Passion Points: Style
Encompassing the Adriatic and Ionian coasts, in the heel of Italy, Puglia is one of the country’s most unspoiled—and unexplored—regions. Opened to much international buzz in May 2010, Borgo Egnazia, a resort midway between international hubs Bari and Brindisi, is bringing new attention to this stunning southern corner of Italy. (Read Just Back from Puglia)
Located near the small fishing village of Savelletri di Fasano, the resort is set back from the indigo Adriatic, which is visible from most of the 63 hotel rooms, 28 three-bedroom pool villas and soon-to-be-opened 93 room village. Borgo Egnazia overlooks the adjacent 18-hole San Domenico Golf Course (where guests receive reduced rates), as well as the nearby ruins of the ancient city of Egnazia. Architect and owner Aldo Melpignano designed the resort in the style of a traditional masseria (fortified farmhouse), appropriate for this type of full-scale resort where every luxury amenity is contained within its tall (locally sourced) tufa stonewalls. The use of indigenous materials reflects the sense of place that is at the heart of the development, which also boasts a mostly local staff and interiors that were designed by Puglia native, Pino Brescia. Whites, creams and taupe are featured throughout, and tasteful touches include jars of grain, stacks of old newspapers and glass lanterns seemingly covering every flat surface.
Borgo Egnazia is an immensely photogenic hotel, with inviting arches, courtyards and columns that evoke more than a hint of a Moorish palace. The many alfresco spots invite lounging, especially the split-level main pool area, with two enormous pools, a small café and bar and relaxing day beds. This area opens up to the dining terrace of beautiful signature restaurant Due Camini (meaning two fireplaces). Michelin-star chef Mario Musoni presides over the seasonal and local menu with set options for all inclusive guests as well as à la carte and kids’ menus. There are, naturally, exceptional regional wines on offer, and a charming sommelier on hand for recommendations. Keen chefs and novices can master chef Musino’s dishes at the soon-to-be-opened cooking school in the village complex.
The resort’s popularity with families is bolstered by a fantastic kids’ club OurSpace, with supervised activities for children aged eight-months to 13- years in the indoor playroom, adventure playground and kids swimming pool. Parents with time-off can relax in the 1,800-square-meter Egnathia Spa boasting a relaxing indoor pool, treatments in the frigidarium, tepidarium and caldarium and special midnight-massage events. Outdoors, there are such activities as golfing, tennis, horse riding and biking for the whole family, as well as a complimentary shuttle down to the private beach club Bambù, five minutes away. For day trips, the stunning ancient cities of Lecce, Ostuni, Alberobello and Locorotondo are all less than two hours drive from the resort. With the debut of Borgo Egnazia it looks like Puglia is ready for its close-up.
Who’s it right for: Families, golfers and those who like the reliable comforts and lack of decision making guaranteed by a full-service resort.
Who’s it wrong for: Anyone looking for a quiet, boutique getaway and those who like to explore without many others around.
Price/Details: Rooms from $270. 72010 Savelletri di Fasano, Brindisi; (39) 080-225-5000; www.borgoegnazia.com.
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