The Borgo Egnazia in Puglia would have to be our all time luxury family holiday destination so far! From the moment you arrive the property blows you away as you enter a candlelit fortress built to imitate a traditional village that seems it was built hundreds of years ago but in actual fact is new. The stylish and accommodating staff were amazing helping with anything we desired, constantly stealing our six month old, August, for cuddles every time they saw him. The five star facilities entertain any appetite with a kids club, four swimming pools, two beach clubs at two different private beaches, a championship golf course, gym, yoga studio, farm and an amazing spa. My three year old son, Archer, loved riding the bikes all over the estate. The food was magnificent and there was a myriad of activities that both adults and children could take part in. We adored our days spent poolside as a family soaking in the captivating setting coupled with the impeccable service, where we could do as much or as little as we pleased, perfection!
Breakfast was amazing. Everything was so fresh, made by them or from local growers. So good! I think Archer had a custard croissant everyday for breakfast (just quietly so did I!) along with the freshly carved prosciutto. So many options for dinner which means you never need to leave the resort although there were lots of local restaurants that were incredible as well. My favourite dinner of the stay would have to be the market night in the piazza (did I mention how enormous the resort is? Its like living in a little Italian village. It takes a couple days to get your bearings and work out how to get everywhere!) where they had fabulous entertainment with numerous street performers such as fire breathers and stilt walkers. There were market stalls set up in all the little laneways and streets around the piazza and you could just wander around and pick whatever you felt like to eat. They had nonnas hand rolling pasta on little tables where anyone could sit down and learn with them as well as teaching children to makes dolls, jewellery etc. Food was fantastic and I couldn’t even tell you everything we ate because we ate so much! But I can remember the melt in your mouth mozzarella that was being hand pulled then dropped onto peoples plates, freshly rolled pasta and vegetable dishes that were straight from the garden.
Kids club was exceptional with daily programmes that included cooking classes, art, swimming, playground adventures, visits to the farm, visits to the beach and little concerts and it was all included in your stay! There were two kids clubs, one for the 3 – 8 year olds and another for the older kids. The beautiful staff at the kids club also provided babysitting which we used a few nights and loved having the same gorgeous girl come and be with our children so we could enjoy some adult time. The pools were fantastic and the family pool was adored by my sons who loved all the toys and perfect temperature of the water. August is only new to the whole swimming caper and loved splashing about in the shallow toddler pool which I enjoyed as well as I could sit in there with him and relax.
Puglia has lots to do and see as well with the trulli houses and postcard worthy seaside towns. We had two excellent lunches out and about in the Puglia region. One in Alberobello, which is a gorgeous town full of the trulli houses, at Trattoria Terra Madre. They had a wonderful vegetable garden and seemed to provide us with dish after dish of mouth watering vegetable plates followed by homemade pasta made with local produce and from the garden that surrounds you as you dine. The other lunch we had was in the quaint town of Ostuni at Osteria del Tempo Perso which was set in an old cave. Food again was magnificent along with the setting and the staff were fantastic.
Puglia itself seems to be a bit of a newcomer on peoples travel radar which i think adds to its appeal. Its definitely more authentic, less touristy than other parts of Italy with both the food and landscape more rustic. We loved it and staying at Borgo Egnazia made it the ultimate luxury family holiday. Have a look for yourself! http://borgoegnazia.com