Unique, smart and quirky boutique hotel, in heart of ancient town - great value. Alison loves lovely Conversano for exploring without a car. Paul loves Corte Altavilla's roof terrace, spa and delicious dinners & that the hotel exceeds all clients' expectations.
Conversano's mediaeval 'centro storico' is a maze of little streets, converging on the grand castle, which stands imposingly at its centre. With examples of baroque architecture, an impressive cathedral and the main square, lined with small bars and restaurants, and less than 10km from the sea, it is a lovely place to visit, with or without a car.
Once the court of the famous Counts of Altavilla (one of whom had a daughter married to the oldest son of William the Conqueror), the hotel is nestled into a hidden corner of the old town, just a two-minute walk from the main square. Right opposite the cathedral, through an unassuming stone archway, you reach the old 13th century "court ". Four buildings, arranged around narrow alleyways and little courtyards, it is not on a grand scale, but is smaller and more intimate, and is really unique. Renovated to a high standard, maintaining the integrity of the building, and with much of its original character, there are vaulted ceilings, old steep stone staircases and masses of terracotta and stone features. Many bedrooms have been given a similar style, with wood and wrought iron furnishings; some are more contemporary in style - although, all are beautiful and of good quality. Some have limited kitchen facilities, so guests who would like this flexibility, should request one of these rooms at the time of booking.
There is a small lounge. The fabulous spa, in the 'basement' of the hotel, features a large heated hydro massage pool and treatments are very reasonably priced. It really is amazing. The delightful roof terrace, overlooking the rooftops of the old town, and where breakfast is served on sunnier days, is the perfect setting for a drink or a spot of sunbathing - a few sunbeds will be provided up here. In the evening this and the restaurant become a romantic, candle-lit venue for dinner, where you can sample typical, tasty Pugliese dishes and fantastic wines.
In one of Italy's 'Città D'Arte' (art towns), this is a very special place indeed.