“A rambling farm turned tranquil trulli hotel, surrounded by olive and fruit trees; family run, but with a 5-star feel”
Rooms are furnished in soft colours and calming creams that sit beautifully with the pale stone of the buildings. The style is rustic, with wrought-iron beds, shuttered windows, simple wooden wardrobes and flagstone floors, but there are modern comforts in the form of flat-screen TVs, DVD players, air conditioning and minibars.
The smallest are the 3 Junior Suites - Vignale 1, 2 and 3 - which are located between the farmyard and the orchard, and have white-washed ceilings, fireplaces, armchairs and private terraces with tables and chairs. Their bathrooms have walk-in showers, large sinks, hairdryers and complimentary toiletries.
Slightly larger are the 2 Suites. Arco is covered in gleaming white limestone and opens onto the former farmyard, while Vallone is situated in a separate building nearby with views over the private wood.
The biggest rooms are the 9 Suites L. We particularly liked Palmento 1, 2 and 3, which are sleek spaces created out of the ancient wine-making area. In Palmento 2 you descend down 3 steps to the sunken bed, where grapes were once crushed; and the fireplace in Palmento 3 was formerly used for mulling wine. The bathrooms in these 3 suites all have bathtubs and showers. Massaro Vecchio has 3 domes over the bedroom, bathroom and sitting room - the latter is set in an alcove where you can snuggle around the imposing fireplace, and the bathroom has a very big walk-in shower. Massaro 1 and 2 are very spacious with high, arched ceilings; the latter has its bed on a wooden mezzanine floor. Bosco has 2 rooms topped by conical roofs and looks out over a small garden to the masseria's private woodland. Then there’s Casello, a nicely secluded suite set in a separate building that was once a cart house, while Massaro 1 and 1 are very spacious with high, arched ceilings; the latter has its bed on a wooden mezzanine floor. Perhaps the most characterful of all, though, is Trullo Sovrano, which is filled with pale, rustic arches and is entered through the centre of the main building.
Meals are served in the former manger hall, a prettily rustic space furnished with antiques, fine cutlery and crisp tablecloths. You can also eat outside on the terrace that runs alongside the garden, lit by candles at night. The courteous waiting staff wear old-fashioned maid-like uniforms, which gives the sense that you're eating at a grand country house.
Dinners are available on request and are a set menu but you can let staff know of any preferences or dietary requirements beforehand. They begin with a splendid antipasti buffet featuring ricotta, lampascone (shallots), olives, roasted peppers, aubergine with capers, salamis and local cheeses. The primo (first course) might include seafood risotto or a pasta dish with fresh seasonal produce, while the secondi could be roast pork with potatoes or grilled Puglian octopus. It’s all excellent, and the crowning glory when we dined was the heavenly chocolate and ricotta cake for dessert.
Breakfast is a buffet of fresh juices, pastries, cold cuts and delicious homemade cakes. Light pasta dishes and salads using vegetables from the garden are available for lunch. You can also tuck into snacks and aperitivi (early evening nibbles) by the pool, or head to the vaulted bar for a glass of local wine by the fireplace.
If you don’t fancy eating in, there are restaurants aplenty in Martina Franca, 4km away. Anna recommends Nausikaa, Ciacco and La Locanda degli Artieri, all of which serve a tempting range of antipasti, pasta dishes and pizzas.
Children are welcome here, but the secluded location and peaceful ambiance mean it’s not ideal, and families might feel self-conscious about disturbing other guests. Kids will enjoy splashing around in the pool, but don’t expect any entertainment facilities beyond the satellite TV in each room.
All room types can fit a baby cot and the Suites have space for an extra bed, too.