The southeastern, sun-baked heel of Italy’s boot, Puglia is a region with beautiful coast and countryside, incredible food and wine, and charming old cities and villages. Take a look at the country estates that are now the most luxurious places to stay in the region.
Borgo Egnezia is a private luxury complex that often hosts celebrities and the uber-wealthy (it's also a spectacular location for destination weddings). Its Moorish-influenced architecture, with soaring archways and vaulted stone buildings, blends seamlessly with the rocky Mediterranean landscape, quintessentially Mediterranean with grape arbors and cactus gardens. The peaceful rooms have balconies, private gardens, or, in the case of the villas, private pools that look like they are set among Roman ruins. Care has been taken with every detail, from the airy canopy beds to the in-room espresso machines. Borgo's private beach is stony, but its beach club is comfortable and sophisticated, with gorgeous Ibiza-style beds with curtains that sway in the ocean breeze, and there are three glamorous outdoor pools. Three restaurants service locally sourced cuisine and the candlelit spa offers a complete menu of bodywork and beauty treatments.
The 28-room Masseria Torre Maizza is a beautiful country retreat surrounded by bougainvillea, lemon trees, olive groves, and grapevines. Torre Maizza's two restaurants focus on local products -- Le Palme serves fresh fish, burrata from area farms, and vegetables grown on the estate, while the more casual Le Colonne provides traditional cuisine from Puglia by the pool. The Aveda spa utilizes natural products grown on the property, and yoga and Pilates are available olive groves or on the beach. The beach is a quick (free) shuttle ride away, where the hotel's gorgeous beach club offers a lounge, boutique, restaurant, and private terrace. There is also a big outdoor pool with hammocks, as well as activities like bicycling, sailing, and hiking.
Masseria Bagnara Resort & Spa is a relaxed, luxurious getaway with beautiful grounds and a serene atmosphere. The five-pearl wellness resort is set on grounds covered with pebbled walkways, manicured grassy areas, cacti, vibrant flowers, and vine-covered buildings. The 15 guest rooms are decked out with chic decor and elegant bathrooms, and most have private terraces. The gorgeous, serene spa is among the resort's most attractive features. Outside, there's a raised outdoor pool that has panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. A free breakfast is offered at the Mediterranean-style restaurant, and lunch, dinner, and room service are all available. Guests can have a drink at the bar or in the wine cellar, which is located in a round stone building lined with bottles all the way up to its circular skylight.
The family-friendly sister property of Masseria Torre Maizza, Masseria Torre Coccaro is a country estate with pebbled walkways and vines of purple flowers growing on trellises. White walls and high ceilings provide the background in the 33 guest rooms, which are sparsely decorated with paintings, photographs, and ornate mirrors. Dining options include Egnathia for traditional cuisine of Puglia and a poolside restaurant and bar for smaller bites. Other featured include a stone-walled lagoon pool and hot tub, as well as a spa with an indoor pool. Yoga, Pilates, and Tai Chi classes are held in the olive groves or on the beach (accessed via a free shuttle), where the Coccaro Beach Club has a seafood restaurant, lounge, and boutique.
This old farmhouse has been transformed into an intimate Moroccan-themed hotel located in the southern Italian region of Salento. The beautiful, natural-looking pool and spa make LuciaGiovanni an exotic escape that’s unmatched -- unless you hop a plane to Morocco. The 28 rooms have stunning details such as wood-beam ceilings and wrought iron four-poster bed frames. The property is vast and green and provides a relaxing oasis, but is only a short drive to the old part of the city.
Baia dei Turchi is a upscale property under a five-minute shuttle ride from a private beach on the Mediterranean Sea. Its 72 dimly lit rooms have a distinctive Turkish-inspired design scheme, as well as patios, free Wi-Fi, and rainfall showers. The hotel has several restaurants, including one on the roof and one at the pool serving seafood and grilled meat. The lobby bar is open 24 hours a day.
Vivosa Apulia Resort is a modern, elegant eco-resort just a few steps away from a gorgeous beach. The 333 clean, homey rooms are located in different buildings throughout the property and each have a private patio or balcony. The sheer variety of amenities -- four beautiful pools, a spa, beach, multiple sports and fitness facilities, and activities for kids -- makes this all-inclusive resort a great place for families and couples. The multiple restaurants and bars and the lounge club provide diverse options for dining and enjoying a drink. The true uniqueness of the hotel however is its dedication to sustainability. The recycling bins throughout the property, the eco-farm and eco-park, and the materials used to build the property, among many other things, show a true commitment to environmentalism.