Ancient Villa Now a Hotel on the Grand Canal
Thanks to the hotel tip from fellow-VT'r "Herkbert's" Venice page, we chose the Hotel Antiche Figura for our first visit to Venice! The hotel was an oasis to return to after our daily ventures into the heart & soul of Venice.
Located in the "Sestiere" or district of Santa Croce, the hotel was perfectly placed to be our window on Venetian life. Located in a virtual transportation vortex, the Antiche Figura was within a minute or two walking distance of the Piazzale Roma bus depot, St. Lucia Train Station, Vaporetti Stop Ferrovia, water taxis, the "People Mover," not to mention a gondola wharf. The hotel also garners regards for its position next to the iconic, verde gris dome of San Simeon Piccolo Church and is within easy sight of the amazing facade of the Church of St. Maria of Nazareth, more commonly known as the "Chiesa degli Scalzi".
Our comfortable, quad room was charmingly furnished in Italian Provincial, and though a little cramped, had everything we needed plus a large, elegant bathroom. The 4 beds were dressed in blue & gold brocade and wrapped in crisp white sheets. Drapes and thickly glazed windows did a fine job of keeping the noise from below reaching our canal-facing room. Air-conditioning kept it cool when the daily temperatures and humidity rose from the mid to upper 80'sF. The well-hidden minibar was a good place to keep cold drinks & water. Prior to our cruise we occupied Room 311 which faced the canal but had no balcony. On our last night in Venice, we occupied Room 211 which was identical to that upstairs except it possessed one of the 4 very welcomed balconies.
The elegant bathroom actually had two Venetian glass sconce lights mounted on the mirror above the dual green marble sinks, and came supplied with nice toiletries and plenty of fluffy towels.
The breakfast which is included in the room price was by all accounts from my family the best we have had in Italy. The buffet table literally groaned with 2 types of croissants, breakfast cookies, rolls, apricot tart, layered-cake, fresh fruit, nuts, cheese, yogurt, cold cuts and the best salami. Available in the next area were juices, coffee, hot chocolate and a variety of cereals. The waitress would bring you a cappuccino or expresso if so desired.
The lobby was very small but had a computer free of charge for guests' use. There was a delightful room opposite of the lobby which had several small tables at which you could enjoy a cocktail or beer, but the nice looking bartender could also make a fabulous cappuccino! This room would be particularly cozy on a chilly or rainy day in Venice! However since we visited when the weather was particularly nice weather, we enjoyed the area just outside of this room where the hotel had about 6-8 tables with umbrellas to shield you when the sun became too hot. Great place for a cold Stella Artois and bowl of snacks!
Unique Quality: While by no means inexpensive, the comfortable room with excellent bath, and charming furnishings in the vintage villa are enough to warrant a stay at the Hotel Antiche Figure if for no other reason; luckily, there are numerous other reasons including the helpful and friendly of the staff who also make the best cappuccinos ever! Some of our family's fondest memories of Venice will be the balmy evenings we spent sitting just outside our hotel watching activities on the canal.
Note: In the lobby & sitting area near the bar, notice the heavily decorative, painted ceiling beams which are original to the hotel since its days as a Venetian villa. At one time, the hotel's exterior featured painted murals further enhancing the facade which already featured 4 small balconies.
Note: This hotel is expensive in season; book ahead as early as possible for best pricing.