Palazzo Ducale Venturi
What We Love
- A five-star stay at a luxury palazzo in Puglia, with flawless interiors and landscaped groundsStaying in the lesser-known Puglia, the remote region that makes up the heel to Italy’s boot
- Spacious guest rooms with living areas, well-equipped bathrooms, and antiques galore
- The heavenly pampering treatments and underground heated pool at the spa
What To Know
- The front desk staff is multilingual and speaks Spanish, Italian, and English
- Pets are allowed on request
- Free WiFi and onsite parking are available
Characterised by sizeable amounts of priceless antiques and heritage décor, this intimate property in the Puglia town of Minervino di Lecce raises the bar for stays in the south of Italy. Housed in a carefully-renovated palazzo that was built in 1500 as a Templar settlement, it’s the perfect base for exploring a lesser-known region that’s chock-full of interesting Baroque towns, vineyard-sprinkled countryside, fine-sand beaches, and sun-soaked olive groves and orchards.
There are just 13 beautifully-appointed guest rooms and suites, all of which are uniquely-styled and paired with good-looking bathrooms ((some have original fireplaces and elaborately frescoed ceilings). Further visual highlights include a secret garden with citrus trees and a fountain, a dip-worthy outdoor pool lined with sunloungers, and a laid-back bar for Italian beers and wines.
Elsewhere, you’ll find a spirit-soothing spa with an underground heated pool converted from an antique oil mill, and a treatment room for customised facials, massages, body wraps, and scrubs. There’s also a gym with advanced Technogym equipment, group yoga classes on selected dates, and free-to-borrow hotel bikes for cycling around the lovely surrounds.
Good to know
Please note there is a local tax of €1.50 (per person per night) to be paid directly to the hotel.
How to Get There
We spent 4 nights at this hotel last week. First the positive, the cook and waiting staff were incredibly friendly and the food was very good. I repeat this again, we loved the incredibly nice cook.
Unfortunately, at checkout the front desk staff member “Frederica” presented us with the final bill, not only listing the additional dinner and the daily tourist taxes, but also the “remaining balance” of more than 1000 Euros as she claimed we had only payed 833 Euros so far through the booking.com webpage. While mistakes can happen, my wife and I have never encountered a behavior that followed, in particular not at a 5-star hotel. Instead of resolving the issue, which clearly was a mistake in their computer system, we had an hour long discussion that our receipts are wrong because their system shows that we only payed 833 Euros. We presented front desk staff member Frederica with the booking.com receipt and a printout of our credit card statement that showed that we payed for the entire stay already on May 20 with booking.com, $1700 Euros for four days. Frederica then decided to call booking.com, nobody helped us to load our luggage in the car pr offered us a drink while we were waiting the repeating 5 minutes. I told Frederica that we had an 8 hour drive all the way to Ancona ahead of us, but she responded that she will keep my credit card if we decided to leave. Eventually, they let us leave after having a lengthy discussion in a backdoor room, where they must have discovered that Frederica made a mistake. Other staff members apologized but the unprofessional behavior was not excusable. Needless to say, we received an email from booking.com a few days later that they are aware of a problem that occurred at checkout and that we indeed payed for the entire stay ahead of time.
Apart from the complete disgraceful behavior at checkout, the hotel also had additional shortcomings: no blow dryer, no coffee machine, no dental set, no shoe polish kit, no comb, and no alarm/sound system in the hotel room, and the shower was with a curtain, and as somebody else wrote in their review, form the last century with lukewarm water and a weak stream. Overall, we enjoyed our stay at the hotel, despite being completely overpriced, but the behavior at checkout was such an outstanding negative experience that we will certainly not come back. For those of you who do decide that this overpriced hotel is just right, please make sure that the hotel knows that you bring a car as parking is extremely limited. We were welcomed with the question “you did reserve a parking spot?” “ Oh yes you did.” Thank god, otherwise our stay would probably have started with the discussion we had at checkout. Check out our other reviews for other great hotels in Apulia.
This was my first visit to Puglia and the whole experience was enhanced by the quality of service, attention to detail & extremely helpful staff at the Palazzo Ducale Venturi. The hotel staff was very informative regarding local restaurants - areas of interest an attending to any dietary requests. The hotel is decorated in a sophisticated and elegantly eclectic manner. I would highly recommend this hotel to anyone wishing to explore the region south of Brindisi.
First of all, many thanks to Paola, Orsola and Federica. You provided us with any possible kind of tip to make our staying amazing and memorable. Secondly, thanks to all the staff, especially the incredibly nice chef who truly spoiled my son with chocolate cakes and, on the last morning at breakfast, with Nutella beignet.
The hotel is an old building, fully refurbished to accommodate some rooms, a beautiful garden with 1,30 mt deep pool, a small gym and spa. You feel like stepping back in time when seating in the big area close to the reception.
Rooms are comfortable (I would just suggest to avoid those close to the stairs and the elevator as the room door is far from being sound-proof), spacious and very clean. Bathroom amenities are of very good quality.
But again, it is its staff that makes the difference and will pamper you with many attentions from the morning to the late evening! Bravi!