After the tragic death of Gianni Versace, the designer's palace on Ocean Drive, Miami, was converted to an exclusive club. Now it is a hotel, restored to its full glory and opulence of marble floors, dazzling mosaics, and elegant gardens,with a spectacular swimming pool inlaid with gold and ten stunning suites. The glamour and taste of the late designer was apparent throughout his home, and continues in evidence throughout this latest incarnation of the Italianate palace.
Now known as The Villa by Barton G., the building dates from the thirties when it originated as Casa Casuarina. The couturier Gianni Versace, older brother of Donatella, acquired it in the early nineties and it became the scene of meetings and parties for his rich and famous friends. Sadly, this stage in the building's history came to an abrupt close when Versace was gunned down on the steps of his own home by a serial killer.
Although the building has now undergone a complete restoration, it retains most of the original structure, with all the charm of the Mediterranean style. Inside the hotel, no detail has been overlooked; British-trained butlers attend to the guests who can enjoy a meal in the elegant Versace dining room with its mosaic-covered walls and frescoed ceilings. There's a new spa, in keeping with the elegant taste of its former inhabitant, and each suite is decorated in a distinctive style (Italian, Persian, Baroque...). With facilities for events such as conferences, receptions and weddings – there's no doubt the hotel know how to do things in high style.