Lama di Luna

near Andria, Puglia & Basilicata, Italy Book from Book from £153 per night

An 18thC estate turned eco-Zen hideaway: monastically calm bedrooms, pure organic food, a huge pool and 190 hectares of olive groves
If you want to slip away from commercialism and clamour, book a cheap flight to Bari and head north to the somewhat unlikely environs of Andria. Here, amid low rocky hills overlooking the olive-studded coast, sits a fortified farm with 40 chimneys bristling around a gravelled courtyard. The great iron gates swing open and you're greeted by Pietro, a gentle, unassuming father of two who spends his summers harvesting olives and fruit, and his winters crafting furniture from giant fennel trunks.

Lama di Luna excels not for what it has, but what it doesn't have: no gimmicks, no distractions, no noise. You're ensconced in thick vaulted bedrooms, you sleep in unbleached cotton sheets on feng-shui beds, you wash with pure olive soap, you breakfast on organic jams and dine on homemade pasta. If you want to explore, the fantastical Bourbon Castel del Monte and the under-rated port of Trani await; by happy coincidence, one of Puglia's loveliest restaurants hides in the village down the lane. But don't plan too much: bring a good book, a special companion, and empty your mind. That's what it's all about.
Covid-19 update: some services and facilities may be changed as a result of Coronavirus measures.

Highs

  • We think the place has soul, which is one of the hardest things to create in a hotel
  • Pietro is a kind host, offering multilingual advice, free bicycles and advice on hikes or horse rides
  • You can help harvest grapes, pick olives or make pizzas and pasta in the old oven
  • Inspirational eco technology, including 48 solar panels and a computer-controlled heating system
  • It's all very pure: no artificial materials, no sharp edges, totally tranquil at night

Lows

  • The pool is quite cold
  • Limited WiFi in some bedrooms
  • The location lacks obvious wow factor, but there are interesting towns to explore nearby
  • The nearest beaches (Barletta, Margherita di Savoia) are not Puglia's best

Best time to go

Come in spring (April-early June) or autumn (September-October) if you possibly can. The weather then is perfect for gentle exploration, and swimming is quite feasible until early November (though in April it's chilly). Summer gets quite busy, though not as hectic as the coastal resorts of course.

Our top tips

Most guests come for 2-3 days, but if you really want to unwind you could happily stay for 4-5 days without running out of things to do.

Great for...

Eco
Family
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 10
  • Breakfast (+ dinner on request)
  • All ages welcome.
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
  • Bicycles Available
  • Laundry Service
  • Electric vehicle charger
Room:

Rooms

If you're wondering how there come to be so many chimneys, the answer is that the masseria once housed no fewer than 26 tenant-farmer families, each living in what is now one guest bedroom, warmed by its own fireplace. Pietro has converted many of the spaces to reading rooms and workshops, leaving just 8 guest bedrooms, a Family Suite, plus 2 luxurious Wellness Suites - so don't worry, there's not the slightest feeling of crowdedness anymore!

The 6 Coloni Rooms are in the north wing: they are simpler and taller, with wooden beds aligned according to fengshui principles, and electric wiring arranged to go in spokes rather than rings to avoid creating magnetic fields. The 2 Murgia rooms are in the south wing: a tad larger (and more expensive), with magnificent 19th-century brass beds and curving roof vaults made from clay cylinders to create a smooth, rounded look. Wellness Suites offer a Jacuzzi and Turkish bath - very romantic.

Bedrooms are monastically pure and simple, pared down to what you might call natural luxury. Walls of chunky undressed stone alternate with warm orange-ochre limewash, and you can light the massive corner hearth during the cooler months. It's all very cosy. Ensuite bathrooms come with shower or tub, a pretty ceramic basin on a wooden stand, and soap made from his own olive oil.

Features include:

  • Central heating
  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Fireplace
  • WiFi

Eating

A suitably pure and organic breakfast is laid on, served in a separate building with a circular stone oven, or on its terrace looking over endless olive groves. Expect lots of fresh fruit (whatever's in season), some local cheeses, bruschetta and fresh bread, local yoghurt and honey, pots of orange or quince jam, maybe a cake baked that morning. It's a fine start to the day.

The hotel's restaurant - outdoors in summer, indoors in winter - offers top-notch trad Puglian fare, presented with rustic stylishness, and using the estate's own veg, fruit, eggs, herbs and wines. The views over endless olive groves are sublime, and the quality of the cooking is excellent too - but there is not much choice, so ask ahead if you are a fussy eater. You can also book a pasta- or pizza-making session - great fun for a family - and then eat the fruits of your labour.

If you want to eat out, book a table at the tiny but truly outstanding Antichi Sapori restaurant in the hamlet of Montegrosso (2km). This was one of the best meals we had in Puglia, worthy of a Michelin star (but not as expensive), with a glorious sequence of 20 mini-dishes prepared with panache and passion by a trio of chefs - all brothers.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner by arrangement
  • Organic produce
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • If you only visit one thing, Castel del Monte, built by Frederick II in the 1240's, is the most extraordinary of Puglia's castles and a stunning example of Swabian architecture
  • Visit the beautifully preserved port of Trani, with its colourful marina, and its huge Normal cathedral right on the water's edge. There's also an imposing courthouse, medieval customs buildings (still bearing the names of the countries they represented) and a Jewish quarter with 3 synagogues
  • Exploring inland, Altamura is home to southern Italy's finest archaeological museum, which traces the Murge people from prehistory to late medieval times; and to a striking mixed-style duomo. It's not much further to Gravina, a castle-town clinging to a ravine, and to the biblical cave-houses of Matera, where Mel Gibson's The Passion of Christ was filmed
  • Heading north, the spa-resort of Margherita di Savoia has thermal baths, vast salt pans and Ramsar-protected wetlands with migratory birds (flamingoes, stilts, egrets, ibis, herons and swarms of avocets)
  • Or, of course, you can stay in and walk, jog or cycle around the estate (mountain bikes are provided free); relax in the library or in the pool-hammam-massage area; or watch the grapes being picked, the olives being pressed and the fruit being preserved

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Cycling
  • Sailing
  • Swimming

Kids

Children of all ages are welcome; cots and extra beds are available. There are free mountain bikes and farm activities to keep them entertained, and beaches 20-30km away

Family friendly accommodation:

There's a Family Suite and Family Wellness Suite which can sleep up to 4 plus a baby. All the other rooms can sleep up to 3 with the use of an extra bed or sofabed.

Baby equipment:

Baby cots available on request

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

Kid Friendly:

Location

Lama di Luna is outside the village of Montegrosso, near Andria and Canosa di Puglia, about 70km west of Bari.

By Air:
The nearest airports are Bari (70km) and Brindisi (200km). Click on the links below for a list of airlines serving them.

From the Airport
The hotel is a 50-minute drive from Bari airport.

By Car:
See our car rental recommendations.

Detailed directions will be sent to you once your booking is confirmed.

Read our guide to Getting to Italy and Getting around

Airports:

  • Bari 70.0 km BRI

Other:

  • Beach 20.0 km
  • Shops 10.0 km
  • Restaurant 3.0 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 1 independent review from i-escape guests

8/10
Room
8/10
Food
10/10
Service
8/10
Value
9/10
Overall

Our flights were delayed and we arrived at 2 am. The owner of Lama di Luna stayed up to welcome us. So despite the terrible start to our holiday Lama di Luna rescued it for us. We will go back.

9/10,

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