19 Top-Rated Hotels & Resorts in Sardinia
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Sardinia is a land of contrasts, rising sharply from turquoise waters and beautiful white-sand beaches to rocky mountain peaks of more than 1,800 meters. Accommodations are just as varied, from rustic-chic county inns to the ultra-smart luxury hotels of the Costa Smeralda and all-inclusive beach resorts for family holidays.
Whether arriving by ferry or air, you'll probably begin in the island capital of Cagliari, worth a stop for its historic sites even if you are intent on Sardinia's beaches. Although the Costa Smeralda gets more international attention, some of the best resorts are in south Sardinia and are easy to reach from Cagliari. Just to the south are the resorts of Pula, handy also to one of Sardinia's major archeological attractions, the Phoenician/Roman village of Nora.
To the east of Cagliari is the Costa Rei, Coast of Kings, with its cluster of resorts around Villasimius and long beaches stretching northward. On the west coast is the Costa Verde, with miles of undeveloped dunes and beach.
As the area is less affected by tourism, you'll find few hotels and resorts here. Farther north along this eastern coast is the beautiful small city of Alghero, close to the spectacular sea caves of Grotto di Nettuno and several of Sardinia's most fascinating prehistoric sites.
Best known of Sardinia's beaches are those idyllic coves of the Costa Smeralda, Emerald Coast, in the northeast. Developed by the Aga Kahn in the 1970s as a high-end luxury playground for the rich, the coast now has a more egalitarian mix of A-list and family holiday resorts.
Just inland is lush Galura, with its wild upland landscapes, stone villages, massive rock formations, and hidden valleys. Also inland, in the center of the island, are the mountains of the Gennargentu, wild landscapes, and traditional villages largely untouched by the tourism of the beach resort towns. Here as in Galura, country inns give you a chance to explore the beautiful and dramatic interior and get a better look at Sardinia's unique traditions and culture.
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Best Luxury Hotels & Resorts in Sardinia
1. La Villa del Re
Accommodation: La Villa del Re
The 5-star Villa del Re, overlooking a long sand beach of the Costa Rei, is an adults-only hotel. Elegantly furnished rooms in white and creamy colors have spacious balconies overlooking the landscaped gardens and the sea; marble baths have double vanities and premium bath amenities and the added luxuries of lush robes and slippers.
A lovely terrace with bougainvillea-draped stone walls overlooks an infinity pool that seems to drop into the sea, and you can linger over the full breakfast at tables on the lawn.
2. Hotel Villa Fanny
Accommodation: Hotel Villa Fanny
The boutique Hotel Villa Fanny is in a quiet residential neighborhood in Cagliari, a short walk from the historic center. Some of Cagliari's most interesting archaeological sites and attractions, including the Roman Amphitheatre and the Botanical Gardens, are even closer. The 18-room inn itself is historic, and careful restoration has preserved its antique features.
The hotel sits surrounded by gardens, and all rooms are sound-proofed so you'd think you were far out in the countryside. Guests are further pampered by pillow-top mattresses, slippers, heated towel racks, and the excellent included breakfasts.
3. Hotel Capo D'Orso Thalasso & Spa
Accommodation: Hotel Capo D'Orso Thalasso & Spa
Views from the luxurious 5-star Hotel Capo d'Orso take in the Maddalena Archipelago and the Costa Smeralda, in the North of Sardinia. Guests relax on wooden platforms over the water or enjoy the views from hammocks under juniper trees that line the shore between the two beaches of Cala Capra and Cala Selvaggia.
The surrounding turquoise waters define the experience here, with L'Incantu SPA specializing in thalassotherapy and a private marina filled with yachts; sailing trips take you to secluded cove beaches. Spacious rooms with elegant canopied beds and soaking or whirlpool tubs overlook the sea, and the two restaurants serve sophisticated international cuisine.
4. Hotel Li Finistreddi
Accommodation: Hotel Li Finistreddi
Set in its own park and flower gardens with spectacular views of the sea and mountains, the boutique Hotel Li Finistreddi is a secluded country retreat only minutes from the Costa Smeralda beaches and tourist attractions. The natural surroundings heighten the impression of being far away from the crowds, but a lively town with plenty of dining options is only 10 minutes away.
Some of the 19 rooms are villas with terraces and plunge pools, and there is an infinity pool with superb views. The contemporary architecture and décor favors clean lines and natural stone and limed wood. Hotel Li Finistreddi also offers package holidays.
5. Forte Village Resort - Villa del Parco
Accommodation: Forte Village Resort - Villa del Parco
A collection of all-inclusive hotels located within easy reach of Cagliari and the airport, Forte Village Resort is a self-contained group of hotels with something for every taste in lodging. Villa del Parco is an oasis of palm-fringed pools and chic contemporary rooms with terraces.
One of the best-known resorts on the beach in Sardinia, Forte Village borders the white sands of Spiaggia Santa Maria, with water sports, a diving center, multiple swimming pools, tennis courts, children's playgrounds, jogging trails, and a golf practice range.
There is an award-winning Thalassotherapy spa, and the hotel can arrange tours to the nearby archeological site of Nora. While packages don't necessarily mean cheap holidays, you know the exact cost in advance, so you can relax and enjoy your stay without surprises.
6. L'ea Bianca Luxury Resort
Accommodation: L'ea Bianca Luxury Resort
About 10 minutes from chic Porto Cervo, the 5-star L'ea Bianca Luxury Resort has 31 guest rooms, each with a balcony looking across the large pool terrace to the sea. In addition, five sea-view villas are set into the resort's gardens. Modern rooms are simply furnished, and the tiled baths have double sinks.
In L'ea Bianca's Lunaria restaurant, you can savor local and international specialties in the elegant dining room or out on the terrace overlooking the sea.
7. Hotel Marinedda Thalasso & SPA
Accommodation: Hotel Marinedda Thalasso & SPA
Overlooking the Gulf of Asinara on northern Sardinia's Costa Rossa, the Hotel Marinedda Thalasso & SPA faces a beach that curves around a tranquil bay. The 5-star resort includes 195 rooms, five restaurants, and one of the largest Thalassotherapy spas in the Mediterranean. Guest rooms are spacious, most with sitting areas, and all with balconies or terraces.
While the hotel and its grounds, landscaped in native plants, are a romantic retreat for couples, the resort also caters to families, with swimming pools, activities, and programs for children. The casual Basaricò Pizzeria, with its outdoor café tables, is a particular favorite for families.
8. Forte Village Resort - Hotel Il Castello
Accommodation: Forte Village Resort - Hotel Il Castello
Set apart from the lively scene of the rest of Forte Village hotels, the five-star Hotel Il Castello offers privacy and tranquility in its own secluded corner of the large resort property. Spacious guest rooms are chic shades of white, with terra cotta tile floors and accents of Sardinian folk arts, and all have private balconies or terraces with views of the sea and the pine forests that cover this end of the property.
Although most guests choose Il Castello for its exclusive location and seclusion, all the resort village's sports and recreation facilities are available to them, as well as its many dining options.
9. Faro Capo Spartivento
Accommodation: Faro Capo Spartivento
The five-star Faro Capo Spartivento is quite a change of pace from Sardinia's multitude of purpose-built resort hotels. It occupies a lighthouse built by the Italian navy in 1856. After guiding seamen for more than a century and a half, it was converted into a luxury hotel but retains its historic features, including the brick work and spiral staircase.
Its position atop a cliff on a point of land at the southern tip of the island assures panoramic ocean views; the infinity pool gives new meaning to the word, seeming to continue right to the horizon. Appropriately, the restaurant specializes in local seafood. There's a good beach within walking distance and several more nearby.
10. Pullman Timi Ama Sardegna
Accommodation: Pullman Timi Ama Sardegna
At the southeast tip of the island, about 48 kilometers from Cagliari, the five-star Pullman Timi Ama Sardegna sits above a tranquil bay overlooked by a 14th-century stone tower. The resort is inside the protected area of Capo Carbonara, and the property is landscaped with native plants.
Along with a pool, spa, fitness center, and tennis courts, the resort offers volleyball, archery, aerobics, and a variety of water craft at the beach, which is three minutes away; a shuttle runs to the beach every 10 minutes and there is a free shuttle to the small holiday town of Villasimius, as well. A half-board option includes generous breakfasts and dinner buffets.
11. Villa las Tronas Hotel & Spa
Accommodation: Villa las Tronas Hotel & Spa
Opportunities to stay in a former private palazzo are rare in Sardinia, where most of the hotels are purpose built. And to stay in one that was a favorite retreat of Italian royalty is a particular treat. So are the exceptional service and the setting, poised at the water's edge overlooking the old town of Alghero and beautiful Capo Caccia.
Sunset views from the Villa las Tronas dining room and from guest room balconies are spectacular. The spa has a covered sea-water swimming-pool overlooking the Mediterranean, along with a sauna and Turkish bath. Rooms are grand in scale, and elegantly furnished.
12. Hotel La Rocca Resort & Spa
Accommodation: Hotel La Rocca Resort & Spa
Near Porto Cervo and the heart of the Costa Smeralda, the four-star Hotel La Rocca sits in a beautifully manicured garden of lush lawns, flowering tropical shrubs, and ancient olive trees. Its 55 rooms and suites are stylishly decorated, some with ornamental iron beds and natural wood furniture; the contemporary style includes nice architectural touches, such as domed ceilings.
The resort has its own private sand beach nearby, with a shuttle for guests. The beachside restaurant is a favorite in the evening for its views across the bay. Hidden away in the gardens is the resort's spa.
Best Country Inns in Sardinia
Although most tourists visit Sardinia for its world-class beaches, the mountainous interior of the island is both breathtakingly beautiful and filled with fascinating natural and cultural attractions. These small country inns give you a chance to explore parts of Sardinia where centuries-old traditions and crafts still survive, while staying in stylish and comfortable surroundings that honor the island's heritage.
1. L'Agnata di De Andre
Accommodation: L'Agnata di De Andre
The beloved Italian singer-songwriter De Andre lived and wrote many of his pieces while this country manor house was his home, and it's easy to see how he was inspired by the lush surrounding countryside of Galura. Two of the inn's 10 guest rooms are in the original manor, along with a glass-walled dining room serving updated versions of traditional Sardinian dishes.
The remaining eight rooms at L'Agnata di De Andre are in a new building and have terraces overlooking the pool and rolling landscape. Each room is decorated individually, its design reflecting the island's natural colors and materials.
2. Tenuta Pilastru
Accommodation: Tenuta Pilastru
Set in a landscape ringed by the spectacular mountains of northern Sardinia, Tenuta Pilastru's well-appointed stone and stucco cottages scatter across a grassy hillside, each with its own terrace for enjoying the views. The still mountain air seems worlds away from the Costa Smeralda below, but it's only a few minutes from beaches and ferries to the Maddalena Archipelago and Corsica.
Rooms are decorated in a contemporary style using local materials and designs, and there is a pool. The restaurant is one of the island's best, a rare place to sample traditional island specialties.
3. Su Gologone
Accommodation: Su Gologone
You won't find an inn more steeped in Sardinian folk traditions than Su Gologone, set deep in the countryside surrounded by oaks and macchia. The stony tops of the Sopramonte mountains tower above, and the inn can arrange guided hikes and excursions to archaeological sites.
The inn's rooms and public spaces are decorated with local art and handcrafts, and the menu in the excellent restaurant highlights local dishes, such as culurgiones filled with local cheese and the hard-to-find paper-thin bread called carta di musica.
4. Domu Antiga
Accommodation: Domu Antiga
Guests at this small B&B in an elegantly restored 19th-century stone farmhouse get a taste of Sardinian life that tourists staying in the coastal resorts miss. Set in the rural interior, the village of Gergei is in the heart of a region marked by olive groves, dramatic gorges, and the enigmatic stone towers called Nuraghe. The most famous of these, the World Heritage site of Su Nuraxi, is a short drive away.
The bedrooms have terra cotta floors and exposed beams, and are beautifully furnished, even to the embroidered linens. Breakfasts are bountiful, with local honey and cheeses, and fresh-baked breads. A real treat for guests is eating a dinner of traditional Sardinian dishes they have helped prepare in a cooking lesson with the innkeepers.
Best Hotels near the Airport
Sardinia's main airport is at Cagliari, and almost in the city itself. As taxi rates to the airport are the same even if you are quite close, it makes sense to stay in the city center, nearer to restaurants and tourist attractions.
1. Hotel Regina Margherita
Accommodation: Hotel Regina Margherita
The 4-star Hotel Regina Margherita is right in the heart of Cagliari, on the main street between the harbor and the historic district of Castello. The best shopping is at its doorstep, as are restaurants. Rooms are attractive, and some are designed for families. A boon to those driving rental cars, the hotel has free secure underground parking.
2. T Hotel
Accommodation: T Hotel
The modern T Hotel is one of the city's newest, with 207 contemporary and efficient rooms in a 15-story glass tower with expansive views over the city, the sea, and the mountains to the north. Designed for commercial as well as holiday travelers, it has business and fitness centers, but both the hotel and its restaurant are very welcoming to families. The hotel also has free parking.
3. Palazzo Doglio
Accommodation: Palazzo Doglio
With a resort ambience and an in-town setting, the 5-star Palazzo Doglio in Cagliari is a good base for exploring southern Sardinia while enjoying the city's variety of dining and entertainment options. A 10-minute walk from the Bastion or the Marina, the palace is a destination of its own, with a courtyard surrounded by restaurants featuring Sardinian and other cuisines.
The luxurious spa has a heated whirlpool, and there's a fitness center and gym. In-room details include bathrobes and blackout curtains, and the hotel has a shuttle bus for guests. Breakfast is included. While it is not as close to the airport as the others, it is a good option for those who want to be closer to the city attractions while within an easy taxi ride of the airport.