Stepping through the revolving doors of the Hotel Danieli in Venice, you can’t help but marvel at the luxury of the grand lobby. Pink marble columns are at home with the opulent staircase and the lavish lounge. Your eyes glaze over the glass top roof and the elaborate Murano glass chandeliers dripping from adorned ceilings.
You also notice the private motorboats transporting notable guests to the hotel.
This is our first visit to Venice, long before giant billboards covered palazzi or The Tourist movie with Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie was filmed. As we check in for two nights, the attention we are shown makes us feel as if we have just stepped into a palace and become royalty for the duration of during our stay.
Hotel Danieli façade
Hotel Danieli was originally Palazzo Dandolo, a 14th century palace that was the residence of the Doge Dandolo and family. Occupying a prime location overlooking the Riva degli Schiavoni, the palazzo with its characteristic pink exterior went through a series of transformations ending with a final addition by hotel architect Jacques Garcia in 2008.
Inside the grand lobby
The opulent staircase (L) – View from the top of the staircase (R)
The hotel consists of three different buildings, dating back to the 14th, 19th and 20th centuries respectively. The main building is the original 14th century palace of the doges. Adjacent to it and to the right as you face the hotel is Palazzo Casa Nuova, a 19th century palace with a Venetian Baroque style. To the left as you head towards Piazza San Marco stands the Palazzo Danieli Excelsior, or the Danielino which was built between 1946 and 1948. The palazzi are interconnected by a covered bridge over rii, or tiny canals.
The Danieli is renowned for attracting Europe’s nobility and the travel aristocracy of the time. Among historical highlights, the hotel has played host to the end of the wild affair between French writers Alfred de Musset and George Sand.
We are escorted to our lodgings, up the elaborate staircase, turning right to pass over a little rii and in the lift to the third floor, where room 269 awaits us. The door opens onto an entrance hall with two ornate coat hangers, a disguised mini bar and a storage space for our luggage.
The period style bedroom
Our bedroom is rather large and consists of two beds joined together. There’s a comfortable armchair, two chairs and a table, all in matching period style and rich fabrics. To the left, there is a walk in wardrobe with a small dressing table and chair. A mirrored chest of drawers and a television set occupy the large space.
The marble bathroom
The black and white marbled bathroom on the opposite side is very spacious with a double basin, a separate shower and bath, a bidet and toilet. Heated towel rails are covered with embroidered linen.
Separate shower in black and white marble bathroom (L)- Writing desk and chair (R)
An elegant writing table with hotel stationery completes the décor.
To this day, our stay at the Danieli remains one of the highlights of our combined travel experiences - opulent, luxurious and faultless in every way. From the young man who turns the revolving doors as you enter the hotel, to the concierge’s wealth of information, the level of attention and service we were shown has turned our stay at the Danieli into a unique experience we recall with the fondest memories.
Entrance to the Danieli
Hotel Danieli is conveniently located a few hundred meters from Piazza San Marco, next to the Bridge of Sighs with a vaporetto stop just across from the hotel.
Riva degli Schiavoni 4196
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