Just over a week ago I sent this rather ridiculous text message to one of my best friends, “Realistically speaking, how quickly do you think I could find an eligible man, start a relationship and get married?”
It sounds totally bonkers. But the reason for the message was simple… I had found the perfect honeymoon destination: Masseria Trapana in Puglia, Italy. (My friend’s response – in case you’re interested – was, “Hmm, I’d say at least 10 months. And that’s at a real push!”).
Now, obviously you don’t have to be on honeymoon – or even vacationing with a partner – to enjoy Masseria Trapana. I spent three blissful days there with a group of journalists and had the best time. But the remodelled 16th-century farmhouse certainly carries an air of romance. And if you’re planning an Italian getaway with your significant other, Masseria Trapana should definitely be at the top of the list!
I’ve been lucky enough to stay at some truly magnificent hotels, over the years. But nowhere has captured my heart quite like Masseria Trapana. I could sit here for hours listing the reasons why, but you’ve probably come to Coco’s Tea Party for a quick read, not an extensive essay, so I’ve condensed it down for ease…
– First of all, the Masseria (which is set amongst an olive grove) is absolutely stunning! And it’s so peaceful because there are only eight suites and two rooms. So even when the hotel is at full capacity it never feels crowded.
– Masseria Trapana’s owner, Rob Potter-Sanders, managed every aspect of the farmhouse’s renovation. And the hotel has such a charming, rustic vibe. The suites are all stylish and super-comfortable (the beds are heavenly), and many have their own private patios, complete with outdoor bathtubs and showers.
“The inspiration behind the look was to restore the Masseria with complete respect to its history, and the local region, whilst making it function for all the current needs of our guests,” Rob explained.
– As you would expect from Italy, the food at the Masseria is absolutely divine. The seasonal lunch and dinner menus change daily, and always include fresh, local ingredients. And on Fridays they host pizza nights, where guests can create their own pizzas in the kitchen, then watch them cook in the stone-baked outdoor oven.
Interestingly, I have an intolerance to gluten, but I was able to enjoy all of the pasta and pizza at Masseria Trapana, as the quality of the the flour used in Italy is clearly so much better than what we get at home. Their orecchiette and aubergine pasta was my favourite, and felt like such a treat!
– Finally, an added bonus… the hotel is adults only. So you can read a book by the pool all day long, if you wish, and not get interrupted by noisy, splashing kiddos.
“Masseria Trapana is all about not having to think, as we do that for our guests. We watch guests arrive after travelling, and each day they slow down a little more.” – Rob Potter-Sanders
Our visit to Masseria Trapana was short but sweet. So we spent the majority of our time relaxing at the hotel – reading by the pool, doing yoga in the grounds, having treatments in the spectacular underground spa and sipping cocktails around the fire pit, each evening.
However, the historic city of Lecce is only a short drive away, and we made some time to explore its breathtaking baroque buildings, one morning. If you venture outside the hotel for longer stints of time Rob recommends visiting Tessitura Calabrese, for handcrafted linens, and Cantina Moros, a boutique winery. Rob also suggests making time for a guided tour of Lecce with the lovely Sabrina Rizzo (who showed us around the city), and visiting the 13th century fishing port, Tricase Porte, where cosy restaurants overlook the crystal waters.
I’m definitely not patient enough to wait for this fantasy honeymoon to become a reality, so I will be making plans to return to Puglia as soon as I can. I can’t wait to explore the region properly…
Book your visit to Masseria Trapana (from €250 a night) at trapana.com. The closest airport is Brindisi. We flew to Brindisi from London Stansted on Ryanair. British Airways also fly from London to Brindisi, twice a week, during the summer months.
Is Puglia, Italy, on your travel bucket list for 2018? And are you now desperate to book a mini break at Masseria Trapana? Leave a comment below to have your say…
Disclaimer: I stayed in Puglia for two nights as a guest of Masseria Trapana. All opinions are my own.