Sextantio Le Grotte Della Civita
What We Love
- Jetsetter 2014 Best of the Best Winner: Best for Romance
- Daily breakfast, served in the nooks of a 13th-century church, and a basket of fruit on arrival are included in the rate
- Gorgeous location on the edge of Sassi di Matera, overlooking hills and valleys
- An easy five- to 10-minute walk to great restaurants and bargain wine bars
- Stand-alone bathtubs in the candlelit rooms
What To Know
- A city tax of approximately $3 per person, per night, will be charged by the hotel at checkout
- Matera is a 75-minute drive from Bari airport, so you’ll need to organize transfers with the hotel, rent a car or get a bus (see How to Get There)
- The nearest beach is 25 miles away, at Metaponto, and it’s not very inspiring
- Perfect for a romantic break
- Staff can organize candlelit dinners, cooking lessons and wine and tea tastings in the breakfast room
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
Eighteen uniquely converted caves make up Sextantio le Grotte della Civita, arranged over three levels of a rock face in Sassi di Matera — a cluster of prehistoric cave dwellings. Each room is different; one has a carved stone staircase leading to a bathtub with a fireplace beside it, while another has a gap in the wall that leads to a surprise extra bedroom. Peek at a few of them and you’ll get steadily more giddy. Outside, the hotel’s natural terraces have sweeping views of a vast, cave-filled archaeological park with a soundtrack provided by a trickling stream.
Bed and Bath
In each of the 18 rooms there are rickety dark brown chests and benches topped with candles (though there are discreet lamps, too, that emit a cozy, warm light), and a chunky dining table that holds a bowl of organic fruit and a jug of water. Simplicity is key, because the setting does all the wooing. But sleeping in a cave needn’t mean forgoing your favorite mod cons. There are power showers in naturally occurring “cubicles,” tucked-away stand-alone baths, underfloor heating, hair dryers — even free WiFi.
Breakfast in the 13th-century church is an event. There are plenty of these rock-chiseled churches in Matera, but not all of them offer breakfast. The tables around the outside are brilliantly secluded, so you can linger over the handsome organic spread of ricotta, mozzarella, freshly made focaccia, fruit and yogurt without even having to look at another guest. Staff can organize candlelit dinners, cooking lessons and wine and tea tastings in this atmospheric room.
How to Get There
A long time ago I saw a picture of this incredible hotel in a magazine and ripped the page out in the hope that somehow one day I would find myself in this picture and my dream became reality, we just spent two wonderful nights at this very special place and it surpassed every expectation! It is easy to talk about the beautiful setting and but as always what took this experience to the next level were the sweetest and most hospitable staff... Pietro, Antonio and Marienza, thank you a million times for your smiles 😀
From the moment we arrived to the moment we departed this extraordinary boutique property exceeded all expectations. When I read about it I knew we had to experience it. And it is an experience! When we arrived we were warmly greeted by Alex and Antonio who offered refreshments and a tour of our room. It was in a large cave where Antonio gave a detailed description of the history of the area. The "room " was hauntingly beautiful and warmer than expected- as it was December I was concerned that it might be damp and cold. Not at all. Antonio then gave us a tour and history of the Breakfast room which was a former church.
Later in the afternoon we had a wonderful massage. Unfortunately I can't remember the masseuse's name; but she was wonderful.
The Breakfast was over the top in selections and service by Silvia
The morning we left she prepared a small delicious cake for my husband's birthday and Guisi at the front desk gave him a hotel candle.
When it was time to leave Aman had the car ready.
All was perfectly heavenly. Should you be in Southern Italy this is a MUST for your bucket list.
Sextantio's restoration project in Matera has resulted in a truly unique place to stay. We loved their mission as well as the romantic, charming open room illuminated by candles. The staff, Alex and Antonio were truly the dream team--they gave excellent restaurant recommendations and arranged both dinner reservations and tours that fit our needs. We were inspired to learn the history of Matera with its rags to riches Cinderella story. Staying at this place was perfect for us!
NOTE: This place is not for everyone as it has a lot of steps and there are no windows or doors in the room. If you're not able to climb a lot of steps or into staying in a cave, it is not the place for you.
I was blown away by the rustic and raw beauty of this hotel. The caves are beautifully restored, while preserving the unique history and nature of the region. The staff is most respectful, helpful and kind. The breakfast banquet is lavish and relaxing. The aesthetics of the room is calming for the mind, and pleases all the senses. Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita is simply heaven on Earth.
Sextantio is a magical place in a magical city. We wanted to stay here but they were completely booked. We visited to check it out and were blown away and the rustic perfection. The vision is clear and pure. The attention to original detail is flawless. The caves are as original as possible. The office manager gladly gave us a tour of the common areas and explained the experience they would like their clients to experience. There are a lot of wonderful places to stay in Matera. This one really stands out. I saw photos of the rooms and got a glimpse into one and it was amazing. I wish we could have stayed here. Based on the customer service we received while visiting makes me highly recommend it!