After my lovely stay at Masseria Torre Coccaro, I decide to see some of the beautiful surroundings before checking into Coccaro’s sister hotel Masseria Torre Maizza. The sea is less than a mile away and in the nearest fishing village, Savelletri, the fish is fresher than fresh and the fishermen will allow you to taste their local specialty: freshly caught sea urchins! But Monopoly and Polignao a Mare are also close by and worth a visit. Further inland, you’ll have a variety options; beautiful old cities such as Ostuni, Martina Franca, Ceglie Messapica, Locratonda, Cisternino…… you’ll be able to spend whole days wandering around historical places. And naturally, the trulli homes, so typical for Puglia with their conical roofs, determine the landscape here as well.….an absolute highlight is Alberobello – a city of trulli that was made a UNESCO world heritage site. I must confess though, that the busloads of tourists made me turn around as soon as I got here…..Not really Local Hideaways’ style.

After having spent a lovely day touring around, it was time for me to head back to my sleeping place for the night: Masseria Torre Maizza. Again, this is an old Masseria – estate – that was completely renovated. Contrary to its sister hotel Torre Caccaro, a more modern design was chosen here. There are 28 rooms, all sleek and modern and ranging from double superior rooms to ultra-luxurious suites that are both spacious and have their own terrace or garden. The largest one even has a private swimming pool. The suite I’m staying in comes with a comfortable bed, a sitting area with fire place and a spacious bathroom with hydro massage bath. Whitewashed walls are covered in beautiful bougainvillea and such quietude prevails here! A private golf course, full of ancient olive groves and with a wonderful view of the Adriatic Sea, surrounds the Masseria. A large heated swimming pool is lovely when the weather is nice. Or you can take one of the complimentary bikes and see some of the sights. A shuttlebus will take you to the hotel’s private and trendy Coccaro Beach Club in no time. Lounging is the device here, something that you will be able to do perfectly in one of the ‘Ibiza-style’ sun loungers. The same bus can also take you to sister hotel Masseria Torre Coccaro, where you are free to make use of all the facilities as well. There is an Aveda Spa at Masseria Torre Maizza as well. Even though it is smaller than the one next door,  it is very intimate and offers a wide variety of treatments.

At the end of the day I settle on the roof terrace on top of the old watch tower to enjoy the sunset ….magical. Time to change for dinner at Ristorante delle Palme. In the old days, cattle used to graze here, but now it is an elegant restaurant that serves local and traditional dishes with a modern twist. The chef mainly uses ingredients grown on the restaurant’s own organic farm and only serves seasonal food. A group of waiters escort me to my table and advise me about all the delicacies on the menu. Personally, I prefer a less formal setting to these kowtowing waiters, but on the other hand, this way the restaurant distinguishes itself from Torre Coccaro, where everything is more relaxed. However, the food is lovely and, owing to the chef’s creativity, very original. I am in for a lovely evening of sophisticated dining, with a crackling fireplace in the background. Breakfast is once more wonderful and varied…..everything home-made!

After a refreshing night’s sleep, it is time for me to take stock of things. Masseria Torre Maizza is a bit more grand than Torre Coccaro. The latter is, consequently, more suitable for families travelling with children. Personally, I preferred the modern design at Maizza. Both are high standard hotels that will allow you to relax and unwind completely; a place where you can forget about your busy (working) life for a while and recharge your battery. In addition, they are the perfect base from which to discover the gorgeous Puglia region. And should you, by any chance, be looking for a special wedding location, you’ll have found it here. With two Masserias and a beach club, you’ll have plenty of options. In short, I can’t make up my mind…..perhaps a combination of both would be best?!

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