Casa Casaurina – The Famed “Versace Mansion”
Casa Casaurina – the famed “Versace Mansion” opens its doors to the public as an ultra exclusive boutique hotel featuring fine dining, private tours and a glimpse into an exotic lifestyle of luxury, celebrity and incomparable opulence.
Few places elicit our most decadent dreams and celebrity filled fantasies more vividly than the iconic Casa Casaurina. Located on Ocean Dr. with a breathtaking view of the beach and the vast ocean, this incredible property has played host to many celebrities in its time.
In 1992, world famous trend-setter and couturier extraordinaire Gianni Versace purchased the mansion, which, although in great disrepair was an architectural masterpiece with an amazing history. He then commissioned 200 craftsmen who worked 24/7 for 2 years, lovingly restoring and embellishing much of the original work by hand and expanding the property to nearly twice its original size.
The result; a grandiose rococo fantasy interwoven with priceless artwork, sculptures, mosaics, custom furnishings and stained glass celebrating Versace’s love of his Greek and Italian heritage. Evocative settings such as the swimming pool area are an unforgettable mirage in brilliant shades of blue mosaic. The story is that the vibrant swimming pool was designed after one of Versace’s famed scarf collections and consists of over one million, hand laid mosaic tiles, including 24 karat gold leaf tiles that glisten in the water as they are kissed by the Miami sun.
Just off the pool area is Moroccan themed workout room and beside that is a gigantic spa/shower that is legendary for the celebrity filled soirees that transpired there.
All of the guest rooms, which now make up the different suites of the hotel, were based on different design themes and no expense was spared for opulence or authenticity. Naomi Campbell, Elton John, even Princess Di (yes, that Di, Diana, Princess of Wales) were frequent guests – each having private suites designed especially with them in mind. BFF and fellow pop icon Madonna’s suite features the only bathtub on the property.
Speaking of bathroom fixtures, Casa Casaurina at one time housed three 24 karat gold toilet seat covers – the only ones in existence. Upon Versace’s demise, 2 of them were auctioned off: 1 remains in the mansion; 1 belongs to a princess in Japan and the 3rd and final 24 karat gold toilet seat cover belongs to the ever fabulous Kimora Lee Simmons which she proudly showed off on MTV’s “Cribs”
In July, 1997 Versace was tragically killed on the doorsteps of his beautiful mansion. The world will miss his genius, generosity and brilliance, but his legacy lives on in the hearts of countless friends and admirers; in his beautiful designs and in the magnificent Casa Casaurina, now owned by telecom giant Peter Loftin.
Now open to the public, Casa Casaurina still plays host to the rich and famous as they fork out thousands of dollars a night to enjoy the luxuries of this very famed mansion come boutique hotel. If staying the night is somewhat out of your reach, the general public can still enjoy dining in the beautiful setting of the courtyard or a (relatively expensive) drink in the original bar. They also conduct tours of the property for the more inquisitive amongst us.