1116 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach; 786-485-2200 or firstname.lastname@example.org; vmmiamibeach.com
So you’ve been watching “The Assassination of Gianni Versace,” the latest season of Ryan Murphy’s series “American Crime Story,” which stars Edgar Ramirez, Darren Criss, Ricky Martin and Penelope Cruz. And now you want to see the mansion where the fashion icon lived and died up close.
The good news: You can absolutely go there, no problem. The bad news: it’s not going to be an inexpensive visit.
The former home of the Italian fashion designer is now The Villa Casa Casuarina, a boutique hotel. Located at 1116 Ocean Drive on South Beach, the mansion was built in 1930 by architect Alden Freeman. Versace bought it in 1992. After his death – serial killer Andrew Cunanan shot him on the steps in July of 1997 – developer Peter Loftin bought the property and renovated it.
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Here are the best ways to see the hotel.
You can stay there
A suite at the Villa can cost as much as $1,399 a night (that’s for most Fridays and Saturdays.) But cheer up! You can save by staying there Sunday through Wednesday, when the price is a much more manageable $899. You have three choices: the one-bedroom suite, the superior suites and exceptional suites. Ball out and be exceptional.
You can eat dinner there
Dining at Gianni’s at the Villa is going to set you back, especially if you decide to order the veal tomahawk ($60); the Wagyu filet mignon ($59) or the grilled Maine lobster ($52). If you want to cheap out, there’s always the bucatini all borttaga (pasta with tomatoes, garlic and parsley for $28). We’re not even going to get into the caviar menu, although it’s impressive. Maybe stick to the soup of the day ($15) and visit Pollo Tropical afterward.
You can eat lunch there
A prix fixe lunch at Gianni’s is $29 for appetizer, entree and dessert - and, most importantly, a nice view of that million mosaic pool.
You can visit the exclusive sushi bar there
For $125 including tax and tip, you can have an omakase experience at Sushi By Bou upstairs in Gianni’s Suite.
Get a massage
You can pamper yourself at the spa with a $75 30-minute massage or a $175 90-minute massage. You can book a reflexology session. There are scrubs and wraps and mysterious detoxifying rituals as well.
Take a photo on the steps
This is what most of us do (or did – locals have been doing this for decades). Wander down to Ocean Drive and take a photo outside the building. Then go have dinner at a place you can afford.