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HOTELS & SPAS

8 Piu Hotel: Thoroughly modern find in ancient Lecce

April 16, 2018
Lecce: Known for its stunning Baroque architecture
Lecce: Known for its stunning Baroque architecture

Lecce: Known for its stunning Baroque architecture (Credit: Pixabay)

When you travel with a millennial son, your itinerary often veers in unanticipated directions, especially when it comes to booking hotel rooms.

Planning our family trip to Lecce, a city in the Puglia region of Italy, was a “group-think” but we delegated hotel selection to our son, whom we consider a master at analyzing online hotel reviews. Whatever system he uses, his recommendations have never disappointed.

On our own, we probably would have chosen one of the luxury hotels in Lecce’s city center known for its Baroque architecture. Instead, we wound up booking a room at 8 Piu Hotel, an ultra-contemporary 4-star hotel with a name as unconventional as its Italian design.

Patrizia Palace - a more "typical" luxury hotel in Lecce

Patrizia Palace – a more “typical” luxury hotel in the center of Lecce

The hotel had a 9.6 (exceptional) rating on Hotels.com based on 193 guest reviews and a five-star rating on TripAdvisor based on 1269 reviews. The cost of a regular guestroom was less than $100 with breakfast included (Admittedly, the cost of accommodations in Puglia tends to be more reasonable than in many other regions of Italy).

Since we were on a road trip with a flexible schedule, the lure of free parking and the hotel’s liberal room cancellation policy were also attractive.

The outside of the hotel is flanked by eye-catching modern sculptures.

Contemporary sculpture outside 8 Piu Hotel

Contemporary sculpture outside 8 Piu Hotel

The spacious light-filled, white-walled lobby offers a bank of computers for public use.

A living wall in the lobby of 8 Piu Hotel

A living wall in the lobby of 8 Piu Hotel

Electronics everywhere

Check-in was smooth, efficient and friendly but the wow- factor was our room in this easy-on-the-eye hotel designed to please any tech-savvy, connected traveler.

We booked one of the 84-room hotel’s three junior suites, which offered an ultra-comfortable king-size bedroom with a small dining table and chairs, and a large sleeping alcove with a daybed and wall-to-wall desk.

Bedroom in the Junior Suite (Credit: 8 Piu)

Bedroom in the Junior Suite (Credit: 8 Piu)

Sleeping alcove in the Junior Suite (Credit: 8 Piu)

Sleeping alcove in the Junior Suite (Credit: 8 Piu)

The minimalist design of the furniture and fabrics was bold, modern and tasteful. The relaxing taupe walls had pops of magenta and lime. The suite had touch lighting controls with dimmers; an air-conditioning control panel beside the bed, digital radio alarm clock, and a flat-screen TV with satellite and pay-per-view stations and direct access to YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. The minibar was stocked with free bottled water and room service was available for a modest 5 euro surcharge.

Our room had a mirrored walk-in closet (without a door) with ample storage space for luggage, and lots of drawers and tabletops.

Robes and pillow choices inside our closet

Robes and pillow choices inside our closet

But the pièce de résistance was the oversized “chromo therapy” shower that allows guests to self-select the lighting color of their shower experience from a range of different hues. The shower illuminates both the room and the shower stall, thought to be therapeutic for one’s mood.

Blue chromo therapy

Blue chromo therapy

Chromo-therapy control outside the shower

Chromo-therapy control outside the shower

Location, location, location 

Although the property has excellent access to the autostrada (highway, in Italian), the views outside the hotel are far from scenic. The hotel overlooks a parking lot, a car dealership and a cemetery.

8Piu is located on a major roadway that is about a ½-hour walk or 15-minute drive to the town center. Although possible, the walk wouldn’t be a stroll in the park, especially after dark.

However, driving a car to Lecce can be challenging, too; many portions of the city are pedestrian-only zones with time-limited metered parking on the perimeter—so there are obvious advantages to a hotel stay in the city center as opposed to the outskirts of town in terms of convenience.

While there were no restaurants either within walking distance or close by the hotel, 8 Piu does have a full-service restaurant called negroamara featured traditional foods of the Salento area prepared with an innovative flair.

The attractive breakfast area of negroamara offers a complimentary buffet breakfast each morning between 7-10:30 AM with a range of Italian and continental breakfast options.

Table setting in the breakfast room at 8 Piu Hotel

Table setting in the breakfast room at 8 Piu Hotel

One section of the extensive breakfast buffet

One section of the extensive breakfast buffet at 8 Piu

Tempting Nutella breakfast treat

Tempting Nutella breakfast treat

Cappuccino at breakfast at 8 Piu Hotel

Cappuccino at breakfast at 8 Piu Hotel

Bottom line

Since our visit to Lecce was only for two nights, the comfort and amenities of a comfortable stay with free parking at 8 Piu Hotel trumped the relatively minor inconvenience of its location.

Moreover, the hotel was a terrific value and a unique experience: my first chromo therapy shower ever! Of course, mastering the room technology may have been daunting had we not been traveling with a tech guru.


Photo credits: Jerome Levine (unless otherwise noted)


IF YOU GO

8 Piu Hotel in Lecce (Puglia), Italy

Hotel website


  • Reply
    Doreen Pendgracs
    April 16, 2018 at 9:30 pm

    I would love to stay at the 8Piu boutique hotel. That chromo therapy shower would be a super treat!

  • Reply
    Cathy Sweeney
    April 16, 2018 at 10:21 pm

    I was thinking what a great find this was, then read about the location. However, after giving it further thought… Since I’ve been Lecce before and stayed in the city center this would be perfect for follow up trips. Access to the highway and not worrying about driving in the city center would be great. Love the chromo therapy” shower!

    • Irene S. Levine
      Reply
      Irene S. Levine
      April 17, 2018 at 8:04 pm

      It was a lovely, comfortable place to stay and a terrific value. I guess we could have taken a taxi to Lecce to avoid the parking hassles. Since our visit was off-season, parking was actually not that bad.

  • Reply
    Carol
    April 17, 2018 at 2:21 pm

    What a find in an “ancient” city. I always love the comforts of a modern hotel. 8 Piu’s chrome therapy shower sounds cool!

  • Reply
    Debbra Dunning Brouillette
    April 17, 2018 at 5:00 pm

    The 8 Piu Hotel in Lecce sounds like an interesting departure from those that may be more convenient or have more attractive surroundings. Innovative touches like the chrome therapy shower, living wall in the lobby and modern sculptures outside give it a flair that should attract visitors to the area.

    • Irene S. Levine
      Reply
      Irene S. Levine
      April 17, 2018 at 8:06 pm

      From the look of the guests, it sure was a millennial traveler draw!

  • Reply
    Kristin Henning
    April 18, 2018 at 4:59 pm

    We’re on our countdown to Puglia now, and will be in Lecce around May 10. Nice, complete, hotel review. Looks wonderful especially when parking is needed!

    • Irene S. Levine
      Reply
      Irene S. Levine
      April 18, 2018 at 5:15 pm

      I envy you being on your way to Puglia! You’ll have a great time.

  • Reply
    Michele Peterson
    April 20, 2018 at 2:12 pm

    Your son can research hotels for me any time!! I love this one. The “chromo therapy” shower looks like a party and a half. I hope to go to Puglia this fall so timing is perfect to read this review

    • Irene S. Levine
      Reply
      Irene S. Levine
      April 20, 2018 at 2:26 pm

      Puglia is a wonderful place to visit and autumn should be perfect!

  • Reply
    Patti Morrow
    April 22, 2018 at 9:47 am

    The 3 Piu Hotel in Lecce looks gorgeous! I like mixing it up with historic, boutique, and modern hotels to get a total feel for an area.

  • Reply
    Sue Reddel
    April 22, 2018 at 10:51 pm

    I’m sure your tech guru was thrilled with his accommodations. I’m curious about that color therapy shower. Did they include a color chart on what color would best fit your mood? Have to say the breakfast goodies looked delicious.

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