©Ken Hayden Photography.
Photo: The Villa Casa Casuarina

The late fashion icon’s once-private playground is now a boutique hotel, and it’s just as opulent as ever.

By Marisa Spyker

Lavish beachfront mansions are bound to turn heads, but few draw as many eyes—and tourist selfies—as the Villa Casa Casuarina, better known as the Versace Mansion.

Photo: The Villa Casa Casuarina

Once the personal home of the Italian designer—and the site where he was famously killed—the 23,000-square-foot Mediterranean-style manor is now a posh 10-suite boutique hotel perched along Miami Beach’s Ocean Drive. It’s also the real estate star of Ryan Murphy’s upcoming The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, which premieres January 17 on FX.

©KenHaydenPhotography
Photo: The Villa Casa Casuarina

While it was originally built in 1930 for an oil fortune heir, Versace can largely be credited for seriously upping the swank on the South Beach property. After purchasing the home in 1992, the designer invested nearly $33 million in renovations and additions, which include the home’s south wing, gardens, and the “Million Mosaic Pool,” a 54-foot, 24-karat-gold-lined pool built with more than a million mosaic tiles.

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Photo: The Villa Casa Casuarina

Prior to the home’s infamous existence, Versace’s opulent style was largely what defined the mansion.

©KenHaydenPhotography
Photo: The Villa Casa Casuarina

As part of his no-expense-spared renovation, the home’s 24 rooms were converted into 10 extravagant suites with mural-adorned walls, carved ceilings, and Italian marble bathrooms with gold-plated fixtures. (Even the toilet, auctioned off after his death, was crafted with $10,000 worth of marble and gold.)

The Villa Casa Casuarina

After the designer’s death in 1997, the property changed hands with the intention of transforming the real estate masterpiece into a luxe boutique hotel—and thus, Villa Casa Casuarina opened its doors in 2015, maintaining much of the essence that made the Versace mansion unique.

Ken Hayden Photography
Photo: The Villa Casa Casuarina

In addition to the lavishly appointed suites, the hotel also offers a gourmet Italian-themed restaurant, aptly named Gianni’s, and a dark-wood-clad bar named Onyx (formerly the designer’s kitchen).

Photo: The Villa Casa Casuarina

Should you want to rest your head in Versace’s former bedroom (the Villa Suite), it’ll set you back $1,300 per night. The boutique hotel’s other rooms start at a slightly more reasonable $900.

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Gianni Versace's former bedroom is now the hotel's Villa Suite.
Photo: The Villa Casa Casuarina

But, of course, that comes with the rare opportunity to stay in a place marked by one of the world’s most influential fashion designers.