- Style Fantastico family-run farmhouse
- Setting Truly Puglian, outside Ostuni
Devoted as it is to showcasing Puglia's colourful culture, Masseria Cervarolo hotel serves dozens of local wines and offering cooking classes within its whitewashed stone walls. This Italian farmhouse fantasy is courtesy of hosts Patrizia and Teo, who have a knack for repurposing materials – those headboards were once barn doors and bathroom racks recycled driftwood. The retreat rounds out its eco-friendly edge by generating its own solar power and supplying green toiletries from Malin + Goetz.
Need to know
- Rooms 18.
- Rates Double rooms from $193.13 (€141), excluding tax at 10 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €2.00 per person per night on check-out.
- More details Rates usually include a Continental buffet breakfast.
- Facilities Cookery school, dancing classes, soap-making lessons, WiFi. In rooms: flatscreen TVs, Brionvega radios, air conditioning, Malin + Goetz toiletries.
- Poolside The enormous infinity pool is shaded by fig and olive trees. In summer, pick up an aperitivo at the outdoor pool bar.
- Check–out 12 noon, but flexible on request. Earliest check-in, 3pm.
Children Five of the rooms have sofa beds and can sleep up to four, and the swimming pool is supervised by a lifeguard (and there are floats to borrow). Cots are available for €10 a night; extra beds are €50.
- Hotel closed 2 Nov 2012 to 28 February 2013.
- Eco‐friendly The hotel’s been awarded an EU Ecolabel for its environmentally sustainable practices, and power is supplied by solar panels. Food served on site is all locally grown or hand-made.
In the know
- Our favourite rooms Room 9 – a junior suite for four people, which has its own garden – used to be the palmento where winemakers crushed their grapes, and you’ll find the original cisterna in which the stomping took place under your bed. Overlooking the pool, Room 15 is located above the main courtyard and has a unique star-shaped vaulted ceiling. Rooms 18 and 19 are interconnecting and particularly good for families; Rooms 4, 5 and 6 are in the charming traditional trulli buildings. Some rooms (for example, Room 11) are located in the 1950s extension to the historic main building, and therefore don’t have the antique features of the older rooms.
- Packing tips Your sunglasses: between the whitewashed walls and the gleam of the Puglian sun, you’ll need them.
- Also Pick up some traditional recipes at the hotel’s cooking school. You’ll learn to make your own pasta, bread and pastries at the classes, which take place weekly during summer. There are also lessons in soap making, if you’d rather keep your hands clean.
Food and drink at Masseria Cervarolo
- Hotel restaurant Watch the chefs at work in the open kitchen as they whip up traditional local dishes; the menu changes daily, but orecchiette – a typically Pugliese pasta – is a particular favourite. Ask for local wine recommendations (they’ve got more than 80) and try out the home-made liqueurs: flavours include finocchietto selvatico (wild fennel) and mirto (myrtle berries).
- Dress code Pack casual linens; there’s no need for glitz here.
- Top table In summer, lunch outside by the shady pool. In winter, grab a spot near the kitchen.
- Last orders Breakfast is served in the restaurant 8:30am–10:30am, and food is served by the pool 10:30am–07:00pm.
- Hotel bar Mix yourself a cocktail from the honesty bar in the brightly sun-lit kitchen: more like your nonna’s rustic cucina than a sleek drinking den, the stone-walled kitchen does double duty as the hotel’s bar and cookery school.