Puglia, Italy

Palazzo BN

Price per night from$163.89

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 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (EUR154.92), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Baronial banking HQ

Setting

Baroque star

Palazzo BN, a former bank in southern Italy, is exactly where you should deposit your savings… in exchange for aperitivo hours on the roof, apartment-style suites to (temporarily) call your own and stylish takes on street food. The food court may feel international, but its produce is proudly Italian – and there’s a handy boutique for stockpiling goods for your suitcase. The Thirties building is perfectly placed between Lecce’s newer shopping streets and the baroque beauty’s historic heart, which stars castles, cathedrals, amphitheatres and basilicas. The coast is half an hour away, as is the mediaeval town of Otranto and Gallipoli’s fish market, where you can try Salento’s prize sea urchins.

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Facilities

Photos Palazzo BN facilities

Need to know

Rooms

13 suites.

Check–Out

11am. Earliest check-in, 3pm.

Prices

Double rooms from £162.98 (€189), including tax at 22 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €3.00 per person per night on check-out.

More details

Rates usually include breakfast.

Also

The building’s Fascist façade is a relic of its construction during the 1930s – as are the narrow windows, looming columns, vaulted ceilings, precious marble and huge entrance, too.

At the hotel

Free WiFi throughout, access to a local gym, rooftop garden. In rooms: tea and coffee station, TV, sound system, kitchen and bath products made locally with the region’s olive oil.

Our favourite rooms

Each suite is generous in its square footage and has the kitchen and living space to make you feel like a Lecce local, but the Presidential Suite wins the prize for its expansive terrace, especially handy on those hot summer nights.

Packing tips

A love of all things baroque will be useful in this self-styled ‘Florence of the South’, as will cooling clothing in summer and swimwear for those trips to the coast.

Also

One of the suites has been adapted for disabled guests and the restaurants are accessible for wheelchair users.

Pet‐friendly

Pets are welcome in all of the suites as long as they’re on the diminutive side – a nightly fee will be charged. See more pet-friendly hotels in Puglia.

Children

All ages are welcome and the suites have plenty of space for families. There are rooms with twin beds and some with a second bedroom.

Food and Drink

Photos Palazzo BN food and drink

Top Table

Hidden away on a scarlet seat at Red, or out in the centre of the action.

Dress Code

Fine-dining formal at Red; cool, casual Italian everywhere else.

Hotel restaurant

There’s basically a whole food court spread around the lobby at the hotel, encompassing Ammos, a seafood and fish bar with a counter to take your pick from; Red, serving up fancy takes on classic local cuisine; and Terra Salsamenteria, for Apulian snacks and shopping. The food-court format means you can move freely between all three, ordering different dishes as you go, with only Red sequestered behind an actual door. Breakfast is served in your suite. 

Hotel bar

There are two: Banco, for lively aperitivo hours and art-form snacks, ordered over the old bank’s original marble counter, and Terra, the rooftop garden, where you can enjoy the famous frisa double-baked breads and local wines.

Last orders

Lunch hours are from 12.30pm to 3pm (6pm at Terra Salsamenteria); and dinner is from 7.30pm to 11pm. The bars keep serving until midnight.

Room service

Typical Apulian dishes and Salento’s most-loved snacks can be ordered to your suite, along with salads, main courses and sandwiches.

Location

Photos Palazzo BN location
Address
Palazzo BN
Via XXV Luglio, 13/A
Lecce
73100
Italy

The princely palazzo is in the golden town of Lecce, Puglia’s undisputed baroque beauty queen.

Planes

Brindisi’s airport is closest – the drive should take around half an hour. Hotel transfers start at €90 each way. From Bari, the drive time down Italy’s (effortlessly stylish) heel is just under two hours.

Trains

Lecce’s rail station is a 10-minute drive from the palazzo. Taxis and hotel transfers should cost around €30. Services call in here from all over Italy, including Bari, Pescara and Rome.

Automobiles

You’ll want a set of wheels for exploring the coast and countryside of this remote, rustic part of Italy, which includes – emotionally for all Italians – its southernmost point, Santa Maria di Leuca. There’s no car park at the hotel, but guests can park at a nearby space for a special daily price.

Worth getting out of bed for

The palazzo is between Lecce’s historic centre and its newer quarters, and all the sights are within strolling distance. If you’ve been mainlining Puglia’s famous pasticciotto (which you definitely should’ve been), you can sign up for a class with the pastry chef, so you’ll have the means to recreate the beloved custard-filled baked oval at home. And if you’ve been mainlining everything else that Puglia has to offer, from balls of burrata at breakfast to previously healthy vegetables smothered in scamorza, book in with the trainers and nutritionists at BN Wellness. Italian towns have no shortage of places for aperitivi, but the hotel’s terrazza is a good place to start (between April and September). Learn all about Lecce, from its Iron Age kingdoms to its mediaeval Jewish neighbourhoods, with trips to the Must museum and Museo Ebraico. Or just follow the maze of streets to baroque basilicas, castles, cathedrals and Roman amphitheatres. Nearby towns of note include Otranto, site of the Ancient Greek city of Hydrus, and Gallipoli, of fish-market fame. To cruise the coast, head to Torre dell’Orso (half an hour away by car) and hire a boat or other water vessel (available inflatables include slides, group-size doughnuts and giant armchairs).

Local restaurants

It may be mostly cucina povera (literally ‘poor kitchen’), but the peasants never knew they had it so good – Pugliese cuisine is now revered the world over, especially its fava beans, turnip tops, ear-shaped pasta, raw seafood and burrata. Local osterias where you can enjoy it all include Osteria degli Spiriti, La Bocca and Osteria di Lecce. And you can be sure of a good feed at maternal Cucina di Mamma Elvira, which also has a wine bar.

Local bars

Enjoy some contemporary artworks with your aperitivo at 300 Mila, or spritzes and sashimi at members’ club Mine & Yours, both of which are just off Piazza Mazzini; or have the well-supplied mixologists mix you a martini at Quanto Basta.

Reviews

Photos Palazzo BN reviews

Anonymous review

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 boutique hotel in Puglia and unpacked their beach balls and balls of burrata, a full account of their bucolic break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Palazzo BN in Lecce…

In the Florence of the South you can be sure of some architectural masterpieces, and leche-coloured Lecce doesn’t disappoint. Palazzo BN is an imposing Thirties structure that was once a bank, but the vaults and solemn clerks have been swapped out for buzzy food courts and brilliant staff. There are 13 suites, each of which has a living area and kitchen (so you can basically move in), along with a rooftop terrace for Salento sunsets, three restaurants set around the dazzling marble lobby and a gym for burning off all that burrata.

The Pugliese city is unofficially known as the Baroque Lady, and her maze of streets winds to assorted, ornately adorned buildings. After a few days exploring some of the high points of Italy’s construction industry, guests can visit coastal towns such as Gallipoli or Otranto, hire boats in which to cruise the coast and head down to the mainland’s southernmost point, Santa Maria di Leuca.

Price per night from $163.89

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