Review: OneWorld Extravaganza – Hotel Villa Franceschi Venice

Introduction
W Taipei
CX 401 TPE – HKG 77W J
CX 251 HKG – LHR 77W W
Sofitel London Heathrow
BA 572 LHR – MXP 319 Y
Hotel Villa Franceschi Venice
The Style Florence
St. Regis Rome
Le Anfore Lounge Rome
CX 292 FCO – HKG 343 J

Location 5/5 Service 5/5 Modernity 2/5 Little things 4/5 Meals 4/5 Overall 4/5

Our landing on Italian soil paired up with the most abysmal weather I’ve seen in a while. No, this wasn’t Hong Kong on March 30th, 2013, but all plans to sightsee in Milan were thwarted. (We still went sightseeing though, though the weather wasn’t nearly as nice as we hoped.)

We went through the abysmal weather to Venice, a sub-three hour drive, and the weather cleared up. Even though it was 11:30am when we left the airport, given that we stopped by for lunch and left after two the sun was setting as we arrived the Villa Franceschi. It’s worth noting that the hotel is not in Venice, but in an adjacent town called Mira, which is equally charming, consists of the same water network (as opposed to loads and loads of roads) and actually less crowded.

The exterior of the hotel is quaint without looking considerably dated.

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Hotel Villa Franceschi Venice exterior

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Hotel Villa Franceschi Venice exterior

While the exterior look charming, the lobby is definitely past its prime. However there was something to it that felt magical. (Probably ghosts lurking in the area? I kid.) It was definitely a really comfortable place to relax, though, and the dated seating was as plush as ever (though my mother’s back may think otherwise).

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Hotel Villa Franceschi Venice lobby

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Hotel Villa Franceschi Venice lobby

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Hotel Villa Franceschi Venice baggage carts

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Hotel Villa Franceschi Venice lobby seating

The check-in desk associate addressed us immediately by name (which is a really nice touch, but given this is a small hotel, it’s not too out-of-this-world). What was really nice was that the check-in associate offered to bring us over to our room. Don’t mind if I do…

Hotel Villa Franceschi Venice
Check-in: Friday, August 1, 2014
Room Type: Family Room
Room Number: 305
Stay duration: 3 nights
Check-out: Sunday, August 3, 2014

The room was old. While it was perfectly practical, it was really, really dated. I mean…

Hell

Get it?

Getting the hilarity out of the way, the room was perfectly fine, but the decor was horrifically old. It featured wooden floors, two very comfortable beds (one on the main floor and another on the loft), a quite comfortable rollaway, a loft (similar to the Hotel Pulitzer Amsterdam), a flatscreen TV and some anciently decorated seating. While having the aesthetic charm of the Hotel Kempinski Gravenbruch (or did it renovate? I don’t know) the room was really comfortable and substantial, so while I wouldn’t give room comfort top marks (hard to classify between crap and the decorative pillow covers), it was perfectly substantial.

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Hotel Villa Franceschi Venice Family Room

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Hotel Villa Franceschi Venice Family Room seating

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Hotel Villa Franceschi Venice Family Room

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Hotel Villa Franceschi Venice Family Room curtains

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Hotel Villa Franceschi Venice Family Room second bed and rollaway – loft

I found odd that the telephone router wasn’t hidden somewhere, but in these “old world hotels” I guess it’s common. Ditto!

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Hotel Villa Franceschi Venice Family Room bedside amenities

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Hotel Villa Franceschi Venice Family Room TV

The bathroom was not substantial, as it only had a shower/tub combo, a sink and something I still can’t identify. The colour tones weren’t my cup of tea, as they were 20’s style and not particularly clean. The toiletries weren’t that nice either.

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So overall the room, while in dire need of a renovation, was perfectly nice, and seemed to have some charm in it of an old world hotel (in a good way).

The rest of the hotel grounds were really nice. For example, the driveway was also old world, though it wasn’t at all dated. I don’t say that often. Apparently the hotel was a castle back in Venetian times, so…at least there were many gardens and statues and queens to add to the “grandeur” of the hotel.

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Hotel Villa Franceschi Venice Driveway

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Hotel Villa Franceschi Venice Driveway

Breakfast was served at the main restaurant, Margherita.

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Hotel Villa Franceschi Venice Margherita Restaurant Buffet Spread

The spread was extensive and high quality, but I couldn’t help but think that if more people were eating here, it would be really crowded. For a hotel of this size, fine, but I do kind of prefer a longer table or the buffet contents scattered everywhere instead of just in one place (like the W Taipei). Added on to that I’ve definitely seen better spreads, though this wasn’t bad.

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Hotel Villa Franceschi Venice Breakfast Spread

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Hotel Villa Franceschi Venice Breakfast Spread

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Hotel Villa Franceschi Venice Breakfast Spread

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Hotel Villa Franceschi Venice Breakfast Spread

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Hotel Villa Franceschi Venice Breakfast Spread

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Hotel Villa Franceschi Venice Breakfast Spread

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Hotel Villa Franceschi Venice Breakfast Spread

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Hotel Villa Franceschi Venice Breakfast Spread

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Hotel Villa Franceschi Venice Breakfast Spread

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Hotel Villa Franceschi Venice Breakfast Spread

Now, about the service. It was phenomenal. I think this is a small hotel, because we were greeted by name upon every occasion, and they tried to engage in small talk with us. Not to the level of Aman, but close. For example, the second day we were in the lobby when we saw a bee. The GM got his coffee mug, trapped the bee with his hand and apologized profusely.

Bottom line on Hotel Villa Franceschi

Overall this place was great. True, it was really old and dated, but at least it was comfortable, and seemed to have some Venetian charm in it (don’t ask why). I’d choose the Gritti Palace (Luxury Collection) if I weren’t out on Starpoints or cash, but this is a nice, inexpensive choice for a two day stay. The biggest “beef” I have with the hotel is probably the location, as it is charming but a little far from downtown Venice. I’d return in a heartbeat with a great value, especially if they renovated it to make it newer. I’d call this one of the few good hotels in the Venetian vicinity.

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