Sunday, May 23, 2010

Armani Hotel Dubai

The facade of Armani Hotel's crown jewel in Dubai.

The fashion designer expands his empire to hospitality with the brand's first-ever hotel in Dubai.

Dubai, the glittery flagship of the United Arab Emirates is hardly known for its restraint. And yet, Giorgio Armani, king of understatement, luxury and elegance, might very well be the perfect match for a place that defines itself by opulence. The fashion designer and lifestyle impresario's first hotel is a mini-Armani universe and a study in luxury in Dubai.
A hallway en route to Armani Lounge.
Located in Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building, the 160-room hotel offers the high-end spartan look that Mr. Armani has come to be known for. Details like stone floors, fabric-covered walls and zebra-wood flooring? Check. A sexy, low-lit vibe? Check. Rooms entirely decked out in furniture from the designer's Armani Casa line? Check. All the signature touches that you'd expect abound in the space which occupies the first eight floors as well as number 38 and 39 of the skyscraper.
The lobby of the Armani Hotel.
But there's much, much more. The Armani touch can also be seen in the hotel's eight restaurants, including Peck Deli, a Milanese institution, as well as others, all bearing the Armani name and specializing cuisines as varied as Mediterranean, Indian and Japanese. And of course, there's the shopping! An Armani Galleria shop featuring couture accessories from the Privé line is the first of its kind.

The Ambassador's Suite -- luxury digs, indeed!
Sleeping Armani, eating Armani and shopping Armani... what else is there? Well for one, you can also stop into Armani Dolci for chocolates and sweets, or pick up some flowers at Armani Fiori designed by -- you guessed it -- Armani! And if all the revelry and shopping leaves you tired, there's always time for a breather at Armani Spa. You've got to hand it to Mr. Armani for thinking of it all.

Though this particular brand of luxury doesn't exactly come cheap -- rooms begin at about $750. Too far to travel? A second Armani Hotel is set to open in Milan next year and next up -- locations in Marrakech, Tokyo, New York, Shanghai and London. Perfect for the Armani aficionado. For now, I think I'll settle for an Armani chocolate-covered almond.