Swimwear designer Melissa Odabash’s go-to island hotel escape

A tailor-made gin aperitivo and flawlessly framed sunsets are just two of the boxes this sleek Capri favourite ticks for the globetrotting designer

The Capri Palace Hotel in Anacapri overlooks the Amalfi Coast
The Capri Palace Hotel in Anacapri overlooks the Amalfi Coast

"I find something new every time I come to Capri – and I’ve been coming for 20 years – and this past year it was the Capri Palace Hotel, in the hilltop town of Anacapri. I completely fell in love with this place, especially the spectacular views over Ischia and the Amalfi Coast. I travel so much, and I’ve admired many beautiful sunsets, but these, seen from the hotel’s white-tiled terraces, are even better than in Greece.

After the prettiest 30-minute drive from the port up to the hotel, you’re whisked into one of these rooms that are the essence of Capri. All of them face the sea: everything is blue and white, and done in a very beach-y, spare style that I love, with enormous canopy beds and floaty curtains. 

Melissa Odabash
Melissa Odabash

Because I am perpetually jet-lagged and always in search of rejuvenation and a good massage, I often judge a hotel by its spa. The Capri Palace’s Beauty Farm is accessed by a vintage chairlift, which deposits you at the very top of the island. I had this incredible leg treatment there: my legs were slathered in detoxifiying mud, then I was put in and out of hot and cold pools to boost my circulation. I felt completely light at the end.

I also love my food – and for that, the Capri Palace is second to none, from the breakfast spread right through to dessert at dinner. At L’Olivo, its two-Michelin-starred restaurant, the chef found out that I’m obsessed with the tiny, sweet tomatoes from Naples, so he made pasta ai pomodorini for me every night, despite the fact that it isn’t on the menu. Even the beach club, Il Riccio, has a Michelin star. This is one of my favourite restaurants: it’s built into the rock cliffs where you get spectacular sunset views, and has a special Temptation Room that must be seen to be believed – a glass-encased, blue-and-yellow-tiled space with desserts and sweets of every kind, and all presented on beautiful local ceramics

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But what makes the Capri Palace Hotel special is the service; no detail is overlooked. They even serve aperitivo on your private terrace. I’m not a drinker, but during my last stay I fell in love with the signature gin and tonics they bring to your room at 7pm – the gins are infused with delicious things like elderflower, pomegranate and fresh mint. And up at the spa, the doctor who invented the treatment I had actually came by to say hello.

I still daydream about the pizza oven by the pool and its perfectly crispy Margherita pizzas. And I already know I’ll be back next summer – not only has Capri inspired my next nautically themed collections, it’s the place where my father-in-law wants to spend his 90th birthday. So we’ll be bringing the whole family."

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