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The unique story behind Dubai’s luxurious Palazzo Versace Hotel

June’s – ‘The Beauty Issue’ – Download Now

Monther Darwish, Managing Director at Palazzo Versace Dubai and Founder of Palazzo Hospitality discusses the Neoclassic references that drive clients to return.

What do the first 30 minutes of your day look like, your morning routine?

I don’t have an exact morning routine as each day is so different. On a typical day, however, I usually wake up to reading the property’s morning reports before having a quick catch-up with the management team.

Palazzo Versace interiors

The Versace DNA is felt throughout the hotel – how long did this process take to build?

Palazzo Versace Dubai is a detailed property that thoroughly embodies the brand’s DNA. Each corner of the hotel reflects the true essence of the Versace brand, from the dining venues that are tributes to Versace’s signature works, to the property’s interiors adorned with Versace fashion sketches and emblematic designs, the property is a testament to the brand’s storied heritage. The hotel group’s utmost priority was that the property reflects the Versace lifestyle which is bold, one-of-a-kind, and luxurious. ENSHAA is the development firm for the hotel, and the board’s goal was to have guests feeling like they’ve landed on a fashion runway straight out of Milan. Luxury was to be integrated in every part of the experience, be it while lounging by the pool or while dining at the restaurants. Every aspect of the hotel was created with minute attention to detail, from the architecture and interior design to the overall guest experience. For the property to be experienced in the best way possible, a top-notch team of hospitality experts was required to ensure guests have an unforgettable stay.

Everything from to the china and furnishings is printed, how do you ensure everything stays on brand on a daily basis?

Each team member is a guardian of the brand, from housekeeping to marketing or front office, Palazzo Versace Dubai is helmed by a team of experts. All team members are briefed on the many brand standards that we follow, reinforced by detailed training and team development to ensure that these parameters are met and respected at all times.

Monther Darwish

Do you have a high client retention rate and do you see a trend in clients visiting from specific corners of the globe?

Despite the pandemic, we are proud to say that our returning guest rate has only grown over time. Over the past few years, we have managed to build a great community of guests who love Dubai and love staying at Palazzo Versace thanks to the tailor-made experience, attention to detail and top-notch service that we pride ourselves in. There are a plethora of reasons why people return to Palazzo Versace Dubai, the warmth of the team, the quality of service and the experience overall is unmatched.

What key aspects make the Palazzo Versace a truly unique experience?

Although Dubai is one of the most diverse cities in the world in terms of hotel offerings and tourism experiences, Palazzo Versace Dubai remains, unlike any other property. The hotel’s strong identity, its opulence, luxury offering, and super adaptable team provide guests with a lifetime of memories. In Dubai, the property remains unique thanks to its strong ties with the fashion brand, providing a location that leaves guests feeling like they’ve flown to Milan for the latest fashion week. The food, the amenities and everything immerse guests in an unparalleled bubble of the finest luxury.

How has the hotel industry had to adapt over the last year and what changes have you implemented?

Needless to say, the hospitality industry was among the hardest hit by the pandemic. While February 2020 announced a promising year, March 2020 hit us like a hard wake-up call to reality. It was challenging to keep our doors open with only 5 per cent occupancy. Yet during this downtime, as a team, we worked together to improve sanitation protocols at all levels and to communicate continuously to guests through social platforms. We never let our guests down and ensured they stayed informed on how we were preparing to welcome them back when the time permitted. Since we worked overtime to remain on top, we experienced an amazing turnaround once restrictions were lifted – occupancy was at an all-time high and the summer months were highlighted by a rise in local travel and numerous staycation offerings that worked better than ever.

Palazzo Versace interiors

What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve received?

The best piece of business advice I’ve ever received is to turn challenges into opportunities. This advice has become even more relevant in light of the pandemic, a time when hoteliers have been forced to adapt and transition in the safest ways possible. Maintaining a hotel business in times like these, faced with industry-wide restrictions, was very difficult. However, as a team we managed to turn these challenges into business opportunities, allowing us to reach targets, surpass goals and maintain our budgets.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

I’d tell myself to never let a day pass without having achievement. Achievements can change depending on the day – on a bad day, an achievement could be just getting out of bed, other days it’s rewarding a hard-working member of the team or achieving a personal goal. Every day we should strive for something to look forward to.

Tell us about the spa and the signature treatments you offer?

The SPA at Palazzo Versace Dubai offers all kinds of body and face treatments complemented by luxury wellness brands. One of our newest additions to The SPA includes the Amber Essence massage, which happens to be one of my personal favourites. The treatment is a super relaxing massage using an Amber-scented candle by Moroccan brand marocMaroc that hydrates and comforts the skin instantaneously.

This is ‘The Beauty Issue’ – what does beauty mean to you?

Beauty to me is all about self-care and balance. We feel the most beautiful when we take care of ourselves, be it internally or externally. Balance is also key, the beauty of life comes by knowing how to keep ourselves balanced, to best serve ourselves and our community.

June’s – ‘The Beauty Issue’ – Download Now

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Images: Supplied

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