Hotel Danieli was originally the residence of the powerful Venetian Dandolo family and went by the name Palazzo Dandolo. The Dandolos had 4 Doges in the family, which explains the palace’s location next to the Doge Palace. Palazzo Dandolo was one of the most pompous buildings in Venice in the 1400s, and the place where the upper class met for social events. The palace was transformed into a hotel in the 1800s.
The hotel has an enviable location, with Marcus Square on one side and the Bridge of Sighs on the other. The well-known Riva degli Schiavoni promenade separates the hotel’s entrance and the lagoon, where the gently rocking gondolas are waiting to take guests out into the canals of Venice. A separate exclusive entrance is built on the side of the hotel for those who arrive by sea. Many guests take a Motoscalfi (a private water taxi) to and from the airport, which we highly recommend you take advantage of when visiting Venice.
An impressive entrance makes for quite a welcome to the hotel. It consists of a large space with comfortable seating around a huge fireplace. Once here, you will be offered a glass of prosecco, a cappuccino, or afternoon tea by classically attired waiters from Bar Dandolo – a bar which has been deservedly voted one of Italy’s best.
Service at the hotel is impeccable. Nice, informal, and most welcoming. You do not get the same one-on-one attention as you do at The Gritti Palace, for example, but, although still a grand hotel, the Danieli is in a more accessible price range than The Gritti. We found the staff of Hotel Danieli to be friendly and thoroughly helpful.
The hotel is built in a Gothic style. Much of the magnificent original interior has been retained and the place is a dream for antique lovers. At the same time, a number of upgrades have been undertaken in order to meet worldly client’s needs for comfort and luxury – evident in the hotel’s plush furnishings. These modern touches nestle alongside beautiful Venetian antiques.
Interior architect Jackues Garcia renovated the hotel’s interiors in 2008, and the entire property wonderfully reflects Venice’s rich cultural heritage. Magnificent antiques, exclusive fabrics, white marble, and classic craftsmanship recur throughout. The hotel offers 225 rooms and suites; the styles varying between Venetian Gothic and Empire. Many rooms and suites overlook the lagoon, some with balconies. The suites are spacious and furnished with beautiful seating areas. We also paid a visit to the royal suite, which is stunning, but costs a staggering €12,000 (approx £10,200) per night.
Restaurant / bar
The Terazza Danieli restaurant has an absolutely exceptional location on the roof terrace. Here you can enjoy breakfast with 360 degree views over the lagoon – an experience in itself. This is the main restaurant, and all meals can be enjoyed here accompanied by unforgettable views whenever the weather permits. It was here, on this terrace, that the noblesse stood in the olden days to observe when their ships arrived from the Far East, laden with spices, furniture, and art.
In the winter you can eat inside, whilst enjoying the view from a window table. The restaurant offers a varied menu, ranging from classic Venetian dishes to flavours of the Far East. There is also a more casual bistro with extended hours – a good option for families and those who want to combine a meal with an opera performance. We can also recommend that guests staying at the Hotel Danielli eat at sister hotel The Gritti Palace’s wonderful restaurant.
Who should stay at the hotel
This is a lavish hotel. It is perfect for those who want to stay at one of Venice’s classic palatial hotels, and those who want to surround themselves with the grand, historic surroundings such a palace provides, but at a far cheaper price than, for example, The Gritti Palace or Hotel Cipriani, which are located a few notches higher on the luxury scale. The hotel feels child-friendly with its relaxed atmosphere.
The atmospheric Bar Dandolo near the entrance and the roof terrace with its magical views are without a doubt the highlights of the hotel. This, in addition to its historical setting, mean the Hotel Danieli gives you a lot for your money.