“Beautiful boutique 12th-century church conversion, overlooking Matera’s warren-like, ravine-edged Sassi Barisano quarter”
Down in the town centre, there's also a beautiful apartment, complete with exposed stonework and lofty windows. In both locations, a mix of French, Italian and Brazilian furniture decorates, lovely solid pieces arranged with a pared-down simplicity. Walls are pale exposed stone, a warm gold. Modernist touches marry well with the antiquity, such as large low, wood-edged double beds and thick glass partitions.
- A remarkable place to stay in a remarkable city - Matera is utterly beautiful and the hotel is so unique and full of character
- Beautiful, pared-down design, with antiques and carved-wood furniture set against sandstone arches, cave interiors and thick glass
- A laid-back relaxed atmosphere and the self-catering Loft 79 apartment is ideal for more independent travellers
- Utter tranquillity - the sassi are interconnected via tiny lanes unsuitable for traffic
- Owners are proud of their hotel and eager to please
- The rooms, hotel and whole town is impossibly romantic
- The Standard Single (1001) is extremely tiny and snug - but the room has a good view
- Not for the athletically challenged - most rooms have steep or uneven stairs and some have ladders, plus there are steps to reach the entrance of the hotel
- The nearest on-street parking is 80m away; their private garage is 300m away, but this is the nature of staying in the sassi
- Loft 79's setting doesn't share the hotel's wow-factor sassi setting, but it does offer space, comfort and convenience
- This is cave living, so the atmosphere may feel a little damp at times - worth it for us, but guests with respirotary problems may feel otherwise
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Hotel
- 9 + 1 apartment
- Breakfast (+ walk to off-site restaurants)
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Bicycles Available
Suites are fabulous: Suite 1004 has a triplex layout, with a beige sofabed on the lowest level, a kingsize double on the next, and a Brazilian chaise longue and sassi views from the third. The bathroom is in a real cave, with a huge round bath and rainfall shower. Suite 1003, has a kingsize four-poster and original bell-tower staircase, which allows access to a lounge area and a small walled terrace with sweeping sassi panorama.
Our Junior Suite 1007 consisted of a bedroom and stairs through to a sunken cave with walk-in shower room and Jacuzzi - it was like a Bond villains lair! The Deluxe Classic 1005 has a kingsize bed an alcove desk and walls that dissolve into a cave. The lower, cavelike Standard Classic 1006 has a stone shower. Split-level Standard Classic 1002 is a romantic double with views over the sassi from the bed; a ladder-like staircase leads down to the bathroom. Standard Single 1001 has a beautiful stone bed, and Standard Small 1008 is split-level; both are smaller, but still unique and characterful.
Located on a parallel street (a 2-minute walk from reception), the Deluxe Small 1009, but it boasts spectacular Cathedral and sassi views - very romantic.
We're yet to see the 1-bedroom Loft 79. It’s not in the ancient sassi, so you miss out on the cave dwellings, but you’re still slap bang in the action of the old town and within easy walking distance of all the sights and restaurants. For the more independent traveller, it offers added privacy and the autonomy of being able to cook for oneself. We can't wait to see it for ourselves.
- Air conditioning
- Central heating
- Coffee / tea making
- Cots Available
- Extra beds
- Internet access
- Safe box
- Satellite TV
The hotel offers a small but good-quality breakfast buffet, with light-as-air cream-filled cornetti (croissants), crostate (jam tarts), croissants filled with ham and cheese, fruit and fruit juice. You're served with your preference of coffee: espresso, cappuccino etc, or can order tea from the reception bar. In summer you can eat breakfast outside, on the terrace-like area (with views) in front of the hotel. Loft 79 guests have their own kitchen, so self-catering is easy as pie.
Room-service drinks are available all day - coffee, liqueurs and wine by the bottle or glass.
There’s a huge number of cafés and restaurants within a 5-minute walk. If you're dining out, the team will ask you about your preferences and tailor their suggestions to your tastes (high end, cheap and cheerful, relaxed trattoria, pizza). We tried two traditional trattorias in the old stassi – Da Nico and Oi Mari – both were cute and buzzy with typically traditional local food.
- Coffee / tea making
- Restaurants nearby
- Room service
- Vegetarian menu
- Explore the winding alleys and frescoed cave-churches of the sassi. A Unesco World Heritage site, the fabulous ancient scenery was used as the setting for Jerusalem in The Passion of Christ, starring Mel Gibson
- Visit MUSMA, the contemporary sculpture museum, then stroll around the lovely cathedral
- Go for a passeggiata (evening stroll) in Piazza Vittorio Veneto - the whole town seems to turn out for an amble at dusk
- Go hiking, riding or mountain biking in the surrounding countryside; the hotel can arrange guides and bike hire
- Visit the antiquities and paintings of author Carlo Levi at Museo Nazionale Ridola and Museo di Arte Medievale e Moderna
- Explore the nearby ghost town of Craco, and Aliano, where Carlo Levi was imprisoned during the Fascist era
- There are some beautiful beaches about an hour from Matera, in particular the coast south of Taranto (try Pulsano or Torretta)
- Taste the local specialities such as salami, cheese and velvety red wines
- There's a tennis court in Matera, should you fancy a game, or the hotel can arrange in-room massages
- Take Italian lessons, try your hand at Italian cooking or learn how to paint; Roberto will recommend excellent teachers
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Art classes
- Cooking classes
- Creative writing
- Historical sites
- Horse riding
- Language courses
- Mountain biking
- Museums / galleries
- Shopping / markets
They do accept families but this is a really hushed place - there are steps and drops at every turn (both in rooms and the old town). It could be a headache with a toddler in tow. The antiques and thick glass in many of the rooms would not suit young children clambering around.
Family friendly accommodation:
Loft 79 is an open-plan self-catering apartment 400 metres away in the city centre. It has a double bed, a sofabed, a kitchen and a semi-open plan ensuite bathroom. The Deluxe Classic and Suites have 2 double beds or a double bed and a double sofabed, and space for a baby cot.
Baby cots available on request
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking