Palais Gentile

Matino, Puglia & Basilicata, Italy
Book from GBP Book from £128 per night

Palais Gentile

Matino, Puglia & Basilicata, Italy

An intimate boutique hotel nestled in a pretty Puglian village, within easy reach of spectacular beaches and buzzing historic towns

An intimate boutique hotel nestled in a pretty Puglian village, within easy reach of spectacular beaches and buzzing historic towns

This classy, family-run five-room charmer in Italy’s picturesque heel is something of a hidden gem. It stands in a plum position in the peaceful town of Matino. To the west (15 mins), the clear blue Ionian sea laps dreamy white sand beaches. To the north (25 mins) is culture-rich Galatina and, a little further, buzzy Lecce.

With a stunning rooftop space to chill and one of Puglia’s most renowned restaurants next door, lazy days at Palais Gentile are possible too. The lovely owners, Carolina and Aurélien, first planned for this to become their family home, but later decided to open it up to fellow appreciators of the Salento region. So this 18th Century palazzo was lovingly (and sustainably) transformed into what it is today: an uber-chic, authentic Puglian home-from-home, full of original features – the bold patterned floor tiles, solid stone arches and stairways – mixed with sleek vintage touches and locally crafted artworks. Your excellent hosts can arrange everything from in-room massages and spa treatments to sight-seeing in a vintage car. It's an ideal base from which to explore the region. After a day of cafe hopping or swimming in the Caribbean-like sea, settle in on the roof terrace to watch the sunset with a glass of something chilled.


  • Chic styling in rooms with a cool mix of old and new
  • A top-notch location near spectacular beaches and bustling historic towns
  • The sunsets on the heavenly rooftop terrace are truly special
  • The breakfast served here is fresh and delicious - we couldn't get enough!
  • Impressive eco credentials and everything is sourced locally where possible
  • The owners are lovely and excellent hosts


  • There’s no pool
  • The stairs in the hotel are steep - quite a challenge after an Aperol or two!
  • You’ll need a car to get around, and there's no dedicated parking; staff will suggest places for parking nearby
  • There are no TVs but all rooms have WiFi so pack a tablet for any Netflix viewing needs

Best time to go

May, June and September bring pleasant, balmy weather and fewer crowds. High season (July and August) is when temperatures can soar to the mid-30s and visitors flock to the region. But with peak season comes magical nightly music and food festivals throughout the various neighbouring towns.

Our top tips

Sunbathers should stick to the western coast, as the beaches are sandy and swimming is easier than on the rocky east coast. The west side of Salento is known as the Maldives of the South, and we have to agree!

Great for...

Cheap & Chic
City Style
  • Boutique Guesthouse
  • 5 rooms
  • Breakfast, and dinner on request (restaurants nearby)
  • All ages welcome
  • Closed: 1 November - 31 March
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • Beach Nearby
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Car recommended
  • Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • WiFi
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym


There are five bedrooms in total: two deluxe rooms and three suites. All are chic affairs and pleasantly light with whitewashed walls, beautiful original patterned floor tiles and lofty high ceilings. All beds are kingsize and dressed in high-end Frette linen. The trendy Bluetooth radios, mini-bars stocked with all the ingredients for a negroni, and locally sourced homewares are a nice touch.

The three suites are the larger of the five. Expect a double room and separate lounge with sofa bed. The Suite Matino has a small balcony that overlooks the town. We stayed in the Terrasse Suite; a short hop from the main building, this standalone suite has the same comfy bed and finishing touches as the others, but with the added bonus of a private roof terrace. It's a beautiful spot to catch the sunset - perfect for a couple looking for a little more privacy.

Limestone bathrooms are sleek and come with walk-in showers (no bath) and toiletries (those in the Suites are Salvatore Ferragamo). Suite Matino's bathroom also comes with twin sinks.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Cots available
  • Hairdryer
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi


At Palais Gentile, breakfast is a treat, thanks in part to the picturesque rooftop setting upon which it’s served. Or opt for breakfast in bed if preferred. We feasted on a brilliant spread of locally sourced fresh fruits, delicious pastries, avocado, yoghurt, cheese and meats each morning, alongside juice and a perfect cappuccino.

Dinner is available on request, the a la carte menu changes with the seasons. Expect local cuisine presented in a gourmet manner. There are vegetarian options as well as choices for kids. We had a wonderful dinner just around the corner at Murusanza; my orecchiette con cime di rapa was divine, and the service was charming. Or head next door to the acclaimed Foscolo for quality seafood pasta, killer cocktails and a lovely local atmosphere.

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Coffee maker
  • Dinner by arrangement
  • Kids' meals
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
Activity: Baia Verde (15 mins)


  • Discover prehistoric caves, snorkel the Adriatic coast’s best spots, or take in the sights of Salento from a vintage car; the hotel owners can arrange everything
  • Culture-appreciators must venture to Lecce, a.k.a the “The Florence of the South” (45 mins). Discover such architectural greats as the Roman Amphitheatre. Dine on top notch fare in a trattoria or catch a concert at one of the marble churches
  • For Baroque charm on a smaller scale, head to Galatina (25 mins). Marvel at the famous church “Saint Catherine of Alexandria” before sampling a pasticciotto (Italian cream-filled pastry)
  • Potter the mazy, boutique-lined streets of coastal Gallipoli (20 mins). Swim in the clear water at Lido Pizzo before scoffing freshly caught seafood at one of the many buzzy restaurants
  • Beach lovers are spoilt for choice. Baia Verde (15 mins) is a dreamy spot for swimming. Marina Di Pescoluse (30 mins) is commonly described as the “Maldives of Salento”

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Historical sites
  • Private guided tours
  • Sailing
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Wine tasting


Children are very welcome, and those under 12 can stay for free. Babysitters are available on request as are high chairs, books and toys. Parents of little ones, however, will need to hold onto their offspring a little tighter on the steep stone staircases and roof terrace.

Best for:

All ages

Family friendly accommodation:

The roomy Suites are best for a family of 4 where the separate lounge comes with a double sofa bed. Note that there are no baths at the hotel, only walk-in showers.

Cots Available, Extra Beds Available

Baby equipment:

  • High chairs
  • Baby bedding
  • Night light
  • Baby bath
  • Bottle warming
  • Kids books / toys
  • Special mealtimes

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

Children's meals:

There's a basic kids menu with dishes such as orechiette with tomato sauce, chicken or fish with fries

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Beaches (nearest one is 16 minutes)
  • Watersports

Families Should Know:

There are steep steps on the property


  • Airport: 1 hour (Brindisi)
  • Hospital: 10 minutes drive
  • Shops: 2 minutes
Kid Friendly:


Palais Gentile is in Matino, a pretty village nestled in rural Puglia, on the Salento peninsula. Dreamy white-sand beaches and culture-rich towns are all a short drive away.

By Air:
You’re an hour away from Brindisi International airport and two hours from Bari International airport.

From the Airport:
Transfers can be arranged. Please inquire when booking. For maximum exploring potential, it’s worth hiring a car if possible. Check out our guide to car rentals for more info. Free parking is available a short walk from the hotel.

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


  • Brindisi Airport/Papola Casale Airport 93.0 km BDS
  • Bari International Airport 210.0 km BRI


  • Beach 12.0 km
  • Shops 0.5 km
  • Restaurant 0.2 km

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Based on 1 independent review from i-escape guests


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