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 17 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.
- 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
- 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
Our top tips
- Boutique Hotel
- 17 rooms
- Restaurant and bar open daily
- All ages welcome
- Closed: November to March
- Spa Treatments
- Beach Nearby
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Car not necessary
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Bicycles Available
- Laundry service
- Electric car charger
The 17 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. They have a shower bathroom on each floor. 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 Large Suites are (you guessed it) 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.
- Air conditioning
- Safe box
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.
- Coffee / tea making
- Hob or stove
- Room service
- 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:
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.
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. Large Suite Prunus has a double bedroom, a single bedroom, and space for 2 baby cots or extra beds in its living room; Large Suite 1480 has 2 double bedrooms and space for 2 baby cots or extra beds in its living room.
Kids Activities on site:
Outdoor and indoor pools, bikes
Families Should Know:
The outdoor pool is unheated and unfenced
- Airport: 100km (Brindisi)
- Shops and restaurants: 5km
- Medical facility: 5km (Otranto)
Masseria Mongio Dell'Elefante is set 300m behind Baia dei Turchi, 5km north of Otranto, towards the far end of Puglia's Salentine Peninsula.
Fly into Brindisi Airport (100km). The hotel offers transfers from here but we'd recommend hiring a car. There's parking and EV charging on site.
Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.
Read our guide to getting to Italy and getting around
- Brindisi 100.0 km
- Beach 0.3 km
- Shops 5.0 km
- Restaurant 5.0 km