By Selina Denman

From the A-shaped swimming pool to the capital ‘A’ carved into each and every sugar cube, Giorgio Armani made his mark on every inch of his debut hotel.

This relentless reiteration of the brand starts in the lobby of the Armani Hotel Dubai, where a series of bronze columns arch overhead, meeting at a point to create a towering collection of artful As. Beneath the arches, mirroring their shape, lie two oversized sofas. The combined result is a consciously contemporary, highly fashionable take on the traditional majlis.

The A-shaped arches are a recurring theme – they reappear on the hotel’s logo, and then again, as a creative alternative to run-of-the-mill table legs. The message is clear: this is an Armani hotel in more than just name.

The hotel exists as a larger-than-life showcase of Giorgio Armani’s creative breadth. The world-famous fashion designer is reported to have overseen every single element of the design, from soap bars to suites.

In fact, getting the shape and colour of the soap right took a rumoured 22 months, and was inspired by a pebble that Armani came across whilst on a beach in his native Italy. “I had not been involved with construction itself but I followed every single step in design and style,” said Armani during the grand opening of the hotel on April 27.

Fino International was enlisted to transform Armani’s vision into a workable reality. “Almost everything was doable – it just took a while and some real guts. Difficult decisions had to be made. We had to translate it into a constructible site that met the standards of the world’s tallest building,” said Talal Saeed, MD, Fino International.

Armani Hotel Dubai occupies floors concourse to eight, as well as levels 38 and 39 of Burj Khalifa.

The property consists of 160 rooms and suites, complemented by 144 private Armani residences, located on floors nine to 16.

When he was first approached by Emaar Properties to design a hotel, Armani questioned whether he was the right man for the job – given his minimalist sensibilities.

Armani recalled saying: “Are you sure you want me? I believe in minimalism, less is more. And when you looked at what was happening here [in Dubai five years ago] you would have thought exactly the opposite. It was a very different style”.