Serial killer Andrew Cunanan murdered Gianni Versace on the front steps of the fashion designer’s Miami Beach mansion in 1997, and now those stone steps provide the backdrop for dozens of tourist photos on a daily basis.
But not only can tourists (and fans of FX’s upcoming American Crime Story miniseries, which focuses on the murder) photograph the house, they can stay there overnight. Scroll down for a look inside the boutique luxury hotel known as the Villa Casa Casuarina.
The three-story building was originally built as an apartment complex by Mayflower descendant and Standard Oil heir Alden Freeman in 1930
In 1992, Versace purchased the original house for $2.95 million and the Revere Hotel next door for $3.7 million. He spent an astonishing $32 million on renovations that included demolishing the Revere to make way for a pool, garden, and new south wing of the home.
Versace turned the 24 apartments into 10 large suites in the original house
The designer built an additional two suites in the south wing. Above, the Venus Suite, was where his sister Donatella Versace stayed. Rates for one-bedroom suites today start at $1,199 per night.
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He lined the pool with 24-karat gold tiles
In addition to the guestrooms, it operates the restaurant Gianni’s, which “offers a delicious blend of Italian and Mediterranean food and wine selections.” Decadent dishes include gnocchi di granchio, with New Orleans blue crab, vermouth wine, shallots, parmigiano-reggiano, truffles, and filetto di manzo rossini, with eight-ounce Wagyu filet mignon, pomme confit, grilled asparagus, pan-seared foie gras, and Bordelaise jus.
American Crime Story was filmed over the course of about a month at the hotel
Producer Ryan Murphy told the New York Post he couldn’t believe that he received permission to shoot the series there. “I don’t think I could have made the show if I couldn’t have gotten that house,” he said. “There was no way you could build [a set] of it. Two of the rooms were made out of seashells. [Gianni Versace’s sister] Donatella [Versace] took all the furniture and the art when she sold the house, but through pictures we were able to recreate them.”
The Victor Hotels group paid $41.5 million for the property at a 2013 auction (Donald Trump reportedly put in a bid, too)
A resident artist maintains the artwork that Versace commissioned for the property
“We actually have preserved what Versace created here and just augmented it with some modern touches for the convenience of our hotel guests and restaurant patrons,” Chauncey Copeland, the hotel’s general manager, told the Associated Press.
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