Borgo Egnazia is a hotel that has won numerous awards, including Best Luxury Hotel in the World in 2016 by travel agents from the Virtuoso consortium. While the hotel does indeed offer a unique experience, it was its Vair Spa that caught our eye at Luxe Wellness Club. Many spas promise well-being, but to our knowledge, only Borgo Egnazia focuses on happiness. Pascal Languillon, Director of Luxe Wellness Club, set out to discover the secret behind Borgo Egnazia’s success in creating a family holiday of well-being and la dolce vita. Here’s his account.
A legendary hotel in Puglia
Standing proudly amid centuries-old olive trees in the heart of Puglia, Borgo Egnazia stretches right down to the Adriatic Sea. It’s an unusual hotel that looks like a traditional village, when in fact it’s only about ten years old. The owners wanted to make it a celebration of local culture and Apulian savoir-faire. It’s the jewel in the crown of the local hotel industry (and one of the jewels of the Italian hotel industry), attracting discerning guests from all over Europe and beyond.
The first thing that struck me about Borgo Egnazia was the visual pleasure that is everywhere. First of all, the white stone and bougainvillea contrast with the blue of the pools and sky. While I love Borgo Egnazia by day, the resort takes on an absolutely magical feel at night. Hundreds of candles are lit around the hotel, and the muted lighting creates a magical atmosphere. It’s uncluttered yet warm, and the conclusion is clear: Borgo Egnazia has a charm all its own, timeless and inimitable!
Guests can choose between three accommodation options, including “La Corte”, the main building with 63 luxury rooms, the famous traditional “Borgo village” made up of 92 typical houses linked by cobbled paths and a picturesque market square, and finally 29 villas with private gardens, swimming pools and dedicated staff. All guests have access to the 18-hole San Domenico golf course, just across the road, and to a nearby beach club.
A casetta for every family
We had booked a two-storey “Casetta Magnifica”. Ideal for a family of four, this small 90 m² house in the “Borgo”, the traditional village, is built of limestone and furnished in typical Apulian style.
The house has a small kitchenette, a large double bedroom, another bedroom with bunk beds for children, a comfortable living room and a beautiful stone bathroom with bathtub and separate shower.
The casetta also has its own private patio, with table, chairs and sun loungers, which we hardly used at all.
I loved the style of the rooms and the charm of these casettas. Televisions are hidden in cupboards, and everything is in its place. Bathroom products are homemade and smell deliciously of lemons and olives.
I’ve visited all the other room categories, and the charm works the same way every time. It’s just the space that makes the difference. In Borgo Egnazia, you can’t go wrong!
An absolutely magical spa
Needless to say, I couldn’t wait to discover this spa with its international reputation, and I wasn’t disappointed – quite the contrary. Let’s face it: it’sone of the most beautiful spasI’ve ever seen, with irresistible charm!
Here too, the play of lights and candles creates a unique atmosphere, both warm and soothing.
The huge spa boasts a magnificent indoor pool, a steam room/sauna area and various relaxation rooms. There’s also a bright, well-equipped fitness room that continues outside.
We found this spa to be an absolute success , worth the trip to southern Italy on its own. The attention to detail and decoration on the one hand, but also the professionalism and friendliness of the staff on the other, are remarkable.
Each treatment is designed to meet the specific needs of each individual, always in conjunction with local produce, which become the ingredients of inner renewal. Olive oil, prickly pear cactus and essential oils extracted from local medicinal plants are used as the base products for the treatments, with the aim of promoting harmony between body and mind.
The “Family Happiness Break”: well-being with your children
While it’s possible to enjoy the spa by taking a la carte treatments, I strongly recommend taking a package to follow a wellness cure designed for you by specialists. Among the packages on offer, the “Happiness Break” is the one that caught our eye, especially as it’s perfect for families. In fact, is there anywhere else in the world that places such emphasis on family wellness?
I was accompanied by my wife and my two daughters, aged 7 and 2, and usually our first instinct is to leave the kids at the Kid’s Club to enjoy the spa treatments in peace and quiet. Not here! Everything has been thought out so that you can enjoy the spa with your little ones, reconnecting with their loved ones in a moment of sharing and joy, and finally achieving balance as a family .
Discovering this concept, one wonders why so few spas are thinking about how to make us happier, rather than simply more beautiful or younger?
Surprisingly at first glance, the sense of smell is the starting point of the program. A therapist gives you four small bottles to smell and your reaction indicates what you need. I really liked the first scent, was indifferent to the second, liked the third and fourth. These fragrances were created by a local perfumer to represent resistance, resilience, opportunity and activity, so my preference for the first indicated a need to strengthen my resistance…
We began with a session at the Roman baths to detoxify both physically and mentally. Sparkling candles and hot-water pools provide a magical setting in which to relax. Cold baths help restore energy.
We continued our program with a hilarious and memorable session of “Family Game Workout”, or family fitness, for the 4 of us. Yes, our children have become our alters for a few moments! We also played leapfrog and other games that made the children laugh as much as we did. One of the highlights of our stay, without a doubt.
And how could we forget the session with Giuseppe, “The Master of Laughter”, an actor who helped us find our inner jester. We did a number of more or less ridiculous vocalizations, funny dances, and a whole host of zany exercises that put smiles on the faces of the whole family. Again, I don’t know of any other spa in the world that offers this type of activity .
The next day, our family activity organized as part of this “Happiness Break” was a bike ride through the estate and its huge vegetable garden, to pick the ingredients for our picnic, which we would then enjoy at the foot of a hundred-year-old olive tree. A fun and instructive outing for our little ones.
Finally, what about the father-daughter massage at the end of the afternoon? Getting a massage was a big first for my 7-year-old daughter, and she really enjoyed the experience. I think she now understands why I became a wellness professional 🙂
In the end, this “Happiness Break” will be remembered as a unique experience, a time when we (finally) managed to relax as a family over several days, without shouting or crying. An experience I highly recommend to all stressed-out parents!
The dolce vita continues on the plate
There’s no Italy without tomatoes, mozzarella and pizzas, that’s for sure. For me, it’s a bit like La Dolce Vita: a summer salad, a few olives and a glass of good red wine. Borgo Egnazia’s culinary offerings are many and varied, and what I enjoyed most in the end were the simplest local dishes with fresh, tasty produce .
In particular, I loved the trattoria La Fresca and its vegetarian menu of Apulian cuisine. We also experienced a fantastic Barbecue one evening, with a vast choice of meats and trimmings in an enchanting setting.
Another favorite is the breakfast, which is not a buffet. You can choose from an à la carte menu of cheeses, fresh fruit and traditional recipes served with a good cappuccino.
One of my favorite dishes was the poached egg in pea cream with crispy pancetta.
In the end, Borgo Egnazia’s cuisine fully contributes to the feeling of happiness that the hotel so successfully conveys, and makes you want to return to taste the rest of the menu.
Borgo Egnazia is more than a hotel, it’s a destination in itself, immersing you in a cinema setting. The spa has an irresistible charm and the treatment programs, dedicated to happiness, don’t exist anywhere else. It’s an energetic place to visit, whether on your own or with the whole family. Try it at least once in your life!Luxe Wellness Club
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