Paragon 700 Boutique Hotel and Spa sits in one of the most storied and grandest buildings in Ostuni.
One of the obvious reasons it stands out is that it’s a palace with a bold red façade in the all-white city (the color is known as Pompeii Red, which was a status symbol in the 18th century as the most expensive pigment on the market.) Way back when, the building was known as Palazzo Rosso and home to the first mayor of Ostuni, Don Paolo Tanzarella. Behind these red walls, clandestine political gatherings gave birth to the unified democratic republic of Italy of today. Now converted into Paragon 700 Boutique Hotel and Spa, Palazzo Rosso continues to be a significant presence in Ostuni, as the boldest contemporary design hotel in Puglia.
Paragon 700 Boutique Hotel and Spa is a labor of love by Pascale Lauber and Ulrike Bauschke, life partners and hotel owners who have a knack for converting historic spaces into smashing hospitality venues. Pascale and Ulrike brought Palazzo Rosso back to life after the building sat uninhabited for 40 years. Interior designer, Pascale, curated every inch of the hotel with her signature flair for mixing eclectic objects and art. The overall result is a bold, stimulating design-scape which feels contemporary while leaving the history of the structure on display.
What stands out about Paragon 700 Boutique Hotel and Spa is how much of the original estate has been radically transformed, yet the nostalgic feel of the place has stayed the same. While the hotel’s interior envelopes you in a dark, alluring cocoon of luxury design, outside on the grounds you are transported to a leisurely Apulian estate. The spacious lawn is dotted with ancient stone walls and columns. Guests can stroll through the small orange grove and take in the calm, rustic energy that is Puglia. But of course, at the gleaming turquoise swimming pool and well-stocked pool bar, you can enjoy all the modern amenities that the hotel has to offer.
Each of the 11 rooms is bespoke with its own collection of distinct objects and color palettes. Pascale is a master at boldly mixing disparate objects and art from various cultures and eras. At Paragon 700 Boutique Hotel and Spa, you’ll run into South African sofas and headboards, Indian gazebos turned into bathtubs and antique closets from Puglia.
In the Loft Suite, chandeliers shaped like giant blooming dandelions and vintage aputure light domes light up the cavernous space. The three-part space retains the luxurious feel of the chambers of a genteel aristocrat. Except the huge sunken jacuzzi tub made of black tile adds a modern(ist) splash to the historic space. This type of bold, unexpected design is what makes every moment at Paragon 700 Boutique Hotel and Spa a scintillating pleasure.
Restaurant 700 offers an irresistible contemporary interpretation of Apulian cuisine. You can dine on the rustic wooden tables set on majolica tiles inside or al fresco in the garden. Young executive chef and Puglia native, Giacomo Simone, has created a wholesome menu that appeals to all. Start the day right with a lovely breakfast spread of local cheese and cold cuts, Florentine eggs or a benedict, accompanied by freshly baked bread. The all-day bistro menu includes well-known classics made with regional ingredients, such as Caesar salad with lobster, and tempting pasta dishes like burnt wheat orecchiette with smoked sausage, pumpkin and pecorino.