A summer villa turned into a Hotel


This is a story of a renovation of a building and the restoration of a feeling. It began in 1930, it started again in 2014 and now it keeps going. For someone is a small hotel, but for us is still a big house.

Aqva Boutique Hotel

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

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.

So what is Aqva Boutique Hotel?


( /ˈakwə/ ) noun

Is the Latin word for Water, Sirmione has always been a summer destination literally floating on the water.

Boutique Hotel

( /buːˈtiːk//həʊˈtɛl/ ) noun

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


This is what a Boutique hotel means for us :


We call it home and it is really like that. The first decision we made was to move in and share the rest of our space & time with a few people. The hotel is our own place but there are many others in the surroundings that we feel as part of us and we love to share it with you, but we also know that to make you feel at home one night is not enough, so this is why we usually have a minimum stay.

Small is Great

Modern architecture and brightness, marbles and natural wood, design furniture, and attention to details shape a unique atmosphere, but what really makes us different is the dimension of the experience: only 18 rooms. 

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 to enjoy a 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.

Luxury = Time

We believe that the most valuable things in the world are not things, and time for us is the most valuable one. Unlike gold, no one can sell you some and 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 it easy for you to live precious time here by providing special space but also a special time, giving you constant presence, assistance, and help.


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

In-House Guests Only

Design according to scale and common sense are our two main drivers. For us is simple: few people mean more comfort, so the bar, the restaurant, and the pool, the jetty area are for in-house guests only. The 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 Italian coffee.

Responsability + Sustainability

Sirmione is literally a delicate balance on the water, we witness climate change every day and every choice we made is important. Starting from small things like paper straws to a 30 kWh solar roof, from bamboo toothbrushes to local and seasonal food. We’ve been certified GSTC and we are fully committed to becoming carbon neutral by the end of 2024. You can be part of it in many ways, starting by choosing a sustainable mobility preference, and leaving your car at home, we are happy to help. Here are our efforts.

Read Our Story


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.

Read Architectural notes

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