- Will Hide, Travel writer
Locals might be sniffy about the location – a fact not helped by the construction of the “Culture Village” going on around it – but hop in a cheap taxi and it's only about 20 minutes to the Dubai Mall and 15 to the airport.
Style & character
The marketing blurb says it’s reminiscent of a “16th-century Italian palace” but from the outside, you may have to down a few glasses of Prosecco before you agree. Inside, the expansive lobby certainly has a distinct wow-factor, with a three-tonne Czech chandelier, gilded columns, plenty of marble, a 1.5 million-piece mosaic and, of course, signature Versace collection furnishings.
Service & facilities
There’s a large infinity “lagoon” pool that looks out over the Creek, with another more child-friendly one leading off from the Giardino restaurant, and a third scheduled to open in autumn 2016. A spa is set to launch then too. Staff seemed friendly and eager to please.
- Fitness centre
- Kids' club
- Room service
- Steam room/hammam
High ceiling, parquet-floored rooms come in one of four colour themes: salmon, beige, turquoise and blue. If you’re a fan of the “Medusa Madness” style of Versace Home Collection you’ll be in absolute heaven as you revel in your inner Donatella. If not, you might think you’ve ended up in a posh south Florida condo complex, circa 1987. All bathrooms (lots of marble) have separate tub and rain-head shower, with La Bottega toiletries.
Your passport to a better trip
Food & drink
Options are good, which is handy as there is nothing else close to the hotel. The Giardino all-day restaurant does an extensive buffet breakfast and lunch, and a lobster and oyster brunch on Fridays. Italian fine-dining restaurant Vanitas is the place to head at lunch while, for dinner, Enigma hosts rolling three-month stays for visiting Michelin-starred chefs. My meal under the eye of Spaniard Quique Dacosta was part feast, part theatre (waiters in paper bull-head masks, for example) and absolutely delicious. For a cheeky Cinzano, pop into Q’s Bar – official dress code: “glamorous”.
Value for money
Room-only doubles start at £575, however in low season rates can drop. Free Wi-Fi.
Access for guests with disabilities?
The entire resort is accessible by wheelchair, while two bedrooms have been specifically adapted for those with disabilities.
A kids’ club is “currently being developed”, although this is probably the kind of hotel where many guests bring their own nanny anyway.