Hotel Danieli in Venice, perfect location on the Grand Canal and Piazza San Marco.
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.
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.
It’s busy out here and my boat driver slows down to maneuver between the bobbing gondolas and other motorboats.
The water entrance, exclusive to private motorboats.
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.
The railings above the reception area reminded me of an MC Escher drawing, only more glamorous.
While waiting for my room to be ready, a visit to the Lobby Bar was in order.
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 room, in the Palazzo Casa Nuova building. I was expecting a tiny single room. This one exceeded expectations.
Even the view from my window was better than expected. So far, the Danieli was batting 100.
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.
Panoramic view of the promenade and canal from the Restaurant Terrazza Danieli.
A trifecta! Cuisine. Service. View. All excellent.
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:
Six levels of double rooms range from the Deluxe Double to the Luxury Lagoon View Double with Balcony.
Suites. There are plenty. Six levels of beyond-luxury accommodations. But the most opulent of all is the Doge Dandolo Royal Suite.
The suite features antique furnishings, original frescoes, rich fabrics, and gleaming Murano chandeliers.
Back to the Lobby for one more look…
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.
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
I’m the editor and creator of CruiseMaven.com, a solo traveler cruising the world on waves and wheels, collecting recipes along the way. I hope my articles and photos entertain, advise and inspire you to travel the world without flying. Take a breath…stop for a local meal and a glass of wine along the way.