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
The 2 nights we stayed at Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita were special and wonderful and the memory will conjure up good things for years to come.
Staying in a “cave” does not adequately describe the experience. The cave/room are clean, wonderfully decorated, radiant floor heating makes them evenly warm and cozy. They are also quite large.
The staff couldn’t have been more accommodating and friendly.
The breakfast and happy hour we’re both amazing, particularly the breakfast which consisted of an amazing selection of Italian and local food.
The owner happen to be there while we were there, she is a super person as well.
The location looks out across the canyon to the cave churches. The location is also walking distance to many restaurants.
Make a unique and wonderful memory and stay here :)
Sassi, the part of Matera this hotel is situated in, is worth the trip to Italy alone.
On top of this, Sextantio turns the trip into a truly unique and unforgettable experience.
I planned to propose to my girlfriend here and spent months planning all the intricacies with the hotel staff over email. All of them were incredibly caring and thoughtful. They went so far beyond the expected level of service that I knew from the start this was going to be a special trip.
We stayed there two nights, the first in a very romantic cave, the second in a more naturally lit (bridal room). Both were brilliant. If you can stay two nights to experience two different experiences, I certainly would. One night here isn't enough!!
I highly recommend a guided tour, and taking the car round to the other side of the gorge to see a beautiful view of Sassi. Avoid the Michelin star restaurant Lombardo (the guy seems to have lost his taste buds...).
Definitely Definitely do the romantic exclusive dinner for two at Sextantio. This is about as romantic as it comes. The food was most likely the best food we has on our trip (we did 4 high end restaurants and none compared). Expensive, but the kind of experience that justifies twice the price asked.
I couldn't recommend this place more and I'd like to thank all the amazing staff for making it as special a trip as I could ever have hoped for.
We stayed at Sextantio for a week at the start of a trip that took in Basilicata and Calabria, and I must say that after this rest of the trip seemed somewhat ordinary. The hotel is stunning as the rooms are in historic caves carved out of the tufa rock, which were abandoned in the 1950s due to the squalid conditions in which the occupents were living, but have been beautifully restored to create luxurious rooms and suites. The experience of living in a cave is unique and they have been able to fit them out to a comfortable standard without sacraficing the ambience of the cave. When we arrived there was a bottle of wine and bowl of fruit wating for us.
The hotel is situated on the hillside at the edge of the "Sassi" area with amazing views of the Parco della Murgia opposite and easy access to the historic centre of Matera (provided you don't mind climbing the steps!)
The staff were really friendly and helpful, and gave us good advice on where to visit and restaurant recommendations.
The breakfast spread, which was served in a former rock church, was fantastic, with focaccia and other breads, meat, cheeses, fresh fruit, juices, cereals and eggs freshly cooked for you on request.
I would highly recommend this stunning and unikque hotel.