There is hardly anyone who has not heard about the Michelin Guide at least once. The Michelin Guide was created by the world-famous tire manufacturer as a guide for people traveling by car. The Michelin Guide assigns restaurants a certain number of stars using specific guidelines: a one-star restaurant is worth visiting if you're nearby; two stars are worth making a detour; and three stars are worth a special visit to the restaurant. To be on this list, which has become a kind of standard in modern high cuisine, is the dream of any chef.
Relais & Châteaux is a somewhat less well-known restaurant guide. It offers information about gourmet restaurants and luxury hotels around the world. These restaurants and hotels are also required to have some other remarkable features apart from the level of cuisine and the premium status of a place. For example, hotels or restaurants can be located in old mansions, palaces, historical buildings, estates associated with great people, and so on.
Now, imagine that there are places represented in both guides – Michelin and Relais & Châteaux. One of such hotels is located in Apulia, Italy, and we were lucky to stay there for a few days and enjoy a wonderful dinner.
Hidden behind the town's main church in the upper part of the historic centre of Ostuni, the beautiful 16th-century mansion of the La Sommità hotel seems to be drifting away into the white glow of the town buildings.
The hotel gives you a very recognizable feeling. The feeling of peace and serenity.
Besides, Ostuni itself makes exactly the same impression in the off-season.
It is hard to say whether the atmosphere in the hotel changes with the onset of the tourist season. I believe that it is unlikely, but the town will definitely be flooded with tourists.
Every night, complete serenity descends upon the place with the departure of the last tour bus.
In the same way, coming back from an evening stroll to the first-class hotel with a Michelin-starred restaurant dinner waiting for you, you can feel time itself slowing down.
Hotel Contact Information: La Sommità website.
Photos and reviews of islands we recommend to visit: The Azores (Portugal), The Lofoten Islands (Norway), The Aeolian Islands (Italy), The Galápagos Islands (Ecuador) and Iceland.
The Bundestag is the world’s most-visited parliament. Reichstag dome with its observation deck definitely played an important role in this worldwide recognition.
We had the honour of staying at Castell Son Claret for a few days, and our experience was dreamlike. It’s actually a restored 15th-century castle and exudes an air of refinement and grandeur.