Masseria Il Tabacchificio hotel - Diso, Italy
Turning the barrel-vaulted interiors of a 1930s tobacco processing plant in Puglia into a luxurious six-bedroom boutique villa now seems something of a no-brainer, but full kudos to its owners – an Italian diplomat and his Vietnamese lifestyle-blogger wife – for recognising the building’s potential.
Applause, too, for Lecce-based architect Raffaele Centonze for his sensitive rehabilitation of the building and the grounds, the latter stylishly landscaped with silver olive trees and ancient dry stone walls. The high-ceilinged bright rooms are lined with polished concrete and recycled timber and, with more than a passing nod to the Japanese ideal of wabi sabi, eclectically decorated with choice vintage pieces collected by the owners on their travels.
In high summer, a garden lap-pool and the clear waters of nearby Castro Marina are a delight, though the lodge loses none of its charms in winter as guests retreat indoors for home-cooked meals in the bijou cinema.§