Sat on the balcony of the Suite Don Ferrante, you won’t be able to take your eyes off the sea views. The sun sparkles in the turquoise waters and the only sounds you hear are of your own relaxing sigh. If you manage to prise yourself away from the balcony and into the bathroom, you’ll have the same problem. The beautiful waters that line the seaside town of Monopoli in Puglia (southern Italy) are mesmerising. No wonder, this boutique hotel has taken full advantage, creating squares of bright space wherever possible.
Don Ferrante is clever like that, you know. Not only does it maximise on the jaw-dropping views, but it also fuses modern, contemporary class with romantic finishing touches. You’ll only have to look at a few of these pictures before you start racking your mind with an excuse for a couples getaway. Anniversary? Honeymoon? Or perhaps just a bit of R&R.
Before stepping inside this five-star luxury hideaway, you’d never know of the indulgence and happiness awaiting you. Despite the cute stone house adorned in pretty flowers and the eye-catching blue door that nods to Greece, you should actually be gawping at the opposite pristine, white walls of Don Ferrante. It may look like any other white-washed building in Puglia, but believe me, it is anything but regular on the inside.
It’s like a surprise party you know about. You practice your surprised face, but then it really floors you. You stand open-mouthed. Small, inconspicuous doorways lead to classy bedroom chambers and stylish accessories lead to the perfectly formed pool that just so happens to look out over the beautiful sea. Guests laze in the loungers with their eyes fixed on the horizon and a satisfied smile across their faces. Don Ferrante definitely knows how to exceed expectations.
Ordinary just won’t cut it. Whilst all of the bedrooms feature authentic Italian vaulted ceilings, each one is different and unique. From the unusual, yet classy furniture to the beautiful drapes, each corner has been lovingly moulded to look its very best. Clever screens hide big flat screen televisions and intricate sculptures decorate even the smallest accessories, like the lamps. The alluring hotel scent mirrors the decadence perfectly.
Wine and Dine
The 16th century old hotel restaurant, Locanda Don Ferrante, feels really homely and inviting. You’d never guess its former life as old gunpowder cellar. Crisp white table linen hangs on the small tables, wearing the shiniest of cutlery and glassware. An alcove of wines lights up one of the far walls, framing the huge oven that sits proudly in the middle. It feels elegant and special, but relaxing and welcoming at the same time. From just experiencing a glass of orange juice and croissant, I have no doubt that the meals would be the very best.
In the warmer months Terrace Don Ferrante, the panoramic sea view terrace, opens and you can enjoy your romantic dinner al fresco.
Explore the Area
Although you won’t want to leave your room, let alone the hotel, the town of Monopoli is worth the effort. It’s such a cute town where English speaking visitors are few and far between. Locals hang around the bay where they prepare their brightly painted, wooden boats for their next fishing trip. Interesting buildings line the tiny alleys, begging your camera to take pictures galore. Small doorways lead to impressive restaurants and cute cafes. If you fancy exploring further afield, the enchanting coves of Polignano a Mare is worth a visit. You’ll find a highly praised fine dining restaurant in a cave, Grotta Palazzesse, which definitely warrants a candlelit dinner for two.
I’m so sold on Don Ferrante that I’m planning my return visit to Puglia so that I can have a few days in this Italian bubble. Rooms start from around 145 Euros in the low season, so it’s totally justifiable. However, it offers a great romantic stay, so I have my eyes on that suite (even if it means splashing out a little bit more). You can find out more, including prices and availability here.