Surprisingly, the oldest hotel in Capri is not the famous Grand Hotel Quisisana, which opened in the mid-19th century, but the Hotel La Palma, dating from 1822. The latter’s comparative obscurity will soon be a thing of the past, however, as it has recently become a member of the prestigious Oetker Collection, whose iconic properties include Le Bristol Paris, Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa in Baden-Baden and the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes. In time for its bicentenary, the Hotel La Palma is being completely reinvented with 50 rooms (including 18 suites), a rooftop restaurant and bar, a newly built pool deck, a spa and its own beach club. (Many of these will be the work of New York’s Tihany Design.)
Located just off the celebrated Piazzetta, otherwise known as “the little theater of the world,” the property will be at the epicenter of the island’s famous summer social whirl. Its principal restaurant will be helmed by chef Gennaro Esposito, the owner of Michelin two-star Torre del Saracino, near Sorrento. La Palma Beach Club will be a short drive (or a 15-minute walk) away at the Marina Piccola on the southern coast of the island. I fully expect Hotel La Palma to provide stiff competition for my recommended La Scalinatella, an exquisite 30-room boutique property and sister establishment of the much larger Grand Hotel Quisisana.