Francis Ford Coppola has been a hotelier for almost 20 years with properties in Belize, Guatemala and New Orleans. Now, the filmmaker and winemaker best known for his Godfather trilogy has finally opened a hotel in Italy. Palazzo Margherita, located in Coppola’s ancestral home of Bernalda in the region of Basilicata, opened for business on March 1.
Set in a 19th century palazzo with interiors revamped with chandeliers, frescoes and tilework by Jacques Grange, Palazzo Margherita has just nine rooms, six in the building and three by the gardens in the palazzo’s erstwhile stables. Amenities include a secluded pool, free Wi-Fi and a private theater with a library of 300 classic Italian films, Coppola’s films excluded. The palazzo also has, according to the Financial Times, “the rights to open its own beach club on an as-yet undeveloped stretch, to which it will run a shuttle.”
As one would expect with a Coppola-directed property in Italy, food plays a very important part of the Palazzo Margherita experience. Guests are encouraged to dine in the eat-in kitchen, which is outfitted with a table that seats 12, and to join the chefs in daily hands-on classes as they prepare the evening meal with locally grown ingredients. The hotel’s wine list contains selections from Coppola’s vineyards, Château Thuerry (Sofia Coppola’s in-laws’ estate in Provence) and other vintages from Basilicata and Puglia.
Rates at Palazzo Margherita range from pricy to pricier. We saw rates from €880 for two nights in a garden suite to €3,100 for the same time period in a palazzo suite. All rates include in-room beverages, breakfast and cooking lessons.