Out of all of the hotels in Venice, our stay at the Hotel Danieli was the most epic of hotel stays.
I’ve been to Venice eleven times since 2004. I stayed on the mainland when I was a broke college student. I’ve stayed at the Hilton twice; once with my mom and later with my husband on our second trip to Venice. We stayed at the JW Marriott on Isole della Rose on our honeymoon in Venice. And, we’ve had countless stays at Palazzo Veneziano for our anniversary, during Christmas in Venice, and any other time we’ve found ourselves in Venice during a busy season. In late 2021 and 2022, we stayed at the Hyatt Centric on Murano island twice. While all of those stays have been good (great, even), nothing comes close to the guest rooms at the historic Hotel Danieli.
Looking back, given the romantic ambiance of the rooms, I wish we had stayed at the Hotel Danieli on our honeymoon in Venice. Then again, the theme of our Italy 2017 trip was all the rooms with all the views, so maybe there is a reason why we waited to book this incredible hotel.
At any rate, if you’re looking for the best hotel in Venice, I dare say that this is it.
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Why Stay at the Hotel Danieli?
When you arrive at the Danieli, you are stepping into Venetian history – and I am here for it!
The Hotel Danieli is part of The Luxury Collection in the Marriott Bonvoy portfolio. I’ve stayed at a few Luxury Collection hotels, and what I like about them is that they are distinctive properties. The rooms encapsulate the personality of a place using traditional design and furnishings. I find them to be historical, beautiful, and often times, extremely romantic. The Danieli is no exception.
If hotel room design doesn’t get you going, the Danieli offers the rooftop Restaurant Terrazza Danieli. With sweeping views of the Grand Canal and lagoon, it might be the most epic dining view in all of Venice. (My husband is still disappointed that I skipped breakfast with him. I am, too, to be quite honest.) As Marriott Titanium members, we received free breakfast for the duration of our stay. I’m not sure why I never made it up there. The excuse is clearly not a good one. Bonus: If you visit from April to October, you can enjoy a drink with a view at the Bar Terrazza Danieli.
The Bar Dandolo was being renovated during our stay, but who can say no to a cocktail in a bar that is built into a 14th Century Palace? Given it’s proximity to your room, it’s a great place for a nightcap.
San Marco and the Hotel Danieli
We chose the Hotel Danieli because we wanted to be able to get out early and stay out late. The Danieli certainly delivers in that aspect. This property is as close to the Doges Palace as you can stay without being IN the Doges Palace. It’s quite remarkable, if you think about it.
On our previous trips to Venice, we booked night walking tours of Venice, but we never quite made it because the tour didn’t start until 9:45pm and we were always concerned about being able to make it back to our hotel. Staying at the Danieli made this so much easier. We were able to go to dinner, head back to the hotel to relax, and then walk down to San Marco a mere minutes before our tour.
In the morning, we were able to see the Bridge of Sighs without jockeying for a spot on the bridge. One evening, we were able to take a late night gondola ride through the canals. (I highly recommend doing that! It was magical!) And even still, another evening, we were able to stay in San Marco and listen to the dueling orchestras until our hearts were content.
Staying on the island and in Venice proper afforded us a lot of magical moments that we had not been able to take advantage of by staying further out. The Hotel Danieli was everything I hoped it would be and more.
Getting to the Hotel Danieli
Okay, assuming I’ve convinced you, let’s talk logistics.
We arrived in Venice via train around 2:00 in the afternoon. Regardless of the time you arrive, there are a few options for transportation. The quickest (and most expensive) option is to take a private water taxi. (For what it’s worth, we’ve always booked these in advance directly through our hotel.) The second (and longer) option is to take a vaporetto.
PRO TIP TO SAVE MONEY IN VENICE: Buy a vaporetto pass for the duration of your stay to keep the cost down. You want wait it later on. It’s 7.50 euro / person for individual rides.
From the vaporetto stop, it is a short walk to the Danieli. The official address is Riva degli Schiavoni, Castello 4196, but you won’t find a street sign anywhere. You’ll just start walking towards San Marco and watch for the red-orange facade. (Google Maps also helps, but I prefer to look up when I’m walking.)
The porters and bellmen will be happy to help you with your luggage and you can proceed directly to the check-in desk.
Room 376 – Luxury Lagoon View Room
After check in, we were escorted upstairs and walked over to the Excelsior building. (I couldn’t even tell where the old building stopped and where the new building started. Both buildings are decorated in similar dramatic styles with luxurious fabrics and rich colors.) From there, we took an elevator to the third floor. Though I had booked a premium deluxe room, we had been upgraded to a luxury lagoon view room.
The plush, red silk curtains were the first thing I noticed when I walked into the room. When you contrast the red with the green hues and the rich dark hues of the room, it felt as if I was stepping back in time. Between the hardwood floors, the mirrors, and the Murano glass accents, every detail of the room was romantic and luxurious. The whole room projected an element of mystery; I could imagine getting ready for Carnevale in this room – mask and all.
Despite all of my hotel stays in Venice, I find the bed at the Hotel Danieli to be the most comfortable bed in all of Venice. (Come to think of it, that’s probably why I wouldn’t join Tom for breakfast. The bed monster always wins.) Another benefits of the Danieli is that the air conditioning was on for the season in early April. When we stayed at the Hilton at the same time the previous year, the AC wasn’t on. They sent a fan up, but it was difficult to get the room cool enough for sleeping.
The marble bath reminded me of the bathrooms at the St. Regis Florence. Instead of the dual sinks, however, our room offered a single sink. Our combination tub and shower offered a soaking sub, a rainhead shower, and the standard European half-wall to keep the water contained. The Laura Tonatto toiletries were a nice change and a brand I had not used. Tom really liked the soap. Water pressure was fantastic and we had no issues with hot water.
When I stepped out onto our terrace, I never wanted to leave.
In addition to the the primary wall, our terrace also offered a table and chairs and a retractable shade. We enjoyed it so much that we had a grocery store picnic out here one evening. Most nights, we would pick up wine and end our evenings on the terrace. The view is really incredible. I’ve never had a room with a terrace in Venice!
One of my travel goals is to book the Hotel Danieli for New Year’s Eve or Festa del Redentore and enjoy the fireworks from our terrace. The hotel all but livestreams it from their instagram, and it just looks magical to witness!
Final Thoughts about the Hotel Danieli
If you’re looking for a luxury room (or suite) in Venice, the Hotel Danieli delivers on all counts. To date, we haven’t stayed in a better location nor a more luxurious room. I find most Venice hotels to be overpriced for what they offer, but I don’t put the Danieli in that category. You can use Marriott points for it, and I would put this room (and the categories above it) in the aspirational stay category.
I found the service to be pretty good and consistent. Luggage was delivered promptly. Dry cleaning was returned on time and not too terribly expensive, but they would prefer you leave it in your room (as opposed to dropping it off downstairs). Housekeeping and turndown service were unobtrusive. We did have them service the room while we enjoyed the terrace one evening. The truffles they leave in the evening are delicious. It wasn’t personalized to the extend that our stay at the St. Regis Florence, but what property is??
If (when?) we return, I would love to experience the Princess signature suite (or even the Diva signature suite). The draped materials and soft colors look absolutely gorgeous. The Royal Suite looks a little too ostentatious for my taste, but the Grand Palazzo Dandolo one bedroom suite looks like my kind of style. (Check out Elise’s photos of the Dandolo suite!)
Let’s be honest though, as long as I have a room with a lagoon view, I’m going to be happy. All of the Hotel Danieli rooms are beautiful.
Anything else is a bonus.