Design + Architecture

Fashion Hotels

by Mark Ellwood

TOO MUCH IS NEVER ENOUGH

In 2000, the House of Versace jump-started the fashion hotel phenom with the Palazzo Versace, a self-proclaimed six-star temple to guilt-free gilt located—where else?—on the Gold Coast, Australia's answer to Miami Beach. It has since played host to everyone from the Rolling Stones to Crown Prince Albert of Monaco. Versace's there's-no-such-thing-as-excessive aesthetic imbues everything: The enormous Imperial Suites with bright yellow furnishings; five lagoon pools accented with Roman statues; a lobby chandelier that once hung in Milan's state library. After a few hiccups, the brand is set to expand in 2009 with a new outpost in that capital of overkill, Dubai. Details are sketchy (expect Medusa heads), but word has leaked that the property will have an inexplicable "temperature-controlled beach." Don't want to wait that long? Book instead at the Presidential Suite at Casa Colonial in the Dominican Republic: Donatella had the room done to her specs when the hotel opened three years ago and she stayed over—the changes actually included the architect redesigning the outdoor terrace for the design doyenne. The savvy owners left it all as is—"decorated" by DV herself.

Palazzo Versace
Tel: 61 7 559 8000
Doubles from $316

Casa Colonial
Tel: 809 320 3232
Doubles from $350; Presidential Suite from $1,071

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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