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Casa Casuarina

1116 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, Florida
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Information about Casa Casuarina

An exquisitely preserved 1930's mansion with 10 suites, located in the heart of the historic Miami Art Deco District, Casa Casuarina is an exclusive members-only club, which allows temporary membership to those staying in one of its sumptuously decorated Junior or One Bedroom Suites. Absolute privacy in the heart of Miami Beach.

HISTORY:
The Casa was built in 1930 by architect, philanthropist, author and political reformer Alden Freeman as an homage to the oldest existing house in the western hemisphere, the "Alcazar de Colon" in Santo Domingo. The Alcazar was home to Christopher Columbus' son Diego in 1510, and Freeman chose to use it as inspiration because of his life-long veneration of Christopher Columbus. Indeed, Casa's cornerstone contains brick from the "Alcazar de Colon".

In 1937 after Freeman's death, Casa Casuarina was bought by Jacques Amsterdam who promptly renamed it "The Amsterdam Palace." It became an apartment house, but its tenants continued to come from the artistic world, attracted to the building as an architectural curiosity.

In 1992 on a trip to Miami, couturier Gianni Versace encountered Casa Casuarina for the first time. Although it had fallen into great disrepair, Versace fell in love with it and bought it. Versace made substantial changes; he painstakingly restored, expanded, and embellished it. The south wing, pool and garden are all Versace's additions made possible after he bought and razed the adjacent hotel. The result was a grandiose rococo folly of Spanish and Italian design, and Casa took on international renown.

For current owner Peter Loftin, owning Casa Casuarina had been a long-held dream. He bought it in September 2000 after Versace's tragic death, and is dedicated to both preserving its history and creating new life in the house. Loftin has made no structural changes to the house, but has done extensive work to preserve its architectural history. Casa Casuarina is now one of the most spectacular by-invitation-only private members' clubs in the world.

DINING:
CHEF WOLFGANG BIRK AT CASA CASUARINA
Casa Casuarina is delighted to welcome the internationally-renowned Wolfgang Birk as new executive chef. German-born Birk brings to Casa a wealth of culinary expertise culled from the best kitchens of Spain, Italy, Germany, North America and beyond, among them Germany's two and three Michelin starred Pane e Vine and Rino Casati, New York's Colors, and Miami's own four star, four diamond Wyndham Grand Bay Hotel and Bice Restaurant. Under Birk, Bice won Best Restaurant in Miami for two consecutive years, as well as the award for Chaine des Rotisseurs, and Birk's many personal accolades include the James Beard Foundation Award in both 1998 and 2004, best chef nominations in Food and Wine Magazine in 2001, 2002 and 2003, and honorable mentions in the New York Times and New York Daily News along with many international food magazines. Birk has worked alongside many of the world's top chefs, and taught at New York's illustrious New School.

Chef Birk will bring to Casa a lively cuisine rooted in the Mediterranean but fused in true Miami style with the colors and flavors of the Caribbean, where Birk opened four world-class restaurants in the Grenadines' five star Carenage Bay Beach & Golf Resort. Guests and members may look forward to sampling such innovative delights as pink peppercorn crusted Kobe beef carpaccio with marinaded artichokes and cassava chips, almond crusted king crab cakes on avocado with crisp lotus roots and bell pepper oil and chorizo-stuffed brook trout on polenta fries and ciopollini onions.

SPA:
SPA ELEVEN
It is time to relish in the most decadent of rituals a luxury spa has to offer. Indulge in the plush comforts of relaxation and the opulence of sheer pleasure. With a menu purely exclusive to Casa casuarina, Spa Eleven brings the utmost customized, lavish experience to each guest.

POOL:
Casa Casuarina is home to the famous thousand mosaic swimming pool designed by Gianni Versace. The hotel also features a moroccan style Observatory roof deck with ocean view. Beachfront private club and private cabanas.

ROOMS:
There are 10 sumptuous suites available to members and guest. Each suite has its own unique d?cor, capturing a different element of the house's colorful, cosmopolitan spirit. But whether the Italian, Persian, Egyptian, Wedgewood, Baroque, La Mer, Parrot, Pompeii, Safari or Owner's Suite is chosen, every guest will delight in the exquisite craftsmanship evident at every turn, from the murals adorning the walls and ceilings, to the carved marble baths, to the intricately mosaic tiled floors, and lavish stained glass windows. Hand-carved, custom-made extra king-sized beds and luxury linens courtesy of Anichini guarantee blissful rest, but for those who need to keep their fingers on the pulse, each room is equipped with wireless internet, satellite radio, plasma television screens and Bose sound systems.

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Miguel Valenzuela and Justin Sheppard In association with Stephanie Ripstein at Casa Casuarina
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