Stephanie Gilbert reviews the hotel chain and explores what the island has to offer groups.
Sardinia is part of the autonomous province of Italy and is the second largest island in the Mediterranean. The island exhibits a wide range of coastal topography, with an array of tiny islands scattered serenely in the beautiful, turquoise Mediterranean Sea. The coastline of Sardinia is a delightful mixture of coves and white sandy beaches with crystal clear waters, which would mimic even the best of any Caribbean destination.
The premise of the trip was to review the Sardinian-based hotel chain, Delphina, whose company mission is to ‘offer authentic Mediterranean hospitality in unique places,’ delivered by the company’s eight individual four and five star Thalasso and Spa hotels and resorts. I was privileged enough to review three of the company’s hotels, Hotel Marinedda Thalasso and Spa, Valle dell’ Erica Resort Thalasso and Spa and Hotel Capo d’ Orso Thalasso and Spa.
All of Delphina’s hotels are located in Gallura, on the northern half of the island, and can be accessed via a short transfer from two international airports, Alghero (to the northeast) and Olbia (in the northwest). Six of the company’s hotels are renowned for their supreme Thalasso & Spa wellness centres, which are advocates for Thalassotherapy (derived from the Greek word ‘thalassa’ meaning ‘sea’). It is believed that trace elements of the chemicals found in seawater can be absorbed through the pores of the skin and can help to promote well being both physically and mentally. Hydrotherapy is also available as part of the treatment, providing an assortment of 37 degree sea water pools, stimulating the body by widening the blood vessels (vasodilation) and relaxing the smooth muscle cells, which is both extremely beneficial and therapeutic for the body.
The four star Sup Hotel Marinedda Thalasso & Spa has one of the largest spa centres in Sardinia.
Guests can visit L’ Elicriso Spa, which forms part of the hotel, to enjoy facilities including Finnish saunas, hot tubs, Hammam (a Turkish bath), a cardio fitness room and an array of specialised beauty treatments. The spa is accessed via a private entrance, which provides guest with a unique and relaxing atmosphere. The hotel boasts a splendid panoramic view of the Mediterranean, which can be enjoyed whilst taking breakfast on the poolside terrace, or eating alfresco at one of the hotel’s three restaurants, including the candlelit Punta Canneddi, with its à la carte menu. The beach is a short 250m walk (or guests can use the hotel shuttle service) from the main swimming area.
VALLE DELL’ ERICA
Valle dell’ Erica is a five star hotel, which also offers outstanding spa facilities in addition to hosting four superb swimming pools (three sea water).
Despite the grand scale of its position, the hotel provides an ideal holiday destination for families or couples. Children have a large, secure and well-equipped ‘mini club,’ and because of the hotel’s grand scale and unique location, there are numerous areas that offer sanctuary, allowing adults to retreat and relax in total privacy. Guests have a choice to dine at any of the five restaurants on site, which serve splendid Italian cuisine and specialties from Sardinia.
HOTEL LA LICCIOLA
The newly developed and luxurious five star Hotel La Licciola sisters the Hotel Valle dell’ Erica resort and has been stylishly designed to blend in with the natural Sardinian landscape, which provides the most spectacular coastal scenery. It exudes sophistication and class, offering the ultimate first-class experience. The superior and private presidential suite is equipped with its own dining area, outdoor pool and terrace overlooking the breath-taking Sardinian coastline.
Set in a 10-hectare park and overlooking the Maddalena Archipelago is the jewel in the crown – the five star hotel Capo d’ Orso. The resort is located in the prestigious Cala Capra reserve, 4 km (2.5 miles) from Palau and 40 km (25 miles) from Olbia.
This exquisite hotel is surrounded by wild olive and juniper trees, which emit a pleasing Mediterranean fragrance. The pathway’s meander through a labyrinth of secluded sun bathing areas where guests can laze on immaculate, plump and comfortable sun loungers, or take a nap in the shade on hammocks, which have been expertly positioned for optimum luxury.
The renowned Delphina Thalasso & Spa treatments are available, including three multi-functional heated seawater pools. Due to the mature atmosphere of the resort, adults are guaranteed peace and tranquility, as all alternative Delphina hotels are recommended to accommodate families with children under the age of 12 years. Capo d’ Orso offers splendid quintessential Mediterranean cuisine, which is attentively served either on the terrace or in the restaurant. Boat trips to the Maddalena Archipelago and the Emerald Coast depart daily from the hotel’s small private harbour, with a nine hole pitch and putt golf course also made available for more energetic residents.
THE DELPHINA CHAIN
Delphina Hotels offer consummate luxuries that have been imaginatively and unobtrusively positioned to provide the most stunning picturesque views of the island and the Mediterranean Sea. The attention to detail is superlative, accommodated by professional, friendly and knowledgeable staff, which is a testament to the unparalleled service they provide. The interior of the rooms have been tastefully decorated and presented with Mediterranean-style furnishing, air conditioning, satellite TV, mini bar and espresso coffee machines (tea making facilities are available upon request). For more information visit www.delphina.it
Guests can organise boat trips and excursions at the main reception desk, or take advantage of the numerous activities and entertainment, scheduled daily for residents. Arranging vehicle hire to explore this fascinating Sardinian island is a definite must. Visit Santa Teresa Gallura, a pretty village on the northerly tip of the island, or embark on one of the 45-minute ferry crossings to visit the historical French island of Corsica. A sightseeing trip to Porto Cervo or Porto Pollo Beach (paradise of surf and kite surf) shouldn’t be missed and is a haven for those who love designer wear. Sardinia is an island gem and Delphina Hotels unquestionably have everything to offer.