Interview with Aldo Melpignano, General Manager of Hotel Borgo EgnaziaOn a recent trip to Hotelspa Forum, I had the privilege of meeting with Aldo Melpignano, who helped me discover Hotel Borgo Egnazia. Located in Puglia in Italy, Hotel Borgo Egnazia has created an authentic art of welcoming to help people achieve wellness and discover the local beauty of Puglia.
How do you define the art of welcoming at Hotel Borgo Egnazia?
Our business started by converting our private residences into a hotel. We try to bring the hospitality of a private home into our hotels. Now that we are a slightly bigger company with more properties—especially with Borgo Egnazia, which is a bigger place compared to our historic farmhouse—we try to pass on that same message and make sure that guests feel welcome as if they were in a private house.
We do that because we have a bigger place and we have a team of people whom we call local advisors who are your friends, and each of them takes care of a smaller group of guests. They get in touch before they arrive, they try to understand the one reason why they’re coming to stay with us and help them achieve their goal. The local advisors also have them experience the Puglia that is right for them and that they are looking for, just as a local friend would do if you were visiting a destination.
What is the spa concept at Hotel Borgo Egnazia?
At Vair, we look at well-being from a 360-degree level. It goes beyond just a spa. For us, it is very important that everyone who comes to Hotel Borgo Egnazia as a guest, no matter what reason they are coming for, can stay and go away feeling a bit enriched, more joyful and happier. The concept is the same for people who come for personal retreats.
Our motto for our spa is a saying in a local dialect that translates to: “The sun rises and rises for everyone.” The message is that there is joy and happiness available to everyone. We try and help people bring that out a little bit more during their stay with us. We have excellent therapists who work with us, so we don’t forget the physical side. But we try to connect the larger reason behind people’s needs. For instance, if people feel pain, we try to connect it to the reason behind it and try to see if we can create a journey to overcome that and feel a bit better at the personal level in addition to the physical level.
What is your vision for well-being in the future?
Well-being is something that should be looked at as a whole, not just in the context of wellness and the spa industry. What does it mean to feel well? For me, it’s very personal. It might not be for everyone to just go to the spa and have a massage. The first thing is to really understand: what is right for this person? For somebody, well-being could be relaxing and having a glass of wine overlooking the sea, simply because that’s what they’re missing in their life.
I personally believe well-being is a 360-degree view. It means balancing your life and understanding how you’re feeling. We try to bring that in to our properties, not just keeping a sole focus on the spa component.
Laurent Delporte, an editor and conference speaker, is a strategic expert in the sector of hotels. A visionary, he brings his unique look on hotels in service to the decision-makers in the industry, whether to enhance the development of new projects or strategic visions.
Laurent has visited and audited over 350 hotels across the world and also participates in mystery visits to provide quality control for the world’s finest hotels.