Concierge.com's insider take:
It's one thing to walk down Ocean Drive and ogle South Beach's most storied address, the former Versace mansion; it's quite another to slip past the iron gate of this 1930s villa and spend the night. Post-Versace, the property operated as a private club as well as a hotel before one of Miami's most flamboyant impresarios, Barton G. Weiss, took charge in December 2009. The restaurateur and self-proclaimed "experience designer" spent three months shining up the villa's embellishments and amenities, and what a singular batch of luxuries they are. The compound resembles a Moroccan riad, with ten suites surrounding an interior courtyard, a rooftop terrace where you can look down your nose at the South Beach throngs, an observatory, and a pool inlaid with 24K gold tiles. Each suite is bedecked with Versace fabrics and Frette linens and equipped with a personal British-schooled butler to deliver Champagne, press your clothing, and secure you a table at the hottest Design District restaurants. The Villa Suite, once Gianni's private quarters, has two balconies, seven closets, the designer's original 24K-gold shower fixtures, and a custom nine-foot-wide double king bed (the "party bed," quips Weiss). Weiss's creative ambitions also shine on the restaurant's menu, where chef Jeff O'Neill (an alum of New York City's Daniel and Le Bernardin) prepares dishes such as salad with a nitrogenized Caesar dressing and rack of lamb with Greek yogurt jelly cubes—served on Versace china, of course.—Terry Ward
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