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“A trip back in time - well almost.”

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Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita
Ranked #1 of 30 Hotels in Matera
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 2, 2014

Perched on a hillside overlooking the gorge in Matera this 'blink and you miss it' hotel is so well blended into the town that the english couple we overheard being 'talked in' by the hotel receptionist on a road trip from Rome would never have found it - indeed it was past 11 o'clock at night before they finally made it over two hours late.

In fact that is part of the problem - Matera - stunning and photogenic in the old centre is notorious for it's convoluted one way systems strangulated by the three prongs of the gorge is a difficult place to negotiate your way into by car - hence our great friends, with whom we shared the experience of this wonderful hotel had, on a previous occasion, encountered the scooter guides who offer to lead you to your hotel, but actually take you to a dead end street and demand for more money.

The receptionist was so concerned to get his charges safely in to the hotel he at one point charged up the road a good half mile with his desk phone together with it's base unit chattering away to the driver to the amusement of locals and tourists looking for the telephone cable (it was a hotel desk mobile phone we found out later)

The rooms have been restored with great sympathy, underfloor heating and lights are unobtrusive but you are left in no doubt you are staying in a cave - it is a very romantic setting with candles and atmospheric gloominess together with WiFi, Air Conditioning massive baths and old wooden byres hiding radiators. The huge medieval dining room which was a monastery is used for breakfast and dining which is equally atmospheric.

To stay here is to step back safely and comfortably in time and wake up in the huge bed thinking you are in a medieval setting. A great experience - it would be great to go back in the winter and have roaring fires to complete the scene but with underfloor heating I wonder if that would happen…

Room Tip: Do not expect modern conveniences and those you do find will be a bonus - opt out and chill out.
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  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank M1keB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 29, 2014 via mobile

We were met by a wonderful porter, Aman, when we arrived - a refugee from Afghanistan. We were immediately impressed with the owners for employing such a decent bloke.
An upgrade followed our introductions and we were amazed by the double cave suite.
The candle lighting was amazing but a little bit dim for reading. No problem, the staff bought a couple of reading lights. The best shower we have seen in Italy and a beautiful bath too.
This is a unique place to visit but our strong advice is to stay for only one or two nights.
Any longer and you get a little stir crazy living in the caves.
Best also to read up on the fascinating story of Matera and the Sassi before you come.
Also - the modern Matera above the Sassi is a nice place to visit with its main street churches and piazzas.
A suggestion for management - a couple of umbrellas or shade cloth for guests to lounge under in the main area would be good.

Stayed: June 2014, traveled as a couple
3  Thank Sharkos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 28, 2014

Most of the family kinda looked at us crosseyed when we told them we were going to stay in a cave. It was awesome though. One of the more unique and neat places to stay, we loved wandering around the city, nearby restaurants were easily accessible and really pretty good (although that raw shaved ham thingy, I think it was called prosciutto or something like that, ick, that is so not our thing, others loved it but pass on that unless you know what you are getting). The staff was great. The breakfast was more than could be asked for. But for us the best part is the miles of hiking trails right across the valley. If your outdoorsy and like to hike and climb it is great. We spent atleast three hours a day out there exploring.

Our one and only gripe. The rooms are dark. Now don't get me wrong, the candle light and recessed lighting are very romantic looking and beautiful. But I would love the option of turning on some bright light in the bathroom when you need to shave (ended up doing it outside) or when my wife did makeup for a fancy night out. Don't change the lighting, the dark mood lighting really is cool and fits well with the place, but every now and again it would be nice to be able to clearly see what you are doing.

We will be going back

Room Tip: We have only been there once so don't have anything to compare. Our room was great though and I...
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank David H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 25, 2014

It's not really possible to apply the usual criteria to an assessment of this hotel. The cave rooms are all different and as we were with a group we saw most of them. All except one had a large bath, as you can see in others photos. Stand up showers were less common. One, occupied by a single gentleman was comparatively very small and one was very large with two bedrooms a fridge (the only one) and a heap of extra space. Ours was mid range in size, but large, and had a shower albeit at the very back of the cave in a dark alcove. Extra candles were available. All had access to balcony or terrace areas, some private. Mosquitos were an issue for some. The staff were excellent, the breakfast buffet comprehensive and there were good restaurants close by. Some access to rooms required a degree of "mountain goat" capability but even some less mobile in our group had no real problems. There does tend to be some dust on the somewhat irregular floors, as you would expect in a cave. It reminded us of "glamping" in the Kimberley, where you stay in luxury tents. I can't think of a word for glamorous cave accommodation? All in all a great experience but I doubt I would return having done it once.

Room Tip: Probably specify your needs if a shower is important. Some rooms are more accessible than others.
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  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank GKSWanderlust
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 22, 2014

"You are staying in a cave", the staff said when I was complaining about the humid, cellar like air in my "room" (number 10). The staff was very helpful and let us change into a drier cave. Still, even though this hotel is rated the highest in matera at the moment, be prepared for something radically different than you would expect when staying at any other hotel. This is good and fun, but one or two nights is about the maximum one should stay. Make sure to book a tour of the city, helps a lot with appreciating and exploring the city's historical sites.

Stayed: June 2014, traveled as a couple
3  Thank Martin A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 22, 2014

My husband and I, along with our two adult children, spent one night in Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita. The staff was humble and conscientious and they clearly are dedicated to their mission of authenticity and environmental stability. The room temperature was good and the rooms were quiet. The lighting was meant to be kept low which created a serene atmosphere. The freestanding bathtub was an experience I will never forget. Walking on the uneven stone floor was a challenge, so slow and attentive is the way to go. Plenty of outlets and good Wi-Fi. Breakfast in their rock-hewn 13th century church was yet another unforgettable experience. I spent well over an hour sitting in the church enjoying the incredible spread of food and listening to lovely vocal music. This is an experience worth having and it is a great way to support the effort to restore and celebrate the Sassi.

Room Tip: Room 21 is fantastic!
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  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled with family
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1  Thank Terri21701
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 19, 2014

Marvellous hotel.,The entire place built in caves.All facilities available,
including wifi.Think on the TV series Fred Flintstone , Very unusual concept.
Great views. Lot of walking up and down steps.Many cobblestones within
the hotel area. Floors uneven to keep the character of the caves.
Bed very comfortable fairly high off the ground.Bathrooms differ, some have baths and shower others only baths.
Breakfast excellent. Staff young and helpul.Would recommend staying here for the experience if travelling in this area.

Room Tip: All rooms different, but all have similar facilities.
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  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank Glamourous056
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 Romantic Hotel in Matera
#1 Family Hotel in Matera
#1 Luxury Hotel in Matera
#9 Business Hotel in Matera
Price Range: $174 - $647 (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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