Reservations are required for afternoon tea (served from 2:30 to 4 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays in the Mosaic Garden)
Looking to take a break from the beach scene? Try the property’s Thousand Mosaic Pool, where Versace’s 24K gold tiles still gleam
Top Miami Beach restaurants and nightclubs are just a five-minute cab ride away
Parking on site
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Former Versace mansion turned exclusive villa hotel with a top-notch restaurant and a 24K pool courtyard, just across from South Beach
The Villa Miami Beach delivers a delicate mix of flamboyance and sophistication worthy of the mansion that once belonged to Gianni Versace. Past the iron gates (and the many celebrity seekers) that surround the 1930s villa — which is directly across from the beach — the property opens up like a scene from One Thousand and One Nights.
Bed and Bath
The layout is reminiscent of a Moroccan riad: 10 suites set around an interior courtyard with a fountain, with carved wood doors and intricate tiling. The Villa Suite is Versace’s former boudoir and, unsurprisingly, the most lavish — two balconies, gold shower fixtures and a truly enormous bed (nine by 12 feet) — but the other nine suites are close contenders. Each has Frette linens, Versace fabrics, a Sono sound system and a sleek bathroom clad in Italian marble.
You’d be remiss not to reserve a table at the villa’s 30-seat restaurant, where river pebble mosaics adorn the walls, candles in colored vases cast a glow over the tabletops, and Versace china announces that eating here is as much an aesthetic experience as a gustatory one. The menu from chef Jeff O’Neill (of Miami’s exclusive Gibraltar) features Old World dishes infused with innovative ingredients, such as the clementine carrot velouté with mascarpone and the maple-glazed barramundi in white ginger broth.
In the Area
This is the famed Art Deco District; don’t leave without taking a walking or bicycle tour, self-guided or otherwise, in order to see all the incredibly restored historic properties. While Ocean Drive itself can be touristy, and mediocre foodwise — with the exception of Prime 112, De Rodriguez Cuba and BLT Steak — it also offers some wicked fun, especially at the neighboring Palace South Beach, which is renowned for its colorful drag queen shows. Parallel avenues Collins and Washington feature world class dining and nightclub options, ranging from the Bazaar by José Andrés in the SLS Hotel to Mansion Nightclub. Perpendicular to the beach, the Lincoln Road walking mall is great for people watching and café hopping.