Benvenuti a Capri! Oetker Collection Opens First Masterpiece Hotel in Italy
Capri’s first hotel, originally built in 1822, has been transformed into an elegant 50-room-and-suite property by Oetker Collection and owner partner Reuben Brothers. This is the first hotel designed by interior design visionary Francis Sultana, who collaborated with acclaimed Italian craftsmen and local artisans
Located just steps from the famous Piazzetta, Hotel La Palma comprises two restaurants, bars, its own private beach club, a newly built pool deck, and a spa. Da Gioia by La Palma, the beach club also designed by Sultana, is set to quickly become the day-into-night epicentre of the social scene on the island. Neapolitan Chef Gennaro Esposito leads the culinary vision for all restaurants.
CAPRI, June 2023 – Oetker Collection is delighted to announce the opening of its 11th hotel, Hotel La Palma in Capri. In line with Oetker Collection’s mission to expand its portfolio of Masterpiece Hotels in the world’s most desirable destinations, the debut of the brand’s first Italian property that symbolises the true milestone for an ultra-luxury hospitality company. Owned by Reuben Brothers, Hotel La Palma marks a landmark procurement in their pipeline of investments and developments in Europe. The Reuben Brothers’ acquisition also includes the legendary La Taverna Anema e Core nightclub, a famous nightspot frequented by celebrities, located on the same premises.
A REIMAGINED ICON
Conceived as a unique, elegant Mediterranean retreat on the fabled Italian island for the modern traveller, the original hotel on Capri, which was first opened over 200 years ago, is once more the chicest address on the island. During the 2-5 years of renovation, the hotel’s room count drastically decreased from 80 to 50 rooms – including 18 suites – each completed with its own private balcony or terrace. Located in the beating heart of Capri, steps from the famous Piazza Umberto I – well-known as the ‘Piazzetta’ – Hotel La Palma is perfectly positioned for guests to visit some of the most notable sites of Capri: I Giardini di Augusto, Via Krupp, La Certosa and the iconic Faraglioni. Synonymous with timeless elegance, Capri is famous for its rocky landscape, restaurants, shopping, and illustrious noble visitors including aristocrats, and celebrities, many of those who have visited Hotel La Palma in the past.
In a stunning renovation led by internationally acclaimed designer Francis Sultana, which is his first-ever hotel project, Hotel La Palma has been designed to replicate an inviting home away from home. Francis shares Oetker Collection’s obsessive attention to detail and applied this rigour throughout the process, personally designing everything precisely from the bathroom taps to the dining chairs. He has deftly captured Capri’s beautiful lightness and minimalism while injecting flair and flourishes in a nod to the island’s 1950s jet-set era. Calming hues of Mediterranean blue, green and turquoise complementing the hotel’s soothing natural aesthetic interior while allowing textures to come to the fore to create rooms that are tranquil, tactile, and ultimately, welcoming. All rooms lead into marble and bronze-lined bathrooms that reflect Francis’ signature aesthetic. Paying homage to its roots and ensuring the hotel retained an authentic sense of place, Francis commissioned acclaimed Italian craftsmen and local artisans; with in-room artworks by Luisa Lambri, handmade rattan furniture by Bonacina and custom bathroom fittings by Stella. “Capri is an island that I love. Hotel La Palma is an iconic hotel that everyone will adore in its new lease of life. I wanted my design to reflect the very special relationship I have with Capri, which was love at first sight from my first visit in my early 20s; an island of romanticism and great aesthetes with beauty and great inspiration for creativity, in all its forms,” he comments.
Sultana created the hotel foyer as an artistic statement, paying homage to Hotel La Palma’s original incarnation as a place where artists once stayed and would leave artworks behind to pay their bills. From the moment one enters the hotel, ceiling frescos by Roberto Ruspoli – known as “the artist who reinvented frescos” – honour Italy’s classical past, harmoniously while complementing the soul of the island. “In these paintings, conceived as contemporary frescoes, the classical figures have been inspired by the Roman world. The passage of emperors floats dramatically in blue and green tones, evocative of the sky, sea, and nature; and like ancient fallen plaster, leaves room for the shape of palm trees,” Ruspoli shares.
A FEAST FOR THE SENSES
In true Italian fashion, Hotel La Palma is a gourmand’s delight, with Gennaro’s restaurant, bar, and terrace, under the direction of Chef Gennaro Esposito. Esposito is a culinary hero in Italy, having run his own two-Michelin Star restaurant, Torre del Saracino in Vico Equense, Naples, for the last 23 years. A simple, stylish step back in time to the Capri of the 1950s, Gennaro’s embraces the timeless romance of the island, serving unpretentious, authentic Italian cuisine. A contemporary, vibrant place that shuns formality and celebrates the spirit and cuisine of Capri, Gennaro’s also benefits from being right above the great Taverna Anema e Core. With an enviable vantage point looking down upon the bustling streets of Capri, Gennaro’s terrace provides an atmospheric backdrop to linger over delicious Italian fare and special cocktails. Another highlight is Bianca, a glamorous, newly built rooftop restaurant and bar open for dinner ’til late with spectacular views over Capri Village and the sea in the distance. Bianca, also under the culinary direction of Chef Gennaro Esposito, is set to become the island’s chicest hangout, transporting guests to another time and place. In addition, Hotel La Palma is home to brand-new pool deck complete with an elegant pool bar – Aqua Bar & Pool – which pays homage to the ‘classic Capri’ of the golden age. Chef Gennaro Esposito comments: “We want to offer visitors an authentic Italian experience keeping with the times, however, above all, we pride ourselves in providing a warm and welcoming experience full of Italian flavor. Our cuisine will of course consist of local specialties, although these will be creatively enriched and reinterpreted.”
TO THE BEACH
A short drive to Capri’s southern coast, guests will discover Hotel La Palma’s chic yet laid back Da Gioia by La Palma beach club in Marina Piccola. This is the place where fabulous people come and go, to watch sun-drenched days flow into glittering twilight evenings. Open to non-hotel guests as well, visitors will come from yachts and neighbouring hotels as Da Gioia by La Palma beach club becomes the meeting place of choice on the island for long, lazy lunches created by Esposito. By day, it is a playground for the great and the good and by night, home to carefree indulgence and the place to rendezvous and soak in Capri’s animated social scene. The menu emphasises fresh, locally sourced produce, with great Italian classics such as aubergine parmigiana, lobster pasta, and salt-crusted catch of the day. Da Gioia by La Palma offers 42 sun loungers and a separate private beach that can accommodate up to eight guests, serviced by a dedicated team.
LA DOLCE VITA
After a day by the sea, guests can return to the hotel and indulge in La Palma Spa. The wellness area offers three treatment rooms, including a double suite, and a dedicated beauty cabin. There is also a wet area with a salt room, sauna, Turkish bath, and sensory showers. A fitness area includes state-of-the-art Technogym machines, while the treatments use Tata Harper products, a brand renowned for its natural and organic ingredients. In a hotel first, legendary Italian beauty brand Santa Maria Novella, founded in 1221, provides Hotel La Palma’s bathroom amenities. The hotel has also collaborated with renowned editor and tastemaker GianLuca Longo for an exclusive Hotel La Palma capsule collection, which includes an expansive selection of bespoke products from Italian brands that represent craftsmanship and quality. This includes designs by La Double J, Marinella, Farella, Aquazzurra, Panizza 1879, Marella, Allegra Hicks, Chiara Grifantini, Emilia Brano, La Gae L, and others.
HISTORY & HERITAGE
Originally opened in 1822, Hotel La Palma – formerly known as Locanda Pagano – is the oldest hotel on Capri. The original owner, notary Giuseppe Pagano, hosted travellers in his villa for the pleasure of long conversations and often, his guests were artists, poets, writers, architects, painters, and musicians, all who showed their gratitude by painting the walls, writing poems, singing, and playing in what was dubbed the ‘Artists’ Hotel.’ A collective of creatives began to gather from all over the world, inspirited by the genius loci and charmed by the smooth, familiar atmosphere of this eccentric hotel. Today, Hotel La Palma guests will once again receive the same warm Italian welcome.
Timo Gruenert, CEO of Oetker Collection, comments: “I simply cannot think of anything more exciting than the debut of a true masterpiece hotel in one of the most beautiful and glamorous destinations in the world, the island of Capri. This is a homage to la dolce vita and the legacy of this legendary location – the first hotel in Capri – all while bringing Hotel La Palma once again back to the epicentre of the island’s vibrant social scene. 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.”
Jamie Reuben of Reuben Brothers added: “We are thrilled that Hotel La Palma has joined the prestigious Oetker Collection portfolio of hotels; a group that has, for so long, upheld the very highest standards in refined hospitality. When we acquired the property we saw its potential to become a true world-class hotel, a vision shared by Oetker Collection. We have no doubt that Hotel La Palma will be right at home next to some of the world’s most legendary hotels and part of this glittering hotel brand, and similarly that Oetker Collection will breathe new life into this history-steeped Italian icon.”
HOW TO GET THERE
Capri can be accessed by air or by sea. The closest airport is Naples International Airport, located approximately 10 km from the city’s port. There is also a heliport in Anacapri and other airports include Ravello (20 minutes) and Rome (70 minutes). In addition, the island can be reached by ferry or hydrofoil in 25 minutes from Sorrento or Positano, 50 minutes from Naples, and in one hour from Amalfi
ABOUT OETKER COLLECTION
Oetker Collection is an exceptional portfolio of Masterpiece Hotels, Estates and Villas in Europe, the UK, Brazil and the Caribbean. Located in the world’s most desirable destinations, each property is a landmark and an icon of elegance, blending legendary hospitality with genuine family spirit that is unique to Oetker Collection. Carrying on a refined legacy in hosting that originated in 1872, the Collection’s mission is to preserve and extend its unparalleled standards through acquisition and management of one-of-a-kind properties. The current portfolio includes Le Bristol Paris, Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa in Baden-Baden, Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes, Château Saint-Martin & Spa in Vence, The Lanesborough in London, L’Apogée Courchevel, Eden Rock – St Barths, Jumby Bay Island in Antigua, Palácio Tangará in São Paulo, The Woodward in Geneva, and now Hotel La Palma in Capri.
ABOUT REUBEN BROTHERS
Reuben Brothers is a leader in private equity, real estate investment and development, and debt financing. Its investments include data centres, racecourses, hotels and pubs, aerodromes, media and data centres. Reuben Brothers’ resource heritage is today represented through energy investments, shipping, metal warehousing and mining. The company’s real estate holdings are significant in scale and broadly diversified, encompassing office, retail, hotel, residential and infrastructure properties across the world. Reuben Brothers’ philanthropic arm, the Reuben Foundation, was formed in 2002 and makes essential contributions to the advancement of healthcare and education worldwide. For further information on the Reuben Foundation please visit reubenfoundation.com