Hotel Danieli in Venice, Grand Tour and Review

Hotel Danieli in Venice, perfect location on the Grand Canal and Piazza San Marco.

Reception desk with keys Danieli
Reception Desk perpetuates Old World charm.

Venice is mysterious yet inviting, an oddity among cities. There are no streets, no cars and no honking taxis.  Only sidewalks, pedestrian bridges and miles of pencil-thin canals that flow into expansive, murky lagoons.  At night, pervasive stillness is interrupted only by hushed voices and the sound of water lapping against centuries-old stone walls.

Careful planning would allow me to have two nights in Venice before my cruise. At the top of my list was to find a hotel near Piazza San Marco, on the water and historically opulent.  I was determined that my stay in Venice, once a city of extravagant of carnivals, resplendent opera houses and ornate Italian Renaissance palazzi (palaces), should be embraced in a manner that befits its glory.  The famous Hotel Danieli fit the bill.

The Hotel Danieli has grown from one palace, built in the 14th century, to now three adjoining palaces. The original Palazzo Dandolo was owned by the aristocratic Venetian Dondolo family.  In the early 1900s, the second centuries-old palazzo was adjoined to the main building. A third connecting building, Palazzo Danieli Excelsior, is now part of the complex of 215 richly furnished rooms.  All three buildings are elegantly styled to reflect Venetian, Baroque or Italian Empire beauty.  Oozing with history and art, plus a prime location on the Venice Lagoon, the Hotel Danieli was my first choice for a short stay on Venice Island.

My arrival into Venice began when I emerged from the Santa Lucia train station after my overnight train ride from Paris.

View from Venice train station
My first glimpse of Venice.

I reserved a hostess-assisted transfer and private water taxi from Santa Lucia train station to the hotel. Within seconds of boarding my water taxi, we were underway to the Danieli.

Approaching the Danieli, we first have to scoot under the bridge.
Approaching the Danieli, we first have to scoot under the bridge.

It’s busy out here and my boat driver slows down to maneuver between the bobbing gondolas and other motorboats.

Once past the bridge, the canal entrance is spectacular.

The water entrance, exclusive to private motorboats.

Feel like royalty when your gondola or private water taxi docks at the canal entrance.

As soon as we pulled up to the red carpet, the doorman appeared, hoisted my luggage (of which I had too much) and escorted me into the hotel.

Hotel Danieli reception area.

The railings above the reception area reminded me of an MC Escher drawing, only more glamorous.

My room wasn't ready so it was a perfect time to visit the Lobby Bar.

While waiting for my room to be ready, a visit to the Lobby Bar was in order.

My first cappuccino in Italy!
My first cappuccino in Italy!

Early morning arrivals (9:30a.m.), could mean that your room might not be ready.  Within an hour, I was escorted to my room.

My large single room on the 2nd floor.

My room, in the Palazzo Casa Nuova building. I was expecting a tiny single room. This one exceeded expectations

Single room bathroom at Danieli

Even the view from my window was better than expected.  So far, the Danieli was batting 100.

View from room at Danieli
Windows that open are commonplace at “old” hotels throughout Europe.

Familiar Italian songs from the passing gondoliers drew me to the window.

Unpacked and refreshed, it was time for my first lunch in Italy, at the rooftop Restaurant Terrazza Danieli.

Rooftop restaurant at the Danieli

Panoramic view of the promenade and canal from the Restaurant Terrazza Danieli.

View from Danieli rooftop
Watch the ships sail past while dining at the Restaurant Terrazzo Danieli.

And lunch…

Restaurant Terrazza Danieli
If I didn’t order pasta with clams, then what? Um, let me count the choices…

A trifecta! Cuisine. Service. View. All excellent.

A look to the right and you'll see Santa Maria della Salute Basilica.
A look to the right and you’ll see Santa Maria della Salute Basilica.

The location of the Hotel Danieli is a stone’s throw from Piazza San Marco, a variety of artisan shops, outdoor cafes, gondolas and water taxis.

On with our Hotel Danieli tour. As I mentioned earlier, the Hotel Danieli consists of three buildings: 14th Century Palazzo Dandolo, Palazzo Casa Nuova and Palazzo Danieli Excelsior.

Single guest room is located in the Palazzo Dandolo:

The single person room is bright and spacious; unusual for a European hotel.
Bright and spacious; unusual for a single hotel room anywhere in Europe. 

Six levels of double rooms range from the Deluxe Double to the Luxury Lagoon View Double with Balcony.

A typical double room, occupancy for two.
Deluxe double room.  Photo: Hotel Danieli.
The Luxury Lagoon View Double Room with Balcony.
Luxury Lagoon View Double Room with Balcony.  Photo: Hotel Danieli.

Suites. There are plenty. Six levels of beyond-luxury accommodations. But the most opulent of all is the Doge Dandolo Royal Suite.

The Doge Dandolo Royal Suite, accommodates two very lucky guests.

The suite features antique furnishings, original frescoes, rich fabrics, and gleaming Murano chandeliers.

Doge Dandolo Royal Suite Living Room
Doge Dandolo Royal Suite Living Room. The bedroom entrance is in the distance.
Hotel Danieli Doge Dandolo Royal Suite
Another view…
Doge Dandolo Suite bathroom at Hotel Danieli
Doge Dandolo Suite bathroom. Just like home.

Back to the Lobby for one more look…

The Lobby at the Hotel Danieli
The Lobby, viewed from the Bar.
Intricately carved fireplace mantle. From the main entrance turn left into the Tea Salon.
Intricately carved fireplace mantle. From the main entrance turn left into the Tea Salon.
Reception desk with keys Danieli
The Concierge Desk perpetuates Old World charm.
In the Grand Hall at the Hotel Danieli.
My hosts for the tour, from left to right: Eva Reidt, Starwood Mktg Executive; Filippo Bollani, Head Concierge and Moira Segato, Front Desk Manager. 

My two nights at the Hotel Danieli passed by in a blink. Despite being one of the most preeminent hotels in the world, the staff was warm and welcoming. I would highly recommend this hotel for anyone who wants to spend a few nights in the lap of luxury, whether in a “simple” Deluxe Double room or one of the over-the-top magnificent suites. Budget-conscience travelers should consider an off-season visit, November through March, for the best rates.

While I enjoyed the extensive breakfast buffet and ala carte lunch at the Restaurant Terrazzo, it was nice to try a few of the less expensive outdoor cafes and restaurants throughout Venice. To me, venturing out to try local cuisine is part of the travel experience.

Desk at Hotel Danieli
Why not?

Disclosure: While the staff at the hotel knew I was a journalist, I made my reservation online and paid my own way to stay here. There were no “freebies” during my stay at the Hotel Danieli.  All opinions are my own.

For reservations and more information:
Visit Hotel Danieli online.
Riva degli Schiavoni 4196,  30122 Venice, Italy.
Phone: +39 041 5226480 – In USA 1-800-325-3589

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