Hotel Danieli, Castello, Venice
Riva degli Schiavoni
Tel: 39 041 522 6480
Concierge.com's insider take:
Rubbing shoulders with the Doge's Palace and the Bridge of Sighs, the Danieli has been a hotel since the early 19th century. Back then, it was the choice of Grand Tourists like Charles Dickens and Richard Wagner. Now part of Starwood's Luxury Collection, the 225-room hotel spreads from its original 14th-century palazzo to incorporate two 20th-century buildings. Formerly slightly dowdy, this modern "Danielino" wing has been the first part of the hotel to benefit from a major restoration project, under the creative direction of Hôtel Costes designer Jacques Garcia. Deep reds and earthy greens lend an almost Asian touch, but the repeated arch motifs are decidedly Venetian. The number of rooms has been reduced to provide more suites—ten new ones have lagoon-facing terraces—and the top-floor restaurant has been remodeled, with Gian Nicola Colucci, formerly of London's Four Seasons, brought in to preside over the kitchen. Throughout the hotel, rooms are outfitted with Fortuny and Rubelli fabrics, and while antiques adorn the magnificent Venetian Gothic reception hall, the ambience is more Hollywood mansion than aristocratic palazzo. The view from the roof terrace across the Bacino di San Marco to the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute is stunning.