Masseria Mongio Dell'Elefante

near Otranto, Lecce, Puglia & Basilicata, Italy Book from Book from £172 per night

Rural farmhouse with 12 simple suites, delicious food and an amazing location, just 300m from a white-sand beach

Mongio Dell'Elefante is one of very few - if any - masserie (traditional large farmhouses) in Puglia that has this kind of beach access. Baia dei Turchi - named after the Turkish attack that took place here in 1480 - is a beautiful long stretch of white sand backed by tall pines, and the hotel has a path leading directly to it.

Just 5km north of the walled town of Otranto, the 19th-century masseria is otherwise surrounded by farmland, with citrus trees, vines and fields on all sides. It's been in the Mongio family for generations and they have only recently converted it into a family-friendly hotel and wellness spa. Aside from the exposed stone walls, it feels entirely fresh and new, with an elegant colour scheme of whites and creams, and rustic wooden furniture. As the area is protected, the kitchen and reception areas have been cleverly built underground, but the 12 understated bedrooms have high ceilings and all open onto a laurel-leaf shaded seating area. Food is home-cooked and delicious, and there’s a great selection of local Primitivo and Negromaro wine. Come for peace, relaxation and an authentic slice of Puglia.
Covid update: see our Flexible Booking Policy.

Highs

  • The fantastic location: a 5-minute walk from the beach and an easy drive from interesting towns and stunningly beautiful rocky coast
  • Excellent Puglian cuisine in the restaurant, made from fresh, seasonal ingredients
  • Caring, attentive service from local staff
  • A peaceful natural setting amid vines and olive trees; borrow a bike and explore
  • Great for families, with a shelved pool, kitchenettes and some 2-bedroom suites

Lows

  • Rooms are lovely but nothing especially fancy
  • It’s a bit out of town; not suitable for those looking for an evening buzz
  • Unless you’re a keen cyclist, you’ll need a car to get around (5km to the nearest shops and restaurants)
  • Baia dei Turchi gets very busy in July and August

Best time to go

The masseria is open from Easter to October. We'd say the ideal time to visit is May, June and September, when temperatures are lovely. In May and June the countryside is carpeted in wildflowers. July and August are very crowded in Puglia, but there's plenty of space at the hotel.

Our top tips

Don't miss the Duomo in Otranto, with its vast and wonderful tree-of-life mosaic flooring.

Great for...

Beach
Family
Foodie
Romantic
Spa
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 12 rooms
  • Restaurant and bar open daily
  • All ages welcome
  • Closed: November to March
  • Pools
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Bicycles Available
  • Laundry service
Room: Suite

Rooms

The 12 rooms are decorated in white and pale creams, ideal for framing the rural views through the windows and tall doors. Some have exposed stone work, showing the beautiful golden Leccese local stone of the original masseria, and we liked the rustic wooden towel-ladders in the shower bathrooms. Each room is air conditioned and has a kitchenette with fridge, sink, kettle and 2 hobs.

Smallest are the Junior Suite Deluxes, which are spread over 2 levels. There's a living area with the kitchenette and a sofa, and a spiral staircase leads to the upper floor with its double bed and great countryside views. Outside, a slice of shared terrace.

The 7 Suites are all configured differently. Their gardens are bigger, with a pergola to shade from the sun, and a table and chairs.

The Executive Suites are the largest so are great for families: Prunus sleeps 4-5 and has a double and single bedroom, a living room and 2 bathrooms, and opens on to the roof terrace. The 1480 suite is even larger, sleeping up to 6.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Fireplace
  • Hairdryer
  • Hob or stove
  • Kitchenette
  • Microwave
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Safe box
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • TV
  • WiFi

Eating

Meals are cooked by the excellent Puglian chef and use local ingredients, some grown in the masseria’s fields, and some sourced from other local farmers. Breakfast is a mouthwatering spread of homemade cakes - we loved the crostate (jam tart) - plus yoghurts, prickly pears, cured meats and the freshest ricotta and mozzarella. You can order eggs, speciality coffees and teas.

For lunch and dinner you choose a la carte or a set 4-course menu. It’s delicious Puglian fare with a creative twist - perhaps cuttlefish with tomatoes and burrata or veal with thyme-baked potatoes, followed by homemade spumoni (local speciality ice-cream cake) or fresh strawberries with vanilla cream.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Children's meals
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Hob or stove
  • Kitchenette
  • Microwave
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Room service
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Bask in the sunshine by the large outdoor pool, or relax in the sauna, indoor spa pool and Turkish bath
  • It’s a 5-minute walk to beautiful sandy Baia dei Turchi. In high season, there are private lidos but also free beach areas
  • The masseria has bikes to borrow, in adult and child sizes. Cycle the 5km to Otranto along a cycle route, or ask about other countryside routes
  • Local tours, cooking classes and tastings of the area’s famous olive oil and Primitivo and Negroamaro wines can be arranged
  • A few kilometres from the hotel are the lovely Alimini Lakes, surrounded by pines and Mediterranean maquis, and busy with birdlife including flamingos, cranes, storks and swans
  • Day trip to Galatina with its beautifully frescoed church, move onto the spa town of Santa Cesarea Terme, where there's a sulphur pool set into the cliffs, and finish at Capo d'Otranto, the easternmost point of Italy. The drive along the coast from Galatina to Santa Maria di Leuca is fantastically rocky and dramatic

Activities on site or nearby include:

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

Kids

This is great for families, with plenty of space, children's bikes, and a long shallow area that runs the length of the pool. Baby cots and extra beds are available, in-room kitchenettes are handy, and the restaurant will cook child-pleasers such as bread-crumbed chicken and chips or pasta with tomato sauce.

Best for:

All ages

Family friendly accommodation:

Deluxe Junior Suites can fit 1 baby cot and 1 extra bed in their living rooms; Suites can fit 1 baby cot and 2 extra beds in their living rooms. Executive Suite Prunus has a double bedroom, a single bedroom, and space for 2 baby cots or extra beds in its living room; Executive Suite 1480 has 2 double bedrooms and space for 2 baby cots or extra beds in its living room.

Baby equipment:

Baby cots and high chairs

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

Kids Activities on site:

Outdoor and indoor pools, bikes

Kids Activities nearby:

Walk to the beach (300m)

Families Should Know:

The outdoor pool is unheated and unfenced

Distances:

  • Airport: 100km (Brindisi)
  • Shops and restaurants: 5km
  • Medical facility: 5km (Otranto)
Kid Friendly:

Location

Masseria Mongio Dell'Elefante is set 300m behind Baia dei Turchi, 5km north of Otranto, towards the far end of Puglia's Salentine Peninsula.

By Air:
Fly into Brindisi Airport (100km). The hotel offers transfers from here but we'd recommend hiring a car.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.

Read our guide to getting to Italy and getting around

Airports:

  • Brindisi 100.0 km

Other:

  • Beach 0.3 km
  • Shops 5.0 km
  • Restaurant 5.0 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 4 independent reviews from i-escape guests

7/10
Room
10/10
Food
8/10
Service
7/10
Value
8/10
Overall

Beautiful setting close to a fabulous beach. The beaches in the area are beautiful and highly recommend a trip to Menhir Salento winery and restaurant. We had a great suite, simply furnished - although noted that some rooms had less privacy or views. There were some obvious oversights - no coffee making facilities, not even a dish cloth, tea towel or washing up liquid for your kitchenette (which we used more than we’d anticipated). You are mainly paying for the location and outside of the hotel - the hotel building itself felt sterile and has a very odd design, with no real communal areas inside and a subterranean restaurant. In short, it wasn’t what you’d expect from a hotel of this calibre or price bracket.

6/10,

A very blissful experience, everything is pretty much as described on i-escape. Of special note were the staff who were all incredibly friendly, helpful and efficient, with special mention to the two young females who had the edge on their male colleagues! The breakfasts were outstanding, covering cheeses (burrata, pecorino etc), cold cuts, big selection of fresh fruit, Danone yogurts, various breads, eggs to order and a selection of 5 or 6 home made local sweet cakes and tarts, croissants, tea and proper Italian coffee. The rooms (ours Alimini) are beautifully understated, with good quality soft furnishings, very comfortable beds and pillows, whites and neutral colours, natural materials (pale wood and stone) have been re-purposed from the Masseria to make wardrobes, head boards and so on. We had a very compact kitchenette just about able to rustle up a simple pasta or rice dish. There was a TV in each of our rooms with SKY. For dinner and lunch you are asked at breakfast if you are booking. There are three options: meat, fish or veg based. We did not try lunch so I cannot comment on that, dinner is a set 4 courses. The food was of high standard, but if I had one small niggle it would be that we would have liked the option to have fewer courses, if that had been possible we probably would have eaten in more often.
Location wise, it is essential to have a car. Otranto is 6.5km away, with only other Masseria or hotels along the road. No restaurant is within walking distance. The beach of Baia Dei Turchi is stunning but it is not so easy to reach, you need to walk along the path of the Masseria and then through some bushes until you find a safe enough entry to the beach, but once there is spectacular! We walked along the beach for around 5km (away from Otranto) and stopped for lunch at one of the beach clubs called Kum with excellent fresh fish. One last mention, it was my birthday and everyone made a big fuss of me and we were presented with a bottle of local sparkling wine. Highly recommended.

10/10,

Masseria was beautiful, room was spotless and with all comforts. Outside space was lovely and location was idyllic. However, what stands out in this place is the service: people go the extra mile to make you feel welcome, pampered and looked after. They are charming and friendly as well as 100% professional. Food was absolutely fantastic too.

10/10,

Hotel staff were exceptional and very keen to please. Hotel was very old fashioned. We found the beaches in this area were all very busy in July. Avoid the local horse riding as it was very poorly managed.

8/10,

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