An architectural jewel in the heart of South Beach
“A classy alternative to the usual Deco style, thanks to Gianni Versace’s architect, Peter Hawrylewicz.” Conde Nast Traveller
Unlike South Beach’s ubiquitous art deco style, the Impala, built in 1920, is Spanish Mediterranean Revival. Restored in 1993 by Gianni Versace’s architect, Peter Hawrylewicz, the Impala Hotel features numerous elements originally intended for the Versace Mansion, including an Italian-made floor mosaic in the lobby. The striking floor mosaic is the visitor’s first taste of the artwork that graces the hotel. The mosaic was originally intended for the Versace Mansion, which Peter Hawrylewicz was working on at the same time he was redesigning the space here. Small artistic touches everywhere remind guests that this is a place where extra care was taken. Ken Lieber, an investor in the Impala project, said, “Mr. Versace had a much bigger budget than we did, but the pitted and patinated saturnia-stone floors in the hotel and the Versace house are from the same source. The mosaic, a gift from Gianni Versace, who frequented the restaurant, sports the late designer’s sun logo. Spiga restaurant occupies the front of the building, so you have to enter the hotel from the side through a flowered path with a fountain. French doors lead to the small lobby, where the large, eye-catching mosaic is imbedded in the stone floor.
The new design of the Impala is deeply inspired by the beach and cliff side hotels found along Italy’s Amalfi pays homage to the elements of the Mediterranean with sultry hues of yellow, gold, orange and pale blues seen throughout the luxury infused Impala hotel.
The hidden entryway of the hotel leads guests into a tranquil coral rock courtyard that features a fountain modeled after a grotto he admired in Capri.
Upon entering the open lobby, guests’ eyes are drawn to a mural of the arresting Empress Theodora designed by fashion icon, Christian LaCroix. As they look down they are standing on the Italian Floor mosaic of the sun that was originally intended for the Versace Mansion.
Below a picture of the Impala Hotel in 1953.