As you may have read in “A Very Versace Weekend – Pt.1“, I had an absolutely splendid day by the East Wing pool and then brunch at Giardino. It was so good that I had a serious need to try out their other pool and lunch experience!
Thanks to the Entertainer’s fabulous 241 offers and The Boy’s willingness to try anything at any time, even on a moment’s notice, we headed back to the Palazzo Versace at 9am on Saturday morning. The offer this time was pool time in the West Wing, followed by a buffet lunch at Amalfi restaurant.
One thing I am always super aware of when I am going anywhere with people is that just because I have been before doesn’t mean they have, and as such, you have to take your time walking through so that they can see as much as you did. It’s a really good tip I give to all new expats because where you live becomes so run of the mill that it’s easy to forget it’s all new and exciting to some people.
The Boy wasn’t quite as blown away as I was due to the fact he is neither a girl or a gay man! He was still impressed at the opulence and the details because it would be hard for anyone not to be. One thing that made us both stop and stare was the beautiful chandelier as you enter the lobby…
Then, the best decoration of the whole hotel…
The corridors are lined by these beautiful sketches. Hundreds of them. I don’t know if they really are, but I decided that they were all Versace designs and then just drawn into a background to make them look fabulous!
This one is my favourite of all of them though…
I wish you could buy them. I would absolutely love to have some in my dream house. The Boy said that I could have them in the girls dressing room. I mean, if we are going dream house then we need to think big!!!
We eventually made it to the Portofino Pool, and were very happy to see on the “rules and regulations” board that it was an adult only pool! We were met by Innocent the lifeguard, who was endlessly patient when we were trying to chose where the best place for the sun was and gave us his recommendations. We chatted with him on and off all day, and really think he is another shining example of how good the staffing is in this hotel.
- a couple on a date or something, who were being fairly inappropriate.
- two British couples, with oodles of kids.
- the hipster douchebags and douchettes.
- the cabin crew brigade.
- the girls weekend gaggle.
- the Arab family who have no respect for anyone else around them.
- the Hooray Henry’s and their bimbo wives.
- the Instagram ho-bags.
Basically, Dubai Wankers and Wankesses of all shapes and sizes.
There were a few notable exceptions, including one couple and their small child who was just learning to swim and jump in the water. Much as I was peeved that the ‘no children under 16’ rule was being completely ignored, he was absolutely adorable! There was also a family with a very small baby who were super cute to watch.
There were a lot more people there who were normal, but it’s always good to acknowledge the stereotypes.
My absolute favourites were the men loudly complaining about the amount of money their wives need to run their homes, whilst cavorting with their bikini clad girlfriends, drinking very copious amounts of wine and shots, and smoking in the pool. Grrrrr.
Anyway, thankfully they were very late arrivals. They were ultimately the reason we left though. We literally couldn’t relax listening to them drone on and on and on, very loudly.
Back to the start of the day, we had that delicious cucumber water again. The Boy is also now a big fan and so we will definitely be having that in the house going forward. He was however not as tickled as I was about his coffee. Only at Palazzo Versace would your morning latte be served in such style….
By the time 12noon rolled around, we were more than ready for our buffet lunch, and not just so that we could sit in the shade and cool off some more!
We started with some fresh bread rolls and beautiful salads:
They were served to the table and you could request more if you wished. My favourite was the watermelon and squid, but only when a little feta was thrown in to balance everything out. Personal choice. The Boy’s favourite was the tomato and mozzarella but it was smothered in pesto so I couldn’t sample that one sadly.
Then was the meat!
We started with the mini chicken and beef burgers because, well, burgers! The beef one was my favourite and turned out to be the best thing on offer.
Our lovely waiter (again, another fabulous example of their great staff selection) Maxym bought us over some steak, chicken and prawns to try. I later got some of the fish. I also then got some more burgers.
The steak was the same hacked apart style offering from the day before. It again meant that some bits were overcooked and some under cooked. It also didn’t look pretty. It did however look better than the chicken. I didn’t even try it.
The seafood was overcooked. I didn’t try the lobster having decided the day before that I didn’t like it BBQ’d. I did try the shrimp which was rubbery and the white fish (can’t remember which one) which was dry as a bone. I think it’s really difficult to do seafood well on a grill and for so many people. I would suggest cooking things to order rather than just keeping it warm while people get around to eating it.
The accompaniments were equally as disappointing. There was some rice which was plain so fine, and some BBQ’d corn on the cob which was quite nice. But then there was some or other vegetable mix that looked overcooked, some potato wedges which were oily and not fully cooked through because of the differing sizes of wedge. There was some kale and some green beans too.
But, and this is what confuses me, no coleslaw! I have never been to a BBQ anywhere that doesn’t have coleslaw. Is that jut me?!
One thing that was spectacular was the pizza. Yep, they were coming round with the most delicious fresh cooked pizza. I had forgotten to add this into my Giardino review, but we had it there too. It was absolutely delicious. Now I have remembered, my mouth is watering and I want some more please!
After another slice of pizza and a couple more of the sliders, which were really very tasty, The Boy declared it time for dessert. I think it’s probably his favourite bit of any meal really.
The offering was ice cream with a choice of strawberry, blueberry, vanilla or chocolate. Also, churros with a chocolate and a caramel dipping sauce.
The Boy had them all! I had some ice cream that wasn’t blueberry. It made me sad that I had turned down the ice cream at Giardino. It was amazing!
When the nice chap (not Maxym but another one) came over with the churros, I remarked to The Boy that I would probably like them if not for the cinnamon. A few minutes later the same guy came back with a new set of churros without any cinnamon in the sugar! It’s that kind of thing that really makes my day! I wish I had noted his name but I was too invested in covering one of the churros with as much chocolate and caramel as I could! it was so exciting! I have never had them before.
To cut a very long story short, there was about another 4 portions of churos throughout the day. They even bought them to the pool for me. Literally…
I probably made a holy piggy show of myself but it’s very exciting when you get to try something new and discover how much you love it! Ok, so my rapidly expanding ass could do without new little discoveries like this, but my tummy and my sugar addict self were very happy!
The other highlight of the day was the ice cream trolley! Yep! They have a trolley come around so you can have ice cream in cones. Naturally I had to try that too, but much closer to the 4pm mark so I had worked off room by laying on a water lounger for a few hours… or something. Anyway, I had an ice cream in a cone and it was amazing! Highly recommended. Also, I forgot to take a pic that day but had one from the day before luckily!
As you may have worked out, my day was spend either in the water or at the buffet line. You would think that with so many Dubai Wankers around, I would be more self conscious of myself and the volume of food I was consuming. But no. They were all too drunk to care and I was on a sugar high. Great combination!
I would go back again to the pool as I liked it there. I would maybe do the buffet again if it was on the Entertainer, but only if the quality of the BBQ improves. Currently, I would rather buy a pizza and an order of churros from the a la carte menu. That said, it will soon be far too hot to spend that much time in the pool as there is no shade when you’re in the water and that is where you are going to need to be.
So, a very mixed and rambley review but all in all, a very good day was had. I also now own shares in an after sun company as I burnt to a crisp despite my liberal application and regular reapplication of SPF50. Turns out I am far too white to do two days in a row!!