What We Love
- The cone-shaped hut-like structures are typical of the region
- Spacious guestrooms with fireplaces and vaulted ceilings
- A lovely pool area encircled by olive trees
What To Know
- Meals feature organic produce from the hotel’s vegetable garden and are served in the farm’s former manger hall
- Free WiFi
- The hotel is 50 miles from Bari Airport and 40 miles from Brindisi Airport
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Set on a 19th-century farm and surrounded by olive groves and chestnut trees, Masseria Fumarola is a collection of sparkling white trulli buildings. These hut-like structures are typical of the region and are made of dry stone topped with pointed roofs that call to mind (well, some minds) Madonna’s conical bras from her Blond Ambition years. The converted trulli serve as guestrooms and feature lofty stone arches, limestone floors and antique wrought iron furnishings. Meals take place in the farm’s former manger hall or alfresco under the stars.
Bed and Bath
Once used as field shelters and storehouses, the trulli have been beautifully refurbished into 14 guest suites that respect their architectural ancestry. While stone floors and domed ceilings remain, the owners have created spacious and soothing suites that incorporate plenty of rustic-chic decor, such as wrought iron bedframes and traditional wooden furniture, including some antique pieces. All are outfitted with flat-screen TVs and fireplaces, and some feature sunken sleeping areas. En suite bathrooms come with separate Jacuzzi tubs and showers.
As if Masseria Fumarola were a grand country house, meals are served by a staff dressed in old-fashioned maid uniforms. Menus, which are set, feature organic produce from the hotel’s vegetable garden as well as local cheeses and artisanal salumi. There’s a large pool surrounded by white canvas chairs perfect for tanning under the hot Apulian sun, and olive and chestnut trees just beyond, laced with walking paths.
In the Area
Rent one of the property’s bikes and set out to explore the rolling, trulli-dotted countryside. Stop at Martina Franca, a 14th-century town 2.5 miles away where you can shop for fine Italian linens in chic little boutiques and visit the Baroque Basilica di San Martino. Head to the town of Ostuni, famous for its whitewashed houses and staircases that lead up tiny streets. The nearest white sand beach is a 40-minute drive away, in Savelletri, where you can rent a sun bed or dine on calamari at one of the many restaurants that line the promenade.
How to Get There
This masseria is just ten minutes by car from Martina Franca. Set amidst vineyards, with lots of outdoor seating and places to relax, it’s a great location for a restful break. Our room was excellent, with good aircon and an outdoor terrace, good bathroom facilities and a comfortable bed. The wifi was very slow, but that’s not unexpected in the middle of the Italian countryside and not the fault of the property. The pool is pretty and there is a nice area for sun bathing. There were a couple of things that we felt they could do better, given that this is a top priced place to stay. First, they could provide tea and coffee facilities somewhere, or even a kettle in the room, as it’s not possible just to pop into a bar nearby to get it for yourself. We could probably have asked someone to get it for us, but there was only one person on reception and we didn’t ask. Second, a lot of the breakfast items simply ran out and weren’t replenished - if the pastries were gone, then they weren’t replaced. Guests learned to come early to breakfast before the food choices ran out. On the other hand, the staff were very pleasant, especially Tiziana. The masseria puts on a buffet dinner a couple of times a week, which is absolutely terrific with home cooking that makes you feel you’re visiting an Italian’s friend’s house. At 25 euros a head we thought this was a bargain. Many of the guests seemed to be visiting to spend time in the sun and by the pool; for those interested in seeing the countryside, the masseria is less than two hours from Matera, about 45 minutes from Taranto, and hour and a half from Bari airport and just half an hour from Locorotondo. It’s a great base for exploring this part of Puglia.
We love masseria fumarola! Always a welcome. Beautiful rooms. Simple breakfasts with choice of homemade cakes and jams, great coffee. Gorgeous pool and quietly tucked away from so many lovely villages and local towns to visit. Can’t recommend highly enough for peace and simplicity.
High standing hotel. It will be the opportunity to have breakfast in un trullo, a typical countryside house of this central area of Puglia.
Your room was built with local stones in a little house with all the confort.
There is also a nice swimming-pool. Nature around is beautiful.
Love this place. Been here about 6 times. Unfortunately they seem to be without a chef. It's a perfect place to retreat to. Hoping they find a chef soon as going out for dinner can be a pain. Mind you if you have a car there is no shortage of good places to go to. Locorotondo & Martina Franca are great in the evening. Very clean, elegant & surrounded by grapes. When you swim in the pool you can smell the rosemary. Will definitely return.
The location, the buildings and the pool are beautiful and merit a full five-stars each. This masseria is one of the most impressive fincas/masserias I have ever seen but it comes with a caveat. The service is extremely passive: you must ask for almost everything, which took a few days to realise and sink in.
For example, if you were by the pool and fancied a drink, you would have to walk to the reception area and ask for it (because other than perhaps a single visit at lunchtime, there's no regular service). The drinks would be duly brought to you and served by the pool. However, they wouldn't enquire if anyone else by the pool fancied a drink, so the other guests would have to trot over to the reception and ask themselves. This would go on three or more times before everyone was served.
Breakfast was ok. Limited selection though and watered down orange juice. You'll have to seek out the staff to order a coffee/tea.
The occasional (random?) buffet dinner was also ok, but nothing to write home about. You'd find out about it more by accident than design. You'd be offered a drink at the beginning of the meal, and then you'd never see the staff again unless you searched them out (e.g. for a drink refill or a coffee, etc.)
We never actually properly met or interacted with the owners, as they didn't seem bothered/interested in their guests, and this approach (attitude?) seemingly has percolated through the staff. This affected the guests, who usually then kept very quiet and to themselves. You'd prefer to stay in your room than to socialise in the communal areas. I found this very odd and difficult to adjust to - but I recognise it may suit you and your preferences for your holiday break. Unfortunately, it just made us feel uncomfortable and awkward.
This is a beautiful location though - and Tiziana and Daniel on the staff were superbly helpful and friendly - but I would have to ask why the owners opened up this masseria in the first place? If it was for monetary gain, then they're missing many tricks to maximise their revenues (improved and proactive service, evening drinks, selling bottles of their house wine, etc., etc.) If it was for another reason (e.g. friendship, agro-tourism, etc.), then this was never explained nor came across.
All in all, I'm in quandary as to how to rate this overall, so let me break this down in parts:
Location: 5 stars (Martina Franca is five mins away and a very friendly town, with a wide range of eateries and sights on your doorstep)
Buildings and external facilities: 5+ stars (fantastic pool, for example)
Rooms: 4 stars (lovely and clean rooms, but beds were hard and uncomfortable)
Service: 2 stars (service was ok, but very reactive and not at all proactive)
Ambience: 1 star (we felt awkward and not able to fully relax during the stay)
Your mileage will vary and perhaps you prefer the completely hands-off approach described here. In which case, I'm certain you'll love this place.