Apparently, Puglia (or Apulia) is the new Tuscany. The fashioniable set are heading south and are, we're told, snapping up beautiful historical properties in this region of Italy. If you're not quite ready to take the plunge and invest in a trullo (a fantastic conical white-washed cottage), book yourself a week at La Sommità Relais Culti in the beautiful white city of Ostuni. This converted 16th-century palazzo is a wonderful blend of ancient and modern, and has the advantage of being very intimate too.
La Sommità has only ten rooms, three of which are suites, and all are under gorgeous vaulted ceilings. The interiors of this former palace are whitewashed stone, accentuated by soft lighting and complemented by elegant contemporary furniture.
The designer of La Sommità, Alessandro Agrati, is the design mastermind behind Culti, the contemporary Italian lifestyle brand which combines fashion, perfume, food and interiors. Culti has taken the country by storm – albeit a very subtle, understated storm. The brand, like the hotel, aims to stimulate all the senses and calm the mind. (Other Culti designs include the Habits Culti day spa in Milan and the Culti Spacafe Napoli.)
The hotel's other amenities include private balconies, a subterranean wine bar, a spa and a restaurant, which spills out into a walled Spanish garden draped in orange blossom and olive trees. It sounds positively idyllic. RM