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Best Hotels In Puglia


Best Hotels In Puglia – Puglia, a southern region forming the heel of Italy’s “boot,” is known for its whitewashed hill towns, centuries-old farmland and hundreds of kilometers of Mediterranean coastline.

Capital Bari is a vibrant port and university town, while Lecce is known as “Florence of the South” for its baroque architecture.

Alberobello and the Itria Valley are home to “trulli,” stone huts with distinctive conical roofs.

It’s hard to imagine that as little as 20 years ago, if Puglia was known to those outside of Italy at all, it was simply for being the heel on the peninsula’s boot.

Best Hotels In Puglia – Fast forward two decades later, and it’s not only firmly cracked the code for a perfect Mediterranean vacation, but ranks among the most desirable destinations for Italophiles who want to venture beyond the well-established tourist hotspots of Tuscany and the Amalfi Coast. 

The relatively flat landscape features some of the most gorgeous towns in Italy – from the bleached walls of Ostuni to the quaint domed roofs of Alberobello’s traditional trulli – most of which are packed with knotty medieval streets, gleaming white Baroque churches and bustling markets.

Around its lengthy coastlines you’ll find some of Italy’s most pristine beaches, from soft white sand to rocky plunge pools with crystal clear water.

Then, of course, there’s the food.

Best Hotels In Puglia – Puglia’s specialty, given it spans both the Adriatic and Ionian seas, is the freshest fish imaginable, with sea urchins and octopus serving as a particularly delectable highlight.

It’s the birthplace of burrata, too; and don’t forget to try some orecchiette, handmade by a nonna on the winding streets of Bari’s old town.


Best Hotels In Puglia – Masseria Torre Coccaro

Contrada Coccaro, 8, 72015 Savelletri di Fasano BR, Italy

A mile from the sea

Dominated by a 16th-century watchtower that later became a fortified farmhouse, Masseria Torre Coccaro is a delightfully laid-back place that works for both families and couples (it can arrange kids’ pizza lessons as well as a quick round on the golf course).

The owner is mover and shaker Vittorio Muolo – one of the founding fathers of the masserie and beach-club scene in Puglia’s fishing village of Savelletri – who opened Torre Coccaro back in 2002.

The rooms combine Puglian rusticity with touches of Frenchified elegance.

Its nearby sister hotel, Masseria Torre Maizza, is more knowingly stylish and dressy, its 26 suites soothing refuges from the summer glare.

Room 35 is a junior suite in an ancient tower, with beautiful sea views and cosy fireplace.

Room 6 is the Orange Garden suite, set into the bedrock, with large dining area, private garden and Jacuzzi.

Room 16 has a private patio and beautiful vaulted ceiling.

Best of all is the hidden swimming pool with a secret weapon: underwater music.


Torre Maizza Savelletri

Contrada Coccaro 72015, Savelletri BR, Italy

A mile from the sea

Standing since the 16th century, Masseria Torre Maizza watches over a Pugliese plot that’s studded with ancient olive trees and within sight of the Adriatic Sea.

The whitewashed masseria was comprehensively reclothed by designer Olga Polizzi, who spliced traditional Pugliese art and crafts with contemporary Italian design.

Her elegant rooms and suites retain just the right amount of rustic edge, dressed with pale stone, warm woods and leafy patterns that seem borrowed from the surrounding countryside.

This fertile landscape figures just as prominently at the restaurant, where the ingredients are staunchly local and the meals tinged with the carefree glamour of the south-Italian coast.

A spa, oversized pool, cookery school and golf course are among the other diversions, and you’re a short shuttle from the hotel’s suave beachclub and the quaint fishing town of Savelletri.

Even the smallest rooms have luxurious bed linen, Pugliese art and bathrooms clad in Trani stone.

If you’re happy to splash, swing for one of the Deluxe Suites with a Plunge Pool.

These spacious suites have stylish living areas and heritage features like original vaulted ceilings – best of all, though, is the sun-bathed terrace with a pool overlooking the gardens and olive groves.

If you want a private terrace but can do without the spacious living area, book a Deluxe Room with Terrace and Garden.


Best Hotels In Puglia – Masseria Cimino

Contrada Masciola, 72015 Fasano BR, Italy

1/2 mile from the sea

This one is sweet and discreet, while its sister hotel Borgo Egnazia is big, bold and grand.

A side project of the latter’s owner-manager Aldo Melpignano, it’s a plum-red, 18th-century fortified masseria surrounded by olive groves, and makes a virtue of its simplicity.

The farmhouse-bedrooms are elegant but authentic, and breakfasts and dinners are good, unfussy local fare (Pugliese pasta dishes made with vegetables grown in the garden).

A wonderfully unpretentious antidote to some of the region’s dressier places to eat and stay.


Best Hotels In Puglia – Castello di Ugento

Via Castello, 13, 73059 Ugento LE, Italy

6 miles from the sea

In the region of Salento, 15 minutes or so inland from the white sandy beaches that line the peninsula’s southern tip, lies the tranquil town of Ugento.

And at its heart sits Castello di Ugento, the impressive castle at the town’s highest point.

Most of what is visible today was constructed in the 17th century, but it also features the foundations of an 11th-century Norman tower, rediscovered while the building was being lovingly refurbished half a decade ago, and that can now be seen through glass floors in the dining area.

It’s the kind of attention to detail – and instinct for preservation – that characterises the property’s restoration at the hands of Massimo d’Amore and his partner, Diana Bianchi.

The d’Amore family’s ownership of the castle dates all the way back to its 17th-century splendour.

Nine individually decorated rooms are complemented by an orchard garden as well as a sister property a few minutes down the road, Masseria Le Mandorle, that features a swimming pool and slick sports facilities. 


Masseria Torre Maizza

Contrada Coccaro 72015, Savelletri BR, Italy

2 miles from the sea

Masseria Torre Maizza, found in the cluster of luxurious masserias that have sprung up between the towns of Fasano and Savelletri, was established as one of the first high-end stays in the region back in the 2000s.

Since being taken over and refurbished by Rocco Forte Hotels in 2019, however, the property has found a new lease of life.

In many ways, it’s the quintessential vision of a relaxed masseria holiday with all of the rustic details of a typical farm stay: a sparkling blue pool, fresh fruit, bicycles to ride through the olive groves.

But it’s the details found in its interiors and dining that elevates it, largely thanks to the aesthetic vision realized by Olga Polizzi, Rocco Forte’s sister and the chain’s design director.

The hotel’s gorgeous restaurant, for example, sits within a pergola draped with ivy and roses overlooking the property’s orchard. 

There’s a sense, when at Masseria Torre Maizza, that time has stopped.

The large pool area features a bar offering crisp local wines and creative riffs on Italian aperitivi.

The spa is stocked with products by Forte’s daughter, Irene, with scrubs and oils directly inspired by the Mediterranean botanicals of southern Italy.

Despite being a hotel group, Rocco Forte’s relatively modest size ensures much of its most welcoming details are those which have been kept within the family.

It’s a small slice of heaven that feels almost specifically designed for you to laze away a summer’s afternoon under an orange tree, book in hand, as a cool sea breeze rustles through the trees. 


Best Hotels In Puglia – Palazzo Daniele

Corso Umberto I, 60, 73034 Gagliano del Capo LE, Italy

1 mile from the sea

Another option in the Salento region is Palazzo Daniele, found in the small but inviting town of Gagliano del Capo that is merely five minutes’ drive from some of the region’s most spectacular beaches.

Yet the real delights of Palazzo Daniele lie within its own 19th-century walls, which, despite being smack in the centre of town, include peaceful gardens and a beautifully outfitted swimming pool.

The hotel’s playful but tastefully realised decor is partly the result of its previous life hosting artist residencies.

Its owner, former lawyer and art collector Francesco Petrucci, decided to collaborate with his friend Gabriele Salini – who also owns the modish G-Rough hotel in Rome – to convert the property into a nine-room boutique stay that opened in the spring of 2019.

The result is a charming mish-mash of ceiling frescoes with cutting-edge contemporary art, sympathetically reconciled by the Milanese architects and designers Ludovica and Roberto Palomba.

The monastic plaster walls have been left largely untouched, their weathered surfaces and cracks kept intact, with any interventions largely offered by artist-designed light fittings and the occasional piece of carefully placed modernist furniture.

Each room contains its own unexpected details.

The bathroom might be accessed by a narrow staircase that once included a secret passageway that extended all the way to the nearby beaches.

A more conventional en suite features a rain shower in the middle of the room with a shell-like basin, so you can live out your best “Birth of Venus” fantasy. 


Masseria Calderisi

Strada Comunale Sarzano, 12/A, 72015 Fasano BR, Italy

1.5 miles from the sea

A relative newcomer to the scene – and all the more energetic for it – Masseria Calderisi was established last year by its charismatic German owners, Max and Jutta von Braunmühl, who fell in love with Puglia in the 2000s and married in the region a decade ago.

The pair, and their children, can often be found mingling with guests, whether escorting them to the sea in a four-wheel drive or stopping by their dinner tables for a digestivo.

There’s an exuberant feeling about this property, evident in the range of activities on offer – an afternoon at their private strip of beach, a boat trip along the Adriatic, or a body scrub at the spa with honey, salt and lemon from the masseria’s gardens.

They also feature a lovely boutique which stocks local ceramics, jams and olive oils alongside casual pieces and beachwear from the likes of EtroMax Mara and Missoni.

This sense of warmth and liveliness extends to the impeccable hospitality, which manages to be friendly and keenly attentive without ever feeling overbearing.

So too is it visible in the organic conviviality between guests, many of whom are clearly satisfied to chat about finding this undiscovered gem within the region’s ever-growing number of luxury masserias.

If you’re looking to strike up a conversation with those on the sun lounger next to you, there’s no awkwardness here.

You may even try participating in a morning bread-baking session in the hotel’s restored wood-fire oven, or at the pizza party in the large courtyard that takes place twice a week.

Masseria Calderisi is a slice of classic Puglian paradise with a fresh, youthful-feeling twist.


Best Hotels In Puglia – Paragon 700 Boutique Hotel & Spa

Largo Michele Ayroldi Carissimo, 14, 72017 Ostuni BR, Italy

5 miles from the sea

Even from the outside, Paragon 700 is no ordinary Italian palazzo. Its striking facade of red rusticated stone sticks out within the spectacular “white city” of Ostuni, while the restored vintage car that sits outside offers something of a clue to its unconventional mix of the past and present.

But stepping inside is to enter another world entirely.

The weird and wonderful brainchild of its founders, interior designers and partners Pascale Lauber and Ulrike Bauschke, they clearly saw the restoration of this mysterious building (its exact origins and dates of construction still remain largely unknown) as an opportunity to unleash their wildest design instincts.

The property opened last summer with head-spinningly fabulous results. 

Probably the biggest facet of Paragon 700’s appeal, though, is its prime location within Ostuni, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the region, but that somehow manages never to feel wildly overcrowded.

Getting lost in the city’s labyrinth of alleyways and admiring its Gothic cathedral are unmissable elements of a Puglian vacation all on their own.

You can return to the homely environs of Paragon 700 for a refreshing dip in the pool, a cocktail as delightfully offbeat as the decor and finally a meal in their gourmet, open-kitchen Restaurant 700 to round off the evening makes the experience all the sweeter.


Palazzo Maresgallo Lecce

Via Guglielmo Paladini, 10, 73100 Lecce LE, Italy

8 miles from the sea (center of Lecce)

A sprawling palazzo of galleries, balconies and roof terraces, in a garden of lemon trees and shadows where a pool catches the afternoon light.

Instead of gloomy pictures of ancestors, Maresgallo is filled with imaginative designer furniture and art: the owners, two couples, are collectors.


Best Hotels In Puglia – Castello di Ugento

Via Castello, 13, 73059 Ugento LE, Italy

5 miles from the sea

At the highest point of the small town of Ugento, 25km from Puglia’s southernmost point, one gleaming monument stands out from its sun-faded neighbors.

It took 18 months to sandblast Castello di Ugento’s dilapidated pietra leccese walls back to their original honey hue, part of a €15 million renovation that breathed new life into the once-majestic palazzo.

Three state-of-the-art kitchens were built within the property for Culinary Institute of America students to learn authentic Italian cooking.

It’s a foodie’s dream. Pugliese produce is championed elsewhere in the castle too, with embroidered fabrics, handmade ceramics and organic olive-oil soaps and shampoos.

Design-savvy guests will appreciate the furniture, from Ceccotti loveseats to reupholstered vintage Poltrona Frau armchairs.

The nine bedrooms combine original architectural features with contemporary cosseting: sleep under a star-vaulted ceiling or shower in a rediscovered vault.

The marriage of ancient and avant-garde continues in the museum wing, where 17th-century frescoes provide a backdrop to modern-art exhibitions, and in the restaurant, where the glass floor reveals a Norman tower that was excavated during the renovations.


Don Totu

Via Crocefisso, 10, 73020 San Cassiano LE, Italy

9 miles to sea

Milanese owners Chiara and Mauro Bini turned their historic dimora storica into a village house with all the punch of a top-notch hotel.

Lush green cacti-filled gardens are bright against the creamy stonework; inside, original Salentine tiled floors are paired with grey and taupe linens and artwork from around the world.

There are only six bedrooms (all vast, and each with its own terrace), so the enormous pool is usually all yours.

At one end, a loggia houses an 18-meter-long replica of Matisse’s La Piscine beneath Art Deco chandeliers shipped over from the old Biltmore Hotel in Miami.

Its flat roof turns into an outdoor cinema at night, for subtitled films with pizza and ice cream.

Sweat it off the next morning with the daily 8am yoga session or book the private hammam for a Turkish bath.

Food-wise you can help yourself to everything in the kitchen – still-warm bread, tarts and flans, plus hams, cheese and fruit for breakfast, and then a never-ending procession of chocolate truffles, Italian pastries and sugar-dusted biscuits during the day.

You aren’t completely left to your own devices: the manager is always on hand for brilliant restaurant suggestions and local know-how.

For beach trips, the staff will prepare a bag with towels and bottled water, plus there are bicycles and Vespas to borrow.

Don Tuto is a B&B, yes, but better than some of the very best hotels down here In Italy’s heel. 


La Fiermontina Lecce

Piazzetta De Summa Scipione, 4, 73100 Lecce LE, Italy

9 miles from the sea (center of Lecce)

As the unofficial capital of southern Puglia, Lecce’s honey-hued old town with its time-softened baroque architecture has many admirers, and its gentle gentrification continues apace, as this 16-room beauty attests.

It represents a return to his ancestral roots for French-born owner Giacamo Fiermonte, whose grandmother moved to Paris from Lecce in the 1930s.

Twelve years ago, he bought one of the few historic palazzos within the city walls still in private hands, and worked with local architect Antonio Annicchiarico and Parisian interiors firm Charles-Philippe and Christophe to create a different Lecce hotel.

It’s a little like a designer monastery, a discreetly stylish refuge in the centre of town combining star-vaulted ceilings with vintage modernist furnishings by Charlotte Perriand and contemporary art from the owner’s private collection.

The large walled garden consists mostly of ancient olive trees, beyond which lies the cool green pool.

In the restaurant, Simone Solido serves up authentic local dishes such as ciceri e tria (pasta and chickpeas) with less-is-more flair.


Best Hotels In Puglia – Palazzo Daniele

Corso Umberto I, 60, 73034 Gagliano del Capo LE, Italy

One mile from the sea

Modernism meets old-world majesty at Palazzo Daniele, a Pugliese mansion celebrating 150 years of Italian art and hospitality.

The 19th-century palazzo had served owner Francesco Petrucci’s family for four generations until he threw open its doors, enlisting Milanese architects to strip out the clutter and restore its historic splendor.

A year later, he lent his ear to fellow art collector and hotelier Gabriele Salini – the man behind Smith stay G Rough – who convinced him to transform it into a nine-suite guesthouse fit for their covetable art collection.

Now, its period details have been married with minimalist furniture and striking art installations, and the once-formal atmosphere has been replaced by something far more familial.

Set your body clock to southern-Italian time as you lounge in the orange grove, tan by the inky pool or swap stories with the chef as she prepares a traditional Apulian feast.


Borgo Egnazia

Strada Comunale Egnazia 72015, Savelletri BR, Italy

1/4 mile from the sea

Walking through the cobbled streets that comprise Borgo Egnazia as the evening light casts a golden glow over the clocktower, you wouldn’t guess for a moment that this sprawling, breathtakingly beautiful property was only built in 2010.

Every one of Borgo Egnazia’s meticulously designed rooms, suites and villas – 183 in total – might appear centuries-old on the surface, but they reach a world standard in luxury mod cons.

Rumor has it that architect Pino Brescia, a native Puglian who was hired for his knowledge of the quirks of the region’s traditional building techniques, even went around chipping at the walls with a chisel to ensure the creamy local sandstone looked as authentically weathered as possible.

When you find yourself getting pleasantly lost in Borgo Egnazia’s alleyways, it’s clear that was part of the plan.

While Borgo Egnazia is very much the brainchild of couple Aldo Melpignano and Camilla Vender – the latter also runs an exquisitely curated boutique, Bottega Egnazia, as part of the hotel complex – the story actually runs a generation further back; specifically, to Melpignano’s parents.

After establishing Masseria San Domenico, the first luxury hotel in the region in 1996, Sergio and Marisa Melpignano played a crucial role in establishing Puglia as the growing tourist hotspot it is today by making a conscious effort to market the region abroad.

With Melpignano and Vender’s willingness to both take up the mantle and push that vision to the next level, the wildly ambitious Borgo Egnazia project came to be. 

Image-of-verand-ocean-Locanda Don Ferrante Monopoli

Locanda Don Ferrante Monopoli

Via S. Vito, 27, 70043 Monopoli BA, Italy

A block form the sea

This 10-room charmer is built into the walls of Monopoli, a characterful sea-girt warren of whitewashed houses that feels more Greek than Italian.

The bedrooms are classy boltholes under the vaults of what was once an 18th-century nobleman’s house, but the clincher is the roof terrace and bar, where sunset aperitivi are served.


Best Hotels In Puglia – The Capase Resort

Villaggio Paradiso, SP358, Km 12, 73020 Santa Cesarea Terme LE, Italy

600′ from the sea

A top a cliff overlooking the sea, in the Regional Natural Park that stretches from Otranto to Santa Maria di Leuca.

We chose the eastern coast of Salento, one of the most spectacular and untouched in all of Apulia, and we wanted a resort that would be perfectly integrated with the landscape, a special view of the thousand shadings of the sea.

Santa Cesarea Terme is a town and comune in the province of Lecce, Apulia, southern Italy.

Situated on the coast at the entrance of the Strait of Otranto, on a part of the coast which comes down to the sea, the town of Santa Cesarea is one of the largest centers for thermal baths in the Salento.

The exclusive beach experience is tailored for you.

An old path of fishermen, a wooden platform for sunbaths, a ladder suspended between the rocks and the arrival to the pristine sea of Salento.

This is the place for all those who love silence, those who appreciate the stillness of nature, those looking for the thousand colors of the sky and inimitable sea.


Est Santa Cesarea Terme

Via Pola, 16/A, 73020 Santa Cesare Terme LE, Italy

600′ from the sea

Here you will find bright and spacious rooms, excellent Salento cuisine and a breathtaking view of the sea and the wonderful thermal baths of Santa Cesarea Terme .

The breathtaking position on the Terme di Santa Cesarea with the marvelous panoramic view of the sea from which it is possible, on clear days, to admire the landscape of the mountains of Albania make the Est Hotel the most refined and relaxing place in all of Santa Cesarea Terme .

The sober and elegant furnishings welcome the common areas and the rooms. 

The hall that houses the always open reception, and the bar, have an atmosphere of relaxation and well-being, thanks to the breathtaking sea view where coffee, drinks and snacks are served.

Santa Cesarea Terme, in addition to being the ideal place for personal well-being and a place to relax, is an excellent starting point for discovering various places of natural and cultural interest. 

It is possible to go for walks or horseback rides within the Otranto-Leuca Natural Park with specialized guides. 

Or you can take organized tours to discover Otranto, Lecce and its fascinating Baroque style, visit the tip of the heel of Italy, Santa Maria di Leuca. 

Finally, and a few km away, it is possible to visit the city of Gallipoli.


Locanda Don Ferrante

Via S. Vito, 27, 70043 Monopoli BA, Italy

On the Beach

Built right into Monopoli’s ancient seafront ramparts, hotel Don Ferrante is a labyrinthine hideaway: an elegant tangle of narrow staircases, pretty patios and vaulted limestone ceilings.

With just 10 rooms spread across three separate buildings, this whitewashed Puglian retreat charms guests into a slower pace of life.

Linger on the terrace over fresh Mediterranean fare, slink into the dinky rooftop pool and soak up those dazzling Adriatic views.

Startlingly white and planted with aloe and prickly pears, Don Ferrante’s terrace could give Marrakech’s blissful rooftops a run for their money.

Striped deck chairs, low sofas and rattan armchairs are scattered at every corner – all idyllic spots for an idle afternoon in the Puglian sunshine.

Book ahead for a tension-busting in-room massage; in the summer, an outdoor treatment area is set up on the terrace so you can drift away to the sound of lapping waves.


Best Hotels In Puglia – Canne Bianche Lifestyle & Hotel

Via Appia Antica, 32, 72015 Torre Canne BR, Italy

On the Beach

They say Italians do it better, and if you’re talking about relaxed, effortless beachside retreats, then Canne Bianche hotel in Puglia is proof that they’re right.

It’s a marvel of seafront simplicity – weathered white stone, lime-washed wood, a sprinkling of antiques – framed by eye-popping views and your own secluded sands. 

And it comes with an abundance of just-fished fare and a welcome as warm as the midday sun.

Take a moment each day to peer through the telescope in the sea-facing lounge – you might get a close up of dolphins frolicking offshore.

A pristine, turquoise pool runs the width of the hotel, parallel with the sea.

A raised sun deck sits at one end; a shallow paddling pool at the other, with plenty of loungers dotted around.

From here, it’s only a few strides to the sea.


La Peschiera

Contrada Losciale, 63 Frazione, 70043 Capitolo BA, Italy

On the Beach

With a private beach, seven pools and a seafood restaurant lapped by the Adriatic, waterfront hotel La Peschiera reads like a love letter to the Puglian seaside.

Almost everywhere you look, azure blues frame the view: each suite has a terrace overlooking the pools on one side, and sweeping sea views on the other.

Add to that the traditional interiors with muslin-draped beds and cerulean fabrics, and you’ve got a hotel that’s the embodiment of the south-Italian coast.

Spend your days between sea and sunlounger, where an icy Aperol Spritz awaits, or ask the concierge team to organize wine tastings, Vespa rides or a helicopter tour over Puglia’s most picturesque towns.

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