The Best Places to Stay in Sardinia for Every Traveller
Sardinia is home to stunning natural scenery, and a variety of beautiful hotels and resorts | © Gian Lorenzo Ferretti Photography / Getty Images
Wary of sea-bound threats, islanders on Sardinia long avoided settling near the coast, but today’s visitors can frolic in the sea with abandon – and much of the Italian island’s finest accommodation takes full advantage of the remarkably unspoilt coastline. Here are the best places to stay in Sardinia, bookable with Culture Trip.
In the 1960s, the Aga Khan – leader of the world’s Ismaili Muslims and savvy businessman – saw potential in Sardinia’s northeast coastline and proceeded to make it a playground for the rich and famous. Stays on Italy’s second-largest island have had the air of the high life ever since. The charms of the Aga Khan’s favoured patch – the glittering Costa Smeralda – are undimmed to this day, and some of the best Sardinian hotels are in this northeast corner. But if ever an island bore exploration, it was Sardinia – so we’ve picked out gems at all points of the compass for your next getaway.
Resort Valle dell’Erica
Courtesy of Resort Valle dell’Erica
This five-star oceanfront resort is set back from 1.5km (1mi) of private coastline that dances between rugged coves and lovely, parasol-specked beaches. The resort combines two sections stretching across a landscape of granite and Italian macchia shrubland: the Hotel Erica and the even more charming Hotel La Licciola, where an emphasis on Galluran design enhances the already harmonious sense of place. While this is Costa Smeralda country, there’s so much more to see in these parts than the millionaires’ yachts; excursions range from the Maddalena Archipelago to the culture-rich Galluran hinterland. Sip a sundowner on the terrace with Corsica glowering in the distance and then choose from one of the resort’s seven restaurants. Infinity pools and a large thalassotherapy spa seal the deal.
Courtesy of Hotel Abbaruja / Expedia.com
Located northwest of Olbia in the small village of Pittulongu, Hotel Abbaruja offers 16 rustically stylish ensuite rooms, some enjoying panoramic ocean views. Breakfast is served as a buffet, and there’s a veranda-facing reading room where you can while away a balmy afternoon or two. There’s no swimming pool, but the local beach is just 150m (492ft) from the hotel, meaning that a cooling dip is always within reach.
Villa Las Tronas Hotel and Spa
Courtesy of Villa Las Tronas Hotel and Spa / Expedia.com
Villa Las Tronas Hotel and Spa occupies a marvellously stately villa, perched on a private headland, just outside the centre of Alghero. Formerly an Italian royal holiday residence, the hotel’s 24 rooms and suites do the old place’s aristocratic heritage proud, as does the gorgeous ocean-facing swimming pool. You can walk to the beach or into Alghero in a matter of minutes – head into town for dinner one evening and try the local speciality paella algherese, a fine introduction to the town’s Catalan past.
Courtesy of Hotel Cala Reale / Hotels.com
Tucked tightly into Sardinia’s northwestern-most tip, Hotel Cala Reale does the basics very well, without frills or fuss. After all, the real star here lies just a few kilometres down the road – the heavenly La Pelosa Beach
, with its powdery white sand and startlingly turquoise waters, is served by a regular shuttle bus to and from the hotel. If you prefer your water chlorinated, there are two swimming pools on site, along with a pair of tennis courts and bike rentals. Some rooms have sea views, and Stintino village centre is within easy walking distance.
Courtesy of La Villa del Re / Hotels.com
Located in Costa Rei, amid a huge and wonderful natural park, this luxury hotel ticks all the right boxes. It boasts a private beach with a bar, where it is possible to have lunch with fresh local ingredients or an aperitivo while contemplating the horizon. There’s also an infinity pool, which merges seamlessly into the blue of the sea, wonderfully decorated and ornamented rooms with all the fittings anyone could dream of, and staff who are cordial and extremely accommodating.
Courtesy of Hotel Costa Dei Fiori / Hotels.com
Hotel Costa Dei Fiori lies on the wonderful southern coast of the island, in Santa Margherita di Pula – a 45-minute drive from Cagliari. It boasts a spellbinding infinity pool, a free shuttle service to the beautiful Chia Beach and a range of suites perfect for romantic holidays and memorable honeymoons. Dine by candlelight, indulge in a couples massage or order breakfast in bed – the hot croissants and local honey are delicious.
Hotel & Spa Riviera Castelsardo
Courtesy of Hotel and Spa Riviera Castelsardo / Expedia.com
Located on the Marina di Castelsardo seafront, under the walls of a Castle in Castelsardo, this is a spa hotel with some serious beach vibes – it’s steps away from an enticing stretch of white sand. Compliment your beach day by feasting on a selection of fresh, Sardinian seafood at their swanky Fofò Restaurant. As well as a full spa service, thoughtful touches such as a pillow menu, freebie slippers and complimentary toiletries add up to a full-scale pampering experience.
Residenza d'Epoca Regina d'Arborea
Courtesy of Residenza d'Epoca Regina d'Arborea / Expedia.com
Residenza d’Epoca Regina d’Arborea is a 19th-century historic residence that’s considered one of the greatest expressions of Sardinian construction. With frescos and interior decorations dating back to 1880, it’s not your usual stay in Sardinia, that’s for sure. The bedrooms are richly decorated with the original furniture of the house, giving your stay a museum-like quality. Breakfast features local produce and is beautifully presented on antique china.
Courtesy of Is Arenas Resort / Expedia.com
This luxurious beachside resort, surrounded by a tranquil pine forest, will instantly make you feel relaxed. Clean design and muted tones blend seamlessly with the natural environment to ensure a zen-like feel to your stay. Roll out of your room and onto a private sandy beach, a short walk away. Wellness is key at this resort with a superb selection of treatments, outdoor pool, Turkish bath, whirlpool plus yoga and Pilates lessons.
Courtesy of La Peonia Boutique B and B / Expedia.com
La Peonia Boutique B&B is a family-run bed and breakfast with a romantic, neoclassical facade. Find out what to see and do in the surrounding city of Cagliari by asking the multilingual staff. Breakfast is Mediterranean and is best enjoyed in the stylish garden.
Courtesy of Boutique Hotel Capo Blu / Expedia.com
Small on size but big on boutique beach style, Hotel Capo is a 14-room hotel with modern suites around a cosy, communal courtyard and pool. Relax amongst the palms, hanging chairs and a pool bar. Take a stroll through the peaceful pine forest and emerge on a golden sand beach.
Courtesy of Hotel Villa Sveva / Expedia.com
This laid-back, beachside hotel has had extensive renovations and is perfectly set amongst acacia trees. Relax in their understated rooms, complete with private terraces and splashes of bold colour. It’s also conveniently located between the popular Poetto Beach and the flamingo-populated Molentargius salt lakes. Hotel residents can experience a range of water sports in the area, drink at busy Plan B or enjoy the local bathhouses.
Forte Village Resort, Hotel Il Castello
Courtesy of Forte Village Resort – Il Castello / Expedia.com
Five-star Hotel Il Castello oozes Sardinian sophistication and uber-contemporary design. Tranquillity is the default mode here, with soft piano music, the breaking of waves and a gentle hum of the thalassotherapy pool. It has the hushed-tone feel that comes with a truly luxurious stay. For sea views, sink into their heated infinity pool and gaze out over the sea.
Neil McQuillian and Portia Jones contributed additional reporting to this article.
These recommendations were updated on August 27, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.