Two decades after designer’s tragic death, the Versace Mansion is in the spotlight again after premiere of FX’s Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.
Countless tourists have been taking photos in front of the main entrance to the villa on the Ocean Drive, where Versace was shot to death in 1997, but what’s behind this doors is not a residential house anymore, nor a museum.
The Villa Casa Casuarina, Gianni Versace’s three-story mansion, is now a luxury 10-suite boutique hotel.
This luxury hotel was the location of the filming of the most part of the series that follows the intriguing life and death of the famous designer, starring Penelope Cruz (Donatella Versace), Edgar Ramirez (Gianni Versace) and Ricky Martin (Gianni’s partner Antonio D’Amico).
The entire opening of the TV series was shot in the interior of the grandiose mansion, as well as its exteriors, especially the Million Mosaic Pool area and the first courtyard. The opulence of the extraordinary house couldn’t be recreated in the studio, so it was crucial for the show to be filmed at the actual location (head to EW for more exclusive pictures).
Before it was a luxury hotel, or a crime scene, or even the house of the world’s famous designer, it was an apartment building constructed the thirties. Gianni Versace discovered the house by accident while on vacation in Miami, falling in love with its Spanish architecture, and bought the property in 1992. The designer spent over $30 million in renovation, and it took three years to finish the house. The south wing was added, as well as the gold-tiled swimming pool and multiple gardens resulting in a 23,000-square-foot home wi+kth 10 bedrooms, 11 bathrooms and an open-air courtyard.
The hotel retains his signature lavish style as the homage to the late designer. The new owners reproduced the furniture, touched up the original murals, and copied the details based on the archival photographs to keep it as close as possible to Gianni Versace’s vision.
Versace lover? You can stay in his former bedroom, now called The Villa Suite or the room of his sister Donatella – The Venus Suite, or enjoy an exquisite Mediterranean cuisine and Italian wines in the restaurant, called Gianni’s. Or relax by the pool, containing thousands of 24-karat gold tiles, with a “24-karat Golden Margarita” in the hand and the sun on the face.