Looking like something out of a Luca Guadagnino movie, Hotel La Palma has always been a quintessential symbol of Capri’s vibrant reputation as Italy’s greatest island. The warmth and tactility of Amalfi Coast’s la dolce vita era shapes this legendary property, which has the distinction of being Capri’s very first hotel dating back to 1822. It’s one of the most notable properties in the entire country, so when news hit that German luxury hotel group Oetker Collection purchased the hotel last year, luxury travellers from around the world waited to see what the relatively young company would do for their Italian debut.
The answer is here. With a grand re-opening scheduled for 1st July 2022, the Oetker Collection has revealed a substantial refresh that shrinks the Hotel La Palma’s accommodation to just 50 rooms, removing around 30 of the previous rooms for something even more boutique-minded than before.
Even 18 of the hotel’s beloved suites have been completely eliminated as part of the transformation, which now frees up space to have every single room come with a private balcony or terrace overlooking… well, if you know, you know.
Hotel La Palma remains the hospitality heart of Capri, being that it’s just mere steps from the famous Piazzetta di Capri – reputedly the most fashionable square in the world and, for many, a notch in the crown jewel of Italian luxury and romance.
However, the Italian luxury hotel has added plenty of features that should tempt guests away from the square, a self-contained precinct that includes a restaurant, bar and terrace headed by Michelin-star chef Gennaro Esposito.
The amenities are propped up by another venue named Bianca, which should be one of the most popular features of the new-look Hotel La Palma considering it crowns the hotel’s rooftop overlooking Capri village and the Tyrrhenian Sea. As pictured above, the rooftop bar has a very ornate approach that looks to be in opposition to the other public areas throughout the hotel, moving away from the soft blue palette for yellows, deep forest greens and terracotta.
The original design by Francis Sultana still flows over the hotel, so regular visitors shouldn’t be left dissatisfied with what Oetker has done here. The tireless work by numerous Italian craftsmen and local artisans has been kept very much in-tact, just with an extended grip and a firm sense of what la dolce vita could look like in the modern era.
Perhaps the best example of this is the hotel’s completely new pool deck, which features a world-class pool bar and looks like the perfect place to relax after popping into the three-room spa that’s complemented by a sauna, steam bath, ice shower and fitness center.
Hotel guests also have access the the La Palma Beach Club, which extends beyond the hotel and is off-site along Capri’s southern coast in an area called Marina Piccola. The buzzy beach club will slide in gently into one of the fabled island’s most energetic precincts where Capri’s small but pristine beaches and best restaurants stand.
“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,” said Timo Gruenert, CEO of Oetker Collection.
“It will be an homage to La Dolce Vita and the legacy of this legendary location – the first hotel in Capri – while reinventing Hotel La Palma to once again be the epicenter of the island’s vibrant social scene.”
Considering some of the other properties in the Oetker Collection portfolio are amongst the most stunning boutique hotels I’ve seen in recent years, including Le Bistrol Paris and Geneva’s incredible The Woodward, it’s no stretch of the imagination to assume Hotel La Palma will once again become Capri’s most enviable luxury address and a must-visit for anyone planning to head over anytime soon.