Hotel review: Immersive design at the Palazzo Versace Dubai


This 5-star jewel gives delegates the chance to immerse themselves in the Versace lifestyle on the glittering Dubai Creek waterfront.

When taking a stroll along Dubai’s beautiful waterfront with its expansive views of the modern skyline, you could find yourself taken aback when coming across a traditional and imposing Italian palace. Modelled on 16th century neoclassical residences, the Palazzo Versace Dubai stands apart, yet effortlessly blends the very finest of Italian craftsmanship with the Arabian appreciation for the exquisite. It also merges the known and new, being a heritage brand that allows guests to pay with cryptocurrency. 

For planners and hosts, the hotel offers a unique opportunity to impress and treat your guests to something extra. When it comes to luxury, there really is no upper limit, and your guests can enjoy the service you would expect from a high-end venue in truly opulent surroundings. 

The location 

The hotel sits on the Jaddaf Waterfront, the renowned Dubai Creek and an emerging hub. It’s a mere stone’s throw from the bustling heart of the city, just moments from tourism attractions such as the magnificent Burj Khalifa, downtown and the nearest mall, and eight minutes from the financial and business centres. Also, it is easily accessible being 15 minutes from Dubai International Airport and three minutes from the nearest Metro station. 

This throng of activity is right on the doorstep, allowing for uninterrupted views of the creek and city skylines, yet the hotel itself remains a tranquil retreat in the midst of this activity. 


The Palazzo–Versace partnership has resulted in a sumptuous and unmatched aesthetic. Entering the venue has an immediate impact, as guests are greeted with very high ceilings, marble surroundings that convey a calm, cool expansiveness and, of course, the very best in luxury design. 

From the hotel lobby, to the restaurants, bars, rooms, pools and meeting spaces, no detail is overlooked in terms of decor – all spaces are fitted out with elegant Italian furniture and Versace fabrics made exclusively for the venue.  

Event spaces 

The hotel is suitable for events hosting between 10-600 guests, balancing the need for intimacy and exclusivity. The meetings and conferences spaces include a Gala Ballroom, three meeting rooms, and a conference centre. For very special meetings that require more privacy, there is an area of the business centre on the first floor which is secluded, with its own private terrace and dining options. 

The Gala Ballroom is large and lavish. The rich purple carpets, cream walls and central chandelier make a dramatic scene, as natural daylight lightly falls into the room. It seats up to 500 people for banqueting, 841 theatre, and 900 cocktail style. 

Three meeting rooms are suitable for seminars and talks for 16-50 guests. They are situated near the Gala Ballroom for ease of moving between the workspaces, while a long gallery or corridor of marble walls, floors and columns connects the spaces, providing an ideal and tasteful extension area to hold for welcome drinks and networking sessions for 100-500 people. 

A self-contained conference centre is available to host events which require their own area, enabling delegates to move freely between content, breakout and lunch sessions, while staying in the event space and away from the public. And for times when a more intimate or private meeting is required, planners have the option of the three executive meeting rooms which are tucked away on the first floor. Sat within the hotel’s business centre, they are cut off from the public and have a quiet terrace with views of the nearby Dubai Creek, with the option for private dining for special meetings.


Dining and entertainment 

While the hotel itself doesn't offer team building or incentive activities, these are easily sourced from external suppliers. For instance, planners may choose to book a yacht on the nearby hotel creek, or travel further afield to enjoy a Dubai desert Safari or helicopter ride  to take in the breathtaking beauty of the emirate. 

The Palazzo Versace has a plethora of spaces for team activities, celebrations or simply unwinding together. Its nine restaurants and bars are focused on capturing the joy of al fresco in a range of styles, from casual to fine dining. 

Where to eat 

On the ground floor is Mosaico, the luxurious lobby restaurant serving up everything from high tea to midnight snacks, and even shisha. It is a smart-casual area sitting 96-108 guests. Nearby is Vanitas, serving a classical Italian menu for smart-casual dining. For more refined dining with an elegant dress code, the Michelin starred Enigma restaurant serves up the finest Persian cuisine for an authentic experience. In contrast, though equally impressive, is Giardino, the larger dining room inspired by the Italian art of terrazzo. From floor to ceiling, the space is splashed with incredibly coloured jungle patterned terrazzo that  captivates guests as they enjoy buffet-style breakfasts and dinners. 

Where to drink 

Renowned musician and producer Quincy Jones has his first bar, Q’s Bar and Lounge, inside the hotel. The bar is a superb live music and jazz venue, with atmospheric lighting and sumptuous couches, where guests can enjoy cigars and exquisite cocktails and listen to music from some of the world’s best musicians. 

If you’re looking for a change of pace, La Vita is centred on the pleasure of wine and sits up to 40 people indoors and four outdoors where they can ease into a comfortable chair and drink fine wines and tasty snacks. For a more relaxed affair, planners may choose the Gazebo, an outdoor area facing the pool ideal for casual gatherings, or rustic dining at the Amalfi pool-side restaurant. 

While the hotel has three pools, the prime area is surely La Piscina – an adult only pool for serene sun-soaked days of relaxation and DJ-nights where guests can dance while nibbling on sushi and sipping unique cocktails.

Room and facilities 

Palazzo Versace has 150 rooms and 65 suites, ranging from the luxurious to the sensational and quite literally fit for a king. Again, with Versace’s design at the heart of decor, rooms all feature natural woods, Carrara marble, hand-made mosaics designs and rainforest showers with branded toiletries. Rooms come with complimentary WiFi, and gym and sauna access. For planners, there is the option for full room buy-outs. 


Deluxe is the bare minimum, with 50m2 rooms offering king or twin beds, a private balcony or terrace with city or terrace views. A step up to Premier standard affords an extra 10m2 with the option for one king or two queen beds. Moving up to Superior, rooms are 60m2 with a city or creek view, and come with a well-proportioned living area for lounging and dining, as well as a super-king bed, a walk-in wardrobe, and Hollywood style vanity dressing table.


Suites are a sure-fire way to provide that extra wow factor for guests. They range from junior to imperial, and all come with 24 hour butler service, a spa voucher, and a bottle of something sparkling.

Junior suites have all the luxuries of the rooms, but the 95m2 also boasts a living and working space, a bespoke king bed, a free-standing bathtub and walk-in wardrobe and dressing table. Taking this further is the Grand with floor to ceiling windows, doors separating the living and sleeping spaces, and the Signature suite, which offers a massive 214m2 of space. 

For the most discerning, special guests the Imperial suite is unmatched in size, style and comfort, coming with its own private gym and sauna. It’s ideal for an unforgettable experience. 

At the very highest peak – and far beyond the reach of most – is the Royal Versace Villa, consisting of a secluded three-bedroom villa spread over two floors, with a fully equipped kitchen, 10-seater dining area and private pool, with its own secure entrance. And for longer stays, two and three-bed serviced apartments and penthouses can be booked. 

Ceri Jones Senior Editor C&IT