Furnirussi Tenuta

Near Serrano, Puglia & Basilicata, Italy Book from

Reviewed by Abigail Blasi
A contemporary hotel which resonates with local tradition, set on a fig plantation with fragrant gardens, a lake-style pool and a sophisticated restaurant
As we left, down the drive lined with fig trees and rosemary shrubs, my son said "I’m going to miss this place". With its scented jasmine-filled gardens, lake-style pool and room to roam, this 5-star farm hotel will inspire similar reactions from everyone, from couples to families.

Set on a 2,500-tree fig plantation in the beautiful area of Grecia Salentina, 2km from the small town of Serrano and an easy drive from sandy beaches, the modern white-washed building echoes the grand old farmhouses of the Puglian countryside. As it was purpose-built, you get a lot more space than in many other rural hotels, and all 24 rooms have sitting areas plus a private garden or terrace screened by greenery. The huge pool is notably special - lined with ground marble that's smooth underfoot, with a gently shelving end for children and rocks like islands for basking and playing. There’s also a spa, a gym, a playground (discreetly tucked away so as not to disturb other guests), and an excellent restaurant serving inventive takes on local cuisine.

Highs

  • A great location near historic towns, and only 16km from the white-sand beach at Baia dei Turchi
  • Exceptional, creative food rooted in the Salentine tradition - the chef previously worked with Alain Ducasse
  • A glorious, 1000 sq.m lake-style pool
  • Bright, light and spacious rooms with private outdoor areas and space for 2 extra beds
  • Works equally well for couples and families, with plenty of space for both

Lows

  • You'll need a car to make the most of the area, though shuttle buses run to the coast in high season
  • It's a drive to other restaurants if you fancy a change of scene
  • Some may find the neutral colour scheme and boxy furnishings a little bland
  • There's a charge to use the spa
  • The WiFi requires a time-limit code for each device from reception

Best time to go

Puglia is at its finest from May to June and in September, when the weather is balmy and you can avoid the crowds. July and August are extremely busy, with packed beaches, but there are plenty of festivals in nearby towns. The hotel is closed from October to May.

Our top tips

Don't miss the wonderful small town of Galatina, which has the incredible frescoed church of Santa Catarina.

Great for...

Family
Foodie
Honeymoon
Spa
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique hotel
  • 24
  • Restaurant & bar (open daily)
  • All ages welcome
  • Closed: 7 Dec 2016 - 11 May 2017
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
Room: Executive Suite

Rooms

Decorated in white, cream and biscuit, the rooms are large, serene and unfussy. Most have lime-wooded and very comfortable kingsize four posters that are as minimalist as four posters get; the rest are twins. Floors are likewise pale and smooth, made from powdered Leccese stone. Bathrooms are roomy, with double basins and walk-in showers, and every room has a private garden or terrace with loungers.

The standard Classic Junior Suites are all on the ground floor, with a sofa and coffee table. Walk-in wardrobes are spacious enough to act as dressing rooms and have an automatic light (a nice touch). Junior Deluxe Suites, also on the ground floor, are similar but bigger. The Superior and Executive Suites, on the second floor, have terraces with sweeping views across the estate, plus freestanding tubs positioned for great bathtime panoramas.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Coffee tea making
  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Satellite tv
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

The restaurant is bright and elegant, with a fig theme to the décor and a large outdoor terrace. The food - much of it organic - is excellent, and the fruit, vegetables and olives are grown on the farm.

There’s a lunchtime menu of simple dishes such as pan-fried chicken, while dinner is an elaborate, creative and fabulously presented feast. Our delicious amuse-bouches included mini burrata coated in saffron, and gazpacho and baby squid served in a spiky sea-urchin bowl. The first course featured spectacular l’acquasale (a type of local bruschetta) with raw and cooked fish, tomatoes, frisella (dried bread) and foie gras, while our main was a wonderfully delicate grilled sole with chickpeas and wild clams.

Breakfast is a splendid continental spread, and the pastries and bread are freshly baked on the premises. You can also have eggs from the resident hens, cooked in various ways.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Children meals
  • Coffee tea making
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Organic produce
  • Restaurant
  • Room service
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Wander the 2.5km path around the fig plantation, watching the farmers at work and admiring the views
  • Explore the Salentine Peninsula, the heel of Italy’s boot: a rugged coastline with sandy shores and fascinating, once-Greek towns. The nearest beach is the wonderful white-sand Baia dei Turchi, 16km away; there's a regular shuttle bus in high season
  • Furnirussi also has deals with 2 nearby beach clubs, and can reserve loungers and umbrellas. One is more family-oriented, the other better for couples
  • Head a little way north to Lecce, an echanting city with Baroque architecture and a Roman amphitheatre
  • Wander and window-shop in the pretty town and buzzing summer resort of Otranto, with its lively bars, restaurants and Aragonese castle, built after the Turkish invasion
  • Go wine-tasting, take a cooking course, embark on a yacht cruise or practise yoga, all bookable through the hotel

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Cooking classes
  • Cycling
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Private guided tours
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Well being
  • Wine tasting
  • Yoga

Kids

This is a great place for families, and children of all ages are welcome. There's plenty of space, and the gently sloping pool will delight kids. There's also a small playground.

Best for:

All ages

Family friendly accommodation:

All rooms can accommodate up to 3 adults, 1 child and 1 baby in a combination of sofabeds, extra beds and baby cots. Interconnecting rooms are available, too. The Executive and Superior Suites have bathtubs; other rooms are shower only.

Babysitting:

Available on request

Baby equipment:

  • Baby cots
  • High chairs

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Children's meals:

The lunchtime menu has dishes that are suitable for kids, but the evening menu is more sophisticated so you may want to head into nearby Serrano for an informal pizza

Kids Activities on site:

  • Playground
  • Pool with very shallow end
  • Gardens with large lawns to play on

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Sandy beaches
  • Family-friendly beach club
  • Castles

Distances:

  • Airport: 1-hour drive
  • Hospital: 25-minute drive
  • Supermarket: 5-minute drive
Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

8/
Rooms
10/
Food
10/
Service
10/
Value
10/
Overall

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