What was probably Europe’s most anticipated hotel opening of the year finally took place on June 1, when, after much delay, the 50-room Hotel La Palma made its debut on Capri. Formerly known as the Locanda Pagano and reportedly the oldest hotel on the island, dating to 1822, the property was acquired by the London-based Reuben Brothers group, which owns several other Italian luxury hotels, in 2019. The German Oetker Collection, owner of a dazzling selection of some of the great hotels of Europe, including Le Bristol Paris and the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes, was enlisted to manage the property, and a monumental top-to-bottom renovation began in 2021.
Happily, despite its central location on the Via Vittorio Emanuele in the town of Capri, this intimate hotel is a quiet, well-mannered place that immediately cloisters guests from the Instagramming crowds. The cool, white lobby with a terrazzo floor and powder-blue-velvet tub chairs establishes the minimalist chic of London-based designer Francis Sultana, who followed a refreshing less-is-more idiom. The result is soothing décor and furniture that’s supremely comfortable — with the occasional flight of fancy, like the lobby’s ceiling frescoes by artist Roberto Ruspoli. The aesthetic aims to please both Oetker’s traditional clientele and the type of affluent, style-conscious young travelers depicted in the hit series “The White Lotus.” This might seem a tall order, but both groups are happy here.
Our Junior Suite Prestige Loggia was spacious and light, with a 150-square-foot covered terrace that was a perfect setting for a lazy breakfast or a shady afternoon with a good book after a swim in the hotel’s new pool. In addition to the beautiful Italian linen sheets, we appreciated the Angeli di Firenze amenities from Santa Maria Novella in Florence in the well-lit bath, which also featured a large soaking tub.