Our decision to head to Ostuni was born out of a need to explore a track less beaten. For a while now, we’ve been hearing that Puglia, the sun-baked province in the heel of Italy, is a getaway location the Italian locals have been keeping for themselves.
After a week on the Amalfi Coast, Ostuni sounded like a breath of fresh air from the crazy tourism that dominates this remarkably beautiful country. La Sommità Relais provided that exact tranquil experience we were searching for. Experiencing this hotel and the surrounding region was the highlight of my trip to this beautiful province.
La Sommità provides a shuttle service that picks you up right by the biggest statue in the middle of the city square. You’d think we couldn’t miss it, but in typical Sarah style, I still managed to get us lost on the way.
Once we hopped on the shuttle, it was all smooth sailing. Except that we weren’t on a boat, but on an Italian tuk-tuk. And we didn’t cruise across the ocean, but through Ostuni’s narrow and ascending roads. But aside from that, it was really just like sailing, because at the end of the journey, we arrived on a serene island paradise: La Sommità Relais.
La Sommità, which translates to “The Summit” in English, is a converted 16th-century palace perched at the very top of the historic city centre of Ostuni. It overlooks the town with breathtaking views spanning all the way to the nearby coast – sunset included! Due to its elevated position, the grounds enjoy a subtle breeze that cools down the pool and lounge area and turns this hotel into a true oasis. The tranquillity within the confines of La Sommità can easily convince you to spend the entire day there. But if you do feel like exploring the city, then all you need to do is step outside and you’ll find yourself fully immersed in the beautifully maintained alleys of Ostuni.
The architects of this gem have preserved the charm of its historical past. The building has strong history and character that is evident throughout the design of the hotel. From textured stone linings to arched ceilings, contemporary furnishings in beige and earthy tones to low-hanging lights that tenderly illuminate each room. The entire place gives off a feeling of understated luxury with each detail planned to create a sense of intimacy that allows you to relax from the very moment you arrive.
La Sommità Relais has 15 rooms. Each one is designed differently but all have the same intimate and exclusive atmosphere. The rooms have super high ceilings equipped with premium towels, robes, heavenly scented bath products, luxurious upholstery and minimalistic decor. Looking around the room, you’ll find yourself enclosed in various shades of beige and creams, speaking soothing words of peace and comfort.
The hotel offers a lovely breakfast buffet in an intimate setting which includes everything from in-house cured hams, organic eggs, fruits, cereals, meats & cheeses, yoghurts, fresh juices, and of course a big table of freshly baked pastries, bread and cakes! If that doesn’t already sound like heaven, they even offer a large choice of speciality breakfast dishes which are cooked upon request in the hotel’s kitchen. Be prepared to have the most beautifully arranged scrambled eggs of your life!
The lovely hotel staff booked us a table at the hotel’s Michelin-Starred Cielo Restaurant for dinner during our stay. The restaurant’s menu consists of delightfully harmonic ensembles of modern Puglian cuisine and experimental molecular dishes. The food was fantastic, but there was so much more to this evening than that. It was the friendly and authentic service, the open air dining space on the terrace, the stunning architecture that surrounds you as you eat and the incredible compositions of chef Andrea Cannalire. It all made for an experience we’ll never forget.
The genuine good mood and lighthearted banter the staff provide throughout the night made the night even more special. The restaurant manager, Gianluca, and his team of waiters were hilarious. As our tummies became increasingly full and bloated, the staff continued to deliver comic relief as the night drew on. The Michelin Star is an award that goes to the chef, however, the service and the venue definitely deserved stars too!
The staff at La Sommità are incredibly compassionate. You can see it on their face, hear it in their voice, and feel it through their body language. They really do love their jobs. At any point when requesting the hotel’s services, we were bewildered by how everyone would always go the extra mile to exceed our wishes. The friendly service is welcoming and genuine and never felt forced.
On our departure day, we had to leave for the airport very early and couldn’t make it for breakfast. We were astonished when we recognized that the staff had arranged a takeaway breakfast packaged in a cute little carry box for our journey. They even organised an early shuttle to our car before we even approached them about it! This experience still remains the best service we’ve ever received from a 5-star hotel.
1. Languages spoken: Italian, English and French 2. Complimentary bottle of Puglian lemonade upon arrival 3. Welcome products with heavenly scented products 4. Michelin-Starred Restaurant 5. Rainfall shower 6. Wellness centre with spa services & sauna 7. Free Wifi 8. Airport shuttle
Tips for Your Stay
Given the constant heat in Ostuni during the day, the evening is the best and most lively time to explore, as most of the locals and tourists alike come out and play. Grab your after dinner drinks at Riccardo Caffe right around the corner. It’s well-known for making the best cocktails in Ostuni, and the coolest part… the establishment is in a cave! Enjoy your drinks to good music while being mesmerised by the moonlit white houses of Ostuni.
If you’re looking for a quiet, secluded getaway in Puglia, La Sommità Relais is the place for you. It’s rare to find a hotel so rich in character and history, that has been thoughtfully designed to maximise your relaxation. In addition to that, it has an incredible team of staff who welcome you to a town as beautiful as Ostuni. The serene pool area, the views that span to the Adriatic Sea, and reinvented Puglian cuisine at Restaurant Cielo – it could all hold us captive for days. They say it’s not about the destination, but the journey. But must I beg to differ, especially when your destination is La Sommità Relais.
Shop My Ostuni Look
A few products I’m wearing are out of stock so I’ve replaced them with very similar alternatives.
This post is made in collaboration with La Sommità Relais. 💛