At one of the most picturesque places the Adriatic coast of Italy has to offer, where the foothills of the majestic Dolomites meet the sea, you’ll find the five-star Falisia Resort and Spa Portopiccolo nested between the rocks. We traveled out for a two night stay and experienced everything the luxury resort has to offer.
The Falisia at Portopiccolo is located in a unique spot characterized by its serene atmosphere. Yet it is relatively simple to reach and is an excellent starting positions for a variety of different day trips. Trieste Airport is just a 15 minute drive and the A4 that connects Trieste with the rest of Italy is just a five-minute drive away. Trieste itself is just 10 kilometers down the coastline, while world-famous Venice takes just one and a half hour to reach by car.
This makes the Falisia not only perfect for a weekend getaway: there is plenty to do for guests that wish to stay longer. Slovenia is just a 15-minute drive away, the Dolomites mountains can be reached within an hour and Croatia is easily reachable by car as well.
History and Design
Looking like as it was part of its background, construction workers finished laying the last few bricks on the resort only several years ago. After a full tour of the complex the sales manager of the resort invited us to the sales office situated on top of the rocks, overlooking the impressive resort and the Adriatic Sea. As the last rays of light from the setting sun light up the office, we were presented with a miniature version of the Portopiccolo resort.
The level of detail and sophistication in design were astonishing. We were told that one single wealthy family from the region developed and paid for the project; yeah, let that sink in for a minute. A decade ago there was nothing but rocks with caves, water and a creative developer with a vision.
The status quo looks nothing like things were a decade ago, or does it? From the right perspective you can see how much work was put into making the structures look like as they emerged from the rock wall sitting behind it. For a part this is actually true, a massive 1200-space parking garage runs underneath the entire resort to make sure there is space to park for residents, hotel guests and guests of the small luxury shopping center and renowned Spa by Bakel. Cool fact: the parking garage was carved from the rock and follows the paths of the original caves, making it a seriously complex structure.
Rising above the underground parking structure are the likes of a historical Italian coastal village, but built in the 21st century. The villas that extend above the Italian village themed residences and streets have a more modern, yet classy design. The Portopiccolo resort boasts an impressive 460 residences in total, including 10 large villas that have their own pools. Up to 80% of the project has sold, mostly to locals, Austrians and Germans that were looking for a fully serviced apartment on the Italian coast. With prices starting from €300.000, they are actually more affordable than they appear to be.
Right at the central square of the resort, where a with luxury yachts occupied marine meets the warm beige stone colors of the resort, stands the 5-star Falisia Resort and Spa. Just as with the rest of the resort, the hotel building perfectly blends in with its surroundings. We can immediately see how the famous Swarovski family picked this resort for a grand wedding last year.
The interior, immediately evident as you enter the lobby, is dominated by rock-inspired mustard yellow tints that mix well with a shade of marine blue inspired by the Adriatic Sea. The hotel was opened in 2015 features a total of 65 rooms, 21 of which are suites, divided over four floors. Our room was centrally located on the second floor with sea views and the hotel’s in-building spa across the hall. The size of the spa inside the Falisia Hotel building is modest, but offers everything you need. If you desire more variety, hotel staff is happy to arrange a golfcar escort to the Spa by Bakel, which is less than a 10-minute walk from the hotel.
Entering the SPA room inside the hotel building, clients will feel the warmth coming from the artificial fireplace, the sauna and the Jacuzzi. The lack of a real fireplace is slightly disheartening as we enter the room. However, the dim lights and eucalypt aroma take control over one’s senses and you immediately feel more relaxed.
Spa by Bakel
The larger SPA, which is also open to resort residents and general visitors, is an entity of its own. The big wellness center is equipped with everything necessary for a rela afternoon: it has a dedicated floor for massages, beauty treatments, and aromatherapies, as well as a fitness. We couldn’t wait to try out the famous heated outdoor pool. Given it was 5 degrees Celsius outside, it was a very bizarre experience to swim in an outdoor pool and feel extremely warm and cozy. The heat continued inside where the pool transformed into a Jacuzzi bath.
As any well respected SPA centre, Portopiccolo Spa by Bakel offers a wide variety of relaxation and healing hubs: a sauna, a steaming room, a “freezer” room and a salt-therapy pool. Our suggestion: jump in the cold pool after you have relaxed in the sauna, this will feel like a cold shower first thing in the morning! The only disadvantage of the SPA is that time flies fast and it is time for dinner before you know it.
A gourmet experience
The Falisia feautures two restaurants where visitors enjoy a rich breakfast buffet in the morning and a 5-star dining experience in the evening: the “Cliff’ and “Slim”. The breakfast buffet is accompanied by a menu with selected egg dishes such as eggs Benedict, eggs Royal or simply an omelet with seasonal veggies. Even though eggs Benedict with ham is a classic, our recommendation is to try eggs Royal with salmon and Hollandaise. In the evening, we enjoyed some great plates with seasonal fish and fresh pasta which we have reviewed as well.
In addition, there are 8 more restaurants within the whole resort, ranging from pizzerias, beach bars, cafés, bakeries and ice cream shops. Visitors can also spend some time shopping in the fashion outlet in Portopiccolo, located right next to the hotel. Oriented on the higher class, these unique boutique shops offer guests a range of luxury items, clothing and accessories.
They say the most beautiful travel destinations are well-hidden secrets. The Falisia Resort and Spa forms no exception: this secret escape will have your car navigation puzzled and is well tucked away on a quiet stretch of Adriatic coastline. But once you’re there, there is little left to desire. The Falisia Resort and Spa at Portopiccolo is the perfect luxury getaway for a grand summer holiday or a relaxed winter weekend.