This Italian island lies in the sea space between Sicily and Corsica. It’s well known, yet off the mainstream budget flight path, so attracts a more discerning traveller. Loved for its beautiful beaches and crystal clear Mediterranean shores, Sardinia can also be rugged and wild, depending on which area you visit. And it is this variety of landscape and holiday experiences that draws many. It may be part of Italy, but the food here is unique. The island has its own national dish, Pecora in cappotto, a type of mutton stew. Su Porcheddu, a spit-roasted pork, popular in the countryside is also well worth a try.
Hotel Cala di Volpe, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Costa Smeralda
Hotel Cala di Volpe is found in one of the most popular areas for tourists, known as the Emerald Coast. It takes the form of a village, with its jetty stretching out into the water and was originally designed by Jacques Couelle’s in the 1960s. Boasting a barbecue area, an Olympic-size saltwater pool, direct access to the sea and 121 bedrooms with private terraces, it provides ample opportunity to enjoy the alfresco life. Hotel Cala di Volpe’s Shiseido Spa is uber-modern – fewer than three years old – and the restaurant, Le Grand, provides unrestricted water views.
Li Finistreddi Exclusive Country Retreat
Take the helicopter flight from Olbia to arrive at Li Finistreddi’s private heliport in suitably exclusive style. The country retreat overlooks Costa Smeralda and the archipelago of La Maddalena from its hilltop perch. Every room here has main door access, sea views and Frette bed linens, with local materials and handiworks incorporated into the decor. A four-minute shuttle transfer takes guests staying here to the retreat’s private area of Barca Bruciata beach, or guests can lounge by the pool and visit the spa. Dining takes place at Osteria Gourmet with its glass-fronted veranda overlooking the sea, and dishes crafted using produce from the resort’s own organic kitchen garden.
Adjacent to the Conca Verde Beach on the north coast, La Coluccia offers views across to Spargi island. This was one of Sardinia’s first boutique resorts, in a secluded spot, providing chic accommodation. Accommodation categories range from design rooms overlooking the garden or inner courtyard, through to suites with spacious living areas — many are accessible and cots can be provided. In the restaurant, a team of specialist chefs handcraft items such as bread and pasta and desserts, with food served overlooking the sea, on a terrace over the pool. The spa encompasses a relaxation area with herbal teas, massage cabins and a gym.
Hotel Abi D’Oru
This 5-star resort has taken pride of place on Marinella beach in Porto Rotondo, since its inception in 1963. 59 bedrooms and suites are decorated with Sardinian and Mediterranean furnishings, marble from Orosei, Samugheo rugs and picture windows showcasing the stunning outlook. There are three dining options, two of which are in-house; Mediterraneo (serving family-friendly breakfasts and evening meals), Tzia Maria (for lunch and dinner) and the Marinella Beach Restaurant (for which guests receive a credit). The Lobby Bar accompanies drinks with live piano music, the Pool Bar for beverages, snacks and ice cream and the elegant Marinella Lounge Bar. Hotel Abi D’Oru also has an excellent spa and the Bee Happy Kids’ Club.
While Poetto beach is just minutes away, Palazzo Doglio is very much a city hotel, found in the historic centre of Cagliari. 72 bedrooms are bathed in natural light and feature precious Carrara marble. Created for both business and leisure, there are meetings rooms, a conference theatre and the Doglio Club provides Natura Bissé treatments. Osteria del Forte, a classic trattoria, has the esteemed Executive Chef Alessandro Cocco at the helm. Saudade is the Japanese-Brazilian eatery, Maiori is a contemporary pizzeria, the American Bar serves cocktails and Colonial is the new restaurant concept coming soon.