ROME: Capri was Roman emperors’ favorite destination for a spiritual holiday retreat. Since the 1950s, this dream island with turquoise waters only 10 km away from Naples, in southern Italy, has been the epitome of la dolce vita (a life of pleasure and luxury). From aristocrats and intellectuals to artists such as Pablo Picasso and actors such as Audrey Hepburn, all manner of VIPs and celebrities have holidayed in Capri, with its tiny streets full of luxury shops, and its natural beauty.
Capri was the favorite getaway of former US First Lady Jackie Kennedy and actors Grace Kelly and Sophia Loren, as it is now for Tom Cruise, Leo Di Caprio, Jennifer Lopez, Mariah Carey, Rod Stewart, Bono and George Clooney. The Piazzetta, the iconic tiny square in the center overlooking the port, which is normally packed with enormous luxury boats, is where everyone wants to be seen.
But if one wants to enjoy a luxury holiday with family or friends here and escape the paparazzi, one needs to go uphill to Anacapri. In this cozy city on the highest part of the island, you will find the Capri Palace Jumeirah.
The only Jumeirah hotel in Italy, the Capri Palace offers a magnificent getaway in one of the most exclusive and unspoiled parts of the island. The hotel, overlooking the Gulf of Naples with breath-taking views and sunsets, fully embodies la dolce vita in authentic Capri style, featuring a precious contemporary art collection and classic Mediterranean design.
The 68 guestrooms offer a unique blend of understated luxury and contemporary style. Walking between Giorgio De Chirico paintings and Arnaldo Pomodoro sculptures displayed all around the neoclassical white palazzo is like being in a contemporary art museum.
The suites and rooms feature exquisite materials, from midnight black marble to bright handcrafted ceramic tiles made by artisans from the Amalfi Coast. The Capritouch rooms evoke the spirit of the Mediterranean, with interiors in sparkling white and bright blue colors, grand columns and superfine fabrics and linens.
Some rooms have private swimming pools; the bottom of one of them is decorated with a replica of a famous Andy Warhol painting. The Paltrow, the hotel’s presidential suite, is the pinnacle of luxury. Taste and luxury are the signature of this hotel, which this year will be open to guests until the end of September.
The main swimming pool is an artwork too, with exquisite stylish figures melting with the blue of the water and of the sky. VIP guests enjoy being pampered by an attentive staff led by General Manager Ermanno Zanini.
Barman Antonio Chirico, who like most of the hotel staff is a local, told Arab News: “In the 32 years I’ve been working here, the guest I was proudest to serve a drink to was Dr. Albert Sabin, the American medical researcher who developed the oral polio vaccine. That man really did something for the world.”
When Chirico is off work, he cultivates his own vineyard and makes his wine in a little property he owns not far from the hotel, on the slopes of the Solaro Mountain, which one can easily ascend on a chairlift. The view of the gulfs of Naples and Salerno is spectacular and unique. The ride is fun, it takes only 13 minutes, and the chairlift terminal is literally in front of the Capri Palace entrance.
In Italy, food matters a lot. The signature in-house two-Michelin-star restaurant L’Olivo serves Mediterranean classics in style and taste. The design is alluring: L’Olivo was conceived as a cozy but elegant living room with sofas, armchairs and a selection of fine fabrics, from cashmere to linen.
At sunset, its terrace is colored by the fiery hues of the Mediterranean. L’Olivo Undiscovered has just been launched: An intimate space in a lovely ancient cellar transformed into a unique private club atmosphere.
Il Riccio Restaurant & Beach Club, one of the most beautiful terraces in Capri — immersed in the beauty of the island’s white rocks and overlooking the sea — is the only one-Michelin-star beach club in the world. It serves exquisite seafood and dessert just a few meters away from the Grotta Azzurra (Blue Grotto), one of the most iconic places on the island. Here you cannot miss the spaghetti alla chitarra with sea urchins.
For the 2020 season, an exclusive Dior pop-up store has opened. Overlooking the blue waters of the Mediterranean, this magnificent terrace on a cliff is one of the few locations chosen by Dior to present its exclusive Riviera capsule. The Toile de Jouy motifs and Dior bayadere stripes cover cushions, umbrellas and personalized beach huts at the lounge area.