The fertile countryside of Italy's heel is largely flat and characterised by olive trees with huge, gnarled trunks (some of them many centuries old), rich red soil, fields planted with tomatoes and artichokes, dry stone walls and a sense of endless space and far-reaching horizons. And the best hotels in rural Puglia are characterised by masserias, traditional fortified farmhouses surrounded by outbuildings and high walls.
These masserias range from five-star places with swanky spas, gourmet restaurants and endless services and facilities to relatively modest guest houses offering a back to nature experience and homely food. So the best hotels in rural Puglia fall into a range of price brackets.
The best hotels in rural Puglia are also never far from the sea, Puglia is long and narrow and even if you chose a location in the middle you’re still only about 20minutes from both the Ionian Sea and the Adriatic. And the best hotels in rural Puglia are also never far from a smattering of the region’s historic towns.
Surrounded by fruit trees, the Masseria Montelauro is close to the sea with 29 white, airy rooms with cool stone floors and Moroccan details. There’s also a lovely pool and great restaurant. Or for a hip, but relaxing break there’s Masseria Torre Maizza, a sophisticated hotel wit 28 rooms, some with jacuzzis, a charming courtyard, an excellent restaurant and bar, its own private beach club, plus a small spa and golf course.
The Borgo San Marco is a simple but stylish masseria on an olive growing estate with 16 rustic rooms, a lovely walled garden, pool, hot tub and a lovely restaurant. Masseria Don Cirillo is another small masseria with a beautiful walled garden, but this time close to the sea and with an ethnic feel to the decor.
The Masseria Torre Coccaro is a luxurious 39 room hotel with an Aveda spa and its own private beach club. But it’s not lost its rustic charms at all - one suite is in a cave. Also with its own beach club, Il Melograno is a medium sized five star hotel in a renovated 16th Century farmhouse with sprawling, Moorish outbuildings, a flower-filed courtyard and an excellent spa. Or there’s Il Frantoio, which is a foodie treat right by the beach with 13 pretty bedrooms and a wonderful bougainvillea-filled courtyard.
The Masseria San Domenico offers peace, golf, private jacuzzis, a fantastic selection of restaurants, a stunning salt water pool and there are no children under 12 allowed. Also popular with the golfing crowd, the Masseria Cimino is a former Roman villa with a rustic chic edge to its rough, white walls and superb food.
The Masseria Salinola is a ten room boutique hotel in a beautifully refurbished 16th Century farmhouse surrounded by its own olive groves and the spectacular Apulia countryside. Of you might try one of the four elegant rooms of the 18th Century Villa Magnolia, which also sits amongst olive and almond groves.
The Relais Villa San Martino is a five star country villa, with charming gardens, in a great position for touring the local sights and beaches. Or there’s the charming Masseria Bernardini, a contemporary seven room hotel in an old shell, close to Gallipoli and the beach.
This boutique hotel is set in a refurbished sixteenth century farmhouse in beautiful Apulian countryside. Antique furnishings in simple but luxurious rooms add even more charm, and it has its own olive groves producing extra virgin oil. The perfect place to unwind.
18th century villa turned boutique hotel. A private, exclusive property offering accommodation for up to 8 people and priding itself on attentive service. The elegant villa sits in ancient olive and almond groves. The perfect romantic hideaway with easy access to the beach and local exploring.
A five star family-run hotel with a delightful down-to-earth atmosphere. Renovated 16th century farmhouse with sprawling Moorish outbuildings and flower-filled courtyards, terraces, big pool and tennis courts. Charming rooms in florals, tiled floors and fireplaces. Excellent spa and beach club too.
One of Puglia’s best hotels offering a luxurious spa and golf course. Rooms and fabulous suites decorated with romance - white washed walls and rich drapes, some have private gardens, jacuzzis and balconies. Fantastic selection of restaurants and stunning salt water pool. A heavenly spot.
Martina Franca, Puglia
Five star country villa with great location for touring cultural sights and beaches. A peach-hued building surrounded by lovely gardens. Beautiful suites in elegant pastels with antique furniture. Excellent restaurant, spa and pool. A spoiling spot to explore Puglia from.
Rustic-chic and a laid-back atmosphere on an 18-hole golf course. Rough white walls, grey paintwork and candlelit rooms adorn this former Roman villa. Breakfast and superb set dinners are served on a covered terrace. A great choice for those who want understated luxury.
Justly famous masseria with wonderful food and a vaguely eccentric air. Pretty bedrooms with white washed walls surround a bougainvillea-filled courtyard. Organic produce from the farm and olive grove is used in fabulous multi-course meals. A divine gourmet rustic retreat close to the beach.
Relaxed retreat with a contemporary twist surrounded by olive trees, vines and date palms. Sophisticated, airy white on white rooms with cool flagstone floors, delicate wrought iron beds, Pugliese embroidery and Moroccan lamps. Lovely pool, local food and stunning surrounding farmland.
An elegantly restored historic fortified farmhouse, minutes from the sea. Wonderful rooms and suites with rough white washed walls, fine linens and silks - one suite occupies a cave and has its own olive grove and pool. Fabulous regional cuisine, Aveda spa and its very own private beach club.
Savelletri de Fasano, Puglia
Sophisticated, contemporary hotel with a young, hip vibe. Smart blue and white contemporary bedrooms, some with open fires and jacuzzis. Wonderful courtyard bar with Balinese sofas and excellent restaurant overlooking the pool. Small spa, golf course and private beach club.
Simple yet stylish masseria on historic olive-growing estate. An ochre painted farmhouse with delightfully rustic rooms - bare stone, wood, wrought iron and earthy tones. The restaurant serves local produce and within the walled gardens sit citrus groves, a pool, hot tub and shady terraces.
Torre San Giovanni, Puglia
Laid back brick masseria in a beautiful walled garden close to the sea. Rooms with an ethnic slant - killims, colourful bedspreads, white washed walls and stone vaulted ceilings. A lovely shady pool and lounge area. A great beach spot.
Contemporary design in an old shell within easy reach of charming Gallipoli and its lovely beaches. Original features compliment contemporary furniture and ethnic textiles. Lovely courtyard garden and swimming pool for relaxing in, and superb breakfasts and dinners on private patios.