The magnificent mansion in Florida where Gianni Versace lived and died is opening its doors to the public.
Casa Casuarina is a three-storey, Mediterranean-style home surrounded by a high wall on a fashionable stretch of Ocean Drive in South Beach and tours are now on offer for $65.
Visitors get to see the exquisite central courtyard, dining room, lounges, pool and a marble toilet with a gold seat, said to be one of only three in the world. The upstairs bedrooms are off-limits on the tour, but those willing to part with substantial amounts of cash can stay in one of the villa’s ten suites or join its private club.
Casa Casuarina was built in 1930 by the Standard Oil heir, Alden Freeman. It later became a hotel, but fell into disrepair and was at one point a hostel where rooms went for as little as $1 a night. Versace bought it in 1992, along with a hotel next door, and ordered extensive renovations to make the estate what it is today.
Versace was shot dead outside his home in 1997. The family sold it three years later and it’s now owned by the telecommunications mogul, Peter Loftin.
by Andy Moreton
Visit the Versace mansion and get great rates through Luxique for a fabulously chic South Beach hotel.