North Sardinia was once fought over by the Byzantines, the Phoenicians, the Spanish, the East Germans, the Carthaginians and a myriad of varying Roman tribes.
Now, it is firmly a part of Italy and those who visit this most sought after and previously fought after habitat come to a supple oasis. Fresh green lavishes the countryside and the cool teal Mediterranean blue sparkles in its clarity. Fresh seafood is caught every day from the Sea and fresh herbs, vegetables and fruit can be borne on the land. It is the tranquil Island life which was most roughly fought after for the prize of claiming its existence. What’s more is that this magical island is accessible.
I arrived at Olbia airport after a quick two hour flight from London. Literally only two hours to finish a few chapters in Tolstoy’s War and Peace before I entered the tiny island of North Sardinia. We took a bus for an hour to our holiday residence for the trip, the 5 star Resort Valle dell ‘Erica which is part of the Delphina Hotels and Resorts.
The owners of Delphina Resorts are a local family, originally builders, who literally built their own fortune within the exclusive and unspoilt coastline of Northern Sardinia.
Delphina is comprised of the hotels: Valle dell‘Erica, Capo d’Orso, Marinedda, Cala di Lepre, Cala di Falco, Le Dune, Il Mirto, and Torreruja. The properties focus on Thalassotherapy which is a natural relaxation therapy for one’s body and mind using the pure sea water. Treatments are given using also essential oils made of plants grown on the island.
I settled in my junior suite at the Hotel La Licciola in Valle dell‘Erica with my big classic orange Diane Von Furstenberg luggage. The view was breath-taking – overlooking green trees and a dusty spiralled walkway into the Mediterranean Sea. I put my hot pink Victoria’s Secret bikini on, grabbed a towel and went exploring.
Valle dell ‘Erica has two hotels within the resort: Hotel La Licciola which opened in 2013 has 116 rooms, suites and the signature duplex Imperial suite with a private panoramic terrace and pool. A perfect place to book a romantic getaway.
Hotel Erica offers 136 classically-designed Mediterranean style rooms with family suites which interconnect and junior suites for honeymooners.
The property feels intimate amidst its huge size and extensive amenities which includes four pools including one private shallow pool for children, one Thalasso spa and seven different restaurants. My room was literally tucked away with private stairs to my entrance and an uninterrupted view of the blue Mediterranean coastline.
I walked along the dusty walkway in the heat passed the two swimming pools with pool bar until I reached a small winding walkway to a private beach. Surrounded by rocks and a view into a private cove of translucent water, this beach spot was all that I hoped for. Exclusive freedom with the hot sun shining on an empty beach was heaven.
I left to take brunch on the terrace overlooking the sea with a mélange of fruits, cheeses, pastries, juices, crepes, pancakes and fresh omelettes made to order. Each morning I would ask the chef to make me a full omelette with pancetta and cheese as well as a crepe with Nutella.
A visit to the Thalasso spa was in order so after brunch I headed there, bikini-clad, to check out the gorgeous Thalasso natural pools which are varying temperatures and hidden away from the wind in the hot sun. I opted to try a Sports Massage which was lovely and firm and afterwards they offered herbal tea on one of the chaise lounges.
After a gorgeous relaxing day thanks to the kind attentive staff, we ended our evening having Bellini’s on the terrace before dinner inside one of the main restaurants.
The next day I felt as if I were replaying a scene out of the modern day Thomas Crowne Affair (sadly sans Pierce Brosnan) as we took a boat excursion to a private swimming cove in the Archipelago of La Maddelena.
We travelled by boat to another 5 star Delphina hotel called the Capo d’Orso where we dined on fabulous sea urchin linguini and sipped white wine under the trees. Capo d’Orso is a smaller boutique 5 star covered in leafy trees with 84 rooms and suites having their own private verandas. The Presidential Suite has a haman style shower with a peaking window into the bedroom.
Capo d’Orso also offers two restaurants, two beaches, one thalasso spa with three thalasso pools, a sea water pool with wooden deck, and access to boat excursions around the islands. I would recommend Capo d’Orso for couples on romantic holidays or even a perfect place for a marriage proposal.
At the Thalasso Spa, I had a sumptuous Original Journey beauty and wellness ritual which uses honey and almonds body scrub and a body mask with precious elements for a gorgeous feeling scrub and massage which left my skin feeling as soft as a baby’s bottom.
We travelled around the island, taking in scenic panoramic views at Palau point and checking out the hot bodied surfers at Porto Pollo Beach.
The following day, we travelled to West Sardinia where the 4 star Le Dune Resort and Spa is situated in front of a long 8km white sand beach. Along the coast is another Delphina hotel; the 5 star Marinedda. I would definitely recommend these two hotels for families with children who love activities as the amenities were expansive. The Hotel Marinedda offers 195 rooms including suites with views of the sea or the garden and access to sports excursions with access to kayak, surf, windsurf, diving, archery, football, snorkel, basketball, trek and yoga.
At the Hotel Marinedda, I indulged in the Polynesian Ritual which is a hydro massage using hot sandbags. The different textures of the firm massage mixed with rough hot sandbags felt rejuvenating. Afterwards, I was given a fluffy bathrobe to sit by the Thalasso pools.
Evening came and we returned back to the Valle dell’ Erica for a delicious dinner of pastas and fresh fish before turning into bed.
Our last day in North Sardinia was stunning. The food is super fresh and generous, the staff courteous and the feeling of privacy in a perfect hot oasis was dreamy holiday perfection.
The Delphina Hotels offer all the luxuries and amenities of a big commercial resort whilst maintaining a boutique hotel feeling of intimacy which I would highly recommend to anyone for a gorgeous island escape.
Delphina Hotels & Resorts
Loc. Cala Di Lepre
07020 Palau (OT)
Sardinia – Italy