Sextantio Le Grotte Della Civita
What We Love
- 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
- Matera is a 75-minute drive from Bari airport, so you’ll need to organize transfers with the hotel or rent a car
- The nearest beach is 25 miles away at Metaponto, and it’s not very inspiring
- Staff can organize candlelit dinners, cooking lessons, and wine and tea tastings in the breakfast room
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
Candlelit rooms with stand-alone bathtubs and an eatery in a 13th-century church make up this romantic cave hotel
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
From the valet service in to the friendly and knowledgable local staff our experience was curated to a 5 star and beyond level at every turn. The grounds and vistas are stunning. The food was amazing particularly the focaccia. The candlelit cave rooms were impeccable maintained. This was a romantic trip for us but the property is kid friendly and we saw all ages enjoying. We stayed for one night and it wasn't long enough. We were sad to leave and will be telling all fellow travelers about this epic stop. Sextantio group has out done themselves. Bravo! Kudos to the amazing staff. Thank you for having us.
Matera is a bucket list destination full of history, culture and set in one of the most (if not the most) unique settings. In planning our trip I read all the hotel and “cave” hotel reviews and choose Sextantio.
The cave hotel is in itself classifies as a bucket list! The cave rooms offer a unique experience that go hand and hand for the ultimate Matera experience . The staff went above and beyond to ensure we had a wonderful stay. If you are traveling as a couple, I highly recommend the candle light dinner set in the hotels 1000 year old church. Thank you for the recommendations, accommodations and extra special touches that made such a wonderful stay!
Matera itself is an incredible city which is why we return year after year; we never tire of wandering around its ancient streets and enjoying its beautiful landscapes. It is also only 45 minutes away from some spectacular beaches which are probably among the best that Europe offers in terms of space and natural beauty, think crystal clear waters and a sandy beach bordered by forests rather than sardines on grey pebbles! So all in all Matera is a great base for a longer stay rather than the more customary one or two nights.
Sextantio is the original cave hotel and probably the only one that delivers as authentic an experience as is possible. All of the staff go above and beyond to ensure that you are happy and are getting the most out of your stay; the service is from the heart. Breakfasts are all homemade with some different items everyday - the amount of work that goes into this should not be underestimated and is a lot more than at most other hotels anywhere!
This is a property that couldn't be anywhere else other than Matera and it offers a truly memorable and uniquely local experience; it is the antithesis of modern chain hotels. We're already looking forward to returning once again next summer.