Masseria Mongio Dell'Elefante

near Otranto, Lecce, Puglia & Basilicata, Italy Book from Book from £138 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.

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
World Favourite Family Hideaway

    Best rooms for families

    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.

    Parents should know...

    The outdoor pool is unheated and unfenced

Baby cots and high chairs

Some equipment may need to be requested in advance

Outdoor and indoor pools, bikes

Walk to the beach (300m)

Great for...

Beach
Family
Foodie
Romantic
Spa
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 12
  • Restaurant and bar open daily
  • All ages welcome
  • Closed: November to March
  • Pools
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Babysitting
  • Creche / Kids Club
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • 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

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.
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 2 independent reviews from i-escape guests

7/10
Room
10/10
Food
9/10
Service
8/10
Value
8/10
Overall

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,

{{ review.rating }}/10, {{ review.firstName }}Anonymous{{ review.countryName ? ', '+ review.countryName : '' }},

Rates for Masseria Mongio Dell'Elefante

Check Availability