I was treated to a staycation at Palazzo Versace Dubai nearly a month ago, yet I took so long to hit “publish” on the blog post because I always find it the hardest to word eloquently enough the experiences that leave me most awestricken and blissed out.
Palazzo Versace Dubai has always been one of my favorite hotels. It always makes me feel fancier than I really am, and that’s not so bad once in a while. It’s a great escape from the daily norm and the never ending chores. It’s the one place I’ll wear my high heels to and a silk shirt for.
I first went to Palazzo Versace Dubai when Enigma opened their doors to a gastronomically enthused niche eager to try Qique Daqosta’s creations. Since that very first visit, I’ve had my jaw on the floor and no matter how many time’s I revisit the Palazzo Versace Dubai (and Enigma), I never tire of how impressive this property is.
Until now, every time I visited Palazzo Versace Dubai, was for one of their F&B outlets or the other. Over time, I’ve tried Vanitas, Enigma (including the menus of both Quique DaCosta and Bjorn Frantzen), AlMalfi, and Giardino, more than once. This is the first time I actually got to stay at one of the palatial rooms, and thanks to their summer offers which are quite the steal, a lot more people can enjoy a slice of THE life.
I must admit that at first glance I was taken aback by how excessively ornate and -if I may go so far as to say- even somewhat gaudy the decor looked, which in a single word can only best be described as VERSACE. Everything in the hotel is designed by Versace, from the linens to the furniture, carpets, cutlery, all the way to the cushions which were actually designed exclusively for Palazzo Versace Dubai. The next time you’re there, look closely at these intricate cushions and you’ll see horses, falcons and peacocks!
By the time I checked out though, I felt more attached to Palazzo Versace than ever before, and realized that these guys are definitely doing something right, because I walked our feeling more relaxed and recuperated than I have ever felt at any hotel, ever. The extent and intricacy of the the details is so much that I couldn’t help but feel that there are secret clues to the Da Vinci Code hidden within the paintings, mosaics, murals, and the very walls! I can imagine for his hotel to become a historical art heritage site a century from now.
Perhaps all the details in the hotel draw you in so much that you unknowingly get distracted from your own worries and free up your mind? All I know is that by the end of my two nights’ stay, I found myself extremely drawn, and even attached to the decor I initially found excessive, and checked out with a heavy heart that knew that Palazzo Versace has won an even deeper place in my heart.
Here’s only some of what is AMAZING at Palazzo Versace, and this includes only the parts we experienced personally:
The Lobby: If you ever meet any one who says that they weren’t completely and utterly swept away by the grandiose of the Palazzo Versace lobby the minute they stepped in, have their wits examined.
Check-In: I was a little surprised by the fact that there were no welcome drinks or cold towels at the check-in. An unlikely event for a hotel that is otherwise oozing luxury and pampering. Nevertheless, the check-in was smooth and welcoming. Also surprising was when I wasn’t rerouted to the Executive Lounge for my check-in and check-out, but it’s ok, the less time it takes, the better I like it.
Giardino: Before going to our room, we had brunch at Palazzo Versace’s “all-day-diner”, for lack of a better word, because Giardino is far too sassy to be just any ordinary all-day-diner. Expect quality and quantity here, and expect to fall in love with it at first sight. Never have I ever seen this place not to be completely packed. Over time I’ve had breakfasts and brunches here and would go back a million times over.
Suite: We stayed at Grand Executive Suite 933,on the 9th and highest floor. Drenched in Italian design and ornate decor, the room oozed “Versace”. Luxury and attention to detail can be felt in every inch of the room. Parquet flooring, a canvas of elaborate white and cream boiserie, and pastel silk furnishings welcomed us into a room which made me feel like I’ve walked into the guest room of a regal grandmother. In today’s day and age of contemporary and minimalist furnishings, this was a very rare treat. The rooms have a variety of colors, and the one we got was one of the gold ones.
Our suite was beautifully sun-kissed, and offered us sweeping views of the Dubai Creek, which we would have thoroughly enjoyed on the massive balcony (big enough to entertain 6-8 sitting guests!), had the weather been a little forgiving.
The dressing table had a hollywood style mirror, which Donatella Versace particularly wanted in all rooms. We also had a walk-in closet, and one detail that really caught my eye was the provision of shoe bags in addition to the usual laundry bags- both of which were made of thick cloth and embroidered with the Versace emblem.
It is such attention to detail that makes one’s expectations soar when it comes to Palazzo Versace, and one begins to find things odd they normally wouldn’t. Like why are the bedroom slippers in plastic bags instead of sheer cloth bags? Plastic just doesn’t feel very Versace.
Our suite also granted us the privilege of a 24-hour butler, who was just the punch of a button away. I especially loved that the rooms are stocked with cell-phone chargers, in case you forget yours at home.
Every day during our stay, a fresh plate of fruit and little bowl of biscotti was brought to our suite, and housekeeping were very regular with their twice daily offers to make up the room.
And the answer to perhaps the most important and burning question: the bed was uber comfortable! The smoothness of the silken bed covers made me want to writhe on them more than I needed to. The sheets, which look plain white at first glance, actually have the Palazzo Versace emblem woven into the very fabric. I mean. I can’t.
One small detail that was a first for me was the touchpad on each bed side table. With said touchpad, you could control the lights, mood lights, do not disturb sign, call the butler, and even open and close the curtains! I’d be completely lying if I didn’t admit to having played with it more than I should have.
Minibar: Decently stocked with snacks, Damman Paris teas and coffee. The true Kohinoor in the minibar was the collection of glasses. I hear they’re the most frequently swiped item, and I can see why. You can purchase a pair of their famous “Madusa-head” glasses for AED 750 at their gift store downstairs, you all. Stop stealing.
Because by now I was so used to expecting every inch of Palazzo Versace to ooze the Versace charm and class, I found the snacks and water bottles to stick out like a sore thumb. A red box of Pringles just isn’t in-line with the colour scheme, you see. And why are the water bottles in the mini bar not specially branded for Palazzo Versace? I wouldn’t expect to see water bottles with red caps in an otherwise oh-so-perfectly though out room and decor.
Bathroom: Of course the bathroom had to be as grand as the rest of the hotel. I love how consistent the theme of the hotel is. You get a very well-preserved antique and affluent feel from everything. You won’t see any TV in this bathroom, but frankly you don’t need to. The mosaics throughout the hotel, including the ones in the bathroom, are enough art to appreciate.
The bathroom has a shower, a jacuzzi, and SO many towels! A towel is always an arm’s length away. Half the toiletries were without a doubt the most fancily-packaged ones I’ve ever seen in a hotel, and I was so happy to see them private labeled with the Versace emblem too; the other half (in unbranded plastic bags) looked terribly out of place.
Imperial Suite: after showing us to our suite, our butler offered us a tour of Palazzo Versace’s blue eyed child and the apple of their eye: one of their only two Imperial Suites. I won’t elaborate too much on this whopping 1800 sqm, double storey suite, that has it’s own private pool, two bedrooms, a kitchen, a huge drawing room, living room, alligator skin couches, and a dining table big enough for 12, but I will upload a video on it soon. After living in Dubai for over 3 years, I thought I had seen it all, but then I saw the Imperial Suite at Palazzo Versace, my jaw was on the floor. (The) Shahrukh Khan himself has stayed in this three times, and this suite is very popular amongst high-profile celebrities.
Vanitas: On our first night at Palazzo Versace, we had dinner at Vanitas. It was an elegant affair, and more than anything else, I swoon over the crockery there. This is one of the most romantic and elegant white table cloth restaurants in Dubai.
Q’s Bar and Lounge: It’s no secret that I don’t drink and don’t visit bars and lounges, which explains how I’ve missed out on this absolute gem of place until recently. During my staycation at Palazzo Versace, when I was in no hurry to go home and having the time of my life, I headed to Q’s with my good friend Ionela, to have a bottle of sparkling water and enjoy the best jazz bar Dubai has to boast.
The Spa: The Spa at Palazzo Versace was so phenomenal that it made me turn into a spa-hopper henceforth. Read all about it here. As I’m writing this review, I feel all warm and fuzzy inside because it’s making me relive my stay at Palazzo Versace and reminding me of what a fab time I had there!
Other Facilities: I can’t talk too much about these as I didn’t personally use them, but the property has 3 colossal pools, a kids room and a fitness center. There’s also an ATM in the building for those awkward moments when during a staycation you realize you have no cash to tip the very nice housekeeping staff. They also have a huge (and very popular ballroom which can accommodate 900 standing and 500 sitting guests.
Executive Lounge: Palazzo Versace Dubai has 65 suites, which all have access to the Executive Lounge from 7 a.m. till 10 p.m.
Enigma: On our second night in Palazzo Versace, we had dinner at Enigma. Gone are the days of Enigma being used as a World’s 50 Best pop-up space, as it is now a consistently Turkish inspired restaurant. The decor has been done over to represent the hotel more than any chef, and I quite liked it, as I always did.
Mosaico: The day we had to check out M left in the morning, right after another monstrously good breakfast at Giardino, as he had to get back to work. I decided to stay in for as long as I could, and take a nap because hotel bed naps (especially after breakfast) are the absolute best. Also, I really wanted to make snow angels on the silk bed cover because I don’t think I’ve ever been on silk sheets before (or will be on any for a long time to come).
Around 3pm, I checked out, but since I didn’t quite feel like leaving the hotel just as yet, I went downstairs to Mosaico for Afternoon Tea. This was pre-planned, so I had invited a friend over to join me, because there is something about the tiered-servers of Afternoon Tea that make me crave company. Read all about the Afternoon Tea here. I cannot mention enough times how breathtakingly and unbelievably stunning the mosaic work is throughout Palazzo Versace, with the biggest and most impressive display in Mosaico itself.
Palazzo Versace is an ultimate city resort, with so much going on that you won’t feel the need or desire to leave the hotel even once during your stay- or, even after your stay is over, to be quite frank. With the most glamorous spa I’ve seen in Dubai, 3 pools, excellent F&B outlets, the executive lounge and Q’s bar for the best jazz tunes you can get in Dubai, Palazzo Versace is as fab a staycation as one can hope for in Dubai.
Thank you to the entire team for making this such a comfortable, welcoming, and luxurious stay. Special shout-out to Rosemarie and Ionela for entertaining me, to Shazia from Mosaico, Vladamir from Enigma, and Ranjit from Housekeeping.