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These are the things that get us out of bed in the morning, and the words we turn to when we need guidance:
Quality through exclusivity: because the villas in our portfolios are only available through us, we are able to create enduring partnerships with owners, invest directly in our product, and maximize each villa’s potential and quality.
Superior product and local knowledge: our London staff visit our regions and stay at our properties regularly. Their passion and superior product knowledge allow us to give practical advice enabling clients to identify the perfect villa and location for their holiday.
On-the-ground support – we’re with you all the way: as several of us live and work in our regions, we know what’s going on, who’s who, how things work and where to get the best pizza! Part problem-solvers, part talking guidebooks and part concierges, we provide privileged access to things most visitors never hear about.
Passion, dynamism and innovation: we are a pioneering company: the first to develop the quality rental market in Sicily, to produce and publish its own guidebooks, to offer a fully integrated in-villa wine delivery service. And we are benchmark-raisers in Puglia. But we don’t rest on our laurels - there’s much more to be done!
We always go the extra mile: we are a team and each of us will always go the extra mile to ensure we exceed expectations.
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The finest villas in Puglia
Expect Puglia's finest properties: The Thinking Traveller is the point of reference for the owners of Puglia's finest villas who wish to open their doors to paying guests, and those seeking the unique experience of staying in such properties. There are hundreds of villas and apartments available for rent in Puglia through a myriad of locally and foreign owned companies but the best are available exclusively through Think Puglia. We only take on villas that are made available to us on an exclusive basis, and we reject far more properties than we accept. That’s how we are able to guarantee that The Thinking Traveller's exacting standards are met.
Expect luxury and authenticity: our properties range in style from the downright luxurious to the quirky and authentic. Traditional “star ratings” are not easy to apply to such properties. Several (such as those in our Think Exquisite range) offer the service and comfort of a five star hotel, with the added advantage of being totally private. Others have made it into the Think Puglia range because of their unique qualities: they might not be luxurious, but they certainly have their own peculiar charm. These differences in character make it very important that you tell us what is important to you and allow us to advise you.
Expect cooks and maids: experiencing the local cuisine is an important part of any trip to Italy, and having a local cook for you at home is a great way of doing it. Being able to put your feet up and let someone else get on with the housework is also a high priority for many people. Some of The Thinking Traveller's villas come with both cook and maid service included in the price. At virtually all others we will be happy to organise a cook or maid for you.
Expect built in sustainability: much is written about sustainability and carbon footprints, and we think that The Thinking Traveller scores excellently on both fronts. You will stay in private houses. The building and restoration work done preparing them for you is carried out by local, family run contractors, as are the cleaning, cooking and other services you may use during your stay. Foodstuffs are overwhelmingly seasonal and locally produced. In addition to having a low carbon footprint, this model contributes directly to developing local economies and helps make Puglia a better place in which to live.
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What to expect
Expect us to listen to you: understanding your requirements is the first and most vital stage in our relationship with you. Please tell us as much as possible about what you like. Tell us about your past holiday experiences, what you enjoyed and what you didn’t. Tell us about yourself and the people travelling with you. And although email is a great tool, please talk to us. Our phone lines are open for business, and we are longing to talk to you about your holiday.
Expect local expertise: most “specialist” operators spread themselves too broadly to give genuinely specialist advice. We have incomparable local knowledge. Our London team visits Puglia regularly, so you’ll always be able to speak to someone who has spent time at the villa you will stay in, seen the areas you will visit, and done the things you’d like to do. Rossella, Huw and the local team spend their time on the road meeting people, visiting properties and cultivating a large and growing network to provide you with access to a Puglia that the casual tourist or less focused operator simply won’t find.
Expect honesty, accuracy and straight talking: we know how precious your holiday is and want to make sure you go to the place that suits you best. We will work with you, and apply all our extensive knowledge, training and experience to find the best combination for you. We will never try to fit you into something we don’t think you will enjoy.
Expect exceptional value for money: it is reassuring to know that with The Thinking Traveller you can book luxury holiday accommodation at very reasonable rates. In terms of pricing per person per night, The Thinking Traveller's villas offer exceptional value for money compared to hotels.
Expect guaranteed prices: the prices on thinkpuglia.com are guaranteed and the prices you see are what you will pay. Indeed, unlike many tour operators, The Thinking Traveller's unique pricing structure means that you will never be asked to pay currency surcharges if the exchange rate changes.
Expect peace of mind: back in 2002 The Thinking Traveller practically "invented" the villa rental business in Sicily and have been the undisputed market leaders ever since, constantly raising standards and setting new benchmarks. This raising of standards has been fundamental to our operations in Puglia and by booking with The Thinking Traveller you can be sure of getting the best villas (all exclusive to Think Puglia), the best service, the best information and the peace of mind guaranteed by travelling with one of the most established companies specialising in southern Italy. The Thinking Traveller is a member of both ABTOI (the Association of British Travel Organisers to Italy) and ASTA (The American Society of Travel Agents).
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Support and peace of mind while on holiday
Expect support whilst you’re away: our network of villa owners and caretakers is supported by an expert team of locally based Think Puglia staff, who are available 24/7 to ensure that your holiday runs smoothly. In 2007, readers of Condé Nast Traveller magazine voted Think Sicily the villa rental company with the “best on the ground support ” and guests of Think Puglia can expect the same devoted treatment.
Expect comprehensive information: The Thinking Traveller's support starts even before you leave! In fact, several weeks before departure, you will receive an exhaustive information pack designed to help you get the most out of your trip and to ensure that everything runs perfectly to plan. This pack includes:
- a House Guide, complete with detailed directions to your villa, useful tips about how to get the most from the property and information about the surrounding area, including local restaurants, beaches, shops and leisure activities
- a detailed Thinking Traveller map of Puglia
- a free copy of our free iPod and iPad guide, "A Portrait of Puglia": just download it from iTunes!
Expect a safe and enjoyable holiday: all reasonable steps have been taken to ensure you have an enjoyable and safe holiday with Think Puglia. Safety standards and regulations vary from country to country. The Thinking Traveller has its own set of standards, and safety levels in all our properties are assessed in accordance with these. We also work very closely with our suppliers to ensure that safety levels are maintained. Please see our dedicated Health and Safety page for more information.