Accomodation Reviews, Asia & Middle East, Beach, Cities, Luxury, Practicalities, Reviews, United Arab Emirates
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[Hotel Review]: Palazzo Versace, Dubai

[Disclaimer]: If you’re into minimalist and understated design, this hotel is not for you.

Styled on a 16th century Italian palace, this hotel is all about the gold antique furnishings, high ornate ceilings, Italian art and fashion, with splashes of bright colour and intricate patterns and, with every single piece of furniture and fabric in the hotel designed and made by Versace herself, is an absolute symbol of the extravagant Versace lifestyle. Dotted around the hotel are original sketches and prints of Versace’s designs and collections, which is a nice touch.

Anyone who knows me knows I’m not one for ornate and OTT, I’m much more of a fan of a modern hotel, so although I was looking forward to living a plush lifestyle here for a few days, I was unsure what my opinion would be.

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The lobby can only be described as extravagant. There were huge glass tables filled with marble vases and ornaments, paisley settees dotted with patterned cushions and centered around rows of bright flowers and some form of chandelier lighting which looked more like anemones than lights, all surrounded by impressive white marble and gold pillars.

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Leading straight out from back of the lobby is the hotel’s expansive infinity pool. We spent one full afternoon here at the pool and although we enjoyed our time there, it was probably our least favourite part of the hotel. It wasn’t as if we were there in low season or at a particularly quiet time, but there was barely anyone around – both in terms of guests and staff – meaning there wasn’t much of an atmosphere. This also meant that it proved hard to grab the attention of the staff, perhaps also not helped by the size of the pool area, but because of that I would’ve expected staff to be milling around to accommodate guests. When you did get the service, it was amazing and up to the 5* standard you’d expect, but I don’t think it’s unreasonable to not want to have to get off your sunbed and go on the search for a waiter every time you wanted to get a menu, order a drink or some food.

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The other issue with the pool is the view, and the location of the hotel, although not pivotal in a decision to stay here, is one to be aware of. Located in Dubai’s up and coming Creek area, it’s not the most central location you could opt for. However it’s so easy to get around in Dubai, taxis are super cheap (including Uber which is a fantastic way to get around) and there’s even the Dubai Metro. So in terms of getting to the marina, the Palm, the beach, any of the nightlife, it’s not an issue. Realistically you’re going to catch a cab from anywhere you stay in Dubai. But due to the vast development of the Creek, it means you’re sitting at the pool looking out at a horizon of cranes and construction sites. Anyone who goes to Dubai knows they’re not going for beautiful beaches – this is a given – but if staying here, you have to really be prepared for no views whatsoever.

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Myself and my friends had booked 2 x Deluxe Versace rooms between the 3 of us, and I must admit we did enjoy the rooms. Hugely expansive, and each adorning either a pink, cream or blue colour scheme, there was plenty of space to chill out and relax. The bathrooms were equally as spacious, with a walk in glass shower, a bath way too big for one person, and a separate dressing area.

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Breakfast was a whole other level. Served in Giardino, the decor is as its name suggests, with green palm print sofas and ivory pillars with leaf print galore. Again, it’s not one for the faint-hearted, but it works – or at the very least wakes you up from your slumber with a leafy slap in the face. As well as an impressive buffet including a donut wall, exotic fruit display and more pastries and cakes you could shake a stick at, you could also order off the a la carte menu, which is a nice touch and doesn’t always come as standard – and I can personally vouch for the quality of the eggs benedict.

Yes it is gaudy, it is over the top, it is ‘in your face’, but it definitely exudes a luxury feel throughout, the 5* level of service is there in force, and somehow, it all kind of works.

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