Walking around the Borgo Egnazia property is like stepping into an Italian fairy tale. And in fact, guests are actually walking around a recreated Italian village at this resort, situated right in the heart of Puglia, the heel of Italy’s boot.
The word refreshing is the perfect descriptor of this property. Borgo Egnazia has combined serene, natural surroundings with a customer-centered service approach, fabulous family amenities and a unique resort design, leaving guests feeling truly relaxed.
Borgo Egnazia has foregone the typical resort structure of wide paths, obvious signage and grid-like patterns among its buildings and amenities. Instead, the property is laid out as if it were a small Puglian town, complete with a main piazza that serves as a central gathering point. While this may mean that visitors can easily get turned around and find themselves lost among the maze-like alleys and paths, it actually lends itself to the slow, meandering pace that is the goal of a stay here. While the property is clearly not authentic, it is still visually stunning.
Despite the resort’s large size, visitors won’t waste time criss-crossing the property many times throughout the day, as Borgo Egnazia’s layout is so well thought-out. Key activities are grouped together — for example, the kids’ club and teen room building is right next to the family pool, which is right next to the playground. A casual restaurant sits just above the kids’ club. Such organization is quite convenient when staying at a resort of this size with young kids.
Beauty continues into the interior spaces, with a design that is simple yet incredibly visually appealing, and still in keeping with its natural Italian surroundings. Even my young boys commented on the decor, which is a first for them. Borgo Egnazia has somehow married rustic charm with understated luxury throughout the property.
This serene feeling permeates the landscaping, which is full of natural plants and not overly sculpted. Puglia is often referred to as the garden basket of Italy, and the property is indeed surrounded by lush farmland. Visits to the farm are often incorporated into kids’ club activities and produce grown onsite is a key component of the cuisine served in the restaurants. My kids were tempted to pluck oranges and lemons right off the trees growing throughout the property.
There is a wide array of room sizes and configurations in three separate areas of the property. La Corte, where my family stayed, is the main reception building and includes several dining options(as well as the indoor pool and spa). We were in the smallest room style, and while it wasn’t particularly spacious, the layout was well conceived. A favorite feature was the separate full-size sofa, which made bedtime reading, watching cartoons, planning the next day’s adventures, and just relaxing more fun because we weren’t forced to use the bed for daytime activities.
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The balconies are another highlight of the rooms. With plenty of space for the whole family to enjoy, they give guests a great chance to enjoy the temperate Puglian climate without leaving the room.
For families traveling during the busy summer season, I’d recommend rooms in the Il Borgo building, which are closer to the family-centered amenities. Or consider one of the large, three- to four-bedroom villas for a multifamily or multigenerational trip.
Guests with kids are not forgotten at Borgo Egnazia; indeed, they are very much catered to in subtle yet important ways. There is a separate outdoor swimming pool for families, complete with zero-entry shallow areas for lots of fun yet safe playtime in the water. (The indoor pool, staffed with a lifeguard, also welcomes children, though at specific hours.) The adults-only pool is gorgeous, and would be great to enjoy while children are off at the kids’ club.
The kids’ club offers a robust schedule of daily activities, even during the off-season when we visited, and is open all day. I appreciated that many of the activities have a cultural connection to the Puglia region. For example, at a cooking lesson, my kids learned to make a particular type of bread unique to the area. The facility is fun and bright, and the staff are cheerful and welcoming. An adjoining teen room looked equally well-appointed.
Should parents want to enjoy childcare during the off-hours, there is an exceptional, well-organized babysitting service available. This gives parents peace of mind to indulge in spa treatments, play a round at the adjacent golf course or join in one of the many cultural activities arranged each day, like cooking classes and local artisan demonstrations.
People often visit Italy with one goal in mind: to eat well. Guests at Borgo Egnazia will not be disappointed. The breakfast buffet was not only gorgeously presented in a bright, spacious room, but it was every bit as delicious as it looked.
For other meals, there are a variety of dining options from formal to casual, particularly in the high season. Service is quick and friendly in the restaurants that welcome children, with staff that know how to cater to families. Because I visited during the low season, I was not able to try out all of Borgo Egnazia’s dining options, but those I did try were wonderful.
TIP: Guests should note that convenient dining is somewhat limited to onsite restaurants. The nearest town only has a few offerings, and larger towns are more than a 30-minute drive away.
Puglia is such a unique area of Italy, still somewhat untouched by mass tourism. Borgo Egnazia matches it in both its rustic charm and in the way it creates an atmosphere of total tranquility for its guests.
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Editor’s Note: Nicole was provided a media rate to review the property for Ciao Bambino. As always, all opinions are our own. Photos by Nicole Wiltrout.
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