Why so chic?
Why travel experts chose this hotel
World-class culinary school
Luxury on a smaller scale
Only when you book with Chic
Room upgrade (subject to availability)
Early check-in / late check-out (subject to availability)
Castello di Ugento: a luxurious Puglian castle hotel with contemporary bedrooms, where you're surrounded by history and magnificent ancient walls. Situated atop a hill and surrounded by well-kept gardens, this is a boutique property in its finest form, with just 9 beautifully designed rooms and suites.
The extensive renovation project to restore the castle to its former glory began in 2013. Foundations of a Norman tower were unearthed, unseen for 900 years, along with Bronze Age archaeological finds. Not only was the structure itself restored, but also the stunning High Baroque frescoes from 1694 – commissioned by owners Francesco and Nicola d'Amore, they've been painstakingly brought back to life.
Castello di Ugento's restaurant Il Tempo Nuovo represents foodie heaven. Chef Tommaso Sanguedolce heads up a passionate team who celebrate seasonal products and regional traditions. His focus is on flavour and creating masterpieces from the best (and often simplest) ingredients from the local markets and the on-site kitchen garden.
Pick a spot in the paved courtyard, ancient stables or La Torre Scoperta, whose glass floor reveals a Norman Tower that was unearthed in 2015 during the renovation.
And for a special occasion why not book the Chef's Table in the 17th-century bakery, now a state-of-the-art open kitchen where you'll see Tommaso and his team hard at work preparing the Menu del Giorno.
We're not exaggerating when we say Castello di Ugento is a totally unique boutique hotel. Fusing modern and traditional, the 9 characterful rooms and suites are decorated with pieces from Italian design houses Minotti, B&B Italia, Ceccotti, and Cassina, alongside bespoke furniture created by artisans. Handmade walnut armoires, hand-woven bedspreads and antique pieces add a touch of vintage style and warmth, and sit happily against the cool stone walls. Each bedroom features a king-size bed, some of which can be set up as twins.
The walls may be 17th-century, but the amenities are smack bang in the 21st, with Smart flat-screen TVs, fine Italian linen, robes and slippers, an evening turn down service, hairdryers, locally-made organic toiletries, safes, and air-con with humidity control coming as standard.
Located along the Ionian Coast, Ugento, in the province of Lecce, is a referred to as a 'città di arte' (city of art) with its history reaching back to the Massapic tribes. The small town has a historic centre decorated with palazzi, and some of the best beaches in Puglia (Torre San Giovanni and Torre Mozza) are close by. Or why not hop in a car for 25 minutes to Leuca and the tip of the heel – from there, head out by boat to explore the grottos. The season for swimming is relatively long and starts from the end of April through to October. And if you're looking to discover the local area we recommend spending time with a local connoisseur, something the hotel can organise for you.
You'll find it hard to beat the world-class culinary school at Castello di Ugento. Whether you're a novice, professional chef or just love cooking there's a class for you, be it one-on-one lessons, group sessions or weekly workshops – all held in the on-site state-of-the-art kitchens. Trips to the local market and gathering herbs from the kitchen garden while gleaning tips from the chefs are all part of the experience.
No stay in Puglia, let alone Italy, would be complete without visiting the region's wineries and olive oil mills. Generations old, you'll get to meet the owners, tour the property, and enjoy tastings. The hotel will happily advise on vineyards to check out.
How to get there
We recommend you hire a car from the airport so you can explore during your stay at Castello di Ugento.
Brindisi (Salento) is 1 hour 15 minutes drive away (106 kilometres).
Free parking is available.