Borgo Egnazia is the much, much bigger brother of the enchanting guest house Masseria Cimino and super-swanky Masseria San Domenico Hotel. The property opened in the summer of 2010, allowing the Melpignano family to help transform Puglia into one of the most sought-after and beloved destinations across the world. They are keen to emphasise that Borgo Egnazia is not a resort but a new concept in hospitality. They are right and despite its size, it achieves what many large resorts and big hotels fail miserably at: guests feel that they are part of a small, well-run family operation.
Carved entirely from local Tufo stone, the estate is made up of the smart Hotel La Corte, a separate ‘village’ Il Borgo consisting of one- and two-bedroomed village houses, and finally 28 all-singing, all-dancing private villas with their own pools and butlers. The design throughout the estate is wonderfully cool, beige and ever so chic. Everything from the hand-cut limestone to the classic Apulian furniture is locally sourced. No expense has been spared in the extraordinary attention to detail, and even the cactii appeared to have had their prickles removed.
Borgo Egnazia is a joy for families and travellers who like everything handed to them on a plate. The 18-hole golf course, two beach clubs and four swimming pools, tennis courts and a multitude of daily activities keep even the most active soul occupied. And for downtime, the Vair Spa is the best in the region.
Food wise it can feel a little resorty at times. Those in the know, nip onto a golf buggy and whizz down to the sea to Cala Masciola, the delicious, whitewashed, incredibly comfortable fish restaurant which is part of the Borgo Egnazia beach Club. Here, prawns, scampi and sea bream caught daily by local fishermen are deftly sliced into spanking fresh carpaccio or folded into silken pasta hand-rolled that morning.