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“I almost didn't want to write about it and keep it a secret”
Review of Basiliani Hotel

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Basiliani Hotel
Ranked #4 of 30 Hotels in Matera
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 25, 2014

So good I didn't want to share this find. Sure, others have already given stellar reviews, but the more people rave about it, the harder it will be to find free rooms. But fair is fair and Basiliani deserves the best ratings. Period. And Matera too. My first visit was 20 years ago. I returned this time with a wife and two young teenagers and I kept asking myself why did I wait so long to come back.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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Thank fkolingen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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63 - 69 of 632 reviews

Reviewed January 3, 2014

My husband and I only stayed one night here but we just loved it. To start with the location is unbeatable! Overlooking a beautiful valley. The room was huge, warm and had all the facilities we needed. Breakfast was great, staff were extremely helpful! We truly enjoyed our stay here and highly recommend it.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank roopinoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 12, 2013

We stayed here as a birthday treat for me - and loved it. Most TA members recommended just 2 or 3 days in Matera, but I wanted to chill out on my birthday rather than dashing from sight to sight (or site to site), and I was fine with a leisurely 8 days! Plenty to see and do. And eat. So that means I had a good while to evaluate the hotel.

The hotel website pictures of each room are fair and accurate - yes it really is that smart - so look closely at all the room options before choosing which one (if you book early enough and direct with the hotel). I had 5 days in mid-level Cave 1 (room ??); a 4-day gap elsewhere in Basilicata, in the mountains; then another three days in ground-level Cave 2 (room ??).

All rooms are spotless. But allow for a bit of breakthrough damp 'mottling' of the pristine white walls. It's a cave ! So it's a bit of a battle against nature. Cave 1 was particularly mottled on the ceiling, and over a recessed 'sink' area - I loved it, and I'm sure the pattern was changing from day to day. The cave was alive. Great. My wife commented that 'this ceiling needs painting' - and no, it's not what you think...

Cave 1 was even more authentic, with a dehumidifier left on all the time. (Remember to change the tank at bedtime or it will sound an alarm if it gets full in the night, and wake you up.) The aircon was fine. Cave 2 was described as 'built', but was still much more cave-y than I expected. It needed no dehumidifier but needed the aircon turning up (to colder) as June warmed up, getting warmer by the day.

All outside areas of the hotel are for all guests to share, but if you sit outside, you do tend to stay near your own room rather than invade someone's 'air space' on another level, so pick a room with its own (but shared) terrace, maybe the higher rooms. Cave 1 shared a mid-level panoramic terrace with 2 others, but we never saw anyone else. Cave 2 was more confined, sharing with 3 others, and the sitting area was not quite as spectacular, and more in shadow, with views not as panoramic. There are a couple of rooms 'down the side' of the hotel, on the left, and these look out onto steps, so maybe avoid those. But they are not deal-breakers as the rooms themselves are so great!

Tourists tend to wander through nearby pathways, as paths are shared, but the tourists aren't 'in your face'. For once, I felt like I was inside looking out, rather than vice versa. as I sat back sipping my ice-cold birra. As the hotel's set out as several clumped-together buildings, there are a couple of non-hotel rooms mingled in with the hotel rooms, but it's not a problem, and the 'true' year-round inhabitants (Materanos?) are fine. The caves are so thick, you'll hear no noise whatsoever, unless you go outside.

Very quiet hotel area, despite a few tourists wandering around during the day. In the evening, it's really quiet - you'll just hear 100s of swallows and see scores of rare local falcons coming out to play. Or is that prey? The swallows didn't seem to worry. (Kestrel sized falcons.)

Don't let ANY of the above put you off this hotel - it's fantastic.

Special mention to Paola and the other staff who really helped when my wife's suitcase went missing at the airport for a week, sending faxes and phoning the airport nearly every day.

Great, super-fresh breakfast with loads of choice - sweet or savoury. (Nothing hot, apart from the coffee, freshly brewed for you as you liked it.)

Free wi-fi worked fine and was not slow. (You might think taking your netbook is boring, but it was an essential when the previously mentioned suitcase went missing, as we could look for daily online updates from the airline NAME DELETED BY ME - TA doesn't like advertising.)

So - highly recommended indeed.

Room Tip: Peruse the website to pick the room. The hotel will also advise by email re suitable rooms, views et...
  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank cheshiredave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 2, 2013

Arriving early evening and in a traffic jam and being totally twisted by the streets in Matera, we parked the car and walked to the hotel. The staff was understanding and welcoming, driving us to our car and then allowing us to follow and placing us in parking where we could leave our car for a few days without worry. The hotel is located in an area away from the main pedestrian traffic but right on the edge of the ravine, quiet and peaceful altho somewhat remote feeling after dark.

We chose Basiliani after MUCH online searching as my travel companion was adamant about staying in a cave hotel. We booked early and selected the largest cave room listed as 70 sq. meters, lofted with beds for 5 to sleep. The room was cavernous (no pun intended), spotlessly clean including the tile floor, painted a stark modern white and outfitted with modern furnishings, including inflated illuminated chairs. Being a cave, there are tradeoffs, such as one sole window above the French doors for light and ventilation altho the room was very well artificially illuminated. I opened the French doors in the morning after we were dressed to bring some additional fresh air into the room. We were there off season and the weather was cool enough at night to not require either AC or heat and the morning air was refreshing. There is some mold visible in the bath which for us was quite beautiful and atmospheric but could be problematic for others.

As is generally the case, so much of any hotel’s appeal is based on the cordiality and friendliness of the staff and Basiliani is top notch in this respect. There’s only a small staff and from our experience, at times one English speaker, but with a modicum of Italian skills, we were able to interact with the staff, get recommendations for restaurants and book tour guides without any problems. The breakfast buffet was above standard and the barista always helpful with yet another cappuccino to satiate our morning need for caffeine post overseas flight. A special thanks to Giuseppe in particular who was always available to lend a hand, advice and a big smile. He even had a brief English language lesson from me in exchange for the many Italian lessons I received from him. Bravissimo!

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank SteveDesign
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 14, 2013

This unique hotel in the Sassi is wonderful value. The superior loft room which slept 4 was huge. The step down bathroom was very modern, spacious and very clean but unfortunately has mold problems. The funishings were very contemporary, my kids loved the chairs that light up! Unfortunately, the room was extremely hot even with all the heaters turned off and we had to sleep with the door open to get some cool air in. The bed frames upstairs in the loft area were very noisy whenever someone turned over....so all in all, not a lot of sleep to be had, albeit a very nice hotel!

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Alienstravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 13, 2013

At first it seemed like a good idea and the reviews sounded nice, but then I arrived. The Sassi area is an old, rocky riverbed 400 feet below with dramatic rock faces. Looks a bit like another planet and if you are a hiker/climber it might be fun. The place is very hard to find as it is not in Matera and the search requires time and a GPS.
The rooms, themselves, are caves which have been whitewashed with stone floors and bathrooms and a window- no screen. Some humidity problems and mosquitos and no ventilation with marginal A/C. No A/C after August. Furniture is funky, looks like Ikea. The interiors show discoloration and staining from moisture-eh.
On the other hand the folks were nice, the breakfast good and Giuseppe will meet you in front of the Church and walk you up to the Caves.
$150 per night.
Isolated from the town and a few small cafes within walking distance.
Not my idea of a fun stop.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Ed G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 9, 2013

The unique thing about his hotel (aside from the rooms which you can view pictures of on the website) is that all rooms are accessible directly from the street such that when you open your door, you’re looking out over the sassi.

Location: The location is directly in the Sassi. It’s about a 10 minute walk to get to the central part of Matera. There are numerous restaurants right by the hotel so you can choose where you want to eat.

Service: The service was fantastic. From assisting us with the parking, to carrying our bags, to taking the time to show us where to visit and where to eat, I have the highest of praise for the service.

Other: The rooms are very large and very clean. Ours was a bit humid but there’s no way to counter that in the sassi on a hot day. The breakfast was good.

Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
Thank smilingcats
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Basiliani Hotel

Address: Rione Casalnuovo 115, 75100, Matera, Italy
Location: Italy > Basilicata > Province of Matera > Matera
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Room Service Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 30 Hotels in Matera
Price Range: $102 - $188 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Basiliani Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The hotel is located in the heart of Sasso Caveoso, Matera. There are eleven large rooms with independent access and all the modern technological comforts. They are partly built and partly caved out of the local tufa stone. They evoke the fascination of the prehistoric caves that you can see from the windows on the opposite Murgia plateau, site of the Archaelogical Park of Rupestrian Churches. ... more   less 
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