VDW Chapter 7.1: The Outstanding Hotel Heureka


The Outstanding Hotel Heureka

The entrance of Hotel Eureka
The entrance of Hotel Eureka

Our dossier following Venice Design Week continues with an insight over some of the hotels that are part of the event. The first one we will discover is: Hotel Heureka.

To understand why hotels are a fundamental part of Venice Design Week, we need to give a look at the structure of the event. Then we investigate the connection between Venice Design Week and Hotel Heureka, and finally you can read our exclusive interview. 

Table of Content:

If you have missed our former articles, you will find the links scrolling right to the end of this text.

The Structure of Venice Design Week

Venice Design Week is of course about the best design selected according to each year’s festival’s theme.

In 2020, the theme was “a step forward”, in 2021 it is announced to be “design for everyone”.

Designers and architects during Design Week are offered the opportunity to have their works located in unique environments in the city. The goal is to enhance the quality and aesthetics of the design, and for that, only the best locations in Venice are chosen. 

Venice Design Week has this characteristic: it connects the city with the pieces shown during the event, and the two live in perfect symbiosis.

As the name suggests, it’s Venice Design Week, so a whole week where good design meets Venice. It promotes both beauties simultaneously.

The city of Venice offers scenarios that no other city in the world has, which become attractive for architects and designers, since they can show their creations in locations that stimulate their sense of aesthetics, and communicate with visitors and insiders, invited to dive in the value of the works and their versatility, embraced by unique and legendary environments. 

This festival allows designers and architects to choose where to display their works, picking mainly among these opportunities:

  • hotels
  • gardens
  • galleries

scattered within the city and islands.

Hotels are particularly exclusive, not because they are elitists, but because they have an architecture and a history all on their own. 

Hotel Heureka is a one of a kind, that is why we at New York Style Guide have decided to visit it first.

Hotel Heureka And Venice Design Week

Hotel Heureka is one of the hotels that Venice Design Week has chosen as a scenario for its yearly event.

Hotel Heureka from outside
Hotel Heureka from outside

There is more than one reason why: above all, this hotel has a unique structure, and a lovely garden, and for reasons we will see later on, it’s a perfect location for a design show.

Hotel Heureka is not new to major events: not only Venice Design Week, but brands like Giorgio Armani, have chosen this beautiful place for its uniqueness. In 2018 it was, in fact, the exclusive location for the Armani Beauty Suite, during the Venice International Film Festival.

Chosen specifically by Venice Design Week for being a contemporary design hotel, and for its attention to art, fashion, and design, this location has made some bold choices that New York Style Guide is going to investigate for you. 

Facts About Hotel Heureka

THE LOCATION 

Hotel Heureka is a contemporary design hotel located in the Cannaregio district, 15 to 20 minutes by foot from central station Santa Lucia, along Madonna dell’Orto Canal.

Venice surroundings
Venice surroundings

In Cannaregio there are important shopping streets, such as Strada Nova and Lista di Spagna.

[if you remember our article about Feelin’ Venice, you’ll recall that they have a shop in Strada Nova. If you want to check the article, the link is here: https://newyorkstyleguide.com/venice-design-week-chapter-5-2-meet-feelin-venice-the-new-resilience/ – ed]

Cannaregio is also known for the Jewish Ghetto, the oldest one in Europe.

Between the Jewish Ghetto and Fondamenta Nove there are a lot of nice bars and restaurants that attract young people.

A curiosity: in Cannaregio there is the narrowest calle of all Venice: that is Calletta Varisco, which is only 53 cm/ 20.8 inches width. 

THE ROOMS

Hotel Heureka has 10 rooms (divided in categories: deluxe, doubles and suites), all unique in size and allure.

Extravagance is not exactly the correct word to define them, but they do have personality. In the following pictures you can spot some:

Junior Suite Canal View 1

Room View 1

Junior Suite Canal View 2

Deluxe Double Room

Junior Suite Canal View 3

 

Room detail

THE GARDEN

Among one of the best hidden beauties of Venice, there is this hotel’s garden, which is located in a very protected area, it’s calm, cuddled by the shades of the trees, cool in summer, and charming in the evening.

Private garden

Breakfast Garden

Hotel Heureka Private Garden by night

THE BAR

The Bar

Beautifully located in the very representative entrance hall, the bar opens at 17 and serves aperitifs, as much as wine, hot drinks, quick meals, snacks and salads (seasonally chosen). It’s welcoming and friendly, facing the beautiful garden, and warmed by the light of the majestic light that catches all attention on the entrance hall.

Lobby Bar

Ground floor detail

Hotel Heureka: interview with mr. Andrea Penzo

Now that we have gone through some of the details, to introduce this location at best, we had the pleasure and the honour to interview mr. Andrea Penzo, hotel Heureka’s manager.

Good afternoon, Sir, and thanks for granting us the opportunity for this interview. Our first questions are, of course, first if you can introduce the hotel for our readers, and then tell us how the collaboration with Venice Design Week did start.

Good afternoon, of course, I’m glad to answer your questions. Our hotel opened in 2017, so while the building is historical, the hotel is around 5 years old. It took two years of restorations to transform the building, which was previously for residential use, but we have kept the original plan, focusing on the furnishing to give personality to the rooms, according to our vision: not a hotel, but a home in Venice for our guests.

We were contacted to be part of Venice Design Week. and our answer was immediately yes, since the project marries beautifully with our concept, and we are happy to give visibility to both our special hotel and to creative professionals from all over the world. 

What is hotel Heureka’s concept?

We are inspired by beauty, I’d say our own sense of beauty, that is: authentic, connected, international, and lively. In this sense, Venice Design Week is ideal for our hotel. We care that we share this affection for Venice, for beautiful works, and this desire to be representative of our city.

Both the team behind the festival and our team at the hotel are very fond of Venice, and we identify with it: Venice is also our beauty, and we give back to Venice in terms of hospitality, interactivity and visibility.

Mixing cultures is also a very important value for us, as much as it is for the organisation of Venice Design Week, and part of our own concept, so hosting exhibitions for Venice Design Week suits perfectly our interest for culture and multiculturalism too.

How is this mixture of culture represented in your Hotel?

To start with, through our furniture. Venice has a historical connection with Eastern lands, so you will find a lot of oriental references. The renovation of the hotel took two years, but we were collecting furniture already years before the opening. We really had a vision, and we held on to that vision.

Can you tell us more about the hotel, and why it is so suitable for Venice Design Week?

Of course, my pleasure. As said, when the hotel was bought, we had already a project, but we had to work on an important renovation. Firstly we saved the original plan of the house.

Hotel Heureka is located in a building from the late 1500, and has a peculiarity which is a bit unusual. The majority of traditional Venetian houses have one piano nobile, with a wide living room, but this building has two piani nobili.

The two floors with a piano nobile each share a lot of similarities.

Piano Nobile Floor 1
Piano Nobile Floor 1
Piano Nobile Floor 2
Piano Nobile Floor 2
Piano Nobile Floor 2
Piano Nobile floor 2, picture below by Flora MC, notice the door to the rooms facing the piano nobile on both floors

The vision was to see this location as a home, and in fact, all our rooms face the living rooms, so the feeling is really the one of being guest in a Venetian palace. It’s relaxing and comforting, reinforced by the relative limited number of rooms, only 10.

There are no narrow and long corridors like in traditional hotels, so guests move freely along the living rooms, accessing from there directly to their private rooms, and in this way, going back to Venice Design Week, the exhibitions become highly interactive.

Can you tell more about the two piani nobili?

Both have furniture that spaces in time and origins, from more to less modern. We have a piano room and a chess room, and big windows facing the garden on the back, and the canal on the front. This is where we hold exhibitions, events, where guests can sit and meet. Our ambition is that they feel home, like they have found their palace in Venice, which is also one of our mottos.

Music Room

Piano Nobile Floor 2 detail 1

Rooms, as said, face the living rooms at each floor, and they are all different. Touring the rooms you would find different details, like curtains, tiles, styles, and colours. But everything, everywhere in the hotel, is not built to shock: the purpose is create a Venetian atmosphere, mixing modern and antique, local and international, like a bridge between different human cultures, such as Venice is. 

What other elements make this hotel a top selection for the main magazines and tourist guides?

I would start again with the feeling of being home. There are inputs, like classical music accompanying in the background from the very moment you enter the hotel. It’s an invitation to relax and disconnect. Even the rooms have no tv’s [it can be added by request -ed]. It’s an opportunity to live a full Venetian experience, leaving the world behind and focusing on a peaceful corner suspended in time.

In every room you can connect to our system and play your own playlist, or choose one of ours, a further attempt to make the rooms feel like your own room, with your own playlist cuddling you though your everyday’s first and last steps from and to sleep.

We have used colours and details cleverly and thoroughly, everything is an invitation to relax and dig into a new dimension. 

Maybe less known, but even the restroom on the ground floor is a piece of art. Can you say something about it?

Indeed: walls are fully covered with mosaics made by Fornace Orsoni.

Orsoni is an institution in Venice, and was the last furnace to have the permit to operate with fire in the city. Their mosaics can be found on San Marco Cathedral or the Gritti Palace in Venice. But also in the Washington Basilica in Washington DC, in the Los Angeles Academy Museum, in the Tottenham Court Station in London, and so on.

FORNACE ORSONI wall of the restroom
Above: all of the ground floor restroom, detail / Below: detail of the mosaic of the hair
Detail of the mosaic of the hair
Pictures by Flora MC

What is your relation with the city?

We are a hotel in Venice, we are part of the city and the whole restoration of this building was made by Venetians. Because we were respectful and loyal to the spirit of this palace, we are proud and glad to be chosen by locals too, for parties and events. It is part of our DNA and we are happy to be a place for everyone, but it warms that Venetians choose us, of course.

There is so much to be said about Hotel Heureka, but what is particularly special about this hotel, that would make the Venetian experience absolutely a one of a kind?

Of course we offer opportunities to live local experiences, and we have a discretely wide selection of choices. But since we are focusing on offering a total Venetian feeling, we give the opportunity to book the whole hotel for special events.

It is possible, when acting respectfully towards the hotel and its value, of course, to book all 10 rooms, the whole palace, and live a total Venetian experience. It’s like a jump back in time, and test life in a local palace, personalising the experience to the customer’s needs. The piani nobili can be used for cocktail meetings, catwalks, parties, in a very unique scenario.

Who is the typical guest in your hotel?

Conscious tourists, mainly from Europe, but really from everywhere. People who want to feel cuddled and normally live in quite a high tempo: their main interest, visiting the city, is to discover the authentic spots in Venice, wander not necessarily where all tourists are. Our hotel is in a quiet part of the city, not far from the main attractions, but still not surrounded by noise and streams of tourists.

Our typical guests, since they have quite a busy life, when they are here, they like to unwind and change tempo and style completely.

Thought, we don’t define our guests in one particular kind: for sure the fil rouge is people who are curious to discover Venice with their own tempo, who want a hotel in a comfortable location, but not right in the middle of chaos.

The city is changing its attitude towards tourism, and we work selectively on avoiding invasions like we have seen before the pandemic. That is nothing good for us, for the city, and for the tourists. They have very few occasions to see Venice for what it is, being scattered in some of the main roads, pulled from one location to the other, but in such a level of stress that I would hardly call it a vacation.

Our hotel is exactly at the opposite site of that concept. Good hospitality means too, inviting people to take their time to savour the city, to get lost in the small calli and discover their own favorite spots. For sure we have our own bar and we serve carefully a fresh and international breakfast, in summer it is particularly appreciated to enjoy it in the garden.

Thank you for this chat, mr. Penzo, it was a pleasure to talk to you and learn about your hotel.

My pleasure! Hoping to meet your readers in Venice, maybe for next Venice Design Week!

 

HOTEL’S USEFUL LINKS

Hotel Heureka’s Website: hotel-heureka.com

Hotel Heureka on Instagram: @hotelheureka

To contact the hotel: Contact Hotel Heureka

To discover the Heureka’s Experiences: Heureka’s experiences

VENICE DESIGN WEEK – USEFUL LINKS:

Our previous articles about Venice Design Week can be found at the following links

Venice Design Week Chapter 1 meet Venice Design Week

Venice Design Week Chapter 2 the tradition of Murano Glasses

Venice Design Week Chapter 3 the Light Art and Color Competition

Venice Design Week Chapter 4 meet Next Future Transportation

Venice Design Week Chapter 5.1 meet Pieces of Venice

Venice Design Week Chapter 5.2 meet Feelin’ Venice

Venice Design Week Chapter 6 the International Jewel Competition

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