Best of the Best 2011: Hotels: The Villa by Barton G.

Tucked as it is behind a tall garden wall and gate, Miami’s The Villa by Barton G. (305.576.8003, www.thevillabybartong.com) would be easy to miss were it not for the scores of tourists taking photographs out front. Famous as the home of the late fashion designer Gianni Versace—and the location of his murder—the Ocean Drive property reopened last March as the first hotel from Miami-based event planner and restaurateur Bar­ton G. Weiss.

Guests are greeted at the top of the Villa’s stone entry stairs by a butler in tails, who ushers them past a velvet rope and through the front doors. Inside, Versace-designed textiles in wild patterns clash with gaudy wall murals and busy mosaic floors—and that is precisely the point. The 10 suites are equally eccentric, each unique but all equipped with king-size or custom double-king beds and Kindle e-readers loaded with newspapers.

Spa treatments can be had beside a swimming pool decorated with 1,000 mosaic tiles or on a rooftop overlooking Miami’s beaches. The Dining Room at the Villa by Barton G., Weiss’ third restaurant, features the delectable cuisine of chef Jeff O’Neill and a 100-plus wine list presented atop its own podium. ($795–$10,000)

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