A STYLISH BOUTIQUE HOTEL IN THE HEART OF RUSTIC PUGLIA, DON TOTU STORICA IS WHAT HOTEL DREAMS ARE MADE OF. FACT’S ANGELA BEITZ VISITED THE ITALIAN HIDEAWAY…
Arriving at Don Totu Storica in the tiny town of San Cassiano, Puglia you’ll find a large door of an old stone building. The entry is small and unassuming and what lies behind is a total surprise. This 18th century palazzo boasts some of the most secluded grounds and gardens in the region. It comes as no surprise that this boutique hotel hosts many repeat guests with its super elegant yet understated vibe and you can see how it feels like a home away from home – totally private and relaxing. The hotel is decorated in muted tones with thoughtful accents such as antique mirrors, Puglian ceramics and large art deco chandeliers. There is a beautiful sitting room where guests can play chess or enjoy a drink. We are shown the large kitchen where you are welcome to help yourself to homemade snacks that are changed up daily as well as juices and soft drinks. Off the kitchen is the beautiful courtyard where breakfast is served daily surrounded by olive trees, and stone staircases.
We continue the tour off the side of the courtyard to find a huge garden with a swimming pool. You’ll find everything from pine trees to white roses and loads of cactus, which Puglia is known for. How this space is even possible is a total surprise and it’s not what you’d expect after entering the small street front entrance. The garden leads onto the pool area which is simply stunning with a pergola at the end that is decorated in art deco furniture in bold colours. Don Tuto has only six rooms which adds to the boutique feel of the property and makes it feel exclusive and peaceful. It’s been so thoughtfully decorated and the building itself adds so much to the ambience with its stone ceilings, quiet corners, tranquil garden areas, small alcoves and rooftop terraces. There are gorgeous touches to the furniture and decoration with shells, lamps, more Puglian ceramics and lots of stone accents.
The Don Totu Suite off the library has a beautiful bathroom with a free-standing bath and double vanity, and it also has a gorgeous terrace accessed by a tiny stone staircase. The other rooms are all equally beautiful and there is also a family room with two single beds. The rooms were built in keeping with the original structure and materials. They are all different and show great taste in the choice of decor, with canopy beds, ceramics and unique mirrors and chandeliers. Breakfast here is a real delight eaten under the stunning courtyard. There is a sensational spread of fresh fruit, local cakes and brioches, sliced cold cuts of meat, and freshly baked bread and eggs made to order. The coffee is excellent as it should be in Italy and they’ll whip you up a freshly squeezed juice of your choice. If you order lunch in the morning they will serve it to you in the courtyard or better yet, by the pool. The staff will also serve you a homemade gelato at the pool round 3pm to satisfy any sweet cravings.
Aperitivo hour is a highlight, with Aperol Spritz served up with a twist of orange, or an Italian style Gin & Tonic should that take your fancy. You can also sign up for a cooking class which is fabulous and shows you how to make pasta from scratch and you can learn more about the local wines that are well worth a try. Dinner is best eaten at the surrounding towns and the excellent staff will make any bookings for you. Horse riding and vespa tours can also be arranged and are an absolute must out. You can also start your morning with a yoga class. This hotel is truly something unique and certainly magical. It manages to hit the mark with outstanding hospitality paired with luxury.
GO: VISIT WWW.DONTOTU.IT FOR RESERVATIONS AND MORE INFORMATION.