The Vibe: Intimately, ultimately stylish.
The Area: Located in a secluded courtyard within a lattice of stone-paved streets and alleys in the heart of the historic centre – an area pleasantly free of traffic. It’s a short stroll to the city’s main tourist sights: the extravagantly embellished Basilica of Santa Croce, the Duomo, and Piazza Sant’Oronzo, with its ancient Roman amphitheatre; cafés, bars, restaurants and boutique shops are all on your doorstep.
The DNA: Antonia Filali and her brother Giacomo-Fouad were clearly so taken by the experience of opening their first boutique hotel La Fiermontina in Lecce, they have debuted a second in the ancient Puglia town: Palazzo Bozzi Corso. Wisely, French studio Laboratoire Design Rabat have worked light touches on the aristocratic bones of the 1775 baroque palazzo to carve out ten large suites, whose original high ceilings and light-filled volumes are contrasted by long creamy drapes, Le Corbusier Escargots lamps, and classic furniture by Gio Ponti and Ettore Sottsass. What is unexpected, though, is the colour palette of plum, teal and green which creates a dramatic backdrop for the owners’ tastefully curated art and sculpture collection – the latter a stylish teaser for their family’s modern art museum, nearby. In this part of Italy, there is no shortage of diversions, not least a day’s cruise on the Adriatic, a picnic in an oak orchard on the Byzantine Road, or, a post-nap lap at the rooftop pool. Chef Maria Carla Pennetta, meanwhile, tempts with a cucina povera menu based on her family’s recipes – think, stuffed eggplants grilled with mink, alongside farm-fresh caciocavallo and cacioricotta cheeses.
Suite-Me-Up: The splendid suites marry Classical and Belle Époque architectural features with 20th-century art and contemporary design pieces. Each one is individually styled, and painted in striking colours. The sybaritic Wellness Suites have fabulous spa-like bathrooms, with double hydro-massage showers, free-standing bathtubs or private saunas; one of the most impressive is the ‘sugar-paper blue’ suite, its swirling stucco walls decked with magnificent paintings.
✅ free Wi-Fi • size matters: 10 rooms & suites (30-80m2) (325-860 sq ft) • hotel opened: 2018 • interior design: Labaratoire Design ✅ free parking nearby • no pets allowed