Like the hotel name suggests, this ‘palace’ offers a dash of Las Vegas charm with a generous helping of Italian glamour. Staying at the Palazzo has been a dream of mine since it opened 11 years ago.
Prior to checking in, I found a photo I’d taken at the entrance of the hotel around the time of its launch with a note in my photo album saying that, whilst I didn’t stay there that trip, I would make sure to treat myself before too long. It may have taken 11 years but my goodness it was well worth the wait.
Their magnificent driveway features the second largest pebble mosaic in the world. Created by five Italian master tilers, all from different regions of Italy, the pebbles used were handpicked from their regions and brought to Australia to take pride of place as part of the spectacular mosaic that offers just a hint of what will dazzle you on entering the property.
Stepping out of my car, the scent of the signature Versace blend of essential oils drifts out from the grand lobby and the valet helpfully arranges for my luggage to be delivered to my room.
Entering the lobby, it’s hard to miss the chandelier that once hung in the State Library of Milan. Weighing an impressive 750kg, Gianni Versace purchased it himself for one of his villas but sadly died before he had the chance to gaze upon it like I was lucky enough to at that moment.
There are no mass check ins here, with a private reception desk provided for guests instead.
Check in was a breeze and I eagerly awaited that moment when I stepped into my room for the first time…my dream was actually coming true!
Something that became clear to me from the moment I entered the hotel is that it’s all in the details at Palazzo Versace.
From the signature Versace Medusa head that runs as a theme throughout the property (even on the taps in the bathroom), to the extensive pillow menu. Everything has been considered to ensure your stay is the most memorable it can be.
I spend my afternoon in a private cabana by the lagoon pool and I feel like a movie star.
The pool attendant serves me a Mai Tai and I savour the cocktail whilst watching the palm fronds sway in the gentle breeze, trying not to be envious of the honeymooning and ‘babymooning’ couples surrounding me! What a perfect setting…it truly doesn’t get any better than this…
I gaze at the Broadwater as the sun blazes a trail over the horizon and return to my room to find the oil burner lit and that fabulous Versace signature scent enveloping my home for the night.
Heavily quilted curtains are drawn and my bed has been turned down. If only I had time to enjoy the double spa…
A spacious and elegantly appointed bathroom, I quite liked the frosted glass that separates the toilet and shower from the vanity area and am chuffed to find complimentary sample sized Versace perfumes along with beautifully packaged toiletries.
I sip on a glass of a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc before heading into Surfers Paradise for dinner. Palazzo seems a world away from the hustle and bustle of Cavill Ave and I count the hours until I return, knowing that the most comfortable sleep awaits me.
Await me it did…selecting two pillows from the pillow menu, (as a woman it’s my prerogative to change my mind after all) I feel like I’m lying on a bed of clouds. The word comfortable doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt.
Knowing I had to check out in the morning, I awoke early and savored the buffet breakfast on offer. Selecting a seat by the window to gaze at the pool, I enjoyed freshly made eggs, smoked salmon and hash browns with a particular favorite of mine being the berry smoothie served in shot glasses.
My private cabana awaited me, this time with an offering of champagne, Santa Vittoria water, sunscreen, a mineral water face mist, a platter of frozen grapes and tropical fruit skewers.
The Gold Coast had certainly turned the weather on for this fairytale stay, with the sky blue and the temperature a tropical 30 degrees. I couldn’t have chosen anywhere better to spend such a gorgeous day!
Protected by the canopy above me, I managed to stay cool and protected from the sun and savored the final few hours at my dream hotel.
As I lay there, I remembered the story of a man who proposed to his girlfriend in the Imperial Suite above me. He took his girlfriend onto the balcony where she looked down at the sand lining the lagoon pool to find “will you marry me” written in the sand.
She said yes…of course! Not that you would expect anything less in such a romantic setting as this. I make a mental note to tell the story to the next man I meet…it couldn’t hurt after all!
Walking slowly to my room, I promise myself to return. This has been an experience I will long remember, it was the night a dream came true after all…
The Travel Review Star Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Pros: Living in what seems to be the lap of luxury…and the Versace-branded everything everywhere! It’s a fashionistas dream!
Cons: Living in what seems to be the lap of luxury comes at a cost. Be prepared for the high dining and beverage prices or just meander next door to Fisherman’s Wharf!