Ho­tel Spy: Ho­tel Heureka in Venice

A chic, art-filled palace away from the tourist hub­bub, in low-key Cannare­gio

Lonely Planet (UK) - - Contents -

Where am I stay­ing?

A ‘pinch your­self it’s so mag­i­cal’ bou­tique ho­tel in a freshly re­stored 16th­cen­tury Vene­tian palazzo. Tip: splash out a lit­tle ex­tra to pull up at the front door in style in a wa­ter taxi, which around here means a sleek wooden mo­tor launch (as fea­tured in the open­ing se­quence of Ge­orge Clooney’s stag do). What’s dif­fer­ent here? The Heureka is set in the ses­tiere of Cannare­gio, the north­ern­most and most pop­u­lous of the six dis­tricts of Venice. While the neigh­bour­hood does have a film-set feel (a pe­riod drama was be­ing filmed right out­side while we stayed here), lo­cal life car­ries on all around. Cannare­gio is home to many ar­ti­sans and we watched gon­dolas be­ing built, jew­ellery crafted and other palaz­zos be­ing slowly saved from crum­bling into the silt. Art and de­sign spills through­out the ho­tel it­self, from ex­quis­ite orig­i­nal sten­cilling re­vealed in the restora­tion of the ceil­ing of its cen­tral lounge, to the con­stel­la­tion­ef­fect chan­de­lier you duck un­der on the way through the lobby (see above). Each of the 10 rooms is uniquely styled; all are united in hav­ing grand pro­por­tions and gor­geous de­tail­ing.

Are the views any good?

Rooms to the rear look out over the gar­den and, at a squint, the murky Vene­tian la­goon be­yond hig­gledyp­ig­gledy rooftops. If your bud­get can stretch to it, opt for one of the bed­rooms at the front, which have ridicu­lously ro­man­tic views along a quiet canal.

Where can I eat?

We ate a splen­did break­fast of fresh figs, pas­tries, and omelettes cooked to or­der. While the Heureka has an am­ply stocked bar, there isn’t a restau­rant serv­ing lunch or din­ner. Note that even Cannare­gio has its share of trat­to­rie that are geared to­wards fleec­ing vis­i­tors; and that places spe­cial­is­ing in seafood should not open on Mon­days, when the Rialto fish mar­ket is closed. For a clas­sic Vene­tian spritz with ci­cheti (light bites), nearby Il Par­adiso Per­duto over­flows with at­mos­phere and good cheer (ho­tel-heureka.com; rooms from £164).

Wak­ing up to the fan­tasy that you live along­side a Vene­tian canal, and have deep pock­ets and ex­tremely good taste. Af­ter a while, the ho­tel’s hip playlist edges into repet­i­tive piped muzak.

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