Palazzo Daniele: so much more than a luxury hotel under the Puglia sun
In the exquisite Italian region of Puglia, Palazzo Daniele is a luxury hotel made up of ten suites set in a family-owned palace that is over one hundred and sixty years old. It belongs to the Petrucci family, and its current owners are the hotelier Gabriele Salini and the philanthropist Francesco Petrucci.
Discreet and magnificent interior design inspired by the idea of absence
Palazzo Daniele was initially built in a neoclassical style, by the well-known local architect Domenico Malinconico, in 1861, the year of Italy’s reunification and it is presented through a series of courtyards and exuberant Mediterranean landscapes. These were reinvented by Ludovica and Roberto Palomba from the Palomba Serafini Associati studio.
Its new owners, GS Collection, decided to reshape and re-imagine the property carrying out a harmonious combination of sublime minimalism, 19th century splendour and contemporary art. To do so, they demolished the interior, preserving the architectural integrity of the structure by restoring the ornamented frescoes and original flooring, and they went for a minimalist design that combines perfectly with the palazzo’s original frescoes, the vaulted ceilings and the mosaic floors.
A great bet on the local community
Some of the key points of the hotel’s social concept are the principles that connect the “hyper-localisation”, the community and the kitchen where the Salini creed, “questa casa non è un albergo” (“this house is not a hotel”) makes the guests feel like they are part of an intimate family palace.
“Palazzo Daniele merges art, design and local Italian gastronomy in a welcoming, idyllic and authentic atmosphere.”
The unique and lasting relationship between the palazzo and the local community guarantees incomparable access to traditional Pugliese life, which allows authentic experiences such as visiting local farms or fishing with the local fishermen, so that the professional chef at the hotel can prepare the produce and it can be savoured together at the shared table.
Art, art and more art
Palazzo Daniele exudes art from every pore and, on re-organising all the spaces, they chose to use the majestic halls as exhibition spaces.
Additionally, several pieces of art and furniture were chosen and commissioned by Francesco Petrucci such as a lamp by Luigi Presicci, some stools by Nicolas Party, a sculpture by Roberto Cuoghi or a lithography by Carla Accardi that sit side by side with ancestral portraits and neoclassical design motifs. All the elements combine perfectly, both with the works of contemporary art and with the neoclassical structure.
“The palazzo offers an exceptional backdrop for their art collection.”
The suites all offer views to the property’s courtyard, the open-air pool or the town’s central piazzetta. They have lightboxes designed by Simon d’Exea, that also have a functional purpose in lighting up the space, as well as unique artwork by several contemporary artists such as Claudio Abbate, Eva Jospin and Christian Frosi.
“The suites are framed by vaulted ceilings and are sparsely furnished to highlight the design pieces that blur the lines between art and their function.”
Centred around a grand living room which is filled with light and dates back to the first decade of the nineteenth century, the large Master Suite has an area of 130 sqm, in which there are two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a selection of items from Palazzo Daniele’s enviable art collection, whereas the aristocratic Suite Apartment of 200 sqm takes up an entire wing of the palazzo with its own independent access, a private kitchen, a living room, three bedrooms, three private bathrooms and a dining room.
The apartment is characterised by a surprising combination of architectural legacy, minimalist design and daring artwork, that includes “Pocket” by Mohamed Namou and “Prototipo Macchina per la Conquista del Mondo” by Sergio Breviario.
The spacious Junior Suites and Royal Junior Suite have king size beds and black steel framed open wardrobes: a feature of the firm in every suite. The bathroom of the latter was conceived as a live art installation, in which a rainshower falls from a six-metre-high ceiling over a basin designed by the Italian artist Andrea Sala.
The latest addition to Palazzo Daniele is The Black Suite, a penthouse that has an open-air private terrace with views to the entire courtyard. Marvellous!
The palazzo has other spaces that enhance the community feel of the hotel even more, encouraging the guests to relax with an aperitif by the fireplace in the living room or in the lovely open-air courtyard, the central architectural piece at Palazzo Daniele.
The open kitchen with a view to the pool through an arched window, serves as a main meeting point: a place where to sit, eat, drink and talk. Breakfast, light snacks, lunch and dinner are prepared in the hotel by the local cooks, whose families have lived in Gagliano del Capo for generations. And they prepare these using fresh local ingredients.
Outside, on the grounds of the property, the guests can enjoy a steam bath or sauna and, depending on the weather, they can also sunbathe or take a dip in the pool or even enjoy a romantic candle-lit dinner in the Kaffeehaus facility.
A privileged spot
Located in Gagliano del Capo in the Salento region, Palazzo Daniele is very close to the rocky Adriatic coast and to the sandy beaches of the Ionian Sea.
“This region, also known as the heel of the Italian boot, is the setting for the international art exhibition Capo d’Arte.”
(*) Photos provided by Palazzo Daniele.