A WEEKEND IN VENICE - HOTEL DANIELI
Credit: Hotel Danieli
If you’ve been feeling deprived of Italian architecture, good food, and time out on the water, I’m happy to announce that you’re not alone. But rather than join you in self-pity, I’ve actually come to offer a solution. A pretty grand solution at that…
I think we're all overdue a weekend in Italy, and to every one of our 8JS Club Members who reside there, count yourselves extremely lucky! But for those of you that don't, when travel does begin to open up once again, take a trip to Venice and more specifically, The Hotel Danieli.
Here's a little context...
The hotel started life in the 14th century – originally as private residences – and is now regarded as one of the most famous hotels in the world. Comprised of three palaces; the hotel’s Palazzo Dandolo once served as home to the noble Dandolo family, four of whom served as Doge of Venice. Of these, Enrico Dandolo was most famous, following his successful conquest of Constantinople in 1204. Upon return, he brought with him huge swathes of gold, marble, and Byzantine artwork, much of which made its way into the Palazzo. However, the hotel as it is known today wasn’t born until 1822, and ever since then has been subject to many renovations and even structural changes, most notably the addition of the Palazzo Danieli Excelsior, in 1948.
Fast forward to the present day, the Danieli hasn’t lost any of its opulent charm. No great hotel is without world-class service, and the Luxury Collection Concierge team is on hand to offer guests a personalised itinerary for the duration of their stay, or to simply assist in making those impossible-to-attain restaurant reservations that little bit more accessible.
With 204 guestrooms and suites, the offering at Hotel Danieli is impressive. However, if I was given the opportunity to choose any room for a few nights, I’d be foolish not to reside in the aptly named Doge Dandolo Royal Suite, which leaves nothing to the imagination. Gilded Baroque armchairs and the 18th century Murano glass chandeliers which hang from the impressively high ceilings make the Royal Suite fit for a king (and naturally so). The bedroom is fittingly furnished with two queen beds, which lie under an impeccably restored 18th century fresco painted by Iacopo Guarana, and if you’re one to carry around a well-stocked washbag, the marble-clad bathroom will allow you to prepare for the evening in the most opulent environment imaginable.
Stepping out onto one of the several balconies, guests are greeted with a 180° panoramic view of the lagoon and the Island of San Giorgio. But to go a step further – and in this case up – the Restaurant Terrazza Danieli atop the Palazzo Danieli Excelsior offers an ever-changing menu (every three months depending on the availability of local ingredients) inspired by the voyages of Marco Polo. Serving Mediterranean dishes with an eastern influence, the restaurant (much like the Royal Suite) allows guests to gaze out upon Saint Mark’s basin as the sun sets, whilst enjoying the finest food in the city. At 8JS we’re really into our cars (obviously), but we’re equally into our food, and that’s why a rooftop Venetian dinner sounds like a pretty good way to spend an evening.
When you’re so busy exploring the elaborate interior of the Danieli, it’s easy to forget where you are. I’d definitely suggest hiring a Riva for island hopping – the Luxury Collection Concierge can help with that. Being just around the corner from Saint Mark’s Square, walking is without a doubt the easiest way of exploring the city, especially when skipping down side streets and over the countless bridges - stumbling across hidden cafés, restaurants and vintage stores is one of the many charms of Venice. Whatever sort of traveller you are, the Hotel Danieli can accommodate…