- Leggi dell'hotel in italiano
The Villa by Barton G - © S. Poli / EASYVOYAGE
The Villa by Barton G - © S. Poli / EASYVOYAGE
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The Versace Mansion has been converted into a small and very exclusive hotel now known as The Villa by Barton G. As you can imagine, there is nothing ordinary about this little haven of peace, quiet, fashion and flamboyancy! True to Mr Versace himself, Barton G has kept his spirit alive by keeping everything as it was with a few minor alterations. You can rent Madonna's suite (the only one with a bath tub) or Elton John's, both of whom were the designer's very close friends. For those of you who can afford it, this is a beautiful hotel to stay at for its stunning pool with 24 carat gold mosaics and meticulous personalised service. A world-famous landmark worth stopping by for a couple of nights.
Easily missed behind its tall hedges, the Villa is located right in the heart of Ocean Drive - Mr Versace was adamant about being at the heart of the SoBe action. The Villa faces Miami Beach; it is on the other side of the road, amidst Ocean Drive's plethora of hotels. The main sights in the area are within walking distance. Downtown is a 20 minute drive away and the airport is about 30 minutes' drive away.
As this is an exclusive hangout, you must have booked a table or a room to gain entry or you will be turned away at the gates by the suited and booted bouncers guarding the property. Barton G Weiss is a luxury events planner and caterer and the Versace Mansion is the company's first hotelier project. The Villa was originally built by Standard Oil heir, Alden Freeman in 1930 as a haven for his artistic entourage. Mr Versace bought the mansion in 1992, only five years before his assassination. He made it his own, bringing the extravagance to it that it was missing. As well as intricate mosaics, you will also find a large range of frescos reflecting Mr Versace's fascination for Roman mythology and the Roman Masters. Richard Weiss, founder of Barton G, took over the mansion in 2009.
Designed like an Italian villa home, The Villa is without doubt an impressive hotel just because of all the hard graft that has gone into it when Mr Versace lived here. As he was very demanding and was very particular when it came to taste, it is evident that a lot of work has gone into the mansion, even if it isn't to everyone's taste. The second reason that makes this property so special is its last occupant - we all remember seeing photos in the press of the front steps where Gianni Versace was shot dead.
Entering the property does give you slight shivers down the spine - as entrance is restricted, we felt like we were entering a secret landmark. The only giveaway is the hordes of tourists taking photos of themselves outside the black gates.
Inside, we were welcomed in a highly professional yet extremely friendly manner, which was a surprise as we expected staff to be rather on the stuffy side.
The residence is well-appointed around a cool and quiet courtyard. To the right is the garden area with the Versace pool with one of the most impressive mosaics you will find here. Everything here was designed by Mr Versace himself, and you will find the Versace logo throughout the property, so much of the decor is borderline gaudy depending on your taste, but the effort is nothing short of admirable. Imagining Mr Versace here with his family and friends also brings this otherwise very quiet place alive.
In would be wrong to write about the Versace Mansion in terms of facilities - and there are none apart from the eccentrically decorated suites, the pool, the drawing room and the pool area.
The Villa has ten bedrooms, all completely different to one another despite the Italian Renaissance thread running through them all. Every room comes with a privately British-trained butler. The rooms are decadently dressed in lavish fabrics specially designed by Frette for The Villa. All you have to do here is ask, and you'll probably get. The rooms are stocked with gadgets like Kindle readers which guests can borrow during their stay. Every room varies in style, size and design, so when booking just let the hotel know a little about yourself and they will select the room they think would suit you best.
Accommodations range from the stunning Medallion Suite (434 square-foot) overlooking one of the most beautiful mosaics in the mansion to the amorous Venus Suite (1,428 square-foot) with two private balconies perched above Ocean Drive and the mansion's Thousand Mosaic Pool. The Villa Suite (1,174 square-foot), Versace's one-time bedroom, boasts a nine-foot double king-size bed, two balconies, seven closets and a custom oversized shower. The bathrooms all vary too, but are all well-appointed and stocked with The Villa by Barton G products. Madonna and Elton John had their very own suites for when they came to pay a visit to their dear friend - these rooms can be rented by guests, but make sure you book at least a month in advance.
One thing that you can be sure of here is that you will be getting the highest quality from service to bathroom products.
The Dining Room (open from 7pm till late, seven days a week) was entirely designed by Versace himself and although it may be considered as 'too much' by many, the designer's flair cannot be ignored. A mosaic masterpiece, the restaurant, based on a marine theme is a must-visit when in Miami. Everything from the floors, to the ceilings, to the crockery has been planned to the smallest detail. The Dining Room offers refined European cuisine elegantly presented and served on Versace-Rosenthal china, which adds to the exclusive atmosphere that has been creating a culinary buzz all over the city.
The second restaurant to the back of the hotel has a Moroccan theme. Dressed in an impressive array of colourful silks and velvets, this is an ideal place to come for a quiet romantic dinner away from the hustle and bustle of mainstream Miami.
The beach is right across the promenade that lines Miami Beach. The hotel has its own access leading to the beach. The beach is clean, wide, golden, sandy...all the things one would expect from Miami! The hotel has a designated beach area where guests have access to sun loungers and parasols (beach service is included in the room rate). However most guests tend to go for the chic 'at the pool' look (who would want to get a Dior bathing suit all sandy anyway?), where they can get all the service and privacy they want.