Three days spent at the Palazzo Versace on the Gold Coast (Queensland, Australia) certainly perks a jaded editor up. Being there for a conference and gala dinner awards night, gave me an overall view of all the glitzy hotel had to offer.
I had not visited previously and had the impression that I would be blinded by decor bling on arrival. Not so.
I, rather unglamorously arrived in a shuttle bus that had pictures of vampires painted over the doors - so my ungainly arrival was a bit trashy.
Entering the spacious and elegant foyer, I immediately shut down all my expectations - well, I've been known to get it wrong before.
The beautiful room looks out to the vast pool and beyond and a gleaming chandelier beckons me to lift my eyes. The reception staff took me in hand and I was on my most decorous behaviour while envying their stylish black suits - I do like uniforms!
My room overlooks the pool and it smacks of Versace cool and fabric fashion. Have to spread out and grab the best bed - which one? I have a friend coming to share - perhaps she'll cancel? Time to rest.
The second day at PV was filled with meetings with staff popping into the meeting room regularly to make sure we had everything we need.
The second meeting was taken outside to loll around on the platform mattress in several cabanas - with eating the fruit from the platter, sipping bubbly, diving in the pool - the meeting lacked substance - but we enjoyed the idea of it.
The highlight for me was dinner at Vie, a lovely space and food that rocked the palate.
Vie Bar + Restaurant’s Chef de Cuisine, Craig Wright, brings to Palazzo Versace over 13 years’ experience in the dining and entertaining industry, both in Australia and overseas. Craig has worked in a number of fine dining restaurants and returned to Australia in 2012 from working in New York. On home soil, he has also shared kitchens with a number of prominent Sydney chefs including Sean Moran from Sean’s Panaroma and Ben Fitton of Coast. Wright’s fresh, locally sourced and rustic culinary vision is the perfect combination alongside Vie’s stunning views over the Gold Coast Broadwater.
We were served amazing scallops on slices of pork; lamb cut and served on a wooden board, fish and chicken (and as an affirmed non eating chicken person - I admit I ate this chicken . . . ) Most of the food is sourced from ethical suppliers locally.
The Piece de resistance was a giant pav - Craig took a picture to send to his mum as she is 'the pavlova expert in the family). Nice sentiment.
The next day we had our conference and the awards gala dinner was a cracker. No rubber chicken here on a plate - three courses of excellent food, innovative and scrumptious.
And yet again, great service. The staff at Palazzo Versace is a solid line-up of professionals and I hear there is very little staff turnover . . .now that's a recommendation.
And - the spa. I had time for a pedicure and I admit I did question the price -'what do I get for that amount of $$$s? New shoes too': says the stingy editor.
But as I slipped my feet to soak in warm water and had headphones put over my ears - I disappeared into a form of consciousness that can only be described as 'gaga''. I woke myself with a little snore and looked at my Russian Blue painted toe nails - magic had been performed while I was áway' - worth every damn dollar!
For a special weekend away check out the Palazzo Versace Palazzo Versace hotel on the Gold Coast - mad if you don't. Afternoon tea is a treat and there are some wonderful functions coming up over the festive season.
In fact, keep it quite, but I'm still here - I stocked up on goodies and locked the door - they are too polite to knock the door down.
The distinctive vision of Gianni Versace, his audacious commitment to luxury and beauty, influenced his designs and translated into the décor of his homes.
In a spectacular waterfront setting, every aspect of architecture, ambience, furnishings and ornamentation reflects a level of opulence once confined to the grand hotels of Europe. Richly decorated spaces proclaim the transcendence of Italian design. Singular touches include peerless marbles and mosaics, vaulted ceilings hand-detailed in gold, an antique chandelier that once shed its lustre on the grand State Library of Milan.