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“Never sleep in a cave before?”

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Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita
Ranked #1 of 30 Hotels in Matera
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 20, 2013

I can't imagine what it cost to rehab a cave since electricity, water, sewage, heat and ventilation weren't part of the original package. Don't bring heavy luggage (we made that mistake for you) since you hike up a bunch of steps. In terms of having an original experience, this is the real deal. Our cave room was huge (three distinct rooms) with many niches, carve-outs and interesting twists and turns but without a window which was very unique and probably more authentic for troglodyte-types. The bed was very comfortable. The cave was a bit humid though the temperature itself was fine. We highly recommend this property for the adventurous sort who might otherwise stay in one of the fine but conventional luxury hotels in Matera.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Bfretz55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 19, 2013

Staying in this unique boutique hotel is an unforgettable and humbling experience. The design of the hotel's dazzling and mystical public spaces and rooms is only intensified by the realization of being in the actual home of some of Italy's earliest inhabitants. Great experience for couples and families with children. Some practical comments:

Great: Breakfast is delicious and mostly homemade (go early for most choice). Delicious cheeses, savory pastries, fruits, sweets. Rooms are meticulously clean. We loved the shower and bath which make you feel you are outside. Comfortable beds. Great wifi (awesome actually). Great wine and snacks.

Not so great: Complete lack of comfortable seating (we get it, in line with genuine design, comfort was kept at minimum). In fact, there is no couch or comfortable seating in the entire hotel (maybe that is why staff does not seem thrilled? They too use hard, upright, old fashioned chairs). I would therefore not recommend for older couples (over 65), people with difficulties walking, back problems. Except for those of you design-over-comfort types. Men at front desk are lovely, maybe not at the professional level of the prices of the rooms in this hotel, but still. Others made us feel like we had entered high end designer store and owned the place, showing no interest in their guests.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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4  Thank joiedevivreNY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 19, 2013

If you care about comfort, this is not the place for you.
If you love history and want to stay in a unique and interesting place, like a monastery from the 13th century, this is the place for you.
I got the smallest room and I loved it.
I used candles when I wanted to improve the lighting in the room and used a carafe to pour water on me in the bathtub.
Floors are uneven. There's no TV.
But...
The room is beautiful. It's nicely decorated.
They have fruits and water for you for free laid out on the table when you come in.
There's heating and AC.
The bed is extremely comfortable. And the room was very quiet.
Amazing experience.
Already sent some family members there because it's a great place. You can always stay in a normal hotel with TV and mini-fridge. But this experience of beauty, history and calmness is unbelievable and not to miss at all.
Breakfast has salty and sweet stuff. Could be more diverse.
The people at the reception are unbelievable kind and care about your well being and what they do in there: protect a patrimony.

If I ever go back to Matera I will definitely stay here again..

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank nancyscuba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 18, 2013

A 2-night stay in Matera is enough for us. Spend your nights at the incredible restored Caves Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita. The rooms are very modern in this ancient cave. After a friendly welcome you also get a brief history of the restorations. The giant key to your room makes everything even more special. The breakfast was amazing, pizza, three types mozzarala, riccota, fruit, bread, all kinds of sweets, ... everything is served in the main cave.
pleasant for us, the night keeper speaks perfect Dutch.
the nights are not cheap but if you know to appriciate culture is definitely worth

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Luc L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 9, 2013

We stayed here for my big birthday weekend in January. The inside looks as amazing as the photos you see.

If you love the natural simplicity, rustic and with a slight modern tough, this is for you!

I noticed when I walked in was a beautiful Lemongrass essential oil smell - what a nice touch! The bedroom was lit up with some candles, and is so spacious with a giant and comfortable iron bed with nice white crisp linen. Air condition (heating) and the underfloor heating kept us warm (lovely walking around in bare feet on the old stone floor).

Into the bathroom, there is an anciant giant door and is the only divider between the bedroom and toilet/bath room. You can hear everything - ie: my partner weeing. It's not a problem for some but it was quite a challenge for No.2 - we were make sure one of us are still having coffee in the breakfast room.

Lovely breakfast in an amazing wobbly-floored ancient chape, there was a huge feat of local cheese, fruits & salad and delicious bread and pastries).

Staff are very warm and attentive, and so friendly and helpful.

We stayed 3 nights, but could have done 4 nights if the money no object. Because the room was very comfortable and relaxing, we didn't want to rush out checking the old Sassi. Wifi throuhg out but no TV - which would've been an annoying electrical equipment killing the spirit of the calm room.

Location-wise, restaurants / bars / shops are all walking distance. You'll get to understand the routes pretty quickly as sassi is very small.
We could've walk to the bus station, but got a cab as we were rushing around 8 euros.

The hotel says they can arrange a trekking trip, but we just decided to go ourselves. Right next to the main car park on the same road as the hotel, there is a steep path (kind of blocked by a metal bar, just go over) heading down to the river. You can start trekking to the other side of the We also spent 1 day of trekking (did 4-5 peaks) without any proper gears (just a pair of brogues!).

Both the landscape, old city and the hotel are extremely romantic.

I recommend to go there in winter as it worked out extremely cheap and more romantic.

Room Tip: Room 19 has a view of canyon from the window, and the private small outdoor area. Phillip Stark bath...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank egg_coddler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 6, 2013

If I could give 5 stars for location and room and three for hotel service (except for the lovely man on night duty) I would, but on TA, you can't.

The location and caves are beautiful and wonderfully restored. The view over the rugged hills and prehistoric caves is stunning. The town is dramatic and a delight to explore. This is my 12th visit to Italy, and I've not experienced anything quite like this. Rooms at the hotel are minimalist and basic. They are clean, comfortable and rustic. Up-cycled furniture from original furnishings are suitable and reflect the historic style of living. The room's nooks and undulating floor are what you might expect in cave, but by contrast, and not out of place, a luxury bath is situated in the centre (of our room, they are all different) whilst candle lighting add to the ambience. It's a great place to return to at the end of a day spent exploring.

Don't expect luxury items usually associated with hotels in this price bracket, no fluffy dressing gowns, slippers etc., and bath items are very minimal. Hand made soap, and two bottles of liquid, one labeled shampoo, the other soap. They looked and smelt suspiciously the same, and I found the shampoo impossible to use for washing hair. Fruit was provided on arrival, but hospitality ends there. There is no information about food or drinks, but we asked for tea and that was provided (by a very helpful and accommodating lone night staff). It's not till you check out that you find out that tea for two will set you back €7! Ouch.

When finding out information, the day staff were polite, but not particularly warm or overly helpful. I read on this site things about breakfast being amazing which wasn't really my experience on this occasion. It was just Italian, simple, basic and minimal. Regarding advice on what to do and where to go, my advice would be to do your own research.

A word of caution about the hotel and the area -I would think anyone not steady on their feet, or pregnant would be advised to take great care. The floors and stairs, of which there are many, are of course very old, uneven and slippy.

Go for the experience, the town, the art (contemporary and historical) the culture, the music, and try to speak as much Italian as you can. It opens more doors for you.

Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
2  Thank tw0h00ts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 31, 2013

Had a great stay at this unique and special hotel in Matera, but I was a bit disappointed. After having read all the recommendations here on Tripadvisor, I expected more. I stayed in cave 13, the big suite. It was great. Was moved to cave 10 the second night to accommodate for a family, which was ok. Cave 10 I would not recommend! There are pigeons sitting on the other side of the walls, and they come and go (fly) all day, also night. There is a small window in the bedroom, which they could consider blinding, as you can see the car lights from passing cars all night, when dark. A noiser room than cave 13 that's for sure. I had problems with the cave lighting, especially bathrooms and mirrors. Could be better. Breakfast is very local, and there is not much to choose from. Service is very good at the hotel. The staff is very nice, and the guided tour was really good, and can be recommended :-) The thing that I will remember is the breathtaking views over the ravine. Go to Matera, definitely! Go to Matera before it is overrun by tourists!

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank MinistryOfTravel
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
Phone Number:
Location: Italy > Basilicata > Province of Matera > Matera
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Room Service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Matera
#1 Romantic Hotel in Matera
#9 Business Hotel in Matera
Price Range: $174 - $779 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita 4*
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita in the Sassi di Matera - UNESCO World Heritage Site in Basilicata region - is the most extreme expression of a Historical Minor Heritage. A heritage, which represents the almost paradigmatic expression of this Minor History, marked by rocky caves, inhabited until the first years of the fifties. The sassi (stone settlement) have been turned into 18 romantic boutique bedrooms, simply furnished, candlelit and calming. Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita is a cultural project born to bring hospitality experience outside the schematics, not classifiable as "stars" and far from any traditional concept of luxury, so much so that the New York Times deemed it one of “the most extraordinary destinations in the world”, the Times “one of the ten most beautiful hotels on the international scene” and the Tatler guide of Condé Nast has included among “the one hundred most beautiful hotels on the planet”. They talk about the luxury of emotions. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sextantio Civita Caves Hotel Matera

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