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Reviewed October 24, 2018

We stayed at Masseria San Francesco for 5 nights on our honeymoon in June. Let me start by saying that the Masseria is beautiful. The décor is chic and the suites are large with private terraces to enjoy the sun. It is in a lovely location, with stunning grounds and only a short drive from the beach – hiring a car is definitely recommended. The pool is small but still perfectly nice and we highly rated the breakfast (selection of fruits, freshly made bread, stracciatella and homemade cakes, which I think changed daily). As it was our honeymoon, we were keen to make the most of our trip and we emailed the Masseria a couple of months before to ask for local recommendations. They very helpfully provided a big list of restaurants and some options for boat trips and tasting tours.

However, sadly we felt that level of service stopped when we arrived. As there are less than 10 rooms at the Masseria, we assumed a note would have been made against our booking saying it was our honeymoon and we might receive a “congratulations” when we checked in, but this was not acknowledged. We weren’t expecting flowers and wine, but it costs nothing to say congratulations or write a little note for the room and we felt this complete lack of effort was really disappointing for a hotel of this standard.

In addition to this, we had multiple problems with being overcharged for excursions and taxis (which several other reviewers have mentioned). For example, the hotel booked a local olive oil tour for us at a cost of €45 pp. It was great and at the end the tour guide came to take our payment but, to our surprise, revealed the cost was only €25 pp. We checked this with her and then paid, but 5 minutes later she came running out to the car park saying she needed to refund us, as we had to pay the Masseria directly. We were then charged the higher price of €45 pp by the Masseria with no explanation. Just to emphasise, we were happy to pay €45 each if that was the actual price of the tour, but it was not and the Masseria charged us an extra €40 for making the booking, which literally took a 1 minute phone call.

We also booked a boat trip through the hotel which we were told would cost a total of €100 for both of us. We checked with the reception before leaving, as they had given us a couple of different prices, but they assured us this was the cost. We had an amazing boat trip (a real highlight of our time in Puglia) but thought it seemed incredibly cheap for what it was. Sure enough, at the end of the trip the boat guide asked for payment of €300 – three times the price we had been told. Thankfully we had €250 cash with us and said we would run to an ATM to get out another €50, as we felt terrible underpaying because the trip had been so good. But he said it was ok and he would speak to the hotel directly.

The member of staff who booked the trip did approach us the next day and was very apologetic. She reassured us they had paid the guide the extra €50 so he had not lost out. This was great, but they should also have offered to reimburse us for the extra €150 we had paid because of their error or made some attempt to rectify this.

Taxi prices quoted by the hotel are also outrageously high. We were told that the driver would have to wait for us when we went anywhere (?!) which obviously was a much higher cost than booking 2 separate trips. To put this into perspective, we were having a 10 course tasting menu at Angelo Sabatelli’s restaurant (which obviously takes a considerable amount of time) and were told we would have to pay for the driver to wait for us there, as we wouldn’t be able to just book another taxi back for the return trip. We didn’t want to drive as it was a special meal and wanted to be able to enjoy some wine, so we had no choice. Again, all taxis had to be paid through the hotel so we were unsure of what the taxi driver was actually receiving and what was going to the hotel instead.

Sadly overall we would not stay here again, as the service was disappointing. It is such a shame, as it is a really beautiful hotel and it would take very little to improve this.

Date of stay: June 2018
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank sabgwa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 3, 2018 via mobile

The Masseria itself is undoubtedly 5 stars. The rooms, the grounds, the pool, the breakfast - all beautiful. If you don’t experience any problems with your room, you will definitely leave thinking it’s an incredible hotel. If however you need to deal with the staff on anything slightly negative, you will find there is little to none, in terms of customer service, which unfortunately takes away from the experience a little.

The area though is lovely though and it’s so peaceful and relaxing in the Masseria grounds. Breakfast is delicious with the most amazing focaccia we’ve ever eaten.

Date of stay: October 2018
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
3  Thank pecas86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 7, 2018 via mobile

This place is lovely and so pretty. Looks exactly like in the pictures. There are just a couple of issues.
The hotel really only provides breakfast which is clearly communicated when you book. We didn’t think this is a problem but if you don’t want to hang out 24/7 in the hotel you either have to have a car or use one of their absolutely ridiculously overpriced taxis. If you hire a car, the hotel organise everything for you which is great. Or get a taxi to the next town e.g. Fasano or Savelletri which is €40-50 there and back. It’s 3 Miles, an 8 minute journey. I think everyone agrees that is totally overpriced.
But there is no other option unless you want to drive every day.
The atmosphere in the evening in the hotel is dead. You can have a drink but there is not much going on. All the effort is put into breakfast and so you have a violinist on sundays but be prepared to sit on your own if you go for a drink after dinner at the hotel.

Another surprise was when we went to the beach club. The hotel recommends Sabbiadoro and it is by far the best one. You get a 2 loungers & umbrellas from €40 to €60 depending on which package you buy. Since you come from the hotel you get a €5 discount. Given you pay a premium price for the hotel you’d expect to get the beach for free or at least a better deal.

So if you plan on hiring bikes to get to the beach which is €30 for two, get a premium package at the beach and then go for dinner you pay €135 per day for travel and the beach before you’ve even had a drink or eaten.

The service in the hotel is great, their restaurant recommendations are amazing, they book and organise everything for you. The place looks stunning, rooms are really pretty.

The garden is nice even though it seems they prefer mowing the lawn when everyone is having breakfast but then it’s completely quiet afterwards.

And one final thing which most people don’t care about but I want my fellow lizard phobia people to know: If you do not like lizards and geckos, be prepared to see a lot of them! They don’t come in the room but they are everywhere outside. Mainly the ones on the ground, not the geckos that come up the wall. I guess that’s expected I’m Italy...

Date of stay: September 2018
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
1  Thank Anna G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 3, 2017

"

눇We stayed at this Masseria for a week to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. We were immediately struck by the lovely settingamogst the well tended gardens and the olive trees. The welcome was very warm efficient and we were shown to our rooms ahead of the official time. The staff were absolutely brilliant - always friendly efficient and so helpful giving us loads of information about restaurants places to visit snd directions. The huge rooms were perfect combining modern facilities with the traditional building. Our visit was in October so the pool area was quiet and relaxing with temperatures in the mid 20s. We were very pleasantly surprised by being offered a substantial buffet breakfast comprising fresh fruit cold meats and a far too tempting array of home made goodies. Our airport transfers and car hire were arranged for us and our driver for the return trip was a mine of information worthy of a tour guide. We have not hesitation in recommending Masseria San Francesco and must return perhaps trying out the nearby golf course.

Date of stay: October 2017
Thank Mike B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 25, 2017 via mobile

The reviews under 5/5 need to rethink their comments or maybe they have the wrong place. Masseria San Francesco is fantastic and absolutely pristine. The staff were fantastic and the grounds are so beautiful. The room was really spacious and quite. The breakfast is delicious with lots of local products.
The pool looked small in the photos but absolutely perfect.
Thanks for a great stay!

Date of stay: September 2017
2  Thank christophercS2862UX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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