Valentine's special: Sleepover: A bed for the night in Venice - Hotel Danieli

The location

The Danieli is in the sestiere of San Marco, next to the Doge's Palace and on the banks of the lagoon. With St Mark's Square just around the corner. It has a private waterside entrance on the Rio del Vin canal so you can arrive in style. Rooms are divided between a late 14th-century former palazzo, the adjoining "Casa Nuova", built in the early 20th century, and a post-war addition. Behind the coral pink exterior lies a theatrical atrium and decadent lounge with Murano chandeliers.

The USP

It's the next best thing to staying at the Doge's Palace, one of the city's most celebrated and impressive structures. The oldest portion of the hotel was home to four generations of Dandolo Doges - their most famous forbear being Enrico, the conqueror of Constantinople. So the Danieli exudes grandeur, with a dramatic tiered gothic atrium, marble flooring, portraits of the Dandolos, gold-leaf antique furniture and marble columns. In 1822, Giuseppe Dal Niel bought a floor of the palazzo and rented rooms to guests. That proved so lucrative he was able to buy the entire building and convert it into a hotel. Danieli was his nickname.

The comfort factor

The most romantic rooms are in the original Dandolo Palace with a lagoon or canal view. Much of the furniture is antique, which means no two rooms are the same. In the "Casa Nuovo" rooms are suitably grand but more standardised, with matching Rubelli silk wallpaper, carpets and bedspreads. Beds are as comfortable as you would expect antique beds to be, but benefit from soft pillows.

The bathroom

The bathrooms were all updated when the Danieli came under the Starwood banner in the 1990s and were fitted out with marble and modern amenities. Although on the small side, they are functional with bidets, rosewood oil bath and body products and oversized cotton robes and slippers.

The food and drink

The Terazza Danieli, unlike many hotel eateries, is revered as a restaurant in its own right. The L-shaped room sits above the 1940s "Danielino" building with breathtaking views across the lagoon and the Doge's Palace. It is popular in the summer when the terrace is open to diners. It serves standard hotel fare for breakfast with an impressive selection of well- executed and unfussy northern Italian dishes at lunch and dinner.

The people

Guests are a mix of European tourists and rich Italians with the odd dignitary or celebrity (think Sophia Loren and Martin Scorsese). Don't expect overly formal treatment but staff are friendly and helpful.

The area

You're in the heart of Venice. St Mark's basilica, the Rialto Bridge and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection are all within walking distance. In the summer, guests are provided with a free boat service to Venice Lido where they can use the private swimming pool, golf course and tennis courts at the Westin Excelsior and Hotel Des Bains.

The access

Owing to the age of the building, access for the disabled is limited, although some rooms have wider doors and lift access. Children and small pets are welcome but families do not get a discount.

The damage

Doubles start at Û396 (pounds 274), including breakfast. Rooms with a lagoon view start at Û590 (pounds 410).

The address

Hotel Danieli (00 39 041 296 1222; www.luxury collection.com/danieli), Riva degli Schiavoni, Venice, Italy.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

Reach Volunteering: Would you like to volunteer your expertise as Chair of Governors for Livability?

Voluntary and unpaid, reasonable expenses are reimbursable: Reach Volunteering...

Ashdown Group: Payroll Administrator - Buckinghamshire - £25,000

£20000 - £25000 per annum + substantial benefits: Ashdown Group: Finance Admin...

Ashdown Group: Linux Systems Administrator - Windows, Linux - Central London

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Linux Systems Administrat...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine