World - - MAGAZINE -

Palazzo Ver­sace, the world’s first fash­ion-branded ho­tel, opened in 2000 at Main Beach, on Queens­land’s Gold Coast. An op­u­lent plea­sure palace in true Ver­sace style, it is a sym­phony in fuch­sia and aqua­ma­rine, tem­pered with laid-back coastal am­bi­ence. En­shrined in the an­nals of lux­ury travel, with ac­co­lades rang­ing from Tri­pad­vi­sor to Condé Nast Trav­eler, Palazzo Ver­sace is con­sid­ered a clas­sic “GC” ex­pe­ri­ence, whether you choose to stay, play or buy an apart­ment. The dé­cor was inspired by the dis­tinc­tive hall­marks of Gianni Ver­sace de­sign. From the ubiq­ui­tous me­dusa mo­tif and pro­fu­sion of flo­ral tributes, to the shim­mer­ing sur­faces and thor­oughly deca­dent heated la­goon pool (known as a “Wa­ter Sa­lon”, if you please), com­plete with pris­tine sand beach and pri­vate ca­banas, this is he­do­nist Heaven. Ac­com­mo­da­tion ben­e­fits from the sweep­ing views of the Gold Coast Broad­wa­ter, and the im­pe­rial suites and con­do­mini­ums – well, they’re wor­thy of the sheiks, celebri­ties and VIPS whose pref­er­ences swing to­wards gilt-edged glam­our. In ad­di­tion to its 200 rooms and suites and 72 con­do­mini­ums, Palazzo Ver­sace is home to three award­win­ning restau­rants, a most sublime subter­ranean day spa, fit­ness and well­be­ing cen­tre kit­ted out with the Ital­ian bril­liance of Techn­o­gym, a 90-berth pri­vate ma­rina and ball­room. Palazzo Ver­sace’s restau­rants have won plau­dits from the Aus­tralian Good Food Guide Awards, La Chaîne des Rôtis­seurs and in­ter­na­tional food media, im­pressed with the ethos of “ca­sual din­ing as fine art”. Whether it’s for

high tea or the launch of a pres­tige au­to­mo­bile, there’s a venue to suit within this tem­ple ded­i­cated to la bella vita. Fine-din­ing res­tau­rant Van­i­tas, un­der the di­rec­tion of Uk-born and Miche­lin-star-trained chef de cui­sine James Fiske, was deemed “World’s Most Fash­ion­able Res­tau­rant” by Harper’s Bazaar, while Il Barocco is renowned for its truly jaw-drop­ping seafood buf­fet (lunch Sun­day and din­ner seven days). Straight from the fish­ing fleet moored just me­tres away, this ver­i­ta­ble feast at­tracts seafood con­nois­seurs from around the re­gion, and for good rea­son: noth­ing tastes more di­vine than Queens­land tiger prawns, coral trout, bar­ru­mundi and the fa­mous mud crabs straight from the sea, par­tic­u­larly in the gilded am­bi­ence of a Gold Coast palace. – Jeni Bone

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