(Photo Courtesy of the Villa Casa Casuarina)
The Villa Casa Casuarina (aka the Versace Mansion) is now open to guests as one of the most sought-after luxury retreats in South Florida. Ideally located across from the water on Miami’s vibrant Ocean Drive, The Villa offers breathtaking ocean views as well as bespoke guest experiences just steps away from the beach. Acquired by Victor Hotels in September of 2013, the lavish three-story, tensuite,
luxury boutique hotel offers unparalleled service and elegant style in an opulent yet
sophisticated setting. The hotel also features an Italian restaurant, Gianni’s, named after
the legendary Versace designer and former owner, with both indoor and outdoor seating.
Built in 1930 by the architect, author and philanthropist Alden Freeman, heir to the
Standard Oil fortune, the home was modeled after the oldest viceregal residence in
America, the “Alcazar de Colon” located in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
In 1992, famous Italian designer Gianni Versace purchased The Villa Casa Casuarina and
spent $33 million dollars renovating the property. Additions included a south wing,
garage, gold-tiled swimming pool, and multiple gardens resulting in a 23,000 square-foot
home with 10 bedrooms, 11 bathrooms and an open-air courtyard.
Now operating as a luxury boutique hotel, the posh villa stands as the third most
photographed home in the country. Beyond the front gates, the mansion’s interior
radiates a Mediterranean ambiance boasting rich jewel tones, gilded wood and
magnificent mosaics. Ten extravagant guest suites – comprised of three Superior Suites,
three Ocean View Suites, and four Exceptional Suites – come well-appointed with king
size beds or custom double-king beds, oversized Italian marble bathrooms with goldplated
fixtures and two shower heads, expansive closet space, separate living
rooms/sitting areas and balconies/patios.
The on-property restaurant, Gianni’s, showcases nouveau Italian Mediterranean fare by
Executive Chef Thomas Stewart. Signature dishes include Gnocchi di Granchio,
featuring New Orleans Blue Crab, Vermouth Wine, Shallots, Parmigiano-Reggiano,
Truffles and Filetto di Manzo Rossini, with 8 Oz. Wagyu Filet Mignon, Pomme Confit ,
Grilled Asparagus, Pan Seared Foie Gras , Bordelaise Jus. Upon arrival, guests are
welcomed by an open-air courtyard leading to three unique dining areas- the Medusa
Dining Room, the Moroccan Room, and the ever so popular Patio that overlooks the
elegant Mosaic Garden. For those looking for cocktails in a more casual atmosphere,
Gianni’s at The Villa offers the intimate Onyx Bar that is ideal for pre- or post-dinner
drinks, and features the 24 Karat Golden Margarita and Berrisace Collins cocktial.
Guests can lounge at the crown jewel of the private oasis – a stunning 54-foot-long
mosaic pool lined with 24-karat gold in the elegant Mosaic Garden. Built as part of the
“New Wing” by Versace in 1992, the garden pool showcases the largest image of
Versace’s iconic Medusa logo on the property. Constructed in Versace’s hometown of
Calabria, Italy, the Medusa was shipped to Miami Beach in a number of segments and
assembled onsite. The luxurious pool was inspired by Versace’s “Marine Vanitas”
collection and is comprised of more than one million mosaic tiles, thousands of which are
Looking to see all this in person? Our tour covers the Versace Mansion and more on our South Beach Walking Food Tour.
1116 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, Florida 33139.