Annie & Ray adore Vittorio's stunning Masseria Torre Coccaro and the blend of exclusivity, luxury, utter authenticity and real character - it's Puglia with luxury, at its best!
Gleaming white, the 16th century Masseria Torre Coccaro stands sturdily against a backdrop of ancient silver-leafed olive trees, rich red earth and a strikingly blue sky. Terracotta red paintwork and the prettiest of coral coloured chapels add to this picture postcard. Courtyards of riven stone and antique stone pavings reflect its feeling of solidity and it is easy to understand how its residents felt safe and protected against marauders in times gone by.
Masseria Torre Coccaro is unique. In many ways, it is not typical of a five star masseria and is so much the better for it. As you would expect, it certainly is exclusive and secluded, and it offers its guests discreet luxury. However, it is also so much more than that. Maybe the word "authentic" is over-used these days, but, nevertheless, the stunning Masseria Torre Coccaro is as real an experience of Puglia as there is, and we love its timeless charm and character.
Vittorio, the owner, is rightly proud of the balance he has struck between retaining the past, whilst moving into the future. To all intents and purposes, you could feel that nothing has changed, but, nowadays, his guests are in for a real treat - he has thought of every modern demand.
A labyrinth of sitting rooms, with huge open fireplaces and sumptuous sofas, welcomes guests in cooler months. Lovely flowery terraces, comfortable and relaxing, tempt in the summer. Bedrooms are beautifully furnished with antiques, period and contemporary pieces, and are in the old tower or in white terraces of cottages, in the grounds. Rooms with stone floors, vaulted ceilings, and thick, whitewashed walls accommodate diners or guests wanting a cosy drink at the bar. The whole place oozes a rustic elegance and a real feeling of being in someone's particularly splendid home.
Outside, there is a stunning heated swimming pool and poolside restaurant. The flower gardens, walled vegetable garden and orchard are a delight to wander around. The incredible Aveda Spa is cut into rock and has truly excellent facilities, including an indoor pool, Turkish bath and gym. Cookery courses, a window into the cuisine of Puglia, are run in the converted stables and these are particularly good fun. Just down the road, the sister hotel, Torre Maizza, has a 9-hole golf course. The masseria's own spectacular Coccaro private beach is just 10 minutes away, with golden sand, transparent sea and an exquisite fish restaurant. It feels rather "designer" and is very laid back, in that hip sort of way. There is even a 14m yacht for hire. The nearby riding school is great for kids and adults.
A stay at Masseria Torre Coccaro will leave you in no doubt that you are in Puglia. You will find genuinely warm hospitality and friendly service. The ambience is relaxed and not remotely stuffy or pretentious. The food is superb, based on the best of the masseria's own organically grown fruit and vegetables, locally caught fish and meat, cheeses and other ingredients, produced on the doorstep. Vittorio believes in the best….and the best is local and from Puglia. The chef is creative and proud of Pugliese cuisine, often adding a surprising twist to an especially traditional local dish. We love the food served here and we can thoroughly recommend it.
Puglia with luxury, at its best!