Waterfront hotel La Peschiera celebrates all that’s best about the Puglian seaside, including a private beach, whitewashed interiors and a waterfront restaurant that makes the most of the sunset. Almost everywhere you look, the cerulean blues of sea and sky meet the eye – not least because every suite has a terrace overlooking the pools on one side, and uniterrupted sea views on the other. Add to that a traditional design scheme of honey-coloured stone, white furniture and deep-blue fabrics, and you’ve got a hotel that’s the embodiment of south-Italian seaside style.
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Welcome cocktails, €40 credit to spend on food and drinks and a La Peschiera bag
If we were pushed to pick, we’d go for a Sunrise Room, which has a terrace facing the pools, another on the roof (which makes an excellent spot for sundowners), and a third with an uninterrupted view of the Adriatic.
Not content with the Adriatic Sea on its doorstep, the hotel has no fewer than seven outdoor pools, with sun terraces making up the space between them. They vary in size and temperature – the largest is 25m, perfect for a few morning laps; the smallest is a tiny plunge pool filled with icy water. There are also cascades (perfect for loosening shoulders) and a section of bubbling rapids to massage your legs.
There’s a sauna by the pool, and guests can also hop on a free shuttle to sister hotel Il Melograno, where there’s a spa with a hammam, sauna, plunge pool and several treatment rooms and a relaxation area. The menu includes Ayurvedic, Polynesian and Aromatherapy massages, facials with essential oils like neroli and ylang-ylang, and targeted body treatments.
Crisp whites and maritime blues – what else?
All the common areas are wheelchair accessible, and there’s one specially adapted room with a step-free entrance and larger bathroom.
Over-10s are welcome at the hotel, but there’s no kid’s menu or facilities, making it better suited to adults.
You can’t beat a table on the front edge of the terrace, where you’ll have an unbroken view across the horizon.
It’s Italy and you’re on the Adriatic, so don’t be afraid of dressing up a little, particularly in the evenings.
Saleblu (a reference to the Persian blue salt used in the kitchen) is the jewel in the hotel’s crown. Perched right on the water’s edge so that you can hear the waves lap the rocks, this coastal restaurant ticks all the right boxes. Shaded by rippling canvas sails, the all-white terrace combines with the blue of the Adriatic to form the most classic of maritime colour schemes. Come evening, the open sides give diners uninterrupted sunset views. Naturally, seafood’s the speciality, paired with vegetables from local farms and wine from Puglian vines. Whether you’re in the mood for oysters, langoustines or grilled snapper, you can be sure that it’ll hit the mark.
The Lounge Bar overlooks the private beach, so you needn’t stray far from your lounger for a refill. Try the house specials, the oyster Martini, a perfect partner for a plate of Puglian crudo.
Lunch is served from 12.30pm to 2.30pm; dinner from 7.30pm to 10.30pm. The bar is open from 7.30am to midnight.
During the day, there’s a menu of snacks and light meals, including sandwiches, salads and two mains from the restaurant. After dark, peckish night owls can order cold dishes like charcuterie and cheese platters.
La Peschiera is in Puglia, on Italy’s sun-kissed heel. The Adriatic Sea is mere steps away; the historic town of Monopoli is a 10-minute drive up the coast.
Brindisi is the closest international airport. It’s well connected with Italian airports and nearby European destinations, but direct flights from the UK are few and far between – you’re best flying via Rome or Milan. The other option is Bari, another regional airport that’s best reached via Italy’s hubs. It takes around 40 minutes to drive from either airport to the hotel; private transfers (for up to three people) can be arranged for €120 each way.
Direct Trenitalia services run between Rome and Monopoli; the fastest of them takes around four-and-a-half hours. Once you’ve arrived in Monopoli, it’s a 10-minute taxi journey to the hotel.
You don’t need a car, but coastal villages like Ostuni and Polignano a Mare are well worth seeing, so your own set of wheels will come in handy if you like to take day trips on your own terms. If you want to hire, the Smith24 team can arrange it. There’s free parking at the hotel, too.
Worth getting out of bed for
At La Peschiera, the day starts as we wish they all would, with a tap at the door as your breakfast is brought to the room. From that point on, you can either spend the day alternating between the sea, sand and swimming pools, or try one of the many activities on offer. Wake early to catch an octopus or go deep-sea fishing, then bring your catch along to a cooking class with chef Vito, who’ll show you how to prepare it the Apulian way. The concierge will happily arrange offsite experiences, too. Sip your way through the region’s vineyards or tour its olive groves, cycle to Egnazia, a Roman ruin dating from 4BC, explore the Adriatic on a private yacht or hire a Vespa to zip through the valley of Itria, a tract of rich farmland peppered with historic villages. For a blowout that you’ll remember for years to come, book the panoramic helicopter tour. A chauffeur will whisk you to sister hotel Il Melograno, where your chopper will be waiting. Whether you choose the two or six-hour flight, you’ll have ample time to soar over the fertile valley of Itria and its most picturesque towns, including Cisternino, Locorotondo and Alberobello. Extending to a full-day trip, you can get as far as Gallipoli, stopping for lunch at a restaurant on the coast.
If it’s your first time in the area, don’t miss the chance to stroll round Monopoli, a 10-minute drive up the coast. Highlights include the 16th-century Charles V Castle and the Baroque cathedral. A few miles further north is Polignano a Mare, a clifftop town that looks as if it’s risen from the turquoise bay.
For glorious gelato in a multitude of flavours, stop in at Caffé Roma in Monopoli. Though they may not agree on the best flavour, the number of locals who frequent this town favourite are proof of its authenticity and quality – the cakes and pastries are first-rate too. In Lecce, moodily-lit restaurant Nazionale serves refined mod-Puglian dishes that play with the region’s classic ingredients and cooking methods. For fine dining, you’ll find it hard to top the hotel’s restaurant, but if you do want to have dinner out, try Osteria Il Poeta Contadino, where family-style classics are cooked in an impressive wood-burning oven.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this beachfront hotel in Italy and unpacked their white linen shirts, a full account of their coastal break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside La Peschiera in Puglia…
The best hotels usually have no need for frills or distractions, because the thing that makes them special is plain for all to see. That’s certainly the case at La Peschiera, where all 13 suites are charmingly restrained in style, letting the beauty of the Puglian coast take the lead. The colours of the sea and sky are the most prominent of all, combining with the whitewashed buildings to create a classically Mediterranean colour scheme. Of course, restrained doesn’t mean there isn’t space for indulgence – like the fact that there are as many pools as there are days in the week. There are pools for an icy, invigorating plunge, pools for actual swimming and pools that are best suited to lounging with a cocktail in hand. Then there’s Saleblu, one of the finest seafood restaurants for miles in any direction, where the terrace is lapped by the waves and washed in the smoky orange of the setting sun.
Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel or villa, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in La Peschiera’s Guestbook below.
Perfect location for relaxing. Quiet with good food and wonderful sunsets. Super friendly staff.