In a sea of high rises, the sand-coloured Palazzo Versace stands out for being only four storeys tall – but don’t let its diminutive height fool you. The second floor is split in two to allow for a sparkling 750-kilogram Italian-imported chandelier to preside over the marble lobby and the opulence doesn't end there: the gilded guest rooms feature double spa baths and the lagoon-style pool is enormous, fringed with cabanas, palm trees and its own mini beach. Overlooking Broadwater and a sliver of the Coral Sea, Palazzo Versace is set apart from the action of Surfers Paradise.
At Main Beach, next to Sea World. It’s around a 40-minute drive to the airport and 10 minutes to Cavill Avenue at Surfers Paradise.
No matter which room you’re in, stepping inside is like stepping into a jewellery box. Rooms range from the 36-square-metre Superior to the Imperial Suite, which has a separate dining room and full kitchen, but each is adorned with sumptuous fabrics in saturated hues: gold, ruby, amethyst and deep sapphire (and the silky lounges are surprisingly deep and cosy). The eagle-eyed will spot Versace’s Medusa logo affixed to every tiny detail, including the burnished light fittings and even stamped onto the snuggly towels. Suites feature full verandahs with sun lounges; rooms have Juliet balconies that invite the sea breeze in.
Food and drink
Vanitas is the hotel’s flagship restaurant, hatted several times over and serving an Italian-inspired menu and a six-course dégustation. Il Baracco offers an abundant buffet for breakfast and dinner (unlimited barista coffee with the former; seafood-focused for the latter). Aperitivi and decadent high teas at Le Jardin are accompanied by the tinkling of a baby grand piano, courtesy of musician Cassidy Wilson, that echoes pleasantly throughout the cavernous lobby on weekends. If you don’t want to leave your room, order in: the menu is impressive and extensive.
For business travellers
There are several conference rooms on site and guests travelling without their own device can log in to one of the two desktop Mac computers in alcoves near the elevators behind the check-in desk.
For wellness travellers
The gym is well appointed with plenty of cardio machines and a large selection of free weights. On the same basement level is the Aurora Spa Retreat, a tranquil space where treatments can begin and end with a dip in the Roman-bath-inspired heated indoor pool or, if you want to shock your senses, a quick immersion in the very hot or very cold plunge pools.
The fab factor
Every detail of this hotel could be described as fabulous but it really is the small things that stick: as part of the turndown service, an oil burner filled with Versace fragrance is lit, gently perfuming the room for slumber.
Best for: Romance and luxury traveller
Number of rooms: 200
Rates: From $399/night including buffet breakfast for two
Parking: Free for self parking or $30 for valet
Address: 94 Seaworld Drive, Main Beach
Phone: (07) 5509 8000