Castel Elvira has been restored and reopens as a Hotel. After being abandoned for almost 100 years, Castle Elvira, just outside of Lecce in Puglia, has been restored following an extensive three-year restoration project. The new luxury residence is set to welcome guests in spring 2022. The castle’s original 20th-century design details have been restored while modern furnishing and technology have been added to this design-led property set on St. Elia Ridge.
The castle will have four en-suite guest bedrooms with two dedicated private salons, two dining rooms (formal and informal), a bar/piano room, two lounges, cinema and business suite. The castle’s roof terrace “guarantees” impressive sunsets.
The neighboring groundskeeper’s cottage offers two additional guest bedrooms, a private garden with sunken jacuzzi, outdoor shower and barbecue. Amenities include a 753-square-foot swimming pool, a 12-person jacuzzi and an ornamental pond. The on-site café will provide breakfast, lunch, aperitivi and dinner, serving authentic “Cucina Povera Salentina” cuisine, made with locally sourced seasonal produce alongside ingredients grown on the property’s private land.
The 37-acre estate has large citrus and olive groves and a private park filled with pathways. The garden will offer a quaint setting for celebrations, be it picnics or wedding parties. Castle Elvira was originally built in the late 1800s but was abandoned soon after. The property had been left decaying for almost a century until owner Steve Riseley acquired the property in 2018 and set out to restore the castle and its grounds.
The Legend of Castle Elvira suggests that it was built by two adoring parents from Naples for their daughter Elvira’s 17th birthday. Elvira was enchanted by a local castle in Naples, owned by Italian actor and playwright, Eduardo Scarpetta. When Elvira passed away, her parents fled, leaving the castle behind them—and it has remained unoccupied ever since.
Riseley has worked closely with architects and a team of specialist artisans to carefully restore the castle. The design remains authentic, maintaining many of the castle’s original features while introducing new elements that respect Castle Elvira’s fairytale past. Good to know: Although the castle is now equipped with the latest tech, these have been hidden behind carefully restored ceramic tile floors and retouched walls. A hand-picked mix of antique and modern designer furnishings and custom-made lighting create a luxurious environment for guests. The property will feature curated artworks, including a selection of new pieces by Riseley’s artist husband Harvey B-Brown’s Adored and Adorned collection.
Also opening in spring 2022, Castle Elvira’s sister residence Tower Elvira will allow guests to increase occupancy to up to 20 guests. Tower Elvira offers the same castle luxury in four suites, with private gardens or rooftop, and a 430-square-foot heated pool, set amongst olive and citrus groves.