From the tiles to the fabric, from the chairs to the flowerpots: everything is Versace in the Versace Hotel in Dubai! This ostentatious and over-the-top hotel in Jaddaf Waterfront mixes the luxury and style of Versace Design with luxury food and accommodation.
Palazzo Versace offers, just like so many other luxury hotels and restaurant, an all-inclusive Friday Brunch in its Giardano Restaurant.
As it was the birthday of a friend and colleague of my husband, it was decided we would have the brunch at the Giardano. My husband and I try to visit as many brunches as possible – especially those that are focussed on the quality of food and alcohol (rather than the quantity of the latter, as so many party brunches do).
Entering the Palazzo Versace Hotel
When entering the Palazzo Versace Hotel, the first thing you notice is the lush interior and luxury details. Like I said: we visited the hotel to celebrate a friend’s birthday. We waited in the lobby for the other taxi to arrive and marvelled at the mosaic floors and two piano’s that were the centre piece of the hall.
From the lobby you have a magnificent view on an infinity pool and the private yachts anchored on the creek.
I was surprised by the exuberant luxury of the hotel and couldn’t wait for the brunch! We were lead through the white halls and corridors to Giardano – the restaurant where we were having our brunch.
Giardano restaurant – the venue
I am going to be 100% honest with you here. I was not impressed with the venue. At all! I have been to many expensive brunches before – but this was by far one of the most expensive. And still: the venue was one of the least luxurious, least attractive ones I have ever brunched.
Obviously Spice Island and the Radisson Blue Brunches aren’t all that either when it comes to the venue – but that is something I don’t mind since those brunches cost less than half the price of the Versace one.
In fact – Giardano, to me, felt a bit like an upscale refectory. You know – one you would fine in one of those massive sea side hotels. Although the hotel itself (up until Giardano) was very luxurious, I was very disappointed that same luxury was nowhere to be seen in the restaurant.
From the glasses used to the ugly placemats – I never really got that “wow” factor other – and cheaper (!) brunches are able to provide.
There is also no view – even though once outside you can enjoy a nice view on the magnificent pool. This made the room feel small and a bit cramped – especially since the brunch was completely booked.
It might be an understatement to say that the venue (the room) itself was a bit disappointing.
Palazzo Versace Brunch – The food
The food at the Palazzo Versace brunch was good! I guess for me personally the sushi was the height of the brunch. There was a massive selection of high standard sushi and I honestly went back multiple times because I was impressed by the quality and the variety.
Also amazing at the brunch were the oysters. I am a massive fan of oysters and I can honestly say that these were big and as fresh as you can get them in Dubai.
There was a massive counter of shellfish such as lobster, crab and shrimps and a real British roast. A lot of brunches have roasts – obviously catering to the many British expats in Dubai. My husband reported that the roast was amazing.
The Giardano Brunch also had a large pasta station. As a pasta freak I was not very impressed by the pasta – arabiatta, alfredo and lasagne. You could also have chefs prepare some fresh pasta for you but I never tried. Instead I opted for the gratinated pasta – which had little to no taste and was left in the bowl for too long.
As for the deserts I had some crème brule. That one was nice – but not as nice as the one in Fogo de Cao and Al Dawaar. The chocolate pralines were okay-ish. I understand that, being Belgian, I am more than spoiled when it comes to chocolate and especially chocolate pralines. They weren’t for me. But I was happy that the chocolate at the brunch was not your normal – wax filled, chocolate that I am so used to in the UAE.
The Giardano Brunch – The drinks
The drinks at the Giardano Brunch were great. Sparkling wine is included in the house beverage package so I drank cava the whole evening. It was okay – and the bottles looked very fancy (which is probably why they served it).
I also had a few cocktails which were very drinkable and well made. I can tell you that the alcohol was definitely not watered down (as it was in another brunch I went to) and that they were not too strong as can often happen at brunches.
Overall thoughts on the Giardano Brunch in Palazzo Versace
I very much loved the sushi, sparkling wine and oysters at the Giardano Brunch in Palazzo Versace. I was, however, a bit disappointed with the pasta and the deserts.
Another reason why I left with mixed feelings was the décor of the brunch. I had the feeling I was sitting in the breakfast room of a Radisson Blue or the Hilton Dubai Creek (Which is not very nice).
I had a lot of fun and filled up on sushi and oysters. I was very happy with service (although not always as attentive and prompt) and had a great time talking to friends. But would I come back? Probably not. The brunch with house beverages costs 570 AED (£119 or $155) and is more than 200 AED (£40 or $55) more expensive than Al Dawaar – and in all honesty: the service, view and food in Al Dawaar are better or on par with the Giardano Brunch. I would go back with an Entertainer if they would offer the brunch at 425 AED (£89 or $115) or less, but not at the current exuberant price.
Staff and service: 3.5/5
My husband and I use the Entertainer Dubai to get amazing 2 for 1 discounts on expensive brunches and restaurants as well as attractions, fast food and spa’s. The entertainer might not seem cheap, in the first two weeks of this year we already saved £150 with the app!