Our Open Villa

 


 

Aqva Boutique Hotel takes two.

It is designed by an architect with an obsession for the details and managed by a software developer, so it’s always in “beta” – always updating and on-going.

 

What we wanted to do is renovate an old building and re-discover the spirit of the first 1930 guest house. In the process, we like to imagine this place like a raw precious stone and our task is to cut it in the best way to make it as lucent as possible.

 

Everything here is a selection: the books on the shelves are what we are interested in, the breakfast is how we have breakfast, the courtesy bikes are actually our bikes and the restaurants we recommend is where you can find us late in the day.

 

Even if a hotel is not a private club, we really like to think our guests as part of our community: a small group of people like us that comprehend the concept of this place and share the same ideas & values. The hotel is a place for recovery and relax and we choose to welcome couples & adults, if we have some restrictions we do it for the respect & comfort of our few guests.


 

Boutique Hotel

 

( /buːˈtiːk//həʊˈtɛl/ ) noun

Small luxury hotel with an unconventional and intimate atmosphere. Boutique hotels differ from the big hotels by providing personalized accommodations and services.


Luxury = Time

WHAT WE VALUE THE MOST

We believe that the most valuable things in the world are not things, and time for us is the most valuable one. Like precious goods has a limited supply, but no one can sell you some. Unlike gold it doesn’t shine by itself, it’s what you do with it that makes it valuable. We don’t scream luxury, we try our best to make easy for yourself to live precious time here.

SMALL IS GREAT

INTIMATE NOT EXCLUSIVE

This is a small intimate place and mainly an adult retreat. We conceived the hotel as an open villa for couples & friends where enjoy relaxing time for an entire holiday or to get away just for a couple of days. We choose not to work with travel agencies, our reservations come only from private individuals. Groups & Events are carefully selected and hosted in low season periods and always in a small number.

QUALITY OVER QUANTITY

Less (sometimes) is more

Design according to scale and common sense are our two main drivers. The first choice we made was simple: less people means more comfort, so the bar, the restaurant and the pool area are for in-house guest only. Minimalist approach set free space in your room, – there are so many things at home anyway – . Our breakfast is a fine selection of homemade deli, seasonal fresh fruit and quality coffe.

People

What makes the difference.

We were lucky, we have been in the best hotels in the world and what we learned is this: the most important thing in hospitality is not the modern build or the wow-setting or the fine dining. Is the nice people. We always put the human touch and personal presence first and we found very nice people along the way whether is employees, partner, even contractors that share our same vision and walk in the same direction.

SHARING CULTURE

We love here

We live in a wonderful part of the world and we love to share our passions. The lifestyle and the culture of the Garda are what drives people from around the world here and we want you to get familiar with the things, the places and the people we love. The hotel is our own place but there are many others in the surroundings that we feel as part of us.


 OUR VISION


AQVA-boutique-hotel-garden-painting-
We found ourselves, back in winter 2013, in front of a crossroad and we decided to change the path of our trajectory. We took a step aside from our daily routines and from our respective jobs – a web designer and an architect – to build something completely new for us. This thing was to give a new life to an old family propriety on the shores of the lake by turning an old fashion hotel into our open villa. Move and live on the top floor sharing the rest of the building with people like us. It was some sort of vision something about change but also about recollection. Something related to our childhood memories. The freedom of vacation, the jumps in the cool water during the hot summer days, our face warm up watching the sun go down. We got together our thoughts around these feelings and then we began to realize that what we wanted to do was in some way already been here. Back in the days this place was already been a private sunny retreat, and now our main challenge was to give an new face to an old building and bring back the spirt of the original 1930 guests house.

 

When we started the renovation in November 2014 all we knew was we had 6 months to do a tough job, stay focused and not lose ourselves in nostalgia. We opened in June 2015 with a simple but challenging idea: reimagine a traditional hotel by rendering this experience authentic. It was a compelling task. We ask many times ourselves:

What’s an authentic experience in the first place?

Is it a contradiction?

Is it even possible to produce a genuine feeling?

We found out that to be true to you we had to be true to ourselves, so we took the privilege and courage to do the things in our own way.

We studied the hospitality business, market research, hotel design, consolidated frameworks, but in the end, we did what we thought was right. Yes, we could do like everyone told us, “Keep it like it is” – “Why change what works?”. We could continue the good-old business, deploy all the standard procedures, set up 4 suites on the top floor and optimize revenues in the short term. But this is not us. From the business model to the scrambled eggs, from the room layout to the jazz music, we made our own choices.

 

We tried from the first day to make our guests feel like living in their own Sirmione holiday house, and we do it by sharing space, time and culture together, in the same way we share the stunning view or the cool breeze in the morning, we share our lifestyle and our guests share our impressions and suggestions back with us. Every winter we take our time to rethink and refine our project, trying our best to improve and perfect your experience here whether it’s matter of comfort or service. This is an on-going thing and it will always be.

 


 

Doing things in a different way can be both a risk and a great privilege, the same thing is true for lore and tradition, both can be a great heritage and also mind-frames but what we learned so far is this: what you value you will achieve and commitment always pays off.

 

After less than 3 years in business we have been chosen to be on the Michelin Guide, this is not a finish fine this is just one important milestone and we are thrilled to show you what we have in store for the next years.


A summer house


 

It is not at all easy to summarize a place in an idea when this place is home.

 

 

The right detachment is missing, but it is precisely upon this emotionality that the strength of simple and free project lies.

When detachment is not possible, when indeed it attracts ideas, opposing represents an unforgivable design error. Such strong influences, as the affective memories buried here under layers of improbable restructuring, represented for me the place and the occasion, and the mixture of these two elements gave birth to the project.

The original family home of the 1930s, the beautiful villa with clean and airy volumes of the holiday days on the shores of Lake Garda, perhaps a little bourgeois in its placid and sunny idea of privileged leisure, was buried by layers of architectural reworking, of useless decorative frills and volumes, added over time from the 1970s.

 


The Project


It took a little crazy courage to get rid of everything and go back to basics, give up the usual spaces and comfortable volumes, cut, remove, simplify.

Cleanliness, of concepts and volumes, to find the origins.

 

Impossible, indeed unforgivable, to reproduce what had been lost forever over the years, it would have been an unforgivable architectural fake, but there was very little left of the beautiful villa of the thirties, besides ideas and concepts. The new project has therefore maintained the formal rigor of the thirties, cleaned up the facades by re-aligning the openings, full and empty spaces, and the shadows, in a more respectful way of the original language.

There are three essential materials that compose the project, they emerged both by studying the blueprints of the original project and by tearing off old dusty carpets and curtains as well: travertine marble, sober and elegant, natural wood, and last but not least, light.

The need for privacy & intimacy of the spaces – on one side – and the openness of the shining light – on the other one- burst into the project everywhere, flooded the spaces more than the lake did, and represented the two great opposites that attract each other for the entire development of the project. When ideas develop almost spontaneously, without having to force them, it means that you are probably on the right path.

 

The symbiotic relationship with the place inspired the rest, a quiet open balance on the water.

 

The volume is recomposed, compact, few changes to the original languages, just the homage to the nautical way in the overhangs and balconies, which recall the bridge of certain ferries and which project long lines of shadows on the geometric intertwining facades, and they recall the fabrics of the interiors, and the logo, and the games of our graphic spirals scattered almost everywhere that wink at the few decorative geometric Decò concessions, but only for attentive observers.

 

Ach. Federica Mometto