By Hilary Alexander, Fashion Director www.telegraph.co.uk
Back in the good old days, it was enough for a billionaire designer at the top of his or her game to own a super-yacht, a private island, a Manhattan penthouse, a Tuscan villa and a chalet in Gstaad.
Not any more. To truly be a 21st century, global lifestyle superstar you need to own a hotel, as well.
They are certainly the must-have accessory for Italian designer brands. Missoni has one in Edinburgh. Krizia has one in Barbuda. Moschino Cheap & Chic opened one in Milan during the last Milan Fashion Week on the site of the city’s oldest railway station. And Versace has two – in Dubai and on Australia’s Gold Coast.
Not to be outdone, Giorgio Armani has now just opened his hotel in the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa, in Dubai. Not content with letting his many collections be a feast for the eyes, the Italian fashion maestro seems determined his hotel should be a feast in every sense of the word.
The Armani Hotel Dubai boasts not one, not two, not even three or four – but EIGHT restauarants, ranging from Italian (certo!) and Indian to Japanese and Mediterranean.
The hotel occupies floors concourse to eight and levels 38 & 39 of the 2,717 foot high, 160-floor, Burg Khalifa, which, incidentally, is home to the world’s highest mosque and swimming pool, on the 158th and 76th floors.
Like the rest of the hotel, the restauarants in Armani Hotel Dubai have all been personally designed by Giorgio Armani, and include Armani Peck, inspired by the famous Milanese deli; Amal, which features Indian delights; Ristorante, for traditional dishes from Tuscany and other regions; and Armani Privé, the VIP lounge, open from 9pm until 3am, and named for the design maestro’s Armani Privé couture collection, which he shows in Paris every January and July.