Hotel Danieli in Venice Photo Tour and Review

Of all the hotels in Venice, maybe the world, I always wanted to stay at the iconic Hotel Danieli. Seriously…I don’t know why. 

Careful planning (and saving!) allowed me to have two nights in Venice before I had to leave by train to Basel, Switzerland. I wanted my visit to Venice, once a city of extravagant and intriguing carnivals, resplendent opera houses and ornate Italian Renaissance palazzi (palaces), to be embraced in a manner that befit the city’s enigmatic glory. The famous Hotel Danieli fit the bill.

If you’ve ever dreamed about staying at the Danieli Hotel in Venice, or just curious, read on for my comprehensive review and photos of Hotel Danieli, a centuries-old Venice landmark.

Hotel Danieli in Venice seen from the Grand Lagoon.
Hotel Danieli, the original palazzo, is in the middle.

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 the expansive, murky lagoon.

At night, pervasive stillness is interrupted only by hushed voices and the sound of water lapping against centuries-old stone walls.

Venice alley at night with clothes on the line.
Sunset on a deserted Venice street.

Hotel Danieli Review and Photos

A Little Background Info

Hotel Danieli has grown from one palace, built in the 14th century, to three adjoining palaces all connected by bridges. The original structure, Palazzo Dandolo, was owned by the aristocratic Venetian Dondolo family.

In the 19th century, the second palazzo, Casa Nuova, was adjoined to the main building. A third connecting building, Palazzo Danieli Excelsior, is now part of the complex of 215 richly furnished rooms. It is the longest continuously operating hotel in Venice.

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 Grand Canal, I couldn’t wait to check-in at Hotel Danieli.

Getting to Hotel Danieli from Santa Lucia Train Station

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

View of Venice from Santa Lucia station.
View when you exit Santa Lucia station.

I reserved a hostess-assisted transfer and private water taxi from Santa Lucia train station to the hotel. As I exited my train car, I spotted a woman with a lollypop sign with my name. She helped with my luggage and escorted me to the correct private water taxi.

Within seconds of boarding my water taxi, we sped away towards the Danieli.

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It’s busy on the canals and my boat driver slowed down to maneuver between bobbing gondolas and other motorboats. Though expensive, about $120 USD, the 25 minute boat ride also provided a tour through several canals, helping me to get my bearings. 

Hotel Danieli seen from the Canal

Hotel Danieli Venice canal entrance.
 Hotel Danieli canal entrance, exclusive to private motorboats and water taxis.

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.

Grand Lobby Was Beyond My Comprehension

The railings above the reception area reminded me of an M.C. Escher drawing, only far more glamorous. The scent of fresh-cut flowers filled the air.

Hotel Danieli Venice Lobby

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


Cappuccino at the hotel.

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

My room was in the Palazzo Casa Nuova building. I expected to see a tiny single room. This one exceeded expectations.

As a solo traveler in Europe, I’m used to single rooms that are usually the size of a broom closet, with just a twin bed. Not this time!

Hotel Danieli Venice solo bedroom

Bathroom at Hotel Danieli.

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

Gondola passing beneath my hotel window.

Familiar Italian songs from the passing gondoliers drew me to the window. At night, I could hear the soothing sound of water flowing past my window. 

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

Restaurant Terrazzo Danieli

Cruise ship in Venetian Lagoon.
Princess ship cruises through the Venetian Lagoon en route to the Adriatic Sea.

You won’t see large cruise ships in the Venetian Lagoon. The city has banned them for the environmental and structural damage they cause to the city.

And finally, lunch…

Spaghetti for lunch! A trifecta! Cuisine. Service. View. All excellent. A look to the right from the restaurant and there’s the Santa Maria della Salute Basilica.

A look to the right at the Santa Maria della Salute Basilica. The location of Hotel Danieli is a stone’s throw from Piazza San Marco, a variety of artisan shops, outdoor cafes, gondolas and water taxis.

Venice at sunset.

Venice gondolas on a canal.

Hotel Danieli Escorted Tour 

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

This is a single guest room in the Palazzo Dandolo, the oldest building. Do you think this is nicer than my room? It definitely has more daylight.

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.
The Luxury Lagoon View Double Room with Balcony.
Luxury Lagoon View Double Room with Balcony.

Doge Dandolo Royal Suite

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

Doge Dandolo Royal Suite The suite features antique furnishings, original frescoes, rich fabrics, and gleaming Murano chandeliers.

Doge Dandolo Royal Suite

The Doge Dandolo Royal Suite living room. The bedroom entrance is at the far end of the photo.

Doge Dandolo Royal Suite Bathroom

Just like at home, right? 

Back to the Lobby for one more look…

Hotel Danieli Lobby

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.

Time to Catch My Train to Milan and Onto Basel, Switzerland

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.

Hotel Danieli room key

While I enjoyed the extensive breakfast buffet and à la 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. 

Outdoor cafe in Venice.

Insider Tip:  If you go to any cafés for a meal, ask if there’s a local menu. The tourist menu is usually higher priced. 

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, only a tour. All opinions are my own.

Note:  After a month-long closure, on Feb 14, 2023 Hotel Danieli re-opens under new management, with its new name Hotel Danieli Venezia. In 2025, the transition from a Marriott property to a Four Seasons hotel will be complete. 

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