The newly opened world-class La Palma in Capri is internationally acclaimed interior design visionary Francis Sultana’s first hotel project, in which he reimagines the iconic property, deftly capturing the island’s lightness and minimalism while injecting flair in a nod to its 1950s jet-set era.
Capri’s oldest hotel, originally built in 1822, has been transformed by Oetker Collection and owner partner Reuben Brothers into an elegant 50-room-and-suite property.
Located just steps from the famous Piazzetta, Hotel La Palma comprises two restaurants and bars, a newly built pool deck, spa and its own private beach club, Da Gioia by La Palma, also designed by Sultana and set to quickly become the day-into-night epicentre of the island’s social scene.
Oetker Collection’s 11th hotel remains in line with its mission to carefully expand its portfolio of Masterpiece Hotels in the world’s most desirable destinations, and the debut of the brand’s first Italian property symbolises a true milestone for the ultra-luxury hospitality company.
Synonymous with timeless elegance, Capri is famous for its rocky landscape, restaurants, shopping, and illustrious noble visitors including royalty, aristocrats and celebrities, many of whom have visited Hotel La Palma in the past.
In a stunning 2.5-year renovation project led by the Malta-born, London-based designer, Hotel La Palma saw its room count drastically decrease from 80 to 50 as it was reimagined to be an inviting home away from home.
Sultana shares Oetker Collection’s obsessive attention to detail and applied this rigour throughout the process, personally designing everything from the bathroom taps to the dining chairs.
Calming hues of Mediterranean blue, green and turquoise complement the hotel interior’s soothing natural aesthetic and allow textures to come to the fore to create rooms that are tranquil, tactile and welcoming.
All rooms lead into marble and bronze-lined bathrooms that reflect Sultana’s signature aesthetic.
Paying homage to its roots and ensuring the hotel retained an authentic sense of place, he commissioned and collaborated with acclaimed Italian craftsmen and local artisans.
In-room artworks are by Luisa Lambri, handmade rattan furniture is the work of Bonacina and custom bathroom fittings are from 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,” Sultana said.
“I wanted my design to reflect the very special relationship I have with Capri; that was love at first sight from my first visit in my early 20s.
“It is an island of romanticism and great aesthetes with a beauty and great inspiration for creativity, in all its forms,” he commented.
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.
On entering the hotel, ceiling frescos by Roberto Ruspoli – known as “the artist who reinvented frescos” – honour Italy’s classical past, harmoniously complimenting 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 shared.
The ‘Artists’ Hotel’
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, who all 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, inspired by the genius loci and charmed by the smooth, familiar atmosphere of this eccentric property.
Today, Hotel La Palma guests will once again receive the same warm Italian welcome.
“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,” said Oetker Collection CEO Timo Gruenert.
This is an homage to la dolce vita and the legacy of this legendary location – the first hotel in Capri.
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, a culinary hero in Italy.
Another highlight is Bianca, a glamorous, newly built rooftop restaurant and bar with spectacular views over Capri Village and the sea in the distance.
A short drive away to Capri’s southern coast, guests will discover Sultana’s hand in the hotel’s chic yet laidback Da Gioia by La Palma beach club in Marina Piccola, where fabulous people come and go to watch sun-drenched days flow into glittering twilight evenings.
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.