Requests for villas sleeping 9+ people, for 2015, started arriving in September. In Puglia, though, there is a great shortage of these. There is an embarassment of Trulli sleeping four people and plenty of 3 bedroomed villas, though slightly less so. Villas with four bedrooms+ are in really short supply as owners have tended to split larger properties into ‘mini apartments’ or made them into bed and breakfasts, with the idea that they will make more money with more units of accommodation (not the case as there is so much competition). Often the units are so small that you cannot even accommodate a larger group of family or friends as there are no communal spaces large enough for everyone to be together.
There are some exceptions – there are some ‘bed and breakfasts’ with pools that do work for groups, and these can be a very cost effective solution but booking super early is essential – as one bedroom being booked for two nights makes the property no longer available. Contact me if you would like some ideas.
These are some of my favourites but two of these are let as separate units as well. Availability is changing fast though. For example two of my favourite villas Trulli Vista (two bedrooms plus sofa bed), and Casa di Anna (three bedrooms) can be combined for larger groups, but there is already no July or August availability in Casa Anna which rules this option out.
Top of the range is the glorious Trulli Favola. I have been sending people here for years when there were only the four bedrooms in the trulli, but in the last couple of years the old hay barn has been converted into a separate suite of rooms – bringing the total up to 7 double or twin bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, two decent sized kitchens and a kitchenette as well as a good sized living room.
The accommodation is comfortable, the bathrooms modern and elegant but it is the outdoor spaces and pool that are really spectacular and make the place. An outdoors kitchen with barbecue has a large dining gazebo adjacent to it with plenty of space for outdoors dining. Further gazebos have large, built in seating areas for lounging around, a smaller table and chairs (near the pool) or comfortable garden furniture. Lush green lawns are punctuated with flowers and olive trees for shade. The pool is lovely and there is plenty of outdoors space for people to spread out.
The nearest town is Polignano a Mare but you do need a car to go anywhere as the villa is set in open countryside. A cook and extra cleaning can be arranged if desired. From 4200 to 6000 euro per week. Contact us for further details, or to check availability.
If this one doesn’t suit what about your own private sea – view castle in Ostuni? This is also rented out as separate apartments, but the proportions of the building are such that there is plenty of communal space for groups of family and/or friends. There are 5 bedrooms in the castle and a further two in the adjacent trulli. There are spectacular sea views from the (large) gardens and pool and you can walk into town. There is no August availability left. Costs from 4400 euro-5300 all inclusive. Contact us for further details or to check availability.
I have only recently found the last of my three choices, an Edwardian villa with five bedrooms located in Santa Maria di Leuca, the charming small resort town at the extreme south of the region, where the Adriatic and Ionian seas meet. There are spectacular sea views from the large terraces and from the pool and wonderful beaches nearby. The photos do not do this property justice and, bizarrely, there are none of the views but, on the day I visited, it was very overcast and the owner thought she had more photos.
The villa is beautifully furnished with antiques but feels very homey. There are five bedrooms (all with French doors onto the terrace and most large enough to take an extra bed for children) five bathrooms a good kitchen and a large dining room and living room. There is air conditioning or ceiling fans if you prefer. The pool is not large, but has sea views and surrounding space for loungers, there is also a large panoramic dining terrace, an area with trees and hammocks for relaxing in the shade, and a large panoramic roof terrace. Fin de siècle charm at its best, tasteful, beautiful, airy and wonderfully ‘liveable’ rather than super luxurious. Very good value for money.. Costs from 2800 to 4800 euros per week plus 10 euro a head for linen and towels.
STOP PRESS: Late on the scene, but gorgeous, and offering excellent value for money, is Villa Valentino, sleeping 12 in 6 bedrooms with four bathrooms. It has a large garden, lovely pool and is 700m from the sea In Torre San Giovanni, Ugento. Prices from 2200-3600 euros per week.
If a pool isn’t essential I would also highly recommend the Casa di Francesca, three good sized apartments with plenty of communal space and a huge roof terrace looking out to sea. In Monopoli, with a beach directly below the house and shops, cafes and restaurants within strolling distance. From 2700 a week.
Do email firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 0039 3337911030 for further details of any of these villas or for suggestions of other accommodation. Our monthly newsletter has special offers on all types of accommodation in Puglia, from bed and breakfasts to five star hotels and the full range of self catering properties. Send an email with ‘newsletter’ as the subject to sign up. If you have a holiday villa, bed and breakfast or hotel, and would like to be included in our newsletter, get in touch but bear in mind we have a rigorous selection process.