The hilltop town of Selva di Fasano, just minutes from the valley of the prestigious resorts, is home to a charming hideout for travelers seeking a bit of nature and privacy with the perks of luxury hospitality
In the midst of editing the 2021 edition and in the rush to complete the publication as the world begins to open up again and the doors of Puglia are polished to welcome visitors, I decided this would be the right moment to find a quiet space to work. Something led me to the hillside town of the Selva di Fasano, a renowned holiday destination among locals from Fasano who used to close their homes down the valley and head up to the hills for a summer of fresh air, lots of space, and Italian villa life – all in all, a 20-minute drive – perfect.
My eyes searched for a majestic gate and within minutes, there it was. Behind an elegant entrance stands a blue and orange-toned palazzo lit up just after sunset, surrounded by cypress trees and wildflowers. This must be the place, and it is called Il Borgo dei Lecci.
Upon arrival in the late afternoon, a young staff member helps me with my bag as we walk through perfectly manicured gardens and botanical plants stretching up from the ground to meet the afternoon sun. Checking in is a breeze, complete with the friendly smiles of the staff, led by a very experienced hospitality director, Emilio, who brings years of experience working with luxury hoteliers. To look around and see that most of the work was done under lockdown is astounding and illustrative of what we are capable of achieving regardless of external circumstances.
Room to Dream
The design is just right, elegant, and refined without overtaking the beauty of the surroundings and the character of each room. Each room has its own color theme with complimentary design accents from Apulian creatives. The lighting fixtures are particularly beautiful, adding the right moment to every environment and according to the room type. Textiles are exemplary, hand-made by local artisans, and bed linens promise a wonderful night’s sleep. In fact, I had a hard time deciding between pool time and bedtime; the combination of style, comfort, and silence was really tempting. In-room comforts include plush robes and fresh towels, toiletries, television, in-room WiFi, and a minibar. Travelers who are sensitive to light will appreciate the shutters that block out all light. Some of the rooms have an extra bed, including separate spaces, accommodating couples with one child (curated baby cots are available, too). Outside each room and suite is a patio with outdoor seating so you can bask in the sun, read a book, or enjoy an afternoon cocktail while the sunsets. Time simply stands still, and that’s a luxury as we slowly ease out of a challenging period.
Facilities include the swimming pool, hydromassage pool, and a semi-open-air Technogym – while it is essentially indoors, the full-size windows can be opened and overlook the beautiful gardens.
Service Concept: Ask and Thy Shall Receive
The hotel offers all-day pool service, starting from breakfast in the courtyard (internal seating available) after which lunch by the pool is always a great idea. Menus are placed in the room to give you the chance to change your mind about other plans and just chill – not a bad idea when in holiday mode. On my first night, I opted to stay in-house and enjoy dinner in the open-air dining space. Decked with hanging tealights, dishware by the celebrated Franco Fasano, and ambient music,
I was immersed in Apulian cuisine that showcased regional products and local seafood with international accents, evident in the serving style, accompanying sauces, and delicate spices. Service is of high standing with English speaking staff, and well-trained waiters that are highly informed about wine and pairings. There is great complicity between the teams and you can feel it in the way they deliver, communicate and serve. In between courses, I have the chance to engage with fellow travelers and discover holiday-goers from The Netherlands and the U.K., and in moments we are all connected, thanks to the spacious yet intimate set-up. Breakfast offers just the right amount of everything you need, with specials made on request and with a smile. Fresh juices, coffee, croissants and pastries, marmalades and honey, fresh bread, and sliced fruit are nicely presented and served to guests.
Starting Point to Explore Puglia
From here you can explore the nearby towns of the Itria Valley such as Cisternino, Locorotondo, Ostuni, Martina Franca, Putignano, and much more. Since Il Borgo is located in the countryside, the drive is equally majestic so expect to stop for plenty of photos and take a moment to admire the peaceful expanse of land. By night, the Selva di Fasano has a pedestrian promenade with bars and cafes and is coming back to life after about 15 years of shadow mode, yet it’s easy to reach the coastal towns nearby (Savelletri, Torre Cane, Monopoli) for nightlife and explore historic villages all around.
Book Il Borgo dei Lecci
Use VIALECCI for extra perks and late check-out specials.