Doug Hanks scopes out Barton G's take on the Versace mansion...
What's new: A pretty significant face-lift for Gianni Versace's old South Beach home. The palazzo's rein as Casa Casuarina left it a bit ragged, with dingy mosaic floors, faded drapes and overstuffed chairs in the 10 hotel suites and a general sense of grandeur diminished. Enter food impresario Barton G. Weiss, the new proprietor. He designed new color patterns for the furniture, set toothbrush polishers to the tile and brought in new chefs and a new name.
Bragging Rights: Where to begin? It has to be the poshest, gauchest, most ostentatious place to stay on South Beach.
Caveat Emptor: There's really nothing traditional here - the pool is tucked into a courtyard, the restaurant is teeny, tourists snap pictures outside all day and there's really nothing to do but enjoy the opulent setting. You're paying for the property's reputation and mystique.
The Aviary Suite at The Villa by Barton G