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B&B Il Gelso
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Reviews (137)
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Reviewed 20 October 2013

We spent a very happy ten days with Massimo and his friend Roberto at their delightful villa outside Monteroni, a few kilometres from the lovely baroque town of Lecce in Puglia. It was extremely quiet - apart from the occasional barking dog at night! Breakfast was ample, with delicious pastries made by Roberto, and we were within walking distance of a nice restaurant in the centre, where we had several meals. Though busy people (Massimo is a university lecturer), they managed to give us a lot of their time, and as we were without a car Roberto drove us to several places of interest in the area.
On the third day of our stay one of us unfortunately fell and cut his forehead, but Roberto bandaged the wound and dressed it daily like a professional nurse. Before we left, they recommended Lo Scoglio hotel on a tiny island next to Porto Cesareo, run by a friend of theirs, where we spent the last pleasant four days of our holiday. All in all, it was a delightful break with charming people whom we would happily welcome to our own home if they should ever come to London.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Bill822013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MassimoCatalano, Proprietario at B&B Il Gelso, responded to this reviewResponded 19 May 2014

Hi Bill and Jens,
I am sorry but I thought I had replied your review sooner, but probably it didn'0g go through the system.
Thanks a lot for your nice review about our property... we really hope you are doing fine, and we do hope you can visit us again in the near future.
Good luck
Massimo

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 August 2013

A few days have passed since I looked back at Il Gelso for the last time and the impression is still amazingly strong. Two weeks spent in this wonderful B&B were just what I wished for when I had decided to spend a good part of my vacation in Southern Italy. Massimo and Roberto are just perfect hosts. They did all they could to make our stay in Il Gelso pleasant and memorable. Kindness, hospitality, excellent service, rich and wonderful breakfast, impeccably clean rooms... Evenings on the terrace of Il Gelso are something that will surely stay in my mind and memory for years to come. I just wish my vacation lasted longer...

The location of Il Gelso proved to be just right for our needs. We wanted to escape the buzz of the city and we wanted to have a good location for our explorations of Puglia. And for lazy days nice beaches were just a short drive away.

Oh, and the company of Ercole, Arturo, Romeo and Biche. Yes, with Massimo and Robert around, Il Gelso was our home for two weeks. Because you know what they say - home is where the heart is. And there's a lot of heart in Il Gelso.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Tomaž C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BBIlGelso, Owner at B&B Il Gelso, responded to this reviewResponded 19 August 2013

Hi Tomaz,
thanks a lot for your kind words.
As a matter of fact, having you and your friends in our b&b was an amazing experience. You immediately became part of it, and perfectly integrated with the atmosphere.
The relaxed attitude of the members of your "group" perfectly fit the relaxed atmosphere of gelso, at the point that we had to struggle to believe you were guests.
Having you around, talking together drinking beer or limoncello, eating Igor's wonderful dried apples (gnamm gnamm) and listening to your music, made the atmosphere even nicer, and we felt your absence when you left.
Thanks a lot for sharing you holiday time with us, and thanks for having been part of our family.
Massimo and Roberto

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Reviewed 4 May 2012

Sitting out on the large breezy terrazzo of Il Gelso (mulberry), as I have done every evening for the past 4, soaking in the evocative, seductive smell of orange blossom, I really do not want to leave tomorrow. As a travel and hotel writer it is rare (and not recommended), that I get so attached to a place that I do not want to leave it behind, but helas we are all human – and this is not just about place, it is about the people behind it, the people (and animals) who populate it, and the ambience and setting.
This place hits the heart and home strings, with its combination of bucolic relaxing setting (though only 5km from Lecce), delightfully personal welcome, laid back atmosphere, and je ne sais quoi magical quality. Hosts Massimo and Roberto go out of their way (and beyond 'standard' B&B service requirements and guest expectations), to make one (everyone) feel at home, with their intense attentiveness to individual needs and looking out for guests. The difference is in the detail: from the responsive and friendly email communication when booking and pick-up/drop-off service for those arriving by public transport in Lecce, to the delicious copious breakfast of freshly squeezed orange juice, espresso, homemade fruit crostate or other tarts and cakes, healthy breads and jams made a casa.
The immaculately clean (grazia Paola!) guests rooms are spread throughout the wood furnished basement, which is quite dark (though not dour, and blissfully cool in summer) — some have their own bathroom, others shared. Minimal furnishing includes extremely comfortable large beds with quality linen, bedside tables, a small writing desk in a couple of rooms and a/c. Guests are encouraged to use the front and back terraces which are scattered with large cushy couches and chairs- from April to November at least the weather allows for outdoor lifestyle (and breakfasts). The modernistic (at a guess 1950s) white home sits along a quiet rural laneway, 500 metres from the town centre of Monteroni di Lecce, which has restaurants, cafes, pizzerias, clothing stores, and supermarkets. There are regular buses between there and Lecce, (excepting public holidays). The area is criss-crossed by several percorso bicicletta – biking itineraries (a mix of dedicated bike path, country lane and minor road), which lead through countryside dotted with castle remains, olive trees, fields of poppies and stone houses.
Most of southern Puglia’s major sites require car transport and this address is a perfect base for those who want to be a little removed from the city, (breathing in orange-blossomed air), and who appreciate the special atmosphere provided by equally special hosts.
Massimo and Roberto effusively open their house to guests, encouraging them to use all the common areas. Expect to hear their presence (as they do yours), and respect their need for some space—the living room with art gallery walls has self-service coffee and tea making facilities (with the same honour system which applies to the cold drinks kept in the guest fridge outside)—is also their evening sanctuary.
The review would not be complete without mentioning Rita – a long-term (unofficial) ‘artist in residence’ at Il Gelso, who dabs away from dawn to dusk - and Il Gelso’s four (and two) legged friends: Biche, the soft and sweet pit-bull cross, Romeo, the romantic yet hilariously independent Persian cat and enough highly chirpy, rainbow coloured tweety birds to fill a dozen cages.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled solo
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2  Thank TamaraThiessen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 August 2011

The owner, Massimo, it warm and friendly. He gladly picked me up from the Lecce train station and even went back that same night at 1 am to pick up another guest that had arrived late! Extremely clean bedroom and bathroom. Every room has it's own thermostat you can control as you like. You feel like you're in a true Italian's home while there. Breakfast is served outside on a glorious porch surrounded by fig trees, peach trees, orange trees, and many many more! Breakfast is traditionally "Italian" with fresh fruit from the property. It's a bit far from the main part of the city, but it's almost preferable as you wouldn't get the opportunity to see the countryside up close. Highly recommend this place!

Room Tip: There are only a few rooms, so the place books up quickly. Any room would be perfect.
  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled solo
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1  Thank Ceosti
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 July 2011

Great service and a very warm welcome. Rooms are spacious but not luxurious. Rooms in the basement are somewhat dark. But all in all great value for money.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled on business
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Thank Reiziger70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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