1 This is the third wave
Hospitality has evolved in three distinct phases over the past 20 years. Back in the ’90s, VIP hospitality meant serving from the right, meticulous cutlery geometry, staying quiet and keeping out of sight. With the dotcom boom it became about efficiency, speed and minimalism. Viceroy now believes we’re in the third wave of VIP service – the Social Media phase. Svensson wants every guest to have a personalised experience. Impeccable standards are a minimum, of course, but staff are encouraged to imagine themselves in the guest’s shoes. If a customer is visibly waiting in the lobby, Svensson wants staff to offer refreshments or a charging point for their devices. Basically, think like a customer.
2 Improv reigns supreme
In keeping with the personalised mantra, Viceroy brought in a US-based improv group to train staff on how to handle a wide array of scenarios, all while projecting confidence and happiness. There will be no fake compliments here. Svensson just wants all of their customers to experience a human conversation with the public faces of the hotel.
3 You’d better love isometry
In London, you’re never more than ten feet from a rat, the old adage goes. In the Viceroy, you’re never more than ten feet from an incredibly intricate piece of isometric artwork. Whether it’s engrained into the marble floors, carved into 30ft-tall brass partitions or woven into carpets, isometry is a dominant theme, giving the hotel and its contents a unique look. Just don’t stare at it too long.
4 It’s already too late to become a resident
Let’s face it, for most of us, it was always a pipe dream. The vast majority of apartments and villas are either already off the market or soon to be. The beachfront has seen six five-bedroom, three-storey villas built and promptly sold, each coming with roof terraces, Jacuzzis et al. Meanwhile, the 222 apartments have all been rented out. Sorry about that.
5 There are plenty of guest rooms, though
So worry not. Its 477 stunning rooms designed to perfection are all available for your stay. On a full day, Viceroy will host to up to 1,000 guests. We had a look around one of the two-bedroom suites. These come complete with a generous lounge area, balcony, free-standing baths in each of the en-suites, and a whopping-great 55-inch flat screen chucked in for good measure. Meanwhile, four-bedroom suites indulge guests with Jacuzzis, landscaped gardens, sunbeds and free bubbly at breakfast in the Quattro Passi Italian restaurant.
6 But why would you want to stay indoors?
Viceroy is designed to get visitors outside as much as possible. Its amphitheatrical construct subconsciously funnels guests into the central outdoor area where all the action happens. The hotel hasn’t even opened its doors yet and its central pool is already renowned throughout Dubai. Upon arrival, the 60-metre swimming pool stretches from the front doors, leading straight to the beachfront, flanked by palm trees and an array of top-quality restaurants. For added indulgence, guests can consume beverages at tables in the pool itself. While the pool is reserved for hotel guests “for the time being”, locals can visit the beachfront and join the nightlife, which Svensson tells us will be kind of a big deal. That’s not to mention the 22,000sq m penthouse, potentially bringing with it a mega party hotspot on the 16th floor.
7 Kick back, your way
Whether you fancy catching some rays by the pool or treating yourself at the spa, Viceroy prides itself on letting guests do things their way. In any of the 14 standalone spa treatment rooms, guests can plug in their own music if they choose, have bubbly delivered during treatments or choose from a range of proper healthy foods and drinks. Meanwhile, the tranquil spa pool offers partially submerged massage loungers. Aaaaaand, relax.
8 The Palm community will be activated
Viceroy is one of a number of new hotels opening on the west side of the Palm’s trunk, with three more estates being built between it and the Fairmont. Svensson is determined to use the Viceroy’s opening as a catalyst for turning the Palm into a true community Dubai can be proud of. “Palmies” will get special treatment, in the community spirit.
9 The views. Are. Amazing
Yeah, Viceroy totally nails the views of Dubai Marina, JLT, JBR and the rest; and will soon have the Ain Dubai literally just across the pond. Oh and make sure you check out the Elevate grape bar on the 13th floor. What. A. View.
Viceroy Palm Jumeirah
By the summer, Viceroy expects to have more than 1,000 full-time employees. On launch day there will be 600.
Beyond the 477 rooms and suites, the North and South wings house another 222 residential apartments.
The centrepiece of this amphitheatric hotel is a 60-metre pool, stretching from the entrance to the beach.
The number of bars and restaurants, including Elevate, The Delisserie, Quattro Passi and BLVD on One.