Nestled quietly off the Adriatic coast between Bari and Ostuni in Puglia, Masseria San Domenico is 14th-century farmhouse that now serves as a five-star hotel and spa. A quietly intimate space with panoramic views of the coast and surrounding countryside, it’s a boutique hotel that feels more like a (rather well-to-do) nonna’s home. Puglia is already home to some of the world’s finest food and scenery, and the Masseria (the Italian or Sicilian name for a large farmhouse) with its traditional Apulian restaurants, surrounding olive groves and proximity to the sea, might just be one of the best places to experience it.
Masseria San Domenico’s real USP, however, is thalassotherapy. Otherwise known as “seawater therapy”, thalassotherapy (from the Greek word for “sea”) uses minerals from the sea (magnesium, iodide, calcium and potassium) through various treatments that are absorbed into the skin and are said to be effective at improving a bounty of conditions including eczema, psoriasis, stress and anxiety, and muscular pain as well as improving the appearance of skin and toning up flabby areas. Popular with the Romans, apparently, but also great for everyone from athletes to those with arthritis.