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Palais Gentile

Matino, Italy

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<b>IHG One Rewards members can earn & redeem points at Mr & Mrs Smith hotels.</b> <br> This is an exclusive IHG One Rewards collaboration, however because these are not IHG branded hotels, other member benefits will not be available. Please contact the hotel prior to arrival in order to make the most of your stay.
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The Premises 

If you don’t possess a Puglian pad of your own, Palais Gentile is the next best thing: an intimate, 18th-century palazzo with space for a handful of guests. Restored by a team of local artisans, it’s a masterclass in old-meets-new, with its whitewashed walls, original tiles and bespoke, blown-glass lights. It’s set in the small town of Matino, within easy reach of Baia Verde’s beaches; you can see the sea from its rooftop terrace – over breakfast or a sunset glass of rosé. Inland, Baroque towns like Lecce are an easy drive, past sun-baked farmland and silvery olive groves. This far south, though, the pace is slow, and it’s all about la dolce far niente – letting time slip idly by, doing as little as you possibly can.

Palais Gentile

Via Gentile 20 Matino, Italy



Compliments of the House 

Local delicacies and a sunset aperitivo on the terrace

At the Hotel 

CHECK-OUT: 12 noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm. Luggage storage is available on request.
Rates usually include breakfast.


Rooftop terrace. In rooms: Illy espresso machine, tea-making kit, air conditioning, Salvatore Ferragamo bath products, minibar.


Bring a backgammon set for unhurried games, lounging on the rooftop’s day beds. The summer sun can be fierce this far south, especially if you’re bound for the beach; come prepared with a fan and wide-brimmed hat, and borrow one of the hotel’s beach umbrellas.


Children of all ages are welcome but this is a fairly old building, so there isn’t a kids’ club or creche and small fry will need close supervision on the stone staircases, cement-tiled floors and roof terrace. Family rooms are available, however, and sta


The hotel's committed to recycling and reducing plastics use, and rooms have showers rather than baths to save water. In summer, solar panels generate most of the electricity.


In-room treatments and massages can be arranged on request.
The hotel’s chic speckled bowls and plates are from Grottaglie, famed for its handmade ceramics and a 90-minute drive away. Pick up a set of your own at Ceramiche d’Arte Carriero.


All four rooms are along the same artfully pared-back lines, with whitewashed walls, bespoke bedside lights and discreetly luxurious details, like the Frette bed linen and honey-hued Lecce limestone bathrooms. Deluxe room Two has the most original features, with its vaulted ceiling, geometric tiles and fireplace – cleverly repurposed as a shower. The two suites are more spacious, with separate sitting rooms and sofa beds. Ask for the Suite Matino, with its tiny balcony, and watch local life go (slowly) by.

Food & Drink 

Unforgettable Features 

Breakfast is served on the rooftop, below a shady bamboo loggia, or in your room on request. It’s a seasonal, local produce-fuelled affair with pastries, fruit and savouries. Expect something different every day; a local cheese, handsome apricot crostata or crêpes rustled up by the owner. There’s no restaurant at the hotel, though Foscolo is a few doors down.

Liquid Bliss 

There’s no bar, but you’re welcomed with a bottle of prosecco or Salentine wine. The owners always have additional supplies at hand, or can arrange aperitivo-hour snacks and drinks on the roof.
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Experience the Extraordinary 

Salento’s exquisite Baroque towns are unquestionably worth an excursion, starting with Lecce, AKA ‘the Florence of the South’. It’s a dizzying profusion of columns, gargoyles and friezes, culminating in the insanely ornate Basilica di Santa Croce, carved with cavorting cherubs, dragons and dodos. Alternatively, head for Nardò – a less tourist-trodden Baroque beauty. On its main piazza, Caffè Parisi is a favourite with locals: follow their lead and order the spumone, a triumphant confection of toasted-almond slivers with pistachio and hazelnut gelato. On the coast, Gallipoli (‘the beautiful city’) is aptly named, with a sea-ringed centro storico. Stroll its fishing port, 14th-century sea walls and boutique-dotted backstreets (head to Nugae Galleria for jewellery from under-the-radar designers, and Blanc for ceramics, vintage finds and cocktails in the courtyard). Then, of course, there are the beaches, lapped by the Ionian sea. This side of the peninsula arguably has the edge over the east coast, whose swimming spots – though beautiful – tend to be craggy underfoot. Fifteen minutes’ drive from the hotel, Baia Verde offers white, dune-backed sands and sunny shallows, while the smaller, wilder coves at Punta Pizzo are edged with pines and gorse. If you’re feeling lazy (and a little spoiled for choice), the hotel can do the legwork, arranging cooking classes, sailing trips, or chauffeur-driven forays in a gleaming vintage Fiat.


Palais Gentile is set in the centro storico of the small town of Matino, on Puglia’s Salento peninsula. It’s a 20-minute drive to Baia Verde’s dreamy, white-sand beaches, and in easy reach of tourist-draw towns like Gallipoli and Lecce.


The closest airport is at Brindisi, around an hour’s drive away. Transfers can be arranged: €150 for up to three passengers; €300 for four to eight passengers. Alternatively, lots of international flights land at Bari, which is just under two-and-a-half hours away by car. If you’re planning to hire, it’s a pleasingly scenic journey along the coast and past the Instagram-familiar, cliff-perched town of Polignano a Mare.


The closest station is at Matino, but it’s very small and services are sporadic. Lecce’s station – around 40 minutes’ drive – is larger, with trains to Bari, Brindisi, Ostuni and other local towns.


Trains and buses do exist, but public transport isn’t Puglia’s forte. You’ll really need a car to explore its scattered towns, olive groves and cove-dotted coastline. There’s no onsite parking, but there are free spaces available a few minutes from the hotel.


Via Gentile 20 Matino, Italy

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