The Best Boutique Hotels to Book in Matera, Italy

Matera's cave dwellings have been inhabited for millennia
Matera's cave dwellings have been inhabited for millennia | © Aldo Starace / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Siobhan Grogan
27 September 2021

One of Italy’s most fascinating destinations – though often overlooked by tourists – Matera is located in the southern region of Basilicata and is perhaps best-known for its intriguing caves, which have been inhabited for millennia. Named a European Capital of Culture in 2019, the city’s museums are an unmissable way to glimpse how people once lived in this incomparable location. Today, your accommodation options are somewhat improved – these unique boutique hotels in Matera are bookable via Culture Trip.

Corte San Pietro

Corte San Pietro terrace with lounge chairs overlooking Matera on a sunny day
© Corte San Pietro / Expedia

Stay in a renovated cave-house at this exquisite hotel, where the bare stone walls of the 12 rooms have been given a boutique makeover. The combination is special: plush linens, antique wooden chests, deep bathtubs, contemporary art and bedside tables carved from tree trunks. Rooms open into the pretty cobbled courtyard of Via San Pietro Caveoso, from which you can walk to all the city’s main sights.

Palazzo Gattini

Palazzo Gattini balcony with breakfast ready alongside daffodils overlooking hills
© Palazzo Gattini / Expedia

You’ll feel on top of the world at this opulent five-star hotel perched on Matera’s highest point, right next to the cathedral and offering a stunning view over the city’s ancient caves. If you can tear yourself away from the terrace bar, there’s also an exquisite underground spa, a fine-dining restaurant under a vaulted ceiling, and 20 lavish rooms, one of which has its own rooftop swimming pool.

Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita

Sextantio le Grotte della Civita bathtub with wood burning fire in atmospheric stone room
© Sextantio le Grotte della Civita /

Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita was one of the first hotels to use the city’s cave dwellings as rooms, and is still one of the best. Right in the heart of the oldest part of the Sassi quarters overlooking Murgia national park, it has 18 surprisingly large rooms with original stone walls and minimal distractions. There’ll be little more than upcycled furniture, handcrafted pottery and candlelight – with no curtains and no television, you’ll be lulled to sleep by blissful silence.

Sant’Angelo Luxury Resort, Matera

Elegant room at Sant’Angelo Luxury Resort, Matera with city view balcony and intricate floral design mirror
© Sant’Angelo Luxury Resort, Matera / Expedia

If you yearn to bed down in a cave dwelling but don’t quite fancy a no-frills experience, this luxury hotel ups the pamper factor with air conditioning, plush robes, minibars and spa-like bathrooms. There are some more standard rooms in an adjoining 18th-century building, too, with Moroccan-style tiled floors and a balcony for views over the resort and the ravine beyond.

Palazzo Viceconte

Palazzo Viceconte simple room with simple decor, art on the walls and tile floor
© Palazzo Viceconte / Expedia

There’s old-fashioned grandeur galore at this 16th-century palace. From the sweeping staircase to the abundant antiques, glittering chandeliers and tranquil courtyard, the hotel goes all-out to impress. Once you’re in one of its 14 elegant rooms, you can soak in the ornate rugs, abundant artwork and sleek modern bathrooms. Ask for one with a view of the Sassi for the ultimate Matera backdrop.

Locanda di San Martino

Spa at Locanda di san Martino with classical fountain in the wall and blue-lit spa pool
© Locanda di san Martino / Expedia

If you’re looking for somewhere to stay with friends or family in Matera, Locanda di San Martino’s suites are the ideal option, sleeping four under the vaulted ceiling of a cave with a terrace or balcony and a jacuzzi bathtub. There are smaller double rooms available as well, plus a fabulous vaulted breakfast room, a terrace overlooking the city and an unmissable spa set among the distinctive stone tunnels.

Palazzo del Duca Matera

Palazzo del Duca Matera terrace with wine ready to be drunk on a glass table overlooking rugged hills
© Palazzo del Duca Matera / Expedia

Cave rooms don’t need to be spartan, as you’ll see if you stay at this former baronial house with astonishing views of the Gravina river. Rooms come with opulent chandeliers, handmade king-size beds and champagne-stuffed minibars, while two have a heated private pool with a waterfall, and one has a private terrace overlooking the Sassi. When you’re hungry, there’s also a romantic stone restaurant, offering candlelit meals of homemade pasta, seafood and delectable Italian desserts.

Aquatio Cave Luxury Hotel & Spa

Aquatio Cave Luxury Hotel & Spa bedroom in carved stone with minimal decor and ambient lighting
© Aquatio Cave Luxury Hotel & Spa / Expedia

Opened in 2018, this five-star property is one of Matera’s newest luxury hotels and a dream for design lovers. Architect Simone Micheli has created 35 rooms within the ancient caves, and they’ve all been stuffed with modern technology, from computerised air recycling to wifi and Nespresso machines. There’s even a spa and a heated infinity-edge swimming pool, dug deep into the cave.

This is an updated version of an article originally by Francesca Masotti.

These recommendations were updated on September 27, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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