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This Slice of heaven on the Isle of Capri is timeless and offers the ultimate escapade for the most discerning traveler.
The day starts in Piazza Navona. After an early wake-up call, we head to Roma termini and catch our train to Naples. It’s been ages since I’ve last been and I was soon to discover that not much has changed since! Naples is brimming with charm. Italy’s third largest city is teeming with life, colour, and chaos. As we wizz through the Naples traffic, we arrive at Beverello ferry port. ( if you bought your tickets online make sure you validate your tickets at the blue box or you will be denied entry and miss the boat). We step on the boat and make our way to Capri. After a quick sail, we arrive in Marina Grande. As soon as we step on shore we are greeted by the butler from Punta Tragara. He gives us a warm welcome and hands us a guide to the hotel and tickets to the funicular. Before we know it our bags are whisked away and we head to the main square. We decide to ride one of the famous convertible taxis and arrive at the Piazzetta in style.
As we drive up the winding roads we are welcomed with stunning panoramic views of Capri, the Gulf of Naples and the scent of lemon groves. We arrive in town and head straight to Grand cafe for a watermelon granita. Refreshed we head to our hotel. It’s a pleasant walk through via Camerelle and it’s dazzling boutiques. Capri’s answer to Via Monte Napoleone is smothered in bougainvillea and blessed with ocean views.
A short gentle stroll later we finally arrive at our hotel Punta Tragara. Capri’s most celebrated and respected address. The hotel is one of Le Corbusier’s most illustrious works of architecture. Designed in the 1920s the building evokes a floral form almost appearing as a natural extension of the Scoglio Delle Sirene cliffs. Its salmon pastel facade resembles Capri’s sunsets and colourful flora. Punta Tragara architecture is so ethereal it appears part of the topography and landscape of the island. In harmony with the serene blue waters and the verdant pine forests.
The moment I make my way to the entrance I notice a plaque that illustrates Punta Tragara’s esteemed history. During the second world war, this was an American command base. Furthermore, Punta Tragara has played host to eminent guests and meetings such as General Eisenhower and Winston Churchill.
We step inside and receive a warm welcome from the hotel staff and are greeted with a much-needed granita of limone. We are shown to our rooms and receive the most spectacular view of the Faraglioni rocks and the glittering Mediterranean sea. It’s an Incredible and breathtaking sight and It finally sets in that we are in Capri. Our room has a personal terrace and the design strikes a perfect blend of old and new world sophistication. Antique artefacts contrast with contemporary Italian design furniture. With only 44 rooms Punta Tragara is an exclusive, private and a peaceful hideaway. The rooms are unique and range from suites to penthouses. Punta Tragara does not fail on the details and caters to the most discerning client . Rooms boast Etro shampoo, mini bar curated by Rome’s Hassler Hotel and a Pillow list to accommodate anybody’s allergies or preferences. The best thing about the rooms is that ,as the property is secluded, it feels like a private oasis bathed in sunlight and complemented by the sound of the waves.
After settling in, and a quick power shower later, we decide to explore Punta Tragara’s privileged surroundings. We head down to La Fontelina beach club which is nestled between the rocks below the Hotel. The walk is amazing as the narrow pathway snakes around the Pine forest and cliff edge.
The club, with its blue and white umbrellas, rocks pools and Faraglioni views is uber-iconic and chic. Like the hotel, it reflects understated luxury and oozes an elegant yet carefree vibe. Lounge by the rocks and don’t hesitate to dive into the blue water. Crystal clear the water is deep. Schools of fish swim around me and the Mediterranean Sea greets me with all its splendour.
The atmosphere is incredible just as colourful as the water below. The crowd is chic and is frequented by many who stay at Punta Tragara.
After a brisk walk back to the top I head to my room to have a late afternoon doze
on my terrace. With the yachts slowly cruising back to port and the birds singing this is by far the best view to snooze.
Dinner at Monzu
Our first dinner in Capri was at the hands of Luigi Lionetti, executive chef of Monzu. Located by the Hotel’s infinity pool we sat down to our table overlooking the sunset and the Mediterranean. The water is still as a lake and yachts shine in the bay. Our maitre recommended us a tasting menu. Lionetti’s has devised a menu that celebrates the Neapolitan and Caprese cuisine in all its glory . The dishes are wonderfully fresh, delicate and provide a rich taste to the varied nature of this region.
Our food was paired with wine from local and small vineyards from Capri and the region. The Chardonnay was particularly outstanding and beautifully paired with the Galinela Fish with clam spinach, chickpeas purée and a mussels sauce reduction. The Constrada Sant’Aniello white wine also stood out and complemented well the Risotto with burrata, scampi and seaweed. Along with the Rigatoni with baby squid fried zucchini and zucchini clams sauce. Light refreshing and delicate cuisine that at is core is Mediterranean. All dishes were beautifully presented appearing as works of art. Monzu is truly a gastronomic experience and a journey through the Campania region through the eyes and soul of Luigi Lionetti.
We wake up and are greeted by a beautiful sunrise. The blue sea and sky is a sight to behold. We head to breakfast which is hosted by the infinity pool and terrace. Breakfast is a buffet with a la carte options. The selection reflects the local cuisine of the Campania region with regional cakes and sweet delights as well as cheeses, jam’s, honey that are grown or harvested within the region.
After a long breakfast overlooking the med, we head back to La Fontelina and explore Capri by boat. I managed to book a small private boat via Instagram with Capri precious boats. Nicco, our captain, picked us up and we set sail. This is truly the best way to experience the Capri coast. It is an unforgettable experience. From sailing through the arch of the Faraglioni rock to exploring the many grottoes’ there no better way to soak up the sun and dive into the sea than from a boat. Nicco showed us the many Roman fortifications and watchtowers that dot the island. He took us to the island’s best beach Cala Ventroso is covered in pearly white pebbles and its turquoise waters are pure hedonism.
After a day at sea, we head back to the hotel and get ready for our next gastronomic adventure. Mamma is set in the heart of Capri town and is also managed by Punta Tragara. This is one of the town top tables in town and is constantly buzzing with a chic and international crowd. Its casual chic but it boasts a Michelin star. The views are unbeatable as you are accompanied by a beautiful backdrop. We arrived during sunset and were wowed by the spectacular sunset.
Offering a la carte as well as two tasting menu’s we enjoyed the seven-course tasting menu which was paired with delicious wines from the region. We were sat down with refreshing Bellini’s. The starters really shined through. The flavours were intense, immensely fresh and the fish was succulent. The Squid Tagliatelle was divine and the grilled squid, shrimp and cod starter with black squid ink sauce was a fantastic celebration of Mediterranean goodness. The wine was delicious but the Proditio sweet wine was the star of the show. Not only did it complement well the dessert but it brought together and married all the flavours of the meal. During dinner, we met a lovely newlywed couple from Baltimore, who live in Texas, on vacation in Italy. We shared a fantastic conversation and where both the last ones to leave! The unique thing about Capri is the crowd it attracts. The people who come here on vacation are interesting, open and friendly. It really enhances your dinner and vacation when you meet new engaging people.
starts again with breakfast by the Mediterranean. The sun is shining and the water is deep blue. It may be morning but the yachts and boats are already cruising around the bay. We decided to skip the sea and enjoy the hotel pool. With its panoramic views over the bay and Capri village, this is the second best option. Whilst sipping homemade ice teas and taking regular dips in the pool the sun and the temperatures rise. Luckily the centenary pine trees and lemon groves provide shade and fragrance. For those feeling active The Technogym facility centre, with its sea views, provides an ideal spot to burn off the calories. Furthermore, the hotel is an ideal starting point to go hiking. The hike to the Arco Naturale is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular walks. Apart from beholding the beauty of the arch, dating from the Palaeolithic age, you are rewarded with spectacular views of Capri’s iconic cliffs and turquoise waters. Replenish yourself with a massage and treatment at the Hotel spa.
The gardens and communal areas are a verdant haven ideal for relaxing and enjoying a nice drink. The barman Daniele, from the iconic American bar, serves up some of Capri’s most iconic cocktails. Try the Gin Fitz aperitif, made with lemons from the hotel grounds, to match the sunset.
After a lazy pool day, we prepare for dinner. We head first for a relaxing stroll around town. We make our way, through bougainvillea clad houses and sea views, to via Camerelle. We enjoy a late evening stroll around. Capri boasts some of the best shopping in the summer. Packed with all the best designer brands and many independent stores with beautiful, inviting and unique window displays and interiors. Capri has developed over the years its own personal style. Elegant, refined and sophisticated wear that reflects the calm, open and gentle Mediterranean lifestyle. Dolce & Gabbana, Pucci, Dior and Chanel have all opened new stores this season. Sud Gallery is one of the best boutiques for high end wear in Capri. Steps away lies Capri’s most iconic bookstore Libreria La Conchiglia. They boast a great number of books about Capri which make a great gift or colourful addition to your coffee table. Moreover, Antica Sartoria is great for chic beachwear essentials and summer staples.
Metres away from the Punta Tragara lies Terrazza Brunella. Clinging of the cliff its a romantic spot with epic sunset views. Its dim lights, creme tuxedo-clad waiters, and Chet Baker playlist evoke old world charm and sophistication. We met some Texans from Dallas who were celebrating their mothers 90th birthday. It was a relaxing and intimate dining experience.
Our last day in Capri and we are blessed with another stunning summers day. We savour our final breakfast at the hotel. The concierge diligently organised our ferry tickets to Naples and our bag collection. The thermometer was in the mid 30’s so we headed to La Fontelina which ,despite being fully booked, the hotel concierge secured a reservation for us!
Name dropping Punta Tragara here gets your preferred service and seat allocation across Capri’s establishments as you are regarded as a special guest. We soak up the sun and chic atmosphere and cool down in the waves. After a sun-drenched afternoon, we make the climb back to the palatial Punta Tragara.
We finally shower change, check out and bid farewell to Punta Tragara. We take our final walk around Capri town and savour a few cones of delicious gelato at the famous Buonocore Gelateria. This gelato shop is unique as the cones are made at the moment. In the cue, we bumped into a couple from New York who we met at breakfast at Punta Tragara. We bid farewell to them and the Gelato store before descending back to Marina Grande to catch the ferry to Naples.
The great thing about Punta Tragara and Capri is that you have the opportunity to meet and connect with interesting people and bump into them across town. This only proves Punta Tragara’s connection with Capri town and the people who come here. All elements are beautifully intertwined creating a genuine social and cultural journey. It shows that one of the fundamental things that make Punta Tragara such a fantastic abode is the fact that it forms an intrinsic part of the history and development of the Island. Staying at Punta Tragara differs from most resorts as it delivers an emotional, visual, social and human experience.
As we were departing from Marina Grande and setting sail to Naples it sunk in that I just discovered a slice of paradise and possibly one of the best resorts in the world. A life-changing escape that uplifts the soul and fills the heart. Punta Tragara’s service works hard to deliver any discerning clients requests along with southern hospitality. Everything from the gastronomy, the sea, the people and the breathtaking view are a dream.
We can’t wait to have the privilege to stay again at Punta Tragara!
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ALILA ANJI CELEBRATES ITS TWO-YEAR ANNIVERSARY WITH EXCITING POP-UP EVENTS, STARTING WITH SHANGHAI’S FAMED LIGHT & SALT DINING
From 1 – 3 Jul 2018, Alila Anji will launch its anniversary celebrations with a sensational pop-up dining event for media and invited guests, a collaboration with Light & Salt, Shanghai’s leading lifestyle dining concept group. The event will be hosted once again on 13 and 14 July, when it will be launched for public booking.
Light & Salt is well known for enlivening Shanghai’s dining scene with its clever F&B offerings. Bespoke locations include Light & Salt Daily, social food & lifestyle restaurants located in the most fashionable districts of the city; Light & Salt Backstage nestled within the historic Bund district, offering great food, wine and a music room next door at the Jazz on Lincoln; and its latest signature addition, The Pine at Rui Jin, located within Shanghai’s century-old Ruijin complex, featuring West-meets-East cuisine with tea pairings.
For this 2nd year anniversary pop-up event, Alila Anji’s Local Head Chef Jason Zhu will be collaborating with Chef Johnston Teo, who heads up The Pine at Rui Jin, to create a feast that fuses local Anji flavours with a fine dining concept.
Combining 12 years of Chinese culinary experience with his own creative spin, Chef Jason is the inspiration behind Alila Anji’s farm-to-table cuisine that offers a true taste of Anji County, embracing the freshness and variety of local ingredients.
Malaysian-Chinese Chef Johnston of The Pine at Rui Jin has years of experience working in some of the best restaurants in the world, including two Michelin-starred restaurants in Singapore, Odette and Iggy’s. With a deep appreciation for ingredients in their purest form, his creations are driven by a philosophy of ‘less is more’, combining contemporary Western cooking techniques with the use of local seasonal ingredients.
This talented duo will prepare menus for three events to be held over three days – Dinner on 1 to 3 July. Beyond the launch weekend, Alila Anji will continue to serve the Pine menu until end of August. Each event is limited to 16 guests and will take place in the Alila Living Room, a private setting with a lifestyle ambience for a unique social dining experience.
“This exciting collaboration is just the first in Alila Anji’s line-up of regular pop-up events throughout the year, something cool and surprisingly different to look forward to,” said Jack Widagdo, General Manager of Alila Anji.
Guests can book ahead for this special anniversary package at CNY 4,596 nett, which includes a two-night stay and one Light & Salt dinner for two persons available on Friday or Saturday from 13th July to 1st September 2018. It is recommended to make reservations for dinner seating when booking the package. Additional seats for the Light & Salt dinner are priced at CNY 498++ per person. Due to the intimate nature of this dining experience, do note that no kids are allowed.
For more information and reservations, please call +86 0572 5103888 or go to https://alilaanji.cn/
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