Worldwide, hotels whose history blends with that of the metropolis that hosts them can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Since 1822, the year in which it was founded by Giuseppe Dal Niel, the Danieli has been the protagonist of the cultural life of Venice, although its legend began over 500 years earlier when Palazzo Dandolo was built by the family of the same name.
One of the most famous hotels in the world, celebrating the bicentenary on 2022, its myth begins in the fourteenth century, when Enrico Dandolo conquers Constantinople in 1204 and returns to Venice with a loot of gold, marble and Byzantine artifacts, some of which were incorporated into the interiors of Palazzo Dandolo, awakening great clamor.
Since then, thanks to its magnificence, the Hotel was famous for hosting kings, queens and heads of state of the then known world, a tradition that continued over the years with the many “royal” guests who became at home at Danieli as King William of Prussia, Winston Churchill, Giovanni Agnelli, Giorgio Armani, Federico Fellini, Sofia Loren, Coco Chanel and many more.
Today are three the palaces, finely furnished with works of art and precious antiques, which house the 204 rooms and suites of the Hotel Danieli and which date back to the fourteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries respectively: Palazzo Dandolo, Palazzo Casa Nuova, former headquarters of the municipal treasury, and Palazzo Danieli Excelsior which, since 1950, has also hosted the Ristorante Terrazza Danieli. With a 180° panoramic view of the San Marco Basin that embraces the Doge’s Palace on one side, the Biennale Gardens on the other and the island of San Giorgio in front, it is certainly one of the most romantic restaurants in the world.
Often referred to by various guides as one of the best bars in Italy, among the marble columns of the majestic ground floor of the Danieli Hotel there is also the famous Bar Dandolo which offers live piano music in the evening and excellent cocktails.
The suites of the Hotel are legendary, including the Doge Dandolo Royal Suite, theater of the most famous love affairs of both real life and the cinema’s history such as the one between Gabriele D’Annunzio and Eleonora Duse and the one between Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp in The Tourist (in reality the scene was filmed in another location, set up just as if the Doge Dangolo Royal Suite).
With furnishings worthy of a museum, the suite is a compendium of all the charm of the hotel with its damask armchairs with gold ornaments, eighteenth-century Murano glass chandeliers, the decorative fireplace with the Dandolo’s coat-of-arms combined with ancient paintings of members of the royal family hanging on both sides, the original 18th-century fresco of “cherubs” by Iacopo Guarana, marble bathrooms and the gold taps.
Instead, they are inspired by the love stories of three great stars who loved Danieli very much, such as Maria Callas, Greta Garbo and Grace Kelly, each in the colors dear to the divas, three other beautiful suites, each enriched with Simmons dream mattresses, upholstery Rubelli, fine linen sheets and all sorts of comforts.
Breakfast, by the executive chef Alberto Fol‘s brigade, is served on the terrace of the Hotel and it is simply splendid to start the day with the view of the Island of San Giorgio, letting your gaze wander among the seagulls flying in the sky and the gondolas lulling on the St. Mark’s Basin.
All the history of Venice in one night!
Among the luxury hotels, it is known the custom of giving children (even if nowadays are the grown-up collectors competing for them) a teddy bear, usually with the hotel’s uniform or logo. A custom apparently born at the beginning of the twentieth century in the US when Morris and Rose Mitchtom created a bear inspired by then President Theodore Roosevelt who in 1902 spared a bear during a hunting trip. From the bell boy of the Ritz in Paris to the colonial bear of the Eastern & Oriental Hotel in Penang, each of them embodies the philosophy and vision of the hotel they belong to. Faithful to its uniqueness, Hotel Danieli boasts, in fact, a wonderful little lion dressed up as a gondolier.
Riva degli Schiavoni, Castello 4196
Tel. +39 041 5226480
Rooms from 490 euro.