It has been one of the most anticipated hotel openings of the past twelve months and finally the rather opulent doors to Palazzo Versace Dubai are now open.
For seasoned travellers looking to visit Dubai as well as well-healed residents planning a unique weekend escape, this new palatial property has instantly become one of Dubai’s most sought after luxury destinations.
Not least because of its heritage for the Versace brand name is recognizable worldwide as the very pinnacle of international luxury, a name that exudes extravagance as much as it does fashion, with recognizable motifs that many around the globe use as the ultimate status symbol.
Palazzo Versace Dubai located right on Dubai Creek has been built reminiscent of a 16th century Italian Palace. Naturally. Walking into the hotel is like stepping back in time although awash with beautiful well-crafted Italian furnishings and oversized floral centerpieces and the odd hint of Arabian architecture. In short, it’s really quite breath-taking.
Having stayed in many ‘fashion’ hotels around the world over the years, it’s proven hard to find a hotel that is truly reflective of its brand, until now perhaps. Palazzo Versace Dubai is entirely symbolic of the Versace lifestyle, it is everything I’ve been dreaming it would be from the moment I first heard they had broken ground.
It’s hard to imagine a better setting for this grand hotel, for the historic creek provides the perfect backdrop and it’s close proximity to the hustle and bustle of Downtown Dubai and it’s convenience to Dubai International Airport, makes me certain this will be a mecca for travellers not only from the GCC but far, far beyond.
Walking through the hotel’s lobby is like walking through a gallery exhibit of the life of Gianni Versace. The striking ‘Pietra di Fiume’ design and iconic Medusa and Greek décor reigns proud, creating quite the individual hotel lobby. I always say if you’ve seen one 5-star hotel’s public spaces, you’ve seen them all. I was wrong. Exclusive designs and soft furnishings adorn the elegantly placed seating, the reception area is hidden away so not to distract from the beauty of the central space and in the background you get a glimpse of the sparkling lagoon swimming pools blending seamlessly into the creek itself.
The hotel has 215 rooms and suites in total which range from Deluxe Rooms to the impossibly lavish Imperial Suites and each space is beautifully designed. Every single piece of furniture and fabric that adorns these 150 rooms, 60 suites and 169 private residences, is designed and tailor-made by the House of Versace exclusively for this very hotel . This is a property where every cushion, throw, even water-glass is a true work of art and staying here is a true privilege to anyone with deep enough pockets to do so. Each room is decorated in a palette of uplifting soft colours, quite different from the gaudy look I was almost expecting. Yes there is gold but not as much as you’d imagine, in fact, the Palazzo Versace is, dare I say it, really quite understated. In the Versace way of course.
Staying in rooms of soft shades such as turquoise, blue, beige, gold and salmon has a calming influence on the soul, making them a pleasure to be in. Plenty of natural light pours through the double doors and illuminates each room and suite, before you step out onto the balcony or private terrace and bask in the glorious views of where old Dubai meets new Dubai. You could say Palazzo Versace Dubai is the melting pot of tradition and modernity.
Staying in a Deluxe View Room, guests can opt for a Dubai Culture Village view or slightly larger rooms overlooking the Dubai Creek. Featuring Timber parquet flooring throughout and Carrara marble tiling and hand-crafted mosaic wall décor in the bathroom, these unique rooms are anything but standard. A King size bed takes center stage in the middle of the rooms, laden with exclusive Versace furnishings, it’s so beautiful you’ll never want to leave. For little girls that ever dreamed of having a princess themed bedroom, this is for you. Versace branded vanities are offered in the bathroom which boasts a large oval bath and separate walk-in shower and there’s even a separate dressing area.
Taking the accommodation up a level the Grand Executive Suites again with the same vista options are over double the space at 120sqm. The same home-comforts feature alongside Versace linen and even a Hollywood-style vanity table – every fashionista’s dream come true. With these plush suites guests can also enjoy unparalleled service with access to the Executive Lounge and its benefits throughout their stay.
From the luxe accommodation to the hotel itself, every aspect of Palazzo Versace Dubai boasts luxury in the material – from original Versace fashion illustrations adorning the walls to the boldness of the purple carpet along the walkway. The hotel has 8 restaurants and bars, each with an al fresco terrace to reflect the heritage of the Palazzos themselves, where the internal court was the informal space to meet, dine and enjoy the weather. Perfect for Dubai’s warm climate. Palazzo Versace Dubai’s dining outlets have been causing quite a stir on the city’s culinary scene and the focus here is on curated dining, again with each venue is a tribute to the Versace brand itself. Each eatery is different although their magical views are continuous.
Vanitas is an impossibly romantic restaurant, perfect for cosy dinners a due. A charming and elegant venue that focuses on a menu of authentic Italian seafood. This is a restaurant where finesse is paramount, from the iconic Versace crockery to the almost obligatory champagne cart that arrives promptly at your table upon entering, for a luxury dining experience you can’t fail. Dishes are expertly created, awash with Italian flavours from herbs picked fresh from the hotels’ gardens alongside specially imported produce. The Coral Lobster Chitarra is a stand out dish, a deliciously rich Canadian lobster pasta dish with cherry tomatoes and a creamed bisque and for esteemed carnivores the Slow Cooked Lamb Confit is outstanding accompanied by pumpkin gnocchi and seasonal vegetables.
The evening doesn’t end after your dishes have been cleared however for La Vita bar offers a chic and comforting bar to enjoy an intimate cocktail or boutique wine in good company. This high-octane glamour echoes throughout the ambience and furniture once again, a great spot for an aperitif.
Palazzo Versace extends its superior quality of hospitality to its outside space with three large outdoor pools, each one decorated with mosaic titles and bearing the Medusa stamp, best visible from your room’s balcony. Surrounded by swaying palms and tropical flowers, these beautifully landscaped gardens are manicured to perfection giving way only to the unobstructed view of the Dubai Creek. Relax in the warm sunshine under a private cabana before heading to the V spa for a spot of afternoon rejuvenation which will be complete soon.
It’s rare that a hotel lends itself entirely to its own hype, lives up to its international name and still manages to delicately blend into its new cultural surroundings yet Palazzo Versace Dubai is one of the city’s true new masterpieces, which will only flourish with the age of its relatively new surroundings. It is a property true to its roots although halfway around the world, steeped in classic Italian design, reflecting the very essence of the Versace brand. It may be a new comer but something tells me Palazzo Versace Dubai is a serious contender in the land that lives and breathes luxury hotels.