Dubai's economy may be in the dumps, along with an unknown number of floors in its largest skyscraper, the Burj Khalifa, which is still under construction. But finally today, Giorgio Armani made it to Dubai — volcanic Icelandic ash be damned! — to open his first branded hotel in the building. The Armani hotel occupies the first through eighth floors of the building — only to stop for 30 floors before continuing on the 38th and 39th floor. Prices to stay at the hotel, which includes a bunch of restaurants, a pool, and the requisite overpriced spa, start at more than $750 a night. But if you want to spend about $2,200 a night, the Armani Hotel Dubai offers that pleasure too.
It is unclear whether that rate is adjusted for essentially staying in a construction site. While the Armani Hotel's quarters are complete, with glossy chestnut finishings and tasteful purple cushions, the rest of the building surrounding the hotel is very much a construction site. Reuters writes that the building "rises more than 160 stories, though the exact number of habitable floors is not known." Weird. Also putting a thorn in the hotel's fine side:
Armani's hotel will soon have more competition. Rival Italian fashion house Gianni Versace SpA plans to open its own luxury hotel in Dubai later this year. Its claim to fame: an artificially cooled beach designed to keep sunbathing guests from getting too uncomfortable in the Gulf's scorching summer heat.
Touché, Versace. But will that label's hotel look like a disco ball up close? Some travelers have priorities.