It takes three palaces – 14th, 17th and 19th century iterations – to fully realise this superb hotel
City-break | History & culture | Short break
Given its setting on the Riva degli Schiavoni, Hotel Danieli overlooks the Venetian lagoon, just a few steps from the Bridge of Sighs and the famous sights of the Piazza San Marco. One particularly evocative way of getting to the hotel is by private water taxi, enjoying the indulgence of a luxury motor launch and the services of a hostess. Otherwise, a public water bus can bring you from the train station to the vaporetto stop opposite the hotel. There’s also the lesser-known gems outside the city centre, including bird watching on Torcello, glass blowing in Murano and lace-making in Burano.
Set in centuries-old palazzi, all rooms are luxuriously furnished. Expect dark wood floorboards or thick-pile carpets and splashes of Italian fine design in chic furnishings and draping curtains. Upgrade for such high Venetian flourishes as rich fabrics, plush seating and extravagantly coloured drape curtains. Some rooms even feature spectacular lagoon views, traded for terracotta-rooftop overlooks. As you work your way up through the categories, high ceilings start to frame hand-blown Murano glass chandeliers and French windows open up onto wrought iron balconies.
Hotel Danielie is particularly proud of its gastronomy, best exemplified by its rooftop restaurant. Here, both Venetian and Mediterranean cuisine are served up to grand views over the lagoon to the Chiese di San Giorgia Maggiore’s famous, island-bound dome. It’s all watched over by executive chef Dario Parascandolo whose knowledge of indigenous fresh ingredients follows the seasons. For lighter bites, make your way to The Egg Nicola Batavia, a bistro famed for its bite-size cicchetti appetisers that have ‘all the simplicity of an egg’ while forming truly complex flavours. It’s an innovative, fine dining concept.
Aside from the hotel’s restaurants, there are two bars to keep you entertained. Enjoy cocktails in the Gothic hall of Bar Dandolo in the 14th century main building or head back to the rooftop to drink in that view with a range of aperitifs and snacks. The former even serves up an excellent afternoon tea, complete with fresh pastries, scones, a selection of canapés and a glass of champagne. To round things off, book an in-room spa treatment or make use of the well-equipped gym.
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