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Apulia (or Puglia), the area known as the heel Italy’s boot, is packed with ancient towns, centuries-old farmland and miles of sun-drenched Mediterranean coastline; it’s also home to some fabulous luxury hotels, here we review the best of these…

Masseria Prosperi

The little gem of Masseria Prosperi perfectly embodies the region; the wonderful rural life, beautiful relaxing vistas and exceptional Italian cuisine. The hotel is located in Lecce and is less than a miles’ stroll to the beach. Hospitality is important here and the small pleasures of life are much respected. You are not just surrounded by the rural life but really live it here, there are numerous four-legged friends for you to befriend including the very friendly pet cats and dogs, and you are also welcome to go horse riding or even bring your own house to stay! The wellness centre includes an indoor heated pool, a hot tub, Turkish bath, hydro-massage, hydro-bike and massage room for vital extra indulgence. There’s lots to occupy you on site, as well as horse riding, you can borrow bikes to explore the beautiful Italian countryside, take a cookery class or just let the hours drift away as you soak up the sunshine by the inviting outdoor pool. This boutique hotel is home to just 6 beautiful rooms; each has been individually and lovingly decorated to create a luxurious but very comfortable home from home space for you to make your own. There are Classic and Superior Rooms and Suites to choose from and each differs in size, panorama and location. All include the usual luxury travel amenities, plus a mini bar, iPod or USB compatible sound system, air conditioning and underfloor heating, and toiletries that aren’t tested on animals. The homely restaurant specialises in fresh fish dishes and serves organic vegetables farmed on site.

Vivosa Apulia Resort

Nestling in a pine forest in the south of Apulia, you’ll find an all-inclusive beach paradise at Vivosa Apulia Resort. The eco hotel has 10 buildings surrounded by pine trees, which host 333 bedrooms. All rooms showcase local styling and feature a balcony or terrace; superior and family rooms are slightly larger. The gorgeous central pool is comprised of four basins on different levels and offers a great place to relax and sunbathe. There is also a great children’s pool, a number of bars and restaurants, a Spa and an amphitheatre. A gently sloping white sand private beach with crystal clear waters is reached by a pretty path and offers a free beach service that includes sun beds and umbrellas. Other facilities and services on offer include 2 tennis courts, aqua-gym, beach volleyball, a Simon Elliott Golf Academy providing beginner and advanced lessons as well as sailing, sea kayaking and windsurfing down at the beach, plus an excellent kids club.

Furnirussi Tenuta

You’ll find Furnirussi Tenuta tucked in an organic fig orchard in Serrano next to a lake. This is a chic five-star hotel with contemporary décor. There are 24 spacious suites, 2 of which are superior, they include 4-poster beds and living areas, as well as furnished patios or terraces. Opt for a room with a bath tub if you enjoy a relaxing dip. Dine in the refined, gourmet restaurant which serves Salento specialities and uses organic ingredients from the property’s farm. Cool down in the outdoor bio-pool and visit the well-equipped gym to burn off all the extra calories from sampling the Italian wines. There’s also an excellent spa with massage rooms, Kneipp, hydrotherapy trails, an emotional shower, a relaxation area, tea room and a Hammam which is carved into the rock.

Sangiorgio Resort

A former convert, 9 miles outside of Gallipoli surrounded by olive groves and the Italian countryside is home to Sangiorgio Resort. The refined, ornate rooms are spacious and air-conditioned, upgrade to a suite for whirlpool tubs. There’s a fine-dining restaurant, an underground wine cellar and a lobby bar. Outside the outdoor pool is surrounded by beautiful gardens; pick your sun lounger, adjust your parasol and settle in for some serious relaxation. The Wellness Centre includes an indoor swimming pool, sauna, Turkish bath, Kneipp path, hot tub and there’s a gym too.

Borgo San Marco

A stunningly-restored historic 15th-century white farmhouse houses the rustic-chic hotel, Borgo San Marco. Surrounded by olive groves and the Puglia countryside, this is a serene spot for a relaxing break away. The hotel lies near Fasano and Ostuni and is just 2km to the seafront. The 18 suites are stylish and rich with original features including stone walls, arched ceilings and fireplaces. Upgrade for sea views, patios and whirlpool tubs. The friendly restaurant uses homegrown ingredients and serves traditional Puglia dishes and Italian wines. Other amenities include indoor and outdoor pools, a spa with a hot tub, a Turkish bath and massage services, and a fitness centre. The free bike rental is perfect for exploring the rest of the site which features a historic tower and a chapel, as well as the ruins of a medieval cave church.

Disclosure: Our property, service and product reviews are sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own and are in no way influenced by the sponsor.