shortage of amazing hotels to tick off the bucket list. For our return to travel, we chose one of the most spectacular hotels in the world, Hotel Heureka, right in the heart of Venice’s oldest districts to escape the crowds.
Situated in the centre of traditional Venice, in the Sestiere of Cannaregio, Hotel Heureka combines the comfort of a boutique hotel, the intimate atmosphere of a private home and the mystique of a 16th century Venetian palazzo. With just 10 exquisite rooms each with their own distinct personality, visitors feel as though they are guests of a great Venetian family – ideal for a grand return to Europe. Reopened in 2017 after a major renovation, as you wander the exquisite halls you can almost make out the chatter and music of a party that would have taken place in Venice’s heyday, hundreds of years ago, mask in hand.
The interior layout of the hotel’s palazzo is organised around a ‘portego’ – a typical Venetian passage – leading into the atrium, the main lobby area, and the private garden beyond. We wandered over to the bar every evening and enjoyed a different cocktails, from the classics to the hotel’s signature serves in the cool air of the outside terrace. We chose to relax and unwind in this tranquil haven rather than on St. Mark’s Square and other touristy hot spots. The open-air, spacious feel continues on the other levels of the hotel, with a Piano Nobile on the first and second floors surrounded by bold patterns and artfully placed fabrics designed by Lacroix and Rubelli.
After a day exploring all that Venice has to offer we settled in for one of the best night’s sleep of our lives in one of the chic and decadent suites, each like their own art gallery. The design-led hotel is located on the gentle waters of the Madonna dell-Orto canal and lulls you into a deep sleep amongst plush pillows each night. Breakfast was served surrounded by fine artworks in the drawing-room and on one of the days we enjoyed our first cup of tea beneath the leafy trees of the private garden. Mouth-watering pastries were followed by steaming coffee, juices and delicious cheese and fruit.
There is plenty to explore directly from the hotel. Close to the ornate front door you can venture into the oldest Jewish Ghetto in the world, the bridges over the cerulean Grand Canal, museums, hole-in-the-wall bars far from the tourist trail, lively cafes, art galleries and world-class restaurants. With no cruise ships in the city currently, there has never been a better time to visit and enjoy the slow-paced anticipation of the city as 2021 draws to a close and 2022 is ready to welcome visitors with open arms.
Where to eat
Osteria Alla Staffa on Calle Ospedaletto is arguably one of the best traditional restaurants in Venice. Small, cosy and delicious. We chowed down on plate upon plate of Venetian-style pasta and as the waiters reminded us, this is not the place you come for pizza, much to the puzzlement of many American tourists. The restaurant offers mid-range pricing and offers a cracking local wine list, poured by a very knowledgeable team.
Where to drink
Down one of the most beautiful canals in the city lies Vino Vero owned by husband and wife Matteo and Mara. Vino Vero opened in 2014 and was the first wine bar in Venice solely dedicated to natural wine. You can guzzle wines by the glass and sample artisanal Cicchetti whilst watching the water taxis speed past on the way to the lagoon and eavesdrop on local conversation and gossip.
With the world finally opening up and the UK lifting significant restrictions in October 2021, Hotel Heureka has stood the test of time in a city that has constantly reinvented itself, welcoming each visitor like the guest of honour. The juxtaposition of the old and new in both the city and the hotel gave us hope that things have to change slightly before getting better. If you are looking for somewhere to seek solace after months of uneasiness, you’ve found it!
Hotel Heureka prices are €230 for a Deluxe Room, €460 for a Junior Suite and €1,200 for the Heureka Suite. Prices are per room and include breakfast à la carte, service and VAT.