If you’re going to have a pool day then you may as well do it properly! With that in mind, there was only one logical choice for Mum’s first day of relaxation…. the beautifully over the top Palazzo Versace!
I am a big fan of this place. It’s so over the top it’s crazy, but all so Versace it just works! Nowhere else could pull off such gaudy extravagance. Well, the Burj Al Arab comes close but doesn’t quite work. Personally, I think it’s the cheap looking cousin.
It never fails to wow no matter how many times I’ve been, and it was such a treat to see Mum’s face take it all in. From the beautifully placed mosaic floors to the stunning flower and gift display in the lobby.
The added bonus of the day was the Christmas tree made of cushions! How incredibly random! I love it!!
For all the general over the top-ness of Versace as a brand, their Christmas decorations are tastefully understated. All along the hallways there are the deepest, warmest poinsettia I have seen anywhere. I’m a bit embarrassed about the scrappy looking offering in my house now!
The Christmas didn’t stop there though. The music they have playing through the corridors is easy listening type Christmas songs that you need in order to relax to at this time of year.
We were very pleased to hear it being continued outside of the building too! As we headed off in the general direction of the pool by Amalfi, which was to be our hiding place for the day, we heard the same lovely tasteful Christmas songs. There was no Wizzard or Slade, just the dulcet tones of Michael Buble, Josh Groban, Andrea Bocelli and the like.
Bonus picture which ruins the flow of the story, but every little corner of the place is just so pretty so I had to show you!
Back to it…
We arrived at the pool and literally had the pick of sun loungers. We were the only people to be seen – just how I like it! Mum had a little think and a consult with the lovely chap that came to greet us, and then chose a perfect balance of sunshine and shade. She tans just by looking at the sun. I burn twice as quick! It’s a hard balance to maintain!
Then there was really nothing to do except for order some drinks (they have stopped giving the cucumber water to non-guests, sadly) and lay back and relax…. until lunchtime that is!
As part of the deal we went to the hotel on, you get pool time AND a BBQ buffet lunch. What is not to like?! On top of that, they had an offer of only AED 100 for a bottle of Pinot Grigio.
Well, it would have been rude to say no after it was explained to us so nicely!
Then the food started to come over…
They bring you these 4 beautiful mini salads to the table. First is the tomato and mozarella salad which wasn’t drowned in pesto (hoorah!) and had a selection of tasty tomatoes included. Then was a lovely quinoa and asparagus salad. The only thing I would do differently is to use the thinner/smaller asparagus which is equally as flavourful but would work better (in my mind) with the fine grain of the quinoa. Next, and this made me very happy, was the coleslaw! Maybe they read my last post about the bbq?! The 4th dish was prawns and watermelon. Really strange and not quite right. I think there needed to be something to tie it together. Feta maybe? With some chili flakes? I picked out the prawns but left the watermelon. I’m totally over that fruit again at the moment!
The bbq’d offerings are separated into meat and seafood. A brilliant idea if you ask me. Mum doesn’t eat seafood and is actually quite allergic. She didn’t have to worry at all about things being mixed up on the grill. It also meant I could have the king prawns and not worry about everything being delivered on the same plate. They were absolutely delicious in case you were wondering!
My taste buds were changing on a daily basis before Christmas. Proven the most by having a glass of my absolute favourite wine one night and hating it. I couldn’t have more than a few sips. A few days later I tried again and it was back to it’s original deliciousness! I was so relieved!
Why am I telling you this? Because I can’t give you an honest review of the meats. None of them felt right in my mouth. This is a product of my stomach issues and is perfectly explained with the above wine story. Mum really enjoyed most of the meat so that’s a good recommendation as she generally prefers the salads and vegetables! The only piece that we both agreed was terrible was the kofta. It was possibly poor quality meat, too mulched up, and then pressed on the skewer too tightly. It was a total fail in our opinion. I just had more prawns!
All meats and seafood are cooked to order, and bought to your table. I though that was a great step forward from their last attempts too. Well done Amalfi!!
FINALLY, it was dessert time! Freshly made churros with a trio of dipping sauces – chocolate, caramel and vanilla.
I’m not sure what those colourful looking sticks were but Mum at them up while I polished off most of the churros!! Sadly mine were plain this time. They didn’t have any sugar left that wasn’t messed up by that horrible cinnamon stuff. Obviously this didn’t stop me from having a second helping an hour or so later…
That is a good point actually… you can keep nipping back for a little munch during the 4hrs the buffet is open. So, for example, when you’ve polished off the rest of bottle of wine in the pool, in the sun, and with no help from your mother, you can go back and get a couple more of their chicken and beef sliders to soak up some of the booze!!
You can also order ice cream to your sun lounger. This is a very good idea and I urge you all to try it.
Sadly this deal is no longer in The Entertainer. Keep an eye on the Monthly Offers section though as it may still come up randomly.