In Dialog With Steven Riseley, Proprietor of Fortress Elvira

Fortress Elvira laid deserted for a couple of hundred years till it underwent a spectacular 4-year restoration, with emphasis on distinctive eclectic design, artwork collaborations, and the best ranges of service.

Entrepreneur couple Steven Riseley and artist, movie director, and husband Harvey B-Brown have poured their hearts and souls into each inch of this historic monument, and the outcomes scream in your consideration.

In lower than one 12 months, Fortress Elvira has been hailed by ‘Tatler journey’ as one of many ‘prime 101 inns on this planet’ and proclaimed as one in all ‘Vogue’s’ ‘prime 5 inns in Puglia’, Fortress Elvira has shocked a global viewers, and the accolades proceed to move. Welcome to Fortress Elvira, the place there aren’t any boundaries and no limits. Learn on to find extra.

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You will have a robust background within the hospitality business, how does Fortress Elvira examine to your previous experiences?

Fortress Elvira is extremely distinctive, and the target was to suit actually into the boutique resort market, I consider that we’ve achieved that each aesthetically and operationally. Fortress Elvira is a dramatic transfer away from my earlier expertise, which was primarily in company enterprises.

What was the important thing attraction that drove you to tackle such an immense mission?

The second I set eyes on the fort, it merely took my breath away, it appeared to talk to me, and I knew that it was a mission I couldn’t stroll away from. I additionally had, for a while, yearned to place my entire being into one ultimate mission, a mission that might problem me greater than ever earlier than. Fortress Elvira was destined to be and is my legacy.

The fort has a fascinating fairy-tale backstory – please inform us extra and if / how this has been integrated into refurbishment mission.

Fortress Elvira is an actual copy of Fortress Scarpetta in Naples, constructed and owned by a well-known Italian actor, Eduardo Scarpetta. Fortress Elvira was constructed by a rich entrepreneur, additionally from Naples; it was to be his household’s summer time house. The legend is that when Fortress Elvira was accomplished, the proprietor got here to remain that first summer time together with his spouse and his greatest love, his 15-year-old daughter Elvira, she was his princess, it’s mentioned that he constructed the fort for Elvira, therefore the identify Fortress Elvira. Elvira tragically died within the fort that summer time, and her father and mom left the fort totally furnished, locked the doorways, and by no means returned. Though it’s a tragic story, Elvira can be delighted to see the constructive power and keenness poured into her fort and see it so lovingly restored to its unique magnificence. In fact, we saved the identify Fortress Elvira; someway, it’s pretty to assume it’s nonetheless hers.

You and your group have been working with grasp artisans (since 2018!!) to lovingly restore the fort and its unique options. Please inform us extra concerning the artisans you might be working with and the journey to completion.

Puglia is a extra conventional and unspoiled area that has a novel historical past. There’s a wealth of traditionally important buildings and monuments right here, they exhibit many historical architectural kinds, and lots of stay unrestored. Many artisan trades nonetheless thrive right here due to that, and I consider their work is unparalleled in comparison with most different areas. From stone masonry handy cast iron works, it’s nonetheless attainable to realize high quality genuine restorations right here in Puglia. We have been fortunate to work with a few of Puglia’s greatest restoration groups, and the outcomes of their work communicate volumes.

Artwork and design are key options at Fortress Elvira, please inform us why that is so necessary and the way it’s showcased all through the property and chateau.

My husband, Harvey B-Brown, is an artist and an award-winning filmmaker. Harvey collaborates together with his London-based artist accomplice, David Scheinmann. Their present artwork mission, ‘Adored and Adorned,’ is especially blended media portraiture. They’ve been commissioned by many high-profile celebrities, together with Cher, Kate Beckinsale, Bryan Ferry, Graham Norton, Dame Darcey Bussell, Helen McCrory, Philip Treacy, and lots of extra. A lot of Harvey’s and David’s works, in addition to many different worldwide artists’ works, are hung within the suites and salon’s and all artwork may be bought. We’re very centered on the artwork idea, and one in all our in-house visitor experiences is a life drawing class hosted by Harvey. This has confirmed to be our hottest and profitable expertise. Company collaborating in these lessons have been profoundly moved; many have advised us it was an emotionally stimulating expertise.

Fortress Elvira will open its doorways to welcome friends as soon as extra in April – do you’ve got any thrilling plans for the reopening?

Fortress Elvira will open its coronary heart and doorways once more in April, and we’re very excited to welcome our previous and new friends for our second summer time season. Even within the wintertime, work at all times continues at Fortress Elvira. We now have been busy this winter making many enhancements to make our friends keep extra luxurious and comfy. Our in-house artwork boutique will incorporate many new artists’ items this 12 months, together with handmade jewelry, ceramics, restricted version prints, unique artwork items, and classic glassware. We made contact with many different artists in the course of the winter, each native and worldwide, and we will probably be exhibiting and promoting their work this 12 months.

What can friends anticipate from their expertise at Fortress Elvira?

Fortress Elvira is a luxurious expertise, our friends can anticipate the best requirements of service and care, however our coverage is to not make our friends really feel harassed; our group is environment friendly with out being overbearing. We use a what’s app system, and friends can merely message from anyplace on the property and request something they want, which will probably be delivered to them instantly. Our in-house restaurant is open each day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We serve genuine ‘Cucina Salentina’ Italian delicacies utilizing all recent and domestically sourced seasonal produce, all dishes are hand-made by our two cooks, and each week we mild the standard olive wooden burning pizza oven and host a particular pizza night with stay conventional Italian music. The fort rooftop cocktail bar is open each day for sundown drinks; our mixologists make all cocktails or mocktails to order. Our friends solely should calm down, take heed to the specifically blended ambient music, and watch the improbable Salento sunsets. With our diversified record of in-house and exterior experiences, which our concierge will prepare for the friends, it’s unattainable to really feel bored.

And any prime suggestions for friends to realize probably the most from their keep?

If I had any recommendation to provide our future friends, it might be to return right here with an open thoughts and attempt to overlook your previous resort experiences. Fortress Elvira isn’t like every other resort. You may, after all, anticipate the excessive requirements of service that the majority 5-star inns supply. You’ll really feel and style and perceive the top quality in every thing we do and produce right here, however don’t be stunned if you stumble upon the house owners they usually invite you for a sundown drink or one of many employees decides to ship a shock glass of prosecco to you on the pool. We’ll supply every thing you will discover at one other luxurious resort, however we offer it with much less formality. At Fortress Elvira, we don’t make use of robots; all people right here is natural with a giant beating coronary heart.

Luxurious is extremely subjective – what does it imply to you?

Luxurious may be outlined in some ways by completely different folks. Our purpose at Fortress Elvira is to encourage friends to do what they need and after they wish to do it, we are going to facilitate every thing and something they want, seashore sunbeds at lovely seashores, making restaurant reservations, reserving yacht charters, arranging personal jet journey, reserving native excursions or wine excursions; the record is countless. Or just to take the very best care of them when they’re on the property, at all times with a excessive commonplace of service and care.

What’s your life motto (when you have one?)

The shock of the covid pandemic and the extreme restrictions it imposed on the world made us realise that we take an excessive amount of with no consideration, the issues we loved doing have been abruptly taken away, and it was very robust on us all. My life motto must be: “Life isn’t a rehearsal; the time to behave is now.”

Contact Elements

Fortress Elvira lends itself completely to a celebratory gathering, similar to an unique use marriage ceremony, in addition to to romantic getaways for {couples} and enriching experiences for teams of mates.

Charges for a double room with breakfast begin at €499 per evening, with charges for Fortress and Cottage unique rent for 12 folks ranging from €2,500 per week.

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Web site: www.castleelvira.com
Handle: Through Andrano, 73019 Trepuzzi LE, Italy

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