I arrived at Bari airport on a beautiful sunny day in February to be greeted by the driver from the Borgobianco Resort & Spa, a charming luxury hotel near Polignano a Mare in Puglia, southern Italy.

Soon we were on our way and once outside Bari’s conurbation we were passing fields of ancient, twisted and gnarled olive trees, interspersed with blossoming almond trees rising from a carpet of vivid orange and yellow wildflowers. Every now and again, partly hidden by the trees, we’d spot a tumbled-down trulli, the traditional cone-shaped buildings unique to Puglia; a  beautiful part of Italy, yet to be discovered by mass tourism.

The white washed buildings of Borgobianco Resort & Spa set against a glorious deep blue sky.

Pretty country lanes lead to the hotel which is a few miles inland from the lovely seaside town of Polignano a Mare. The fields of wildflowers and olive groves make an enchanting setting for the grand, white-stone hotel that nestles comfortably within its surroundings. You would never guess that it was built just 4 years ago as it was designed with the local architectural traditions and building materials in mind, in the style of the local masseria, the rather grand farmhouses of the area.

Puglian countryside

Borgobianco Resort & Spa Review

On arrival, we receive a warm greeting from Laure who arranged the press trip. Originally from France, she came to Polignano for a two week holiday. She felt so at home here she decided to stay!

Borgobianco bedroom

Passing a spacious courtyard with a shaded seating area and a tinkling fountain, I am shown to my delightful room with doors leading out to my own terrace overlooking the gardens. It is decorated all in white, as is the entire hotel, creating a cool and relaxing atmosphere throughout. With indoor and outdoor swimming pools (with heated hydro massage pool), spa with sauna, steam room and gym, 48 rooms and suites, 2 meeting rooms and free Wi-Fi this beautiful hotel really has a lot to offer.

Borgobianco Resort & Spa swimmin pool and terrace, edged with a circle of sunbeds and a ancient olive tree

After un-packing I have a couple of hours to relax. My room at Borgobianco is perfect with a spacious wardrobe, desk, comfy chair, flat screened TV and mini-bar. In the en-suite bathroom, everything I could possibly need is provided including a pretty matching set of body wash, moisturiser, shampoo and conditioner. The heated towel rail keeps the fluffy white towels and robe continually warm and dry. There is even a pair of slippers in the wardrobe.

We are offered an aperitif before dinner. Cosimo, our bartender and an expert at creating the most delicious cocktails with a unique flair and charm, readily suggests one of his favourites for me to try. My Aperol sour really hits the spot.

Borgobianco bar

Upstairs in the restaurant, the hotel’s head chef at Borgobianco, Leonardo, has selected a special 6-course dinner to show off the best of all that the hotel and the region have to offer. Red mullet, scampi risotto and ‘slowly cooked’ shi drum (a fish, previously unknown to me) are on the menu, followed by two desserts! Cosimo, who is our waiter for the evening, recommends a Tormaresca Chardonnay, to compliment our meal. I can see that the next few days are going to be a serious set back for my diet. Never mind. Needs must!

My stay at Borgobianco Resort & Spa was just for a few days but I had time for a wonderful massage in the hotel’s spa and a tour of the lovely seaside town of Polignano. We visited the beautiful village of Alberobello, with its famous trulli lined streets, the little harbour at San Vito, the medieval town of Ostuni (known as The White City), and the stunning cave system at Castellana Grote. Sadly, we didn’t have time to visit Minervino di Lecce, another town I heard much about but what more excuse than that do I do to return one day.

And the weather, although a little chilly in the evenings, was a sunny 20 degrees plus during the day – perfect for exploring Puglia. What more could I ask for?

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