One of the most famous hotels in Venice, the Danieli—built in the 14th century and run as a hotel since 1822—lives up to its reputation: visiting the wonderful, highly detailed lobby alone is worth an overnight stay. The views along the lagoon are fantastic; the rooms are gorgeous; and the food is fantastic.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Other (American) tourists also make a beeline for the Danieli, so guests may find themselves feeling like they’ve stumbled upon a Midwest outpost in Venice.
The 210 rooms are divided into two distinct styles: the more traditional Venetian ones with silk patterned wallpaper, brocade fabrics, and touches of Murano glass, while the ones in the Excelsior wing are done up in a Gothic style with rich red velvet and red carpets, many with balconies overlooking the lagoon.
The rooms in each wing are quite different in style, so if you’re not happy with yours, see if a room in another wing will suit you better.
Opulent bathrooms are all marble, with Venetian mirrors, and feature luxurious Acqua di Parma products.
A gorgeous collection of stained glass and marble, amazing flowered Murano glass chandeliers, and soaring gilded ceilings, entering the lobby is like walking into a palace (which it once was!). Even though the lobby feels (and is) historic, it’s also charming and inviting, with loads of places to sit and enjoy the décor.
Open 24 hours a day so guests can squeeze in a visit around sightseeing, the fitness center features modern Technogym equipment.
For some of the best views in town (or maybe even in Italy), the rooftop Terrazza Danieli can’t be beat. The food is delicious, too, with elegantly presented modern Venetian cuisine and truly knowledgeable servers.
If you’re a James Bond fan, don’t miss Bar Dandolo—scenes from three films (including Casino Royale) were filmed here.
Try the signature Vesper Martini—martini dry, gin, vodka, and angostura bitters, served "shaken, not stirred."
Since the Danieli is located on the Riva degli Schiavoni promenade, Palazzo Ducale is just a hop, skip, and a jump away, and Piazza San Marco is within striking distance—though this is the busiest part of the promenade, and you’ll be contending with crowds every step of the way. The San Zaccaria vaporetto (ferry bus) stop is directly across from the hotel, so if you’d rather travel by water, it’s as easy as can be.
Il Ridotto (6-minute walk) pushes the envelope of Italian cooking, while CoVino (4-minute walk) serves up tasty prix fixe, yet affordable, menus paired with excellent wines. Al Covo (3-minute walk) specializes in traditional Italian dishes, with a focus on seafood.
For some wine and snacks, don't miss friendly Aciugheta (6-minute walk). If you're in the mood for craft beer, or a good selection of vino, El Rèfolo (8-minute walk) has a great selection, though no indoor seating.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Steeped in history (Goethe, Wagner, George Sand, and other literary and musical cognoscenti of the 18th and 19th centuries were frequent guests), the Danieli has a charm that’s all its own and is one of the places to stay in Venice—for a reason (many reasons, in fact!). Though it can be crowded, a Danieli stay is always a memorable experience, from the rooms to the views to the dining, and the central location makes walking or boating around Venice a snap.