As if Dubai needed another gold-tinged mega-hotel to service its endless cavalcade of sheiks and jetsetters, a new luxury hotel (with luxury putting it mildly) has opened on its emerald shores—the second-ever Palazzo Versace hotel.
In the new outpost, Donatella’s signature Italian flash melds with Gulf pomp for an unprecedented level of grandeur. The hotel is redolent of a 16th century Italian Palazzo, with a Neoclassical facade, a striking columned entryway replete with mosaic tile floors and sprawling dining halls draped in silk and adorned with crystal chandeliers. Still, its Moorish arches, gold finishings and sheer scale are unmistakably Dubai.
The Palazzo has already opened its gilded doors to the world’s rich and famous. Recently, Donatella celebrated its grand opening with a guest list hotter than Dubai’s 90+ degree weather. Alessandra Ambrosio, Helena Christensen and Russian supermodel Natasha Poly, all wearing head-to-toe Versace of course, partied the night away with champagne and twenty-something male models, Alessandra even leaving a video diary of her stay.
Alessandra and friends will have plenty of reason to return. There are a grand total of 215 rooms, 56 of which are deluxe suits fit for an Emirati prince. Guests can enjoy eight different lounge and dining venues, including the Italian restaurant Vanitas, Turkish-fusion hot spot Enigma and a live music bar called Q headed by Quincy Jones.
The Palazzo Versace Dubai will ultimately serve as the crown jewel of the city’s new mixed-use Culture Village. Like most of Dubai, the precinct is still under construction but already one of the world’s most awe-inspiring developments.
By Cynthia Lowell