They say Italians do it better, and if you’re talking about relaxed, effortless beachside retreats, then Canne Bianche hotel in Puglia is proof that they’re right. It’s a marvel of seafront simplicity – weathered white stone, lime-washed wood, a sprinkling of antiques – framed by eye-popping views and your own secluded sands. And it comes with an abundance of just-fished fare and a welcome as warm as the midday sun.
Double rooms from £232.49 (€270), including tax at 10 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €5.00 per person per night on check-out.
Rates include a buffet breakfast (cakes, pastries, cereal, fresh fruit, hams, cheeses and a variety of eggs).
Take a moment each day to peer through the telescope in the sea-facing lounge – you might get a close up of dolphins frolicking offshore.
Due to Covid-19 precautions, masks must be worn in public areas, staff will have their temperature taken daily, and hand sanitiser will be handed out to guests. Check-in has been automated and in the restaurant tables will be socially distanced, menus will be available through a QR code, gloves will be supplied for the breakfast buffet and tables must be booked in advance. Sun-beds by the pool will be spaced safely apart and private alfresco tables can be arranged on request. During this time the wet area of the spa (including Finnish sauna, Turkish bath and hydromassage pool) will be closed, but treatments can still be booked and skin-feel nitrile gloves and disposable masks will be used to comply with safety guidelines. And, if needed, for €30 a person the hotel can arrange a rapid Antigen swab to test for Covid; this must be booked five days in advance and results can be delivered the same day and in English.
Annually from early November to early March.
At the hotel
Outdoor, not heated swimming pool, 24-hour gym, sauna, Turkish bath, free WiFi, free on-site parking, games room with a snooker table. In rooms: a TV and a minibar with beer, snacks and soft drinks, Nespresso and tea facilities.
Our favourite rooms
All the white-walled rooms are simple, spacious and dotted with neutral-hued wooden furniture. There’s no sea view from the ground-floor Classic rooms, but they do have their own patios. Superior and Junior Suite rooms boast balconies and an eyeful of the Adriatic.
A pristine, turquoise pool runs the width of the hotel, parallel with the sea. A raised sun deck sits at one end; a shallow paddling pool at the other, with plenty of loungers dotted around. From here, it's only a few strides to the sea.
Need a break from poolside lounging? Head indoors to the Aqua wellness centre; home to a sauna, an ice waterfall, a Turkish bath, a hydro-massage pool and four treatment rooms offering an extensive menu of massages, facials and beauty treatments. Please note, due to Covid-19 health and safety restrictions, the spa's sauna, hydromassage facilities and hammams will be closed; however, massages and treatments will be available to book.
Puglia’s beauty is best explored by car, so don’t forget that pesky paper part of your driving license for hire purposes.
There are two Classic rooms specially adapted for wheelchair users and all communal areas are made accessible with ramps.
One dog or cat (please specify when booking) under 9kg, with a clean bill of health, can stay in ground-floor rooms with a patio for €30 a night, but they must be leashed in public areas. Up to three pets can stay in the hotel a night. See more pet-friendly hotels in Puglia.
The hotel's geared towards grown-ups, but tots are welcome. Cots (€15 a night) can be added to all rooms, beds (€70-120 a night) can be added to most, menus are happily adapted and there’s a small, shallow swimming pool. Babysitting can be arranged too.
The sun-dappled, bougainvillea-lined terrace just outside the main dining room is a particularly sweet spot for enjoying the cucina's finest fare.
Simple, neutral-toned summer chic to blend in; bright and bold to stand out.
Hand-tied bunches of lavender and bottles of local olive oil decorate the white linen clothed tables at Timo (Italian for ‘thyme’), where the traditional Puglian dishes are a lip-smacking sensation. An impressive shell-hewn chandelier hangs from the ceiling, illuminating a heaving antipasti buffet with salads, burrata and room-scentingly fresh tomatoes. With abundant waters just outside, fresh fish and seafood are main-course staples, alongside locally sourced meat, just-picked vegetables and homemade ear-shaped orecchiette pasta. In the summer months, the surf shack-y Restaurant Aneto (Italian for ‘dill’) opens to serve grilled meat, fish and other snacks by the pool.
The open-plan lounge bar Cumino (‘cumin’) a small informal bar where cocktails and aperitivi are lovingly prepared from 7pm each day. If you prefer your tipple on the terrace, toast the views or at poolside Bar Mirto (‘myrtle') and repair to one of the taupe coloured sofas.
Order breakfast from 7am to 10.30am, lunch from 12.30pm to 2.30pm, dinner from 7.30pm to 10pm and drinks until midnight.
Pastries, omelettes and other light bites are available from 7am until noon (at an extra charge), then the menu gives over to meats, cheeses, pasta and homemade breads until 10pm.
Canne Bianche is just off the well-connected road to the small town of Torre Canne, right on the beachfront – perfectly placed for exploring Puglia.
Brindisi Salento Airport (served by Ryanair from Stansted) is half an hour’s drive away and Bari Karol Wojtyła Airport (EasyJet from Gatwick and Ryanair from Stansted) is a 50-minute drive.
Fasano station – with connections to Bari, Lecce, Milan and Rome – is a 10-minute drive away.
From Brindisi, follow the coast-hugging SS379 to Via Appia Antica in Fasano before turning left onto Via Appia Antica itself for about three minutes. From Bari, take the SP73 and turn onto the SS16 in Zona Industriale. Follow signs to Fasano for about 45 minutes and turn onto Via Appia Antica in Torre Canne. There is plenty of free on-site parking at the hotel.
Worth getting out of bed for
Take a walk along the sands, hire a bike and follow the coastline or just punctuate your poolside lazing with an occasional splash in the waves. For something a little more hands-on, the hotel’s kitchen staff host regular masterclasses in Puglian cooking. For exploring, Savelletri, a small fishing town with some enticing rustic restaurants is a five-minute drive to the east. Head further east along the coast and you’ll reach the precarious looking clifftop town of Polignano a Mare, home to a cute cove, some great gelaterias and plenty of ancient history. Alberobello, a 30-minute journey inland, is a Unesco world-heritage site thanks to its tumbledown trulli houses. Ostuni, the ‘white city of Puglia’, with its baroque churches, aristo estates and fine dining, is one of the region’s top draws.
Saporedisale is a local port-side pizzeria with an expansive selection of local wines. Alberobello’s La Cantina is the place to head for some kitchen showmanship and none-more-Puglian feasting, while nearby Il Poeta Contadinogives an upmarket twist on traditional cooking. Star-grazers will also want to seek out Cielo in Ostuni – a rock-hewn hideaway serving locally sourced, artfully arranged Italian fare. Carnivores should make the 20-minute pilgrimage to Cisternino for its most famous butchers, Zio Pietro. Here you can pick your perfect cut and have it served to your table just as you like it. If you want to treat your peepers and your palate, try Il Bastione in Polignano a Mare – succulent seafood and perfect panoramas of the waterfront town, or the remarkable Grotta Palazzese in a huge, dramatic cave 20 metres above the sea.
Mr & Mr Smith have just returned from a stay at this luxury London hotel, and as soon as they've unpacked their orecchiette pasta and bottles of Primitivo, a full account of their glamorous city break will be with you. In the meantime, just to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick postcard from Puglia.
With all its romantic cities, vine-strewn countryside, dramatic peaks and yacht-filled ports, you could be forgiven for forgetting about Italy’s beaches. But combine relaxed rustica with warm waves, and Canne Bianche is a holiday hotspot that’s hard to beat.
There’s nothing showy here – the views of the Adriatic take care of ‘spectacle’ – but everything is done with loving laid-back charm.
The low-rise white stone building blends brilliantly with its surroundings, softened with coiffed lawns and scattered shrubs. Inside, a pale palette and clean lines are complemented by lime-washed wooden furniture and floral flourishes. The bedrooms are inviting, the pool even more so and the private beach makes it tempting to stay very firmly put. The cuisine is as fresh, authentic and joyously tastebud-pleasing as any you'll find; the service as perfectly casual and brilliantly helpful as you'd hope for.
When you leave your tranquil base, day-tripping around Puglia's many splendours couldn't be easier. The thought of one last snack and a late-night dip in the sea will see you home before the small hours, though.