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All reviewsfrancis ford coppolacooking classpizzathe kitchenscreening roombeautiful settingsanta maria novellaopen to the publicthree daysa special placehidden gemother guestsglass of winesmall cityfood and winecinema experiencebucket list
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Reviewed 28 November 2017

We had the opportunity to visit and dine at the Palazzo Margherita as friends were staying here. The rooms and decor are nothing short of spectacular. The food and wine were excellent with the service outstanding. However, although Francis Ford Coppola has done a fabulous job of saving this historical monument and putting this city on the map, it is distressing that locals are not only dissuaded from entering (heavily guarded with only the pub available for viewing), most could not even afford a glass of wine here. The city surrounding this opulent palace is filled with filth, dog poo, and a very poor population. The contrast is astounding so that somehow this beautiful setting seems offensive in some way. Perhaps the upside is that the hotel is providing employment for locals in desperate need of financial aid. I applaud Mr. Coppola for attempting to elevate this very poor area, yet charging $1000 a night for a room is definitely widening the divide.

  • Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank beachloverBainsville
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 October 2017 via mobile

How cool is this? One night we were served our wood-oven pizza during a private screening of The Godfather (there are 200 films curated by Francis Ford Coppola) in the private theater in a palazzo owned by Coppola in the town that his grandfather left to go to America. This is at least the tenth time we have seen this film but by far the best one. It was fun to watch the film, which opens with a garden wedding, and then to watch the penultimate scene of the baptism (one of the best film montages ever done) in which Coppola used his infant daughter, Sofia knowing that she was wed in the garden of this palazzo in 2011.

The above film reference aside, there is no movie memorabilia at the property which would take cheapen the experience. There are pictures of movie stars in the one restaurant which is also open to the public. The curated films include many of the best of Italian cinema.

We have also stayed at Coppola’s Turtle Inn in Belize and found both properties to be exquisitely operated and decorated. You can see the same attention to detail that Coppola uses in filmmaking. No detail is overlooked. We stayed in one of the lower priced rooms which was quite large yet still comfortable. We could open French doors and step out into the patio for breakfast. All of the food was excellent and, considering you are sort of a captive audience, fairly priced.

We cannot say enough about the staff. From the time they greet you at the entrance until they wait until you drive away, they can not do enough for you. Another guest mentioned seeing the local cheese shop where the hotel gets their cheese. All we had to do was ask and one of the staff members walked us over there one morning and translated for us as we sampled the cheese as they made it. One of those cheeses, which they serve at the Palazzo, is Manteca, a mozzarella with butter in the middle. We had to leave early on our last morning in order to catch a plane. They had our bill ready to close out, our car out front, a bag with bottled water, cookies and coffee for our drive.

We could go on and on. This hotel is more expensive than we normally spend but it was well worth it. It was like being the guest at somebody’s beautiful home.

Stayed: October 2017, travelled as a couple
2  Thank Infrequenttraveler09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 October 2017

I spent 2 days at Palazzo Margharita in early October with friends celebrating a big birthday. This exclusive, hidden gem of a hotel has just 11 rooms; it isn't that easy to get to or find (we hired a car) but on arrival, the welcome is genuine and the rooms large and beautifully appointed. The service is amazing; prompt, thoughtful and never intrusive. The hotel is surprisingly informal and you can relax in the pretty garden, by the pool or watching a film in the cinema. We were sad to say goodbye! I would highly recommend the Margharita for a special occasion; our stay was a memorable one.

Room Tip: All rooms are beautiful and individual, there is little or no noise from the street and there is no lift.
  • Stayed: October 2017, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Carolyne M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 September 2017

Bernalda is a quiet hilltop town dating from the 15th century. (When looking at a map of Italy, it is located at the instep of the "boot.") And this town holds one of the most special hotels I have ever set foot in!

Palazzo Margherita is a beautiful and intimate nine-room villa, owned by the famed film director, Francis Ford Coppola. Walking through the lavish gardens, lounging by the luxurious pool, sleeping in our gorgeous suite, bathing with Santa Maria Novella bath products (ahhh!!), and enjoying the soft colours and elegant décor – it was almost too much to handle…

…but, what really put the entire experience over the top was our pizza-making cooking class with the pizza master himself, Mimmo. We were fascinated, and surprised, to see the work it takes to create the perfect pizza. Mimmo swore by using his five-year old yeast! Don't ask. I have no idea how to explain it. All I can say is that it was the best pizza we have ever had.

After the lesson, our steaming hot pizzas were sent up to the private screening room along with a bottle of wine. Movie night! Here you can choose a movie from Francis Ford Coppola's favourite movie list. There are 300! We chose Tucker… and there we were, just the two of us eating our pizza while watching the young, and gorgeous, Jeff Bridges and Christian Slater on the big screen. What a glorious setting. We will never ever forget our stay.

Thank you for being so perfect!

  • Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank CharleyToronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 August 2017

My husband and I stayed at Palazzo Margherita for four nights in July. The facilities are lovely and the staff could not be more gracious and welcoming. In fact, as gorgeous as the property is, I would say the staff is the best thing about this hotel. Everyone calls you by name and treats you as if you were a guest in their home. One day, we mentioned that we were planning to drive to Matera, and they took it upon themselves to check the roads, as there had been a storm the night before. They found out a tree had fallen and blocked the road you would typically take, so they printed out alternate driving instructions for us before we left. Any time you leave for the day, they give you bottles of water as a "parting gift" and stand outside of the property's front door to see you off--I found those small gestures so thoughtful.

The property itself has been impeccably restored and decorated. We stayed in Garden Room 3, which is on the ground floor and borders the courtyard. The courtyard has tables for snacking or dining, but we never felt that we didn't have enough privacy. The room itself is spacious, with a very cool brick ceiling, stone floors, and a comfortable bed with beautiful sheets. The bathroom is also spacious, has a separate bath tub and shower, and, most importantly, is stocked with full-sized Santa Maria Novella products, which you are encouraged to keep. That is a really cool perk that I've never experienced in a hotel, even a super-luxurious one. Housekeeping also places a dish of roasted and cracked almonds and a pitcher of lemon water each day; another simple and lovely touch.

Included in the rate was a late-afternoon pasta-making class, which was really nice (and obviates the need to buy a full dinner that night!). Breakfast, also included in the rate, can be had in-room or in the communal kitchen; we ate in the kitchen every morning and had incredible grilled bread with fresh ricotta, lots of fresh fruits, and typical cakes, meats, and cheeses. The spread of food was really beautiful. The baking is done in-house; their croissants rival some of the best in Paris! We ate dinner here every night (not usually our style to eat exclusively at the hotel, but the food was really excellent and the prices were reasonable), either in the courtyard (only for guests) or in the bar, which is also open to the public. The pizza was fantastic, as was the pasta (homemade), and really everything we ordered.

The hotel has very few rooms, so it never feels crowded. We never had trouble getting a spot at the pool; sometimes, we were the only ones there. The pool is not heated but the bottom is painted black, which looks really cool and heats it naturally; the temperature was always perfect. There is a very nice gelato place next-door to the palazzo, but I felt that Bernalda is rather sleepy and did not have much to offer otherwise. There is a decent beach a 20-minute drive away, but the beaches of Puglia are far superior. The town of Matera is an easy drive and is a must-see. The sassi are very cool, and the surrounding town actually has a lot of really nice bars, restaurants, and shops.

This was one of my bucket-list hotels and I'm so glad we visited. Should we find ourselves in or near Basilicata again, we will stay here without hesitation.

  • Stayed: July 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank gena c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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