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Hotel Danieli: Stunning, Striking Five Star Hotel By Myrna Katz Frommer and Harvey Frommer Walking down the Riva Degli Schiavoni from Piazza San Marco, we recognize it immediately: the pink stucco facade with marble sills standing flat against the promenade, looking out to the beautiful blue lagoon. We enter the building through a wooden revolving door. Before us is the lobby: marble floors and columns, a four-storied courtyard marked by arches in the Byzantine Gothic style embracing staircases with balustrades that lead to hotel rooms and suites. It is a vision that takes our breath away. At ground level: intimate settings, chairs upholstered in an array of rich fabrics, oriental carpets across the floor, the famous Gambero’s “Bar d’Italias stretching across the far wall. We turn to the front desk for advice. Informed concierges stand at the ready, rows of keys behind them. They are warm, enthusiastic, eager to help us map out a plan for a day’s outing. We check into the hotel, take the elevator to Number 115. A short hallway, a bathroom on one side, a dressing room on the other. Directly before us, a square, spacious and beautifully furnished living room open on one side to an equally-sized square, spacious and beautifully furnished bedroom. We look around, take in the scene. A small balcony looking down on the canal. A lovely lavender and white color scheme on the walls. A magnificent Murano chandelier hanging from the ceiling. We sit down, open the bottle of Rose our hosts have supplied us with, and there, straight ahead, is the image of the magnificent Murano chandelier repeated in the full-length mirror of the bedroom wall. Such is our introduction to the Danieli, Venice’s striking, stunning five-star palatial hotel. One of our favorite places in this “grand hotel” becomes the Terrazza Danieli, the expansive dining room on the top floor where we take advantage of the fine food offered throughout the day and into the night and the splendid views from the terrace that looks out over the lagoon and the beautiful Santa Maria della Salute, the church we had long admired from ground level. Dining at the Restaurant Terrazzo Danieli is a true Venetian experience in the shape of a culinary journey which evokes the oriental influences of spice traders and blends them with indigenous ingredients that are enjoyed alongside mesmerizing views of the Grand Canal and Adriatic Sea. Now, back home in New Hampshire this wintery afternoon, we look out at our snow covered environs and remember Venice as it was during the autumn afternoons of our stay. We are reminded of the gifted and genial pianist Annibale Brena who brought his magic into the dining room where, unfailingly, guests would gather around the grand piano as he played the songs we all love, fulfilling their every request while, at the same time, including his own favorites which swiftly became our own. Such are among the memories we have of Venice along with the history of an enchanted place that we now consider part of the past we call our own. There are grand hotels and there are grand hotels and we have experienced quite of few of them but the Danieli in Venice ranks at the very, very top. One of the things that truly separates it from the rest is the staff – from the porters, the bellmen, the housekeepers, the workers in the dining room, the guys behind the front desk this is a team trained, honed into A plus hospitality. And that is one of the major reasons, we as professors, give the Danieli an A plus. =============================================================== Hotel Danieli, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Venice http://www.danielihotelvenice.com/ Castello 4196, Venice, 30122, Italy • Phone: +39 041 5226480
Myrna Katz Frommer and Harvey Frommer are a wife and husband team who successfully bridge the worlds of popular culture and traditional scholarship. Co-authors of the critically acclaimed interactive oral histories It Happened in the Catskills, It Happened in Brooklyn, Growing Up Jewish in America, It Happened on Broadway, It Happened in Manhattan, It Happened in Miami. They teach what they practice as professors at Dartmouth College.
They are also travel writers who specialize in luxury properties and fine dining as well as cultural history and Jewish history and heritage in the United States, Europe, and the Caribbean.