Going on a wellness holiday with the kids in toe is not always easy. As a parent, you’ll no doubt be in need of the kind of restorative me-time you would get on a spa holiday or a wellness break. But, you’ll also want somewhere that your children will enjoy just as much as you will. Then, add in that you’re looking for somewhere that’s just a short flight away, and you might be left with few options. If you’re looking for all this and more, look no further than Borgo Egnazia.
If you’re at all familiar with Italian, the name of this resort alone will conjure a clear image of what you can expect. For those that don’t, “Borgo” roughly translates to village or town, and shares an origin with the English word “borough”. It’s an apt name, because set across a truly expansive estate on the Puglian coast and comprised of a collection of fortress-like traditional stone buildings, Borgo Egnazia feels more like ancient village than it does a resort and is truly a destination in itself.
The first thing you’ll notice when you walk through the olive-tree lined streets (yes, streets) is the effortless style that permeates the resort. Throughout, the blanched stone buildings are paired with thick textiles in tones of bright white, oat and earthy brown, timber-frame furniture and wrought-iron accents. Spaces feel cool, comfortable and chic without ever feeling excessive.
Despite its size and the wealth of facilities on offer, Borgo Egnazia emits a profoundly restful vibe. Even when the 180-room luxury resort is at full capacity, it doesn’t feel crowded. This is at least partially thanks to its village-like design. The labyrinthine grounds are littered with sun-lit resting spots and rooftop terraces, connected by narrow arched walkways, meaning that everyone can find a little slice of peace or a new place they wish to discover. The facilities, too, are carefully dotted throughout. Through one arch you’ll find an indoor or an outdoor pool, through another, a Michelin-star restaurant. Walk down the hill and you’ll find a beach club, elsewhere an 18-hole golf course. But, because all of the similar facilities are grouped together, you won’t need to go on an expedition to reach all of the different family-friendly facilities.
One of the biggest draws to this incredible resort is the Vair Spa. Dressed with the same simple and soothing design as the rest of the resort, and gently illuminated by flickering candle light, this other-worldly subterranean sanctuary feels special before you even begin your treatment. Which, by the way, will be nothing like you’ve experienced before.
To start with, Vair Spa, doesn’t feel like its manned by staff, or that they are providing a service. Rather, it feels as though the robe-clad “ancella” that silently glide around the Roman thermal baths barefoot, or the skilled massage therapists that softly usher you to your treatment suite, are there to gently guide you through a journey.
Then, it’s not just Vair Spa’s approach to their staff that’s radical. Inspired by the traditions and values of Puglia, Vair Spa proudly takes a unique approach to promoting wellbeing. Though, yes, you will find all of the treatments and rituals you’ve had or heard of before, you’ll notice that at Vair Spa, it’s not about a quick pedicure, body wrap or facial before rushing off to your next activity. At Vair Spa, you’re invited to ease into a different pace of life. Sit a while, rest, switch-off and simply allow the mental and physical recalibration to come to you.
The path you take on your holistic wellness journey is up to you. It could be that you choose for a day of hedonism, peacefully meandering from treatment to treatment, Or that you choose to embark on a something more in depth – a meditation on you, woven around restorative treatments, and perhaps, emerging with a new sense of self or new routines to promote long term health and wellbeing. It’s your choice, and under the guidance of expert wellness consultants, you’ll be certain to leave with the fresh energy you hoped for (and most-likely a desperation to go back).
On offer are a number of the tried and tested cornerstone treatments, including facials, massages, manicures and pedicures, each with a distinctly ‘Vair’ twist. Head and back massages are tailored to different moods, body types and individual needs through varied massage techniques, implements and natural oils. For instance, golfers may opt for the Skangre massage, which promotes muscle recovery through a massage using rolled towels soaked in perfumed hot water. Meanwhile, the U Mor massage ushers you into relaxation through a rhythmic, undulating massage accompanied by live music, and the U Berafatt massage will help to realign your body through a stimulating mix of stretches, pressures and olive oil scrubs.
In addition, Vair Spa also boasts a wide number of less-familiar, specialist treatments. At the Aroma Lab, positive emotions and wellbeing are promoted through olfactory experiences that are tailored to each individual that can be surprisingly profound and therapeutic. Those seeking profound relaxation, can bathe in the flotation tank, where they will experience being utterly weightless. Or, those seeking physical regeneration can stimulate their circulation through an invigorating ice bath in the cryocabin or warm your body to the core in a dry infrared heat bath.
If you can’t choose, you don’t need to. Opt for one of the three ‘stories’ which integrate multiple treatments across the course of a day to holistically promote wellness across your whole body, or tailor-make your own wellness journey with one of the expert therapists.
For the little ones…
Borgo Egnazia’s distinctive attention to detail and celebratory approach to promoting wellbeing extends beyond the spa and the adult guests. With the little ones in mind, Borgo Egnazia ensure it is a family-friendly break with activities and facilities throughout the resort. While you’re spending time together, this means that you can look forward easy-going restaurants that serve food options appealing to even the fussiest palates and a separate swimming pool where your children can splash and play to their hearts content.
But, thanks to the kid’s clubs, you can slope off to discover the offerings of the spa assured that your children will be having just as much fun as you are. Even if you visit during the low season, every day, all day, your children can join a schedule that’s bursting with fun age-appropriate activities guided by skilled, multi-lingual staff.
For the under 12’s, the Trullalleri kid’s club offers cooking classes, where they can learn to cook some classic Puglian cuisine, treasure hunts and craft workshops, as well as a full range of indoor and outdoor activities.
Meanwhile, because Borgo Egnazia understand that children of different ages might have different ideas of what constitutes fun, they afford more flexibility to the older children. Those between the ages of 8 and 12 can join the Tarantari club and the tweens can join the Marinai club. In addition to sports clubs, and open outdoor spaces that they can enjoy under the supervision of trained staff, they can also enjoy an indoor multimedia centre equipped with games and computers.
With babysitting services also available, you can even enjoy a romantic meal with your partner or an evening in the spa, knowing that your children are not only safe but are also busy making memories.
All of this demonstrates how this resort absolutely ticks off relaxing on a break away whilst still being able to bring along the little ones.