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…
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. Immersed in one of the Natural Parks of Apulia, with dunes of very fine white sand caressed by a limpid sea, Vivosa is an Ecoresort that respects nature and protects the environment. The eco hotel has 10 buildings surrounded by pine trees, which host 333 bright, airy rooms that feature balconies and traditional furnishings, plus free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs. Here you can taste the authentic flavours of the rich gastronomic tradition of Salento, accompanied by sincere and welcoming smiles, as well as enjoying the poetic rituals of the renowned Spa (Best Italian Spa 2019) which enjoys an 800 m2 wellness centre with swimming pool and hydromassage, 2 Tecnogym fitness rooms, sensory showers, Bio sauna, Finnish sauna and Hammam. Further amenities include a buffet restaurant, casual bar, pool bar, private beach and an outdoor pool surrounded by four smaller pools, slides, gardens and waterfalls. There’s also a golf course, tennis courts and evening entertainment. The exclusive Unlimited All Inclusive formula will amaze you, and the ‘green activities’, like the Adventure Park, beekeeping and an educational garden, will conquer the little ones.
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.
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.
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