Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita is an intriguing dwelling of unique charm that offers its guests an unforgettable experience that is nothing like staying in a traditional hotel. Cut into the volcanic tufa rock of the Matera hillside and restored with utmost respect for local traditions, these 9,000-year-old cave homes are serenity incarnate. What separates this hotel from merely sleeping in a cave is a certain dedication to luxury, although a very personal and minimalist version of it that is solidly in the Sextantio tradition of architectural preservation.
Eighteen guestrooms and Suites are spread over 18 different caves on three levels, with the common area and breakfast room installed in a 13th century rupestrian church beside the hotel. Facing the dramatic backdrop of the Park of the Murgia and its gorgeous rock-hewn churches, each large cave is individualized according to its existing architectural frame. Indigenous or recycled materials are used to create seating, beds, light fixtures, bathing areas and, in some of the caves, kitchenettes.
Contemporary amenities and furnishings are added only where necessary and when they can be invisibly incorporated (air-conditioning and Wi-Fi are present but TVs and mini-bars are not, while some rooms have bathtubs designed by Philippe Starck). The romantic lighting uses both electricity and candles to illuminate each cave's heavily pocked, ochre-colored tufa rock walls and floors to spectacular effect.
Each morning an organic breakfast is served in the 13th century cave church. It features Matera's signature bread, freshly baked focaccia and homemade cakes, along with fresh seasonal fruits, cured meats, mozzarella, ricotta, plain yogurt and delicious marmalades and jams that are produced on a local farm, or come from trusted artisan producers. The church becomes an even softer and more beautiful place in the evening when, on request, guests can participate in wine tastings and candlelit dinners of local recipes. Abruzzo wines, tisanes, teas, taralli crackers and snacks are instead the key ingredients for a typical aperitivo in the church or on the panoramic terrace with its sweeping views.
Guests can find peace of mind and body with a massage inside their very own cave. Perfumed oils, flickering candles and soft new age music enhance an environment rich in history and atmosphere. Expert masseurs will choose the most suitable treatment among ayurvedic, deep connective tissue, lymphatic, draining, anti-stress and relaxing couples massage.
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