Features Mann Overboard

Oetker Collection to open its first Masterpiece Hotel in Italy

Photo courtesy of La Palma

Capri’s first hotel, originally built in 1822, is being transformed by Oetker Collection and owners, Reuben Brothers, into an elegant 50-room-and-suite property. This is the first hotel designed by interior design visionary, Francis Sultana, who is collaborating with acclaimed Italian craftsmen and local artisans.

Located mere steps from the famous Piazzetta, Hotel La Palma will comprise a rooftop restaurant and bar, its own beach club, a newly built pool deck, a spa and high-fashion boutiques. The La Palma Beach Club, also designed by Sultana, will become the day-into-night, buzzing epicenter of the social scene on the island. The food concept will be led by Neapolitan Chef Gennaro Esposito.

Reimagining a Capri icon, the 11th hotel of the collection, a 50-key hotel in vibrant Capri Village, will be a complete transformation of the original Hotel La Palma which dates back to 1822 the oldest hotel on the island. In line with Oetker Collection’s mission to carefully expand its portfolio of masterpiece hotels in the world’s most desirable destinations, the brand’s first Italian property was brought to life the island’s iconic dolce vita lifestyle on June 1, 2023.

Hotel La Palma is owned by Reuben Brothers, marking the latest landmark procurement in their pipeline of investments and developments in Europe. The Reubens Brothers’ acquisition also includes the legendary La Taverna Anema e Core nightclub, a famous nightspot frequented by celebrities, located on the same premises.


Hotel La Palma will celebrate the timeless and warm hospitality for which Oetker Collection is loved. The property has been conceived as a unique, elegant Mediterranean retreat on the fabled Italian island for the modern traveler. The original hotel on Capri will once more become the chicest address on the island for people who want to see and be seen. During its renovation, the room count of the hotel is being drastically decreased, from 80 to 50 rooms – including 18 suites – each complete with its own private balcony or terrace. Located in the beating heart of Capri, just around the corner 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. Another of the island’s best-known, must-visit natural sites in easy reach from the hotel is the Grotta Azzurra the Blue Grotto, a dark cavern where the sea glows electric blue, the result of sunlight passing through an underwater cave.


In true Italian fashion, Hotel La Palma will be 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, for the last 23 years. A simple, stylish step back in time to the Capri of the 1950s, Gennaro’s will embrace 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 will also benefit from being right next door to the great Taverna Anema e Core. Another highlight will be Bianca, a glamorous, newly created rooftop restaurant and bar open until late in the evenings with spectacular views over Capri Village and the sea in the distance. Bianca, also under the culinary direction of Chef Gennaro Esposito, will become the island’s chicest hangout, transporting guests to another time and place. In addition, Hotel La Palma will offer a brand-new pool deck, complete with an elegant pool bar that pays homage to the classic Capri of the golden age.


A short drive to Capri’s southern coast, guests will discover Hotel La Palma’s elegant, yet buzzing La Palma Beach Club in the Marina Piccola, home to the island’s most famous beaches and restaurants. This will be the place where fabulous people come and go to watch sun-drenched days flow into glittering twilight evenings. Open to non-hotel guests, visitors will come from yachts and neighboring hotels as La Palma Beach Club becomes the meeting place of choice on the island for long, lazy lunches created by Gennaro Esposito and sunset cocktails. By day, it will be 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. Meanwhile, back at the hotel, there will be an indulgent spa that will offer three treatment rooms, including one double treatment suite, a sauna, steam bath and ice shower, relaxation space and a fitness center. The hotel also offers three boutiques.


The property’s interiors are currently being transformed by Francis Sultana, a true maestro in the world of high-end interior design, in collaboration with Francesco Delogu of Delogu Architects. Sultana is one of the world’s foremost interior and furniture designers, working across both residential and commercial projects. His atelier studio is based in St James’s, London in the same building as David Gill Gallery, where he is also artistic director. Sultana is loved for his unique ability to merge the residential requirements of a domestic space with often large-scale visual art, sculpture and installation pieces. Sultana has frequented Capri for decades and has a great affinity for the island, its people and its culture. “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, that was love at first sight from my first visit in my early 20s; an island of romanticism and great aesthetes with a beauty and great inspiration for creativity, in all its forms,” Sultana commented.

Sultana has 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 them. From the moment one enters the hotel, the ceiling frescos of Roberto Ruspoli will immediately capture the attention. Keeping the space open, Sultana has sparingly added splashes of Mediterranean blue, green and turquoise – colors that dance around the interior. The curves of the ceiling are mirrored in the scalloped edges of the reception and concierge desks, and there is detailing in the planters, niches and column capitals. Large palms in planters bring the outdoors in, nodding to Capri’s love affair with the palm tree, which is also reflected in the hotel’s new logo as an abstracted palm tree design. Sultana has also incorporated bespoke lighting and upholstered furniture exclusively designed for Hotel La Palma.

The bedrooms have been designed to be a perfect “home away from home.” Exquisite craftsmanship, luxurious materials and the utmost attention to detail create rooms that are tranquil, tactile and ultimately welcoming – perfectly befitting the laidback Capri “dolce vita” lifestyle.  Once again keeping the color palette neutral, Sultana has allowed the materials to speak for themselves. Bespoke furniture and carpets together with sophisticated lighting accent the bedrooms, which lead into marble and bronze-lined bathrooms. Decorative attention to detail has been paid to everything, right down to

custom bathroom taps. Francis Sultana’s unmistakable signature design flows through the indoor bar & restaurant, pool terrace & bar and the stand-out rooftop bar, which also carry the inspiration of Capri, always honoring the creativity of the Italian artisans that are helping to create this new landmark hotel.


Since 1822, Hotel La Palma – formerly known as Locanda Pagano – is the oldest hotel on Capri. The original owner, Notary Giuseppe Pagano, hosted travelers in his villa for the pleasure of long conversations and often, his guests were artists, poets, writers, architects, painters and musicians, all of 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 who were inspirited by the genius loci, charmed by the smooth, familiar atmosphere of this eccentric hotel. When Hotel La Palma opens in Spring 2023, guests will once again receive the same warm Italian welcome.

Timo Gruenert, CEO of Oetker Collection, commented, “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. 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 at the epicenter 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 will be joining 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 truly 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.”