Destinations / Travel

8 of the best luxury hotels in Puglia we will be visiting when international travel returns

best hotels in Puglia

For anyone who currently resides in Australia, the thought of international travel feels like a harsh, distant memory. For the better part of the last two years, we've spent more hours than we would ever admit scrolling through our camera rolls romanticising the smell of airports and overpriced transfers all in the hope that one day we will be reliving these moments again. Thankfully, as our vaccination numbers continue to rise, talk of international travel is becoming a reality once more. And while the details on an exact timeline are still a little hazy, it's definitely not too early to start planning – or at least mood boarding – your return as a globe trotter.

Although, when that time finally comes, we'll all be travelling for different reasons, here at RUSSH it will be to catch a goddamn break. There's nothing we're desperately craving more than to switch off our phones and travel far, far away to a place where the beach, great food, wine and luxury stays are right on our doorstep. Puglia, in Italy's south is the obvious choice, and thankfully, the town happens to be home to some of the best hotels in the country.

For those not as familiar with the destination, you wouldn't be alone. For many years – and up until recently – Puglia remained a little known treasure to many outside of Italy. The southern region forms the 'heel' of Italy's boot, and is renowned for its instantly recognisable whitewashed hill towns, centuries-old farmland and hundreds of kilometres of Mediterranean coastline.

Where food is concerned, if you're an avid lover of seafood, a trip to Puglia is essential. Given that it spans both the Adriatic and Ionian seas; a lunch of remarkably fresh fish, sea urchin and octopus is not a rarity.

With so much to offer and even more to discover, it's not hard to see why Puglia has become one of the most in-demand Mediterranean vacation spots. The question now of course, is not if – but when – you will book your trip. The most important place to start, naturally, is with where you plan to stay. A benefit of our own research is that we can share our finds with you; and here they are. 10 of the best hotels in Puglia to book now for an idyllic Mediterranean getaway.

 

1. Borgo Egnazia

 

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Location:

Savelletri

What to expect:

Borgo Egnazia is a breathtaking property located in Savelletri – a beach resort and fishing port that stretches along the coastline. The hotel is a village-style property, creating a unique location that feels like a town in itself. Despite only being built in 2010, every one of Borgo Egnazia's 183 rooms – spanning rooms, suites, and villas – exudes authenticity and history.

As would be expected from such a location, there is no shortage of activities and experiences available at Borgo Egnazia. Guests can enjoy and have access to the two beach clubs, a golf course, an atmospheric spa inspired by Roman baths, vintage car tours, cooking classes, oil and wine tastings, and trekking.

If nothing else, be sure to enjoy a romantic dinner in the hotel's piazza. An experience you'll never forget.

 

2. Castello di Ugento

Location:

Ugento

What to expect:

Less than 20 minutes inland from the iconic sandy beaches lies Castello di Ugento; situated in the peaceful town of Ugento. The biggest drawcard? This hotel was previously a 17th-century castle, and a stay here is sure to make you feel like a real-life prince or princess.

Castello di Ugento is positioned on the highest point of the town; creating an atmosphere of opulence. The hotel has nine individually decorated rooms on offer, each with either courtyard, patio or terrace access. Spend an afternoon wandering the 18th-century aromatic gardens; or for those wanting to go for a dip the choices are endless. Castello di Ugento is just 10 minutes from the beautiful white sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters of the Ionian sea, and 25 minutes form the tip of the heel of Leuca and the Adriatic sea.

One of the many things that makes this one of the best hotels in Puglia is the food. The restaurant, Il Tempo Nuovo, is heralded by chef Tommaso Sanguedolce; who is known for his fresh and unfussy twist on traditional Puglian cuisine. Be sure to make a booking.

 

3. Masseria Moroseta

 

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Location:

Ostuni

What to expect:

Masseria Moroseta is a modern, white-stone washed farmhouse set in five hectares of olive groves with trees up to 500 years old. This sun-drenched property is both luxurious and familiar, giving you a feeling of comfort without ever compromising on quality.

An incredible lesson in architecture and design, the property is the brainchild of architect Andrew Totter and owner Carlo Lanzini. The hotel is set around a central courtyard; the salon and veranda with their views to the sea, the staircase to the roof terrace. On either side lie the six rooms and suites – half with private gardens, the other half with private terraces looking out across the fields.

Chef Giorgia Goggi is an icon on the property; serving up some of the most delicious, traditional local and Mediterranean dishes, with organic produce from the gardens. Menus change daily and are designed in accordance with the season, so there is always a new and delicious meal on offer.

 

4. Masseria Torre Maizza

Location:

Savelletri

What to expect:

Masseria Torre Maizza can be best described as the quintessential Puglian farmstay. Equipped with all the features of a relaxed, masseria holiday; the property boasts a sparkling blue pool, fresh fruit, bicycles to ride through the olive groves and more. But just like many of the best hotels in Puglia, it's Masseria Torre Maizza's attention to detail that sets it apart.

The vision for the interior and dining details has been realised by Olga Polizzi; creating an aesthetic that truly makes you feel as though time has stopped. There's no going past the hotel's restaurant, which sits beneath a pergola of ivy and roses overlooking the property’s orchard.

 

5. Palazzo Daniele

 

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Location:

Gagliano del Capo

What to expect:

Palazzo Daniele is perfect for those who want to experience secluded luxury while still being a short five minute drive from the Salento region's best beaches. You'll be surprised to learn that despite being situated right in the middle of town, the true treasure can be found inside its 19th-century walls, peaceful gardens and beautifully outfitted swimming pool.

The decor, while still keeping with traditional notes, has a playful but still tasteful touch – partly the result of its previous life hosting artist residencies. Think artist-designed light fittings and the occasional piece of carefully placed modernist furniture. Each room comes with its own unique detail, which makes it all the more special.

Again, what makes Palazzo Daniele one of the best hotels in Puglia is its culinary offering. The hotel boasts an open kitchen; with the help of in-house cook Donata and her team. Eggs and fresh pastries for breakfast, lunch by the pool and for dinner, an on-site bartender to prepare the hotel's signature cocktails. What more could you want?

 

6. Masseria Calderisi

Location:

Fasano

What to expect:

Masseria Calderisi might be relatively new as far as accomodation goes in Puglia, but it has already made its mark. The property should be described as a warm hug; not only because of its vibrant, luxurious and welcoming design and atmosphere, but you'll also regularly spot owners Max and Jutta von Braunmühl and their children roaming around the property as well. It's like a home away from home, which adds to its allure.

Given the overwhelming of luxury masserias popping up in the south of Italy, discovering a hidden gem like Masseria Calderisi is something to be proud of. Although you could lounge around the property all day, there's no shortage of activities to keep you occupied. Spend an afternoon relaxing on the property's private beach, organise a boat trip along the Adriatic, or a body scrub at the spa with honey, salt, and lemon from the masseria’s gardens.

 

7. Paragon 700 Boutique Hotel & Spa

 

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Location:

Ostuni

What to expect:

Located within the spectacular 'white city' of Ostuni, Paragon 700 Boutique Hotel & Spa sets itself apart for a number of reasons. Initially, for its striking and contrasting facade of red rusticated stone; secondly for what lies inside. Created and designed by interior designers and partners Pascale Lauber and Ulrike Bauschke, it's instantly clear that this hotel does not fall short of innovative, yet tasteful and respectful design.

The hotel offers 11 individually designed rooms, fitted with frescoed ceilings, warm and relaxed lighting fixtures, and stonewashed linen sheets. If relaxation within one of the region's busiest cities is your goal, Paragon 700's spa is not one to miss. Built into the underground caves and reachable by glass elevator, it features a hydromassage basin, a Turkish bath, a Himalayan salt wall, and even a natural whirlpool dug deeper into the ground. Talk about indulgent.

 

8. Masseria Cervarolo

Location:

Ostuni

What to expect:

Also located in Ostuni, Masseria Cervarolo is a farmstay featuring typical Apulian rural houses called trulli. The silent, rural setting brings you into a new realm of Puglian charm. Surrounded by ancient olive groves and more than one beaten track to get lost down, there's no shortage of activities at this 16th-century masseria.

An earthy and genuine atmosphere, bask in the afternoon sun by the vast lagoon-like pool, or book in to the wellness room for massages and beauty treatments; then onto the poolside bar for al fresco drinks. Basically, everything you need to be considered amongst the best hotels in Puglia.

In case you're thinking of moving to Italy permanently, the government is paying people $44k to move to Calabria. Do with that information what you will...

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Images:

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@masseriacervarolo