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
News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
football
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
News
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
Voices
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Sport
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
sport
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
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

Early Years Teachers Required

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Early Years Teachers ...

Geography Teacher

£85 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: We require a teacher of Geogr...

Qualified Early Years Teachers Required

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Qualifed Early Years ...

Do you want to work in Education?

Negotiable: Randstad Education Cheshire: Are you a dynamic and energetic gradu...

Day In a Page

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little