Mr & Mrs Smith Paragon 700
Largo Michele Ayroldi Carissimo, 14 Brindisi
Largo Michele Ayroldi Carissimo, 14
Paragon 700 Largo Michele Ayroldi Carissimo, 14 Brindisi
Ostuni is a time worn (in the best way) treasure in a region renowned for being wildly beautiful. Within, its gleaming white buildings and brush-with-the-past monuments make for a magical holiday setting, and beyond there’s the dazzling coastline, the sun-warmed Salento peninsula, waves of olive groves and multi-layered histories to be read through towns and villages with perfectly preserved monuments. But, before you discover all that, the hotel itself is a warren of wonders. The spa in the former water cistern has bubbling Jacuzzis, steam baths, colour-changing showers and healing Himalayan salt walls as well as titillating treatments. The hotel has not one, but two coups in having both the largest garden in Ostuni and the only pool, a large swimmable one at that. There’s 1,700sq m of greenery to nose around in, so we encourage you to waft through the orange groves and kitchen garden, admire the sculptures and garden gnomes and sit and sip a glass of local wine. There’s tour-worthy artwork hanging on the palazzo walls too, with pieces by Suzanne Lipsey, Adrian Boswell, Giuseppe Ciraci and Caio Gracco, plus photos and works by Ad’Opera. And, if the owners are around during your stay, they’ll happily go into the details of designing the palazzo. A courtyard in the garden can be booked privately for yoga and pilates sessions, massages or something craftier: a painting class or stone-carving using remnants from the pool’s excavation. There’s a small boutique onsite selling homewares (and a larger one at the owners’ P Beach club), plus accessories from the Made In Carcere programme where detainees at Lecce’s womens’ prison make pieces to sell. And in the old store room where once olive-oil was abundant, wines now line the walls and the hotel’s sommelier will take you on a tasting through the region’s primitivos, negroamaros and susumaniellos. And you can attend a cookery class with the talented chef so you have something to pair them with. Then, it’s time to see the surroundings in style – the hotel will happily charter its restored carabinieri boat turned private yacht for a jaunt on the Adriatic or guide Valentina will take you on a scenic thrill ride through the Val d’Itria, Salento or Gargano on a motorbike tour. The hotel can arrange horse riding, biking with trail maps and point out the area’s most beautiful natural beaches, such as the free to laze on Torre Gauceto. Those who want to know more about the region’s star products should take a trip to the Ostuni Olive Oil Cooperative, to pick up a bottle of liquid gold or learn how to make burrata. And, if you want to make a day of it, complete the trifecta of Puglia’s ‘white towns’ with trips to Cisternino and Martina Franca. And it’s well worth making the two-hour drive to Matera to see its mysterious sassi cave dwellings.
Not content with having the only pool in Ostuni, the hotel also has the largest garden, although you wouldn’t have guessed from the outside, with over 1,700sq m of lavender-scented lawns, herb and vegetable beds, and orange trees. Tables and chairs are set out for guests to idle away the afternoon with wine, and from chunks of ancient stone to avant garde sculptures to giant garden gnomes, there are some intrigues to explore throughout.
Please note that Mr & Mrs Smith hotels are part of an IHG Rewards Club Program collaboration and are not IHG branded hotels; accordingly, IHG Way of Clean and the IHG Clean Promise do not apply to those properties. Mr & Mrs Smith hotels follow separate health & safety standards outlined here: ihg.com/smithsafety
Two rooms cater for guests with mobility issues, they’re not adapted, but are generously sized and have huge showers. Public areas – aside from some sections of garden – are accessible too, and there’s a lift.