In a prime position on the lagoon-side Riva degli Schiavoni, the Danieli – part of Starwood’s Luxury Collection – has superlative views. It’s a two-minute walk from here to St Mark’s but if the crowds get too much for you, the tranquil northern and eastern reaches of the Castello district are close at hand.
Time was when the undistinguished post-war ‘Danielino’ annexe (aka Palazzo Danieli Excelsior) was shunned. But it was this annexe which received the makeover treatment from French architect Jacques Garcia before the refurbishment axe fell in 2009. What emerged is an elegant space of deep greens and reds, with a slightly Moorish feel entirely in keeping with the deliciously exotic atmosphere that has reigned in this hotel’s splendid main reception area since the Belle Epoque. The lagoon-facing suites with balconies are splendid. Plans to carry on through the establishment, cutting the number of rooms in favour of larger, plusher accommodation, will not be resumed in 2010 the hotel tells me, and there’s no firm date set for next year either. It pays, therefore, to specify where where you want to be when booking.
Though the original 14th-century palazzo Dandolo has yet to be refurbished, its superb lobby is still a sight to behold. More opera set than reception room, its lashings of marble and soaring columns never fail to amaze me.
Eating and drinking
The revamped roof-top Terrazza restaurant, with its superlative views, is run by chef Gian Nicola Colucci, formerly of London’s Four Seasons.
Though the Danieli has nothing in the way of gym etc facilities of its own, guests can use the Starwood launch to get across to the Lido where there are golf clubs, swimming pools and of course the beach. In-room spa treatments can be arranged.
Who stays there
Given the right room, honeymooning couples love this lagoon-side classic. So do more mature travellers who like their Venice stylishly traditional. And of course there are the Starwood regulars, using up their Starpoints.
If you want this kind of classic luxe accommodation, avoid the disappointment of finding yourself in a somewhat shabby room by securing quarters in the refurbished sector: it may be more expensive, but the experience will be well worth it.
- Business Centre
- High-Speed Internet
- Pets Allowed
- Room Service
- Culture vultures
- Mature travellers
- Seasoned travellers
- Celebrity spotting
- Great views / scenery
- Special occasions
Pros & Cons
- This hotel remains a Venetian classic and its views are hard to beat
- Some of the rooms in the older part of the hotel are decidedly dowdy; and some travellers may object to the flocks of tourists pushing their way past the Danieli’s front door on the Riva degli Schiavoni