Puglia, Italy

Don Ferrante

Rates from (ex tax)$307.83

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (EUR290.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Stone-hewn maze

Setting

Seafront city walls

A charming labyrinth of steep staircases, breezy balconies and arched stone ceilings, hotel Don Ferrante is carved out of Monopoli’s ancient seafront ramparts. This Puglian hideaway has sweeping Adriatic views, a dinky rooftop pool, fresh Mediterranean food and just 10 serene rooms.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

A bottle of Prosecco served on the terrace or, from June to August, an outdoor massage

Facilities

Photos Don Ferrante facilities

Need to know

Rooms

10, including one suite.

Check–Out

11am. Earliest check-in, 2pm. Both are flexible, subject to availability.

Rates

Double rooms from $307.83 (€264), excluding tax at 10 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €2.00 per person on check-out.

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (EUR290.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

More details

Rates include a buffet breakfast of cereal, yogurt, local bread and cheeses, pastries, tarts, fresh juices and cooked-to-order farm-fresh eggs and bacon.

Also

Startlingly white and planted with aloe and prickly pears, Don Ferrante’s terrace could give Marrakech’s blissful rooftops a run for their money. Striped deck chairs, low sofas and rattan armchairs are scattered at every corner – all idyllic spots for an idle afternoon in the Puglian sunshine. Book ahead for a tension-busting in-room massage; in the summer, an outdoor treatment area is set up on the terrace so you can drift away to the sound of lapping waves.

Hotel closed

The hotel is closed annually in January and February.

At the hotel

Rooftop terraces. In rooms: flatscreen TV, minibar, Carthusia toiletries free WiFi (in rooms only).

Our favourite rooms

Kept cool in the summer by the thick, stone city walls, Don Gabriel is the hotel's Superior room, with views of the old town centre. Ground-floor Deluxe room San Vito has a charming little private patio. Suite Don is an indulgent treat with a fireplace, hydro-massage shower and long balcony looking over the sea. All the stone-hewn rooms are soothing and elegant, with handmade ceramics, carved-wood headboards and vaulted ceilings.

Poolside

Sheltered on one side by a striking stone wall, the rooftop’s unheated plunge pool is just big enough for a refreshing dip. Set on a neat patch of grass nearby, two bright white sunloungers let guests linger and soak up the sea view.

Packing tips

Monopoli’s one-way streets are best explored on foot, so bring some comfortable walking shoes.

Also

One of the Deluxe rooms on the ground floor has a bathroom adapted for wheelchair users.

Children

With its many steps and high perches, the hotel is best suited to grown-ups, but baby cots (€20 a night) extra beds can be added to Deluxe rooms and the Master Suite for €50 a night.

Food and Drink

Photos Don Ferrante food and drink

Top Table

In the summer, all seats on the terrace are lovely for watching the waves and savouring the sea breeze. Inside, grab one of the two tables by the window for breakfast with a view.

Dress Code

Embrace the Cretan vibe in this labyrinthine seafront retreat with maxi dresses and billowing white linens.

Hotel restaurant

Locanda Ferrante (open from June to August) dishes up tempting Puglian cuisine on a rooftop terrace with sweeping sea views. The menu changes every month to make the most of local seafood and sun-kissed Mediterranean produce. In fine weather, the all-white sea-view terrace is hard to resist. Breakfast is served in an atmospheric 16th-century gunpowder cellar.

Hotel bar

Head to the rooftop with a cocktail in hand, or sample robust reds and fragrant rosés from the hotel’s extensive cellar.

Last orders

Breakfast is served 7.30am–11am and lunch 12.30pm–2.30pm, after which the dinner menu is available from 8.30pm–10.30pm.

Room service

A light lunch and full dinner menu are available during restaurant opening hours.

Location

Photos Don Ferrante location
Address
Don Ferrante
27 Via San Vito
Monopoli
70043
Monopoli
Italy

Planes

Bari and Brindisi airports, both a 40-minute drive away, serve domestic and international flights from across Europe.

Trains

A 5-minute drive away, Monopoli station serves Trenitalia trains from Bologna and stations along the Adriatic Railway. The hotel can arrange free pick-ups from 8am to 7pm.

Automobiles

Parking in the old town is restricted to residents. If you’re bringing your own wheels, drop off your bags at the hotel first. There’s free parking 100m away, and the hotel will happily park your car for you between 9am and 6.30pm.

Worth getting out of bed for

A jumble of whitewashed houses, ornate church spires and picturesque narrow streets, Monopoli is a delight to explore. Take advantage of Don Ferrante’s free buggy tours to get your bearings in the postcard-worthy centro storico. Stroll down to the sheltered harbour to watch traditional fishing boats bringing in the day’s catch. Follow the sturdy city walls along the coast to a pretty little cove of golden sand just below Santo Stefano castle, once the Knights of Malta’s stronghold. The hotel also runs a free shuttle to private beaches and can arrange cookery classes and wine tastings in local masserias. While in Puglia, it’s worth hiring a car to explore the glorious green-and-gold valleys and Unesco-protected sites: Alberobello’s distinctive trulli dwellings, the imposing citadel at Castel del Monte and Matera’s breathtaking cliff-clinging houses are all within striking distance.

 

Local restaurants

Just outside Monopoli in the grounds of an old farmhouse, Angelo Sabatelli Ristorante (+39 0809 02396) has earned its first Michelin star.The eponymous chef plays deftly with presentation and tradition: classic egg and truffles sit alongside roast kid and sculptural desserts in an inventive 10-course menu. In the heart of the city, Piazza Palmieri (+39 0807 43265) serves spectacular shellfish, gutsy pasta, and hand-picked wine from its impressive cellar. Beautifully lit La Torretta del Pescatore (+39 0803 210390) takes on fairy-tale airs in the evenings. Built around an ancient wall tower, its terraces make an atmospheric setting for a sea-fresh feast from the daily-changing menu.

Reviews

Photos Don Ferrante reviews
Eva Wiseman

Anonymous review

After arriving at Brindisi Airport, the idea was to find some lunch between leaving Monopoli train station and arriving at luxury hotel Don Ferrante, but as we emerged into the latter’s unlovely new-town setting, it became clear that nothing was open. No – it was aggressively closed. With an increasing sense of doom, we walked through wide grey streets and peered into dark windows. The sea could only be downhill, so we headed that way; seeing nobody, hearing nothing. Shutters were closed, hoardings down. We continued in the direction of the sea for 10 minutes before we heard it: the clatter of plates, the subtle smell of cooking. Our holiday had begun.

Soon the new gave way to the old – sandy rugged brickwork, and dark narrow streets that seem to run round in circles. We followed our noses and came to an open door, a short flight of steps down to Trattoria il Cavaliere. In a room full of fishermen, we ate pasta and seafood, and drunk wine and felt alive. At the end of the meal – and, pleasingly, every meal in every restaurant after this – we were presented with tiny custard pastries covered in icing sugar called sporcamusi; translated, it means ‘dirty snouts’. We asked the way to the hotel, and we’re told to follow the sea.

It was low season, though in the dimness of the shops and cafés, and with our bellies full, it was easy to imagine this town in summer: alight even at midnight, the beaches stretching south along the heel of Italy and small squares full of noisy excitement. Don Ferrante is easy to find because its whiteness sparkles against the blue sea at its back and the dusty houses opposite. A brief bluster of sunshine revealed the patio and its pool, two loungers stretched out ambitiously. In high season, the restaurant, in a 16th-century gunpowder cellar, is open every night serving traditional Puglian food. At a little white-clothed table overlooking the waves, we were only able to sample the buffet breakfast and their very fine coffee. We lived.

Don Ferrante has the feel of an intimate guesthouse, rather than a sprauncy hotel, in part due to its location on the narrow streets of the old town, but also because you are left quite alone. Reception is in the basement under the traditional, vaulted limestone roof - you’re handed a keycard for the front door and your room as you check in. And if, like me, you’re the kind of person who cheers at holiday rain (there was plenty) because it gives you the opportunity to go to bed for the afternoon in freshly laundered sheets, then you will have few complaints. I was happy to peer out of the window at 4pm and imagine what the tiny cacti-surrounded plunge pool looks like in August, set up for spa treatments and cold drinks.

When the sun came out, we wandered along the coast, admiring the fishing nets and horizon, then back into the town, stumbling into Madonna della Madia Cathedral with irreverent awe. Built in the 12th century, it was redesigned in the 18th, and up in the chapel is a painting of the Madonna that is reproduced everywhere in town: on posters, in tunnels, on the side of a dirty motorbike. Legend has it the painting was washed up from the sea on a raft made of huge wooden logs. These logs were then used for the construction of the trussed roof. Even more memorable though, was the Purgatorio Church. It takes less than half a glance to realise this is no ordinary place of worship – skeletons dance on the heavy, dark-wood door, skulls laugh at you from the frame. It was night when we passed by, hurrying a little through the cold looking for a drink, but we were drawn to the window by a yellow light inside. Despite the doors being locked, the mummified remains of eight local brothers are propped in glass cases, visible even in moonlight. Round the next corner, we found a bar behind another dark door, and the bustle of a crowd diffused the fear a little.

The next evening we ventured back into the new town on a friend’s recommendation, for a plate of panzerotti to share – like a small fried calzone but about 20 times more delicious – but were careful to leave room for another chance stumble, this time into Trattoria La Locanda Dei Mercanti, where a feast of raw seafood (and free pastries) left us with change from a €20 note and the top button of our jeans undone.

As a base for all this gluttony, Don Ferrante, with its serenity and the sound of the Adriatic Sea crashing against the rocks as we drifted to sleep, was perfect.

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith Hotel with us, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Don Ferrante’s Guestbook below.

We loved

The dreamy view and the location. The food in this region is the best in Italy. The vibrant relaxed nightlife.  

Rating

Stayed on 24 Jun 2017

We loved

Everything about the hotel, the friendly staff, beautiful views, excellent food and wonderfully clean everywhere. Even the staff waved us off when leaving. Perfect! The restaurants recommended by Mr and Mrs Smith were wonderful. Take the courtesy hotel tuk tuk to see the old town streets.

Rating

Stayed on 22 Apr 2017

We loved

The view, the breakfast, the sheets, the people who worked there, the complimentary prosecco served on the deck when we arrived.

Don’t expect

...It was pretty perfect. We loved everything about Don Ferrante.

Rating

Stayed on 19 Oct 2016

We loved

The rooftop terraces and nooks.

Don’t expect

Check to see if your room will be a quiet one.

Rating

Stayed on 20 Sep 2016

We loved

The staff, the roof terrace, the bed was super comfortable and bathroom fabulous

Don’t expect

To get an early/ quiet night during August as lots of tourists and festivals

Rating

Stayed on 13 Aug 2016

We loved

The hotel and the helpful staff. Great fish restaurant and beaches

Don’t expect

Late night clubs and parties

Rating

Stayed on 22 May 2016

We loved

The whole hotel. The sea view from our room and the sea lashing the rocks below. The décor and furnishings of the hotel and the rooftop terrace. Excellent service. Good food at lunchtime. Go for a walk along the coast. 10/10

Don’t expect

A large hotel for families with children who want to run around and lots of luggage. There is no spa or beach.

Rating

Stayed on 15 May 2016

We loved

Location, Design, Staff recommendations. Il Guazzetto - good fish restaurant, Vini e Panini - fantastic atmosphere, great vibes and fluent English speaking staff. 8/10

Don’t expect

No view as rooms are built inside an old fortress. Deluxe room windows faces the inner courtyard so you cannot open these windows as other guests are sitting there, literally in front of you. Breakfast could be better with fresh orange juice and real coffee (not Nespresso - we are in Italy :). Overally I think the place is overpriced especially compared to other services - like bars and restaurants - in Monopoli and whole Puglia.

Rating

Stayed on 15 May 2016

We loved

The design and layout and location of the hotel

Don’t expect

Rain

Rating

Stayed on 22 Nov 2015

We loved

The hotel and the room - you can't beat the amazing rooms and the staff. Very friendly and helpful and very knowledgeable of the area.

Don’t expect

Monopoly is nice, however there isn't much there.

Rating

Stayed on 9 Nov 2015