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“Unique experience in a wonderful town” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita

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Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Via Civita 28, 75100 Matera, Italy   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 29 Hotels in Matera
San Diego, California
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Unique experience in a wonderful town”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2013

We arrived at Sextantio after almost 24h of travel from California, including a 1.5 hour car drive from the Brindisi Airport. The staff were overwhelmingly friendly and welcoming, and provided us with a complementary room upgrade (Room 13 - our lucky number!). The room/cave details are incomparable - elegant without being ostentatious. The entire property is warm, inviting, and romantic. The breakfast was decadent - so many options and choices for just about any palate. We appreciated the English-speaking staff, who provided us with maps of the town and suggestions for food and places to go.

Sextantio is a true complement to the town of Matera - living in the cave, and then seeing the sassi in the town, you had a perspective of what life might have been like without the comforts of a heated floor, running water, and electricity. What Sextantio is doing, both in Matera and in their other property - treasuring and restoring parts of Italy's history - is commendable. We were honored to be part of it!

Room Tip: Room 13 was amazing - a suite with a separate tub room, sink/toilet room, bedroom, and sitting area.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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623 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (62)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
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  • Spanish first
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English first
Toronto, Canada
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2013

Walking through the Sassi di Matera you get the sense that you are stepping through millenniums of civilizations. What you see when you look at the Sassi (meaning stones) are cream coloured stones layered on top of each other in a way that at first seems confusing and uncoordinated. As you enter the Sassi you see that there is almost rhythmical composition of the cream stones - there is a feeling of symmetry and harmony. This is the backdrop for the Sextantio Le Grotte della Cevita Hotel which is built in the ancient caves formed in the calcareous rock and date back to the Palaeolithic period and has been inhabited ever since, making the city one of the oldest in the world.

From the moment you walk up the ancient steps from the periphery Sassi canyon road to the Sextantio Hotel you feel you are entering one of the Wonders of the World. A small and unobtrusive sign directs you to the reception, which is in a cave where the most pleasant and gracious staff greet you. We were told that they had reserved a "special" cave for us and we would have a short wait. They assured us that the wait was well worth it. To further entice us, they offered some local vino and cheeses and freshly made focaccia in their spectacular eating area - a large cave which was formerly a cathedral. In a very short time, my husband and I were pleasantly intoxicated on the vino, the burrata and the breathtaking surroundings. It was not long after when a beautiful woman, Roberta, the manager of Sextantio, came to greet us. She was so happy that we arrived safely and that we were enjoying our first moments in the Sassi. Once we finished our vino, Roberta took us to our (suite) cave. We had no idea when we walked up the steps to the threshold of our cave that we were going to enter a world like no other. Our mouths dropped when we first walked into the sitting and eating area. A narrow table with lovely white earthy organic linens awaited us with a bowl of fresh fruit and a large pitcher of water. Then Roberta showed us the separate toiletry and bathing areas. This was not to be believed! The real pièce de résistance awaited us in the separate bedroom - a king size bed with gorgeous fresh white linens and a small balcony overlooking the canyon. Please understand, that all the separate space that had been carved out was existing - that there was nothing done to change or interfere with the original integrity of the cave. Roberta spent a great deal of time showing us how much care was taken to preserve the natural setting. Although there was some electricity in the cave most of the lighting was accomplished by large candles.

Roberta and her staff were very helpful in planning our day excursions and evening culinary adventures. They selected restos which were typical of the region, relying on local fare, and were within walking distance from the hotel. The two restos that we loved were: Osteria Pico and Le Botteghe,

My husband and I consider ourselves intrepid travellers. Both of The Sassi de Matera and the Sextantio Le Grotte della Cevita, stand out as one of the most incredible places and hotels we have ever experienced.

Room Tip: We stayed in the Suite Cave. It was incredible!
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zürich, CH
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2013

What an amazing experience!! While appearing completely authentic the caves were equipped with all comforts (floor heating, modern bath room, indirect lighting). Truly a place you will never forget. Staff could be a bit more helpful with recommendations (restaurants, places to visit, etc.), breakfast did not completely live up to our expectations (super busy, almost not enough food)

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Treviso, Italy
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2013

We're a family of four and shared room #8. The location is very close to all major attractions and for visiting both sides of the old town.
The hotel is not simply a hotel. It is really a very special experiance. It's a place where trying the emotion of living in a real cave.
In addition stafff is very kind and helpful.
And finally morning breakfast is just unique!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
High Wycombe, United Kingdom
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2013

I took my partner here as a suprise for his 30th birthday and it really was an outstanding place. The caves have a really romantic atmosphere due to being lit mainly by candlelight (although a nightmare to do your make-up!) and the whole experience was very relaxing! The staff are brilliant, very helpful and friendly. Would definitely recommend!

Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Louis, Missouri
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2013

My girlfriend and I decided to splurge on a mini vacation to Matera, 3 days which is a perfect amount of time to spend there. This hotel looked great in pictures and did NOT disappoint. Yes, hard to find! the government won't let them add directional signs, and really they are right, it keeps this museum/city as authentic as it can be. We got bumped up to room 19, a drop dead gorgeous room. The decor here is rustic/monastic/restrained. Not a drop of extra decor except what will give you a sense of living here in spartan style, but in this case, with drop dead beautiful mod cons: lovely lovely bathroom fixtures, very modern and simple and then the drama of a big white pod bathtub set down in the room. No expense has been spared to recreate a rustic experience with each room holding a few big country benches or chests, hand woven linens, and recreated handblown glass in all the windows and doors. Our mattress was O SO comfortable! it must have been about 16" deep, lovely linens, wonderful muted colors, candles throughout and hidden lighting. FAB breakfast buffet! local cheese specialities, such as mozzarella braids, bur rata fresh ricotta, crostatas, fruit salad, sweet breads, or order eggs: coffee any way you want it. I would only recommend that you really study exactly how to arrive! Staff is suer friendly. Great destination for a honeymoon! Good wifi and quiet make this a true retreat.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Top Contributor
88 reviews 88 reviews
49 hotel reviews
Reviews in 52 cities Reviews in 52 cities
71 helpful votes 71 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2013

Staying at Sextantio Le Grotte is worth every moment of the difficulty in finding it. Our cave room was stunningly beautiful and romantic, lit by candles, with an enormous bathtub in the bedroom that looked out onto views of the Sassi. The staff (special mention to Roberta, Michele, Marco and Aman) is delightful and helpful; the breakfast room and the buffet it offered is beyond compare, also candlelit, with soft classical music enhancing the ambience. We recommend setting up a 3 hour tour through the hotel -- there are layers of history to uncover in the Sassi, and our guide, Angela, made it all easy to understand. It should be noted that there are lots of stone steps to navigate in order to get to the Duomo and the charming village square beyond it but here again, it's worth the effort. I would inlcude this hotel as one of my favorites in the world. What an extraordinary and memorable experience!!

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita

Address: Via Civita 28, 75100 Matera, Italy
Location: Italy > Basilicata > Province of Matera > Matera
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites
Hotel Style:
#2 Luxury Hotel in Matera
#2 Family Hotel in Matera
#2 Romantic Hotel in Matera
#5 Business Hotel in Matera
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita 4*
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Matera can be found in the south of Italy and is world famous because of its Sassi quarters, a stunning and well preserved example of a village where hundreds of caves were turned into dwellings, churches and palaces. A UNESCO World Heritage site since 1993, the Sassi represent a unique hamlet throughout Italy: the earliest inhabitants date back to the stone and bronze age, in the middle ages it boasted several monastic communities and later became a vibrant farming centre, owing to the rich harvests from the surrounding hills and plains. The Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita project is placed in the oldest part of the Sassi quarters, the CIVITA, facing the spectacular Murgia park and its rock-hewn churches. It comprises 18 rooms (some of them exceeding 160m²) and an ancient church, the "Cripta della Civita," now used as a common area, all renovated to retain their original features. The Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita project is situated in the historical heart of Matera. The 18 caves have been renovated in full respect of the local heritage. Each cave reveals the original shape and materials. The interior design, the respectful and minimalistic approach of Sextantio is reflected in the plain furniture elements. The guests will experience a particular atmosphere evoking the cultural and human history of the Sassi of Matera. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sextantio Civita Caves Hotel Matera

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