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During our two-week Puglia roundtrip we stayed at wonderful country houses (Masseria Cimino, Masseria Le Fabriche, Masseria Fumarola) and stylish hotels (La Sommità Relais, Acaya Golf Resort, Histó Relais). On our way in-between we also visited Borgo Egnazia Resort and Masseria Bagnara but we didn’t stay there overnight. Therefore they make it only to some of our unstructured list of rankings.

(You do have to discuss something at lunch time, don’t you? We like to compile our little ratings as a holiday review during the lengthy yet tasty Italian luncheons…)

Best overall hotel experience

Now, we start off with a tough one since we’re comparing small and large resort and rural country house style hotels. But still, here we go…

  1. La Sommità Relais in Ostuni offers the most complete hosting experience around
  2. Masseria Cimino near Fasano has the best package for discerning golfers
  3. Histó Relais has the best spa facilities and the most generous rooms. And probably the most engaged room maid ;-)

La Sommità Relais in Ostuni

Best hotel restaurant

  1. La Sommità Relais offers the most refined cuisine and best food presentation
  2. Masseria Bagnara boasts the most tasty locally inspired Italian food in classy setup
  3. Masseria Cimino sports the best rural Italian style buffet

Sea bass at Cielo Restaurant at La Sommità in Ostuni

We didn’t eat in all of the hotel’s restaurants since some closed their restaurants due to off-season low volumes.

Best breakfast buffet

  1. La Sommità Relais has the most varied and tasty breakfast options
  2. Histó Relais has the best selection of fruits
  3. Masseria Cimino has the best cheese and ricotta selection

Breakfast buffet at La Sommità Relais in Ostuni

Overall we were positively surprised by the breakfast buffets in all hotels and masserias. More basic Italian agriturismo hotels sometimes offer just a reduced selection of bakery along with marmelade and butter. It still doesn’t compare with the rich choice of bread and juices you enjoy in Austria or Switzerland, but then again the ham and fruits are exceptionally good in Italy.

Best hotel bar

  1. Borgo Egnazia Resort offers the most generous and stylish hangout for a typical Crodino
  2. Masseria Cimino has the most atmospheric bar setup with their signature illuminated bottles. They also happen to offer Puglia’s best Taralli (small round bakery as also served at Borgo Egnazia)
  3. Masseria Bagnara‘s bar sports sleek design and a cosy lounge

Aperitivo italian style at Borgo Egnazia

Most attentive hotel manager

  1. Alessandro Pagano from Masseria Bagnara was most thoughtful in presenting his services
  2. Laura Stoppani from La Sommità Relais was very present during our stay
  3. Alessia Perrucci from Masseria Le Fabriche had us personally taste the wine from her own vineyard
Alessandro Pagano, proprietor of Masseria Bagnara

Alessandro Pagano, proprietor of Masseria Bagnara, talking to Katja

Best reception and check-in

  1. La Sommità Relais in Ostuni easily makes the top of the list: most attentive, most helpful, most present, most friendly
  2. Acaya Golf Resort
  3. Masseria Le Fabriche

Overall we were a bit disappointed with the reception procedures. When you arrive at a Masseria’s closed gate you have to ring a bell. Usually there’s only one. Sometimes there’s two with no names on it. I assume the standard guessing is to start with the one on top… Anyway, after a few seconds you usually get a relatively snubbing “chi é?!” as in ‘who is it?!’ via the speaker system. You say who you are, i.e. explain that you would like to become a customer, and, without further ado, off goes the little magic that finally opens the door. From there you may or may not receive a somewhat warmer welcome. It’s not exactly the experience you long for after driving in the hectic South Italian style traffic. BTW, I recommend you hire the smallest car possible given the amount of luggage you bring or you may literally get stuck in the narrow streets of the medieval cities…

Best outdoor facilities

All hotels and resorts sport grand patios, terraces, loungers and what not. They all rank gracefully in this category, no moaning here!

  1. Masseria Fumarola stands out with varied patios, terraces, niches and a fine pool
  2. Masseria Cimino’s patio and pool fit in nicely in a rural setup next to the golf course
  3. Despite it’s urban setting La Sommità Relais offers different pleasant patios with a view

Patio at Masseria Fumarola

Best internet access

  1. Acaya Golf Resort was the only hotel to provide wifi internet access in the room, it comes at a fee
  2. Masseria Cimino and Relais Histó offer free wifi internet access in the lounge

We are aware that we might not be the most representative travelers around, yet overall on this trip we had a bit of a hard time to keep our blog up to date. Wifi access doesn’t seem to be a widely accepted concept in Puglia yet. If we managed to connect at all the speed was not always up to par with our expectations. Bring your ethernet cable along, it helped us get the best connectivity experience…

Largest hotel safe

  1. Masseria Fumarola has a large and simple wooden closet with a numbered lock integrated in the wall. Obvious to handle and most effective. Easily the largest safe around.
"Natural" wooden hotel safe at Masseria Fumarola

“Natural” wooden hotel safe at Masseria Fumarola

All the other hotels offered a more or less useful safe. Only La Sommità Relais’ safe was too small for our little netbooks. Mind you, a MacBook Air REALLY isn’t the largest typewriter around…

If you care about more details check out our itinerary for a two week Puglia roundtrip. It allows for easy driving with just small daily distances and yet a lot of spectacular landscapes, picturesque little towns and excellent (!) restaurants…

About The Author

Walter Schaerer’s extensive background in the travel industry, passionate enthusiasm for photography and a firm belief that luxury destinations can also be affordable; were some of the main factors that motivated him to create travelmemo.com.

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