Like a seagull’s wings
Puglia, Salento, Porto Cesareo. Nature reserves, unspoilt landscapes and crystal-clear sea. Fine white sandy beaches, ancient protected dunes modelled by the waves and the wind. A strong sense of history and a tradition of hospitality. This short description sums up the splendid setting of the four-star Le Dune Suite Hotel, which recently underwent a radical revamping project. The prevalently horizontal structure blends harmoniously into the surrounding landscape. It consist of a central single-floor building flanked on either side by symmetric two-floor volumes to create the sensation of a seagull’s wings. It also has an approximately 2,700 square metre basement used as a car park. Access to the spacious entrance hall with its large glass windows is via a short series of steps sheltered by a columned arcade and a traditional Lecce star vault. On the left and right, two open staircases lead to an external veranda shaded by awnings and to two secondary entrances. The flat roofs of the two side buildings house the technical systems and photovoltaic panels. Designed as a solarium terrace and equipped with tables, sunbeds, sofas and parasols, the accessible flat roof of the central building offers a panoramic view of the sea. At all times of day, the main attraction of this space is the open-air swimming pool complete with whirlpool bath and American bar, which also doubles as an event venue. The terrace itself is enclosed and protected by the two taller side buildings, and observed from above it looks like a modern version of the traditional squares common in the Salento region’s agricultural villages, where in past times peasants would gather in the evening after returning from the fields. The hotel offers 47 Superior or Deluxe rooms on two floors capable of accommodating a total of 120 guests. It also has an elegant and superbly appointed 50 square metre suite. In the internal restaurant, connected to the lobby, guests can dine in a quiet, intimate atmosphere. Those seeking a less formal setting can choose the Altomare Restaurant next to the swimming pool. The entire facility is dominated by the soft colours of Lecce stone, a limestone rock of organic origin quarried here in Salento and widely used in the region’s architecture. Standing out amongst the high-quality materials used in some of the exterior spaces, the welcome area/internal bar and restaurant are the ceramic panels from Florim, consisting of the Styletech collection by Floor Gres with a wood/metal finish and Visions By Rex with a wood/concrete effect. As the hotel is open all year round, the owners decided not only to cater for holidaymakers but also to offer conference services. For this purpose they created five meeting rooms equipped with the latest technologies which can be adapted to specific requirements. Three of these (Nettuno, Scilla and Calipso, seating 180, 140 and 60 people respectively) are located inside the facility itself, while the other two (Bolina and Maestrale with 170 and 70 seats) are look onto the sea in the nearby Lido Le Dune. All the conference rooms are well illuminated with natural light on at least two sides. The conference offerings include customised services and a wide range of post-event initiatives held in the local area. Guests can also relax in the small but intimate spa equipped with sauna, Turkish bath, whirlpool, emotional showers, ice cascade, holistic treatment booths and herbal tea making facilities.