Revolutions have often been the point of growth in many modern societies. The drive to create a better place for everyone can be found behind revolutionary ideals, and the results have been varied the world over. One such occasion, when revolution brought forth a strong, united, and free nation, was the unification of Italy, which took place in the early 1860s. Now, the very cradle where the unification movement was born is available for you to stay at, occupying a historical room at the Palazzo Rosso in Ostuni, Apulia, which now houses Paragon 700, a unique hotel boutique.
Once the former house of Ostuni’s first Mayor, Don Paolo Tanzarella, the early history of the Palazzo is unclear, but certainly diverse in origin. Dating back to the eighteenth century, the most ancient parts of the building seem to indicate that it once housed a convent, especially due to the magnificent frescoes that dot the walls. Other elements were added later on, such as the original majolica tiles in the Bar 700, which apparently came from Naples, and the very distinct exterior decoration in a Pompeii Red colour, a very expensive pigment at the time. Other frescoes of less religious characteristics suggest an 18th and 19th century occupation, while the Tuscan columns in the garden, which guide visitors to the beautiful orange grove, shine light on the usage of the space during the 17th century. When in Don Tanzarella’s hands, the Palazzo Rosso became a secret reunion space for insurrectionists that ultimately transformed history with Ostuni becoming the first city to proclaim a unified Italy.
Now, with renovations under the direction of Pascale Lauber and Ulrike Bauschke, the Palazzo Rosso aims to become your home during your stay in Apulia. The interior design, in charge of Pascale, is eclectic, repurposing monumental lighting fixtures and bringing in furniture from South Africa, where the couple of partners in crime have directed other similar projects. Each of Paragon700 ‘s eleven rooms reflect Pascale’s sense of style, matured through countless visits to international art fairs and exhibitions; the classic style of the building complements the new design pieces to create a unique and unmatched experience.
Each room type offers its own take on the excellence and luxury prevailing in the palace. The Deluxe rooms range from 26 to 45 square metres and speak with an artistic point of view, while the Deluxe Suites go from 35 to 46 square metres and feature either a terrace or an open fireplace. The Loft Suites have tall cathedral ceilings and range from 45 to 58 square meters, with a terrace and an outdoor shower overlooking the garden. The Paragon Suite is the grandest of them all, with 7-metre-high ceilings and 55 square metres in extension. The open fireplace and the sunken bathtub are an invitation to relish in the sumptuous atmosphere, and the terrace with garden and pool view is an ideal space to relax. All suites are adorned with various frescoes, and the unique interior design by Pascale Lauber, as well as welcome gifts, king or twin beds, Wi-Fi, an iPad Pro with all the information on the region, desk, deposit box, a minibar, cotton and linen bed sheets, air conditioning, floor heating, gourmet breakfast, secure parking on-site and toiletries by LA:BRUKET.
Paragon 700 also offers the outstanding Spa 700, located inside the ancient water cistern of the Palazzo, seven metres below ground. With its own hydromassage basin, steam bath, chromotherapy shower, treatment room for two and a lounge area covered in Himalayan salt, the spa offers an all-inclusive wellness experience. A wide variety of massages, body, facial, and beauty treatments are available along with the Spa 700 signature treatments: the Paragon Exclusive Wellness & Beauty, which involves the Turkish bath, jacuzzi, a relaxing massage, the Salt Ritual, which uses the natural capabilities of Himalayan salt to their full extent in conjunction to chromotherapy, and the Paragon Spa Detox, which takes guests from the Turkish Bath to a full body scrub, mud and whirlpool bath treatment.
Other amenities at the Paragon include the only pool in town, an ideal spot to relax and splash around after a day under the warm Apulian sun, and the 1700 square metre garden, which is the largest in Ostuni. Hidden in the large garden is the orange grove, a small private space ideal for romantic escapades, and the relax area, which is available to book private yoga, Pilates, painting or stone carving classes or even to receive an outdoor massage.
In order to offer a full 5-star experience, the Paragon 700 also counts with its very own luxury dining spots. The Restaurant 700 is open for guests to enjoy an à la carte menu with locally sourced ingredients in the historical stone vault. Enjoy this complete Apulian experience and head to the Bar 700, which offers a wide variety of local wines and spirits, as well as innovative signature cocktails created by mixologist experts, served atop the unique 8.5 metre-long stone counter. Enjoy delicacies by the water at the Pool Bar during the warmest months and visit Paragon’s twin location at the P Beach right by the sea at Specchiolla. Each establishment offers eclectic food of local ingredients and a sophisticated touch for every meal.
As revolutionary as its history, the Paragon 700 has a deep commitment to sustainability, and has kept this commitment from its very inception. The architecture has been modified subtly to create a proper energy management and CO2 emission control, as well as using local materials and ingredients to ensure a minimal carbon footprint. Heating and electricity are generated by the same system, which cuts emissions in half effectively, and the hotel at large has eliminated plastic and forgone paper as much as possible. Paragon 700 also has a deep respect to biodiversity, seasonality, local food chains and the maintenance of herds and fish schools.
Wonders do not end there when staying at the Paragon 700, as there are experiences for every kind of taste. Take part of a wine testing session in the old olive oil storage at the Palazzo, enjoying some of the region’s most outstanding wines; shop the hotel boutique for unique pieces made by hand by members of the Made In Carcere organization, or even purchase some of the hotel’s furniture, paintings and décor which come from a wide variety of sources such as local and international artists and studios. Travel the region along TraVale on a motorbike tour through the roads in the mountains; or traverse the sea in an exclusive cruise atop the P Boat, on a bespoke trip made for Paragon 700 guests. You can even take a private cooking class with the in-house chef or travel a short distance to get to the San Domenico Golf Club, a magnificent 72 par course along the coast of the Adriatic Sea.
Prepare to have your perception of luxury and elegance shaken from the ground up by Pascale Lauber’s vision and Ulrike Bauschke’s management. Let yourself wander the historical halls of the Palazzo Rosso and take in the revolutionary essence of sustainability and well-being while you relish in the utmost lavishness of Paragon 700.