Close your eyes and imagine you're in Capri—the impossibly beautiful island just off Italy’s Sorrento Peninsula. Think of the warm sun on your skin, the inviting waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea, and the glorious villas perched on steep cliffs. While traversing the bougainvillaea-laden paths and azure grottos of Capri remains a dream right now, by the time we can travel internationally again (fingers crossed) the new Hotel La Palma by Oetker Collection awaits as it opens its doors in April 2022.
Technically, Hotel La Palma is not a new hotel. It is a rebirth of Capri’s first hotel built in 1822, formerly called Locanda Pagano, which Oetker Collection is transforming into a 50-room and-suite property that is to be the brand's first 'Masterpiece Hotel' in Italy.
“Together with our owner partners Reuben Brothers, we have dreamed about reimagining Hotel La Palma—the first and oldest hotel on the island, which dates back to the beginning of the 19th century—into a true masterpiece in the heart of vibrant Capri Village,” says Anne Benichou, Head of Global Communication at Oetker Collection.
Timo Gruenert, CEO of Oetker Collection, adds: “I simply cannot think of anything more exciting than the outlook of opening a true masterpiece hotel in one of the most beautiful and glamorous destinations in the world, the island of Capri. And as with all our masterpiece hotels, we are truly committed to creating a sense of timeless hospitality, deeply rooted in family spirit and genuine kindness.”
The company is very well-placed to recreate an icon—Oetker owns other legendary properties in its portfolio such as the stunning Hotel Du Cap-Eden-Roc and the much-loved Le Bristol Paris. Here’s what to know and what to expect in this hotel made for the jet set:
Hotel La Palma will be a tribute to La Dolce Vita
The property aims to celebrate the legacy of the location, which is just steps from the famed Piazzetta. The ambitious transformation sees the hotel's capacity reduced from 80 to 50 rooms, each with its own balcony or terrace perfect for afternoons spent savouring il dolce far niente. We're very excited about the design: the room and lobby interiors are by Rome-based Francesco Delogu of Delogu Architects, while Tihany Design from New York, led by Adam Tihany and Alessia Genova, oversee the design of the restaurant, pool, spa, and beach club.
It will continue to be a haven for artists
The owner of Locanda Pagano, Giuseppe Pagano, often hosted artists, writers, musicians, and poets for the pleasure of long conversations. They, in turn, said thanks by painting the walls and doing impromptu performances hence it being known as an “Artists' Hotel”. This iteration of the property hopes to retain its creative links with details that showcase its commitment to arts and craftsmanship. We hear the wonderful ceiling fresco in the lobby by acclaimed artist Roberto Ruspoli is something worth more than a passing glance.
The new amenities embody the true spirit of Capri
The island of Capri is a magnet for the jet-set and Hotel La Palma wants to be the centre of the buzzing social scene. It will launch a much-anticipated rooftop restaurant and bar called Bianca, which enjoys an amazing view of the Sorrento Peninsula and its sparkling waters. In addition, it will also debut the La Palma Beach Club in the Marina Piccola, home to the island's most picturesque beaches and popular restaurants. Think of it as being in a Slim Aarons photograph come to life.
Food will surely be a highlight
While it’s too early to share the exact culinary programme at Hotel La Palma, just know that it's led by chef Gennaro Esposito—the owner of 2-Michelin star restaurant Torre del Saracino and a well-respected name in the Amalfi Coast. And of course, a spritz is customary when vising Italy, and make sure to order a La Palma Spritz when you visit.
All in all, Hotel La Palma is already looking like the perfect post-pandemic cure. And while sustainable travel and wellness experiences will continue to trend, there will also be a clamour to “return to the classics” predicts Benichou.
“Travellers will want to return to their favourites instead of spending on a hotel they’re unfamiliar with. They'll seek out hotel brands that they trust to operate safely and at the highest standards of hygiene and service. Generally speaking, people will desire to socialise, have a good time and explore the world yet again.”