Make no mistake — Sardinia has plenty of big, bland resorts whose only saving grace are their beachfront locations. These smaller properties are more in step with the island’s artistic side, with thoughtful aesthetics, intimate atmospheres, and attentive service. Take a look at the top boutique hotels in Sardinia, the second-largest island in the Mediterranean.
Villas Las Tronas is a luxury boutique hotel in a lavish home that was once a hunting lodge and residence for Italian nobility. The hotel has a lovely seaside location on a promontory, and is within walking distance to historic Alghero. The 24 rooms and suites can be a mixed bag: they're definitely elegant, with original antique furniture, but standard rooms -- which lack balconies or sea views -- can feel stuffy. The hotel has a classy restaurant and bar with a terrace, an outdoor pool overlooking the sea, and a full-service spa with an indoor pool, sauna, and Turkish bath. Even the fitness center is attractive, with its vaulted wood ceiling. Villas Las Tronas' exceptional location, prestigious history, and opulent style make it the top boutique hotel on the island.
Although Villas Las Tronas is our number-one pick, Su Gologone is actually more quintessentially "boutique-y," with its ample quirky charm, funky on-site features, and special events and offerings. The art-packed property is nestled in the Supramonte foothills, surrounded by forests. Although the place seems like a typical Sardinian farmhouse from the outside, inside, it explodes with color and art, with many pieces created by craftsmen and artists who have studios within the hotel grounds. The whitewashed walls look as if they've been hewn from solid rock, and roofs made of juniper beams are the backdrop to a riot of color, pattern, and texture -- think cheery painted furniture, aquamarine wooden shutters, woven fabrics, and sculptures on every surface. Su Gologone attracts both couples and families in equal measure, as much for the hotel’s seclusion and proximity to nature as for the sheer variety of activities on offer. However, some past guests have complained of wear and tear, as well as disorganized dining service.
La Villa del Re is an adult-only hotel with quiet policies and a private beach with cabanas and comfy loungers. In addition to the beach, it has a stunning infinity pool complemented by an outdoor pool bar. Rooms are much chicer than what you usually see in Sardinia beach resorts: the ones here feature fresh flowers, welcome treats, modern bathrooms, and an all-cream color scheme. The hotel’s restaurant, Le Palme, has an elegant interior dining room and seating on a covered patio. It offers a free American breakfast each morning, as well as Mediterranean cuisine for lunch and dinner. The restaurant has a dress code, which requires men to wear trousers, so keep that in mind. Though rooms lack menus, room service is available. Guests can also enjoy a free afternoon tea with a buffet of rich, delectable desserts made by the on-site pastry chef. Other perks include free Wi-Fi, parking, and loaner bikes and canoes. However, with little to do in the surrounding area, it’s surprising that this luxury property lacks a spa and gym.
In ancient Greek, “abaton” means inaccessible, and it has come to define the elite experience offered to guests at this bed-and-breakfast. Perched on top of a hill in a residential area of Villasimius, Relais Abaton offers astounding sea vistas from several areas. Each swanky room -- there are only three -- has a smart decor, ample eco-friendly amenities, and a terrace overlooking the cape and lagoon. The ocean is visible even from the beds. Each room also has a library and Nespresso machine -- a hard-to-find amenity in Sardinia hotels. Aiming for an atmosphere of serenity and relaxation, no children are permitted here. Free breakfast is served on a terrace, with tables topped with white linens and fresh flowers. Other nice freebies include Wi-Fi, daily fresh fruit brought to rooms, and departure gifts.
With an art gallery, rooms dedicated to different Sardinian artist, and a unique Art Deco style throughout the hotel, the 49-room Hotel La Coluccia is an art lover's dream. The upper-middle-range boutique also provides a pleasant pool and beach area, both outfitted with loungers and umbrellas, plus on-site restaurant serving Sardinian dishes. A spa offering a variety of treatments and a steam room and a small gym are also available. Contemporary rooms are comfortable and have flat-screen TVs, but showers are small. The location is pretty remote and best for those looking for a quiet getaway.
L’ea Bianca Luxury Resort is more luxurious than Su Gologone, but far more traditional when it comes to features and style. The 31 sophisticated rooms come with minibars, robes, flat-screen TVs, and terraces with Baja Sardinia views. There are also five private villas with kitchens and rustic decor. L'ea provides direct access to a beach with soft red sand, loungers, and umbrellas, as well as a large outdoor pool and a rooftop solarium -- both with sea views -- and a spa with sauna and hydrotherapy pool. The on-site restaurant serves a free continental breakfast in the morning, a light buffet and a la carte dishes for lunch, and either a set menu or a la carte dinner. Drinks and light snacks are available at the bar as well.
The 24-room La Locanda del Conte Mameli occupies a beautiful 19th-century villa right in the center of Olbia. It's far less luxurious than L'ea, but it has tons of boutique appeal. Rooms retain historic elements, such as exposed brick, stone walls, hardwood floors, and high ceilings, and they're decorated with a tasteful mix of new and old details. But not all have terraces (like at L'ea) and street-facing rooms can pick up noise. A continental breakfast is served daily, and there's a small spa for massage treatments. Unlike L'ea's isolated location, La Laconda is near numerous bars, restaurants, shops, attractions, and bus stops.
Domu Simius Guest House is a romantic bed and breakfast with seven modern guest rooms that's within a five-minute walk to the restaurants and shops in town. Several areas at the hotel, including the breakfast terrace and beautiful outdoor pool area with a separate whirlpool, offer stunning panoramic views of the ocean and the village of Villasimius below. Past guests have complained that some of the rooms are susceptible to outside noise, and could use better soundproofing. Rates are low for a three-and-half-pearl property, especially with free breakfast, parking, and Wi-Fi.
The 54-room Hotel Ollastu Residence is a quiet three-pearl option located in Costa Corallina outside the village of Porto San Paulo. There's not much immediately around the hotel, but the hotel runs a free shuttle to the beach, a five-minute drive away. Most guests rent a car for exploring the surrounding area, though bikes are free to use as well. Spacious, colorful rooms have a classic, dated look, and all feature free Wi-Fi plus balconies or terraces. There's a restaurant on-site, and the hotel owns another beachfront dining spot. The grounds are dotted with pools and whirlpools, as well as gardens and a lawn.
Resembling a gracious Sardinian home, Hotel Costa dei Fiori is an intimate resort on the south coast. Accessed by an unpaved road off the main highway, the 82-room property rewards intrepid travelers with fragrant gardens, large rooms with rustic style and modern bathrooms, and a gorgeous infinity pool with panoramic sea views (there is a total of three pools on the property -- possibly to counter the small and rocky beach). A free breakfast buffet serves freshly baked pastries and local honey, and the gourmet restaurant serves Sardinian food and wines; room service available. There are tennis courts on-site, and massages and other spa services can be set up. Wi-Fi is free is certain areas, but the signal can be weak.
The Pelican Beach Resort & Spa - Adults Only is an upscale property with 67 rooms right on sometimes busy Pellicano Beach. A few restaurants are nearby, but most guests rent a car to explore beyond the town. Rooms here are divided into two buildings, with one overlooking the beach and the other across the street. Beachside rooms are more upscale and come with more perks, such as the use of lounge chairs on the grassy lawn by the beach. The on-site restaurant serves all meals, and breakfast is free. The spa provides massage and other treatments, and there's a small outdoor pool.
The 54-room Hotel Luna Lughente is a mid-range property situated on a hillside overlooking the sea, about a 10-minute drive from Olbia. There's not much within walking distance of the hotel, so most guests rent a car or use the free shuttle to the beach and the airport. Rooms aren't fancy, but they are spacious and offer flat-screen TVs, minibars, and safes, and some have balconies or terraces with nice views. The restaurant provides all meals, including breakfast, but guests complain about the high prices. The highlight here is the beautiful outdoor pool overlooking the gulf, though be aware that wedding parties sometimes overtake the property.
Modeled after a Sardinian village festooned with flowers and olive trees, this Mediterranean property attracts couples with its look, but its plethora of on-site activities is a draw for families with kids in tow, too. The lobby bar with a piano tends to sit empty, as much of the action takes place on the roughly 10 acres of grounds, with an attractive pool area, tennis courts, biking, and horseback riding (but there's no gym). Airone's 70 rooms will strike some guests as fussy and tired, and others as quaint and traditional. Regardless, all have air-conditioning, flat-screen TVs, and minibars. Upgraded rooms add balconies and patios. The hotel runs a free shuttle to a private beach and to Baia Sardinia, and a public beach is within walking distance.
Domomea means "my home," and this 21-room boutique hotel does indeed feel like a big, cheerful house. White walls are adorned with local Sardinian artwork, and potted plants and plush white chairs give the lobby a warm, welcoming, and airy feel. Everything is modern, and spic and span. On warm days, guests can linger in the well-manicured garden or in the rooftop pool, which offers a hydromassage zone and great views. The bright and inviting rooms feature slippers, robes, minibars, and flat-screen TVs, and Wi-Fi is free throughout the hotel. Hotel Domomea was built with eco-sustainable materials and its water is heated by solar panels. It’s a cool spot for couples and young travelers, but families and kids are in the minority here. The hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Alghero's historic center and the waterfront.
Miramare Boutique Hotel is a quirky, upper-middle-range hotel with 18 artistic guest rooms and four suites near Cagliari Marina. The hotel takes up the second floor of a late 19th-century palace, and stands out for its artistic and historic details. Most guests love the individual character of the rooms. Decor varies wildly from dark and romantic to bright and whimsical, and there's a pretty indoor garden with potted flowers and white wrought-iron tables and chairs. The hotel overlooks the Cagliari Promenade and is close to the ferry.
A mid-range bed-and-breakfast with 23 clean, simple guest rooms, Hotel Mariposas less than two miles from the center of Villasimius. Its morning buffet is served daily in a room with an attached veranda that overlooks the pretty outdoor pool area and lovely garden with covered patio. The hotel doesn’t have a restaurant or any of the extra amenities of the resorts in the area, but if offers good value and guests seem to love the warm welcome and service from the staff, including the free drink provided while waiting to check in. It’s also a short walk from a white, sandy beach.
Built in 1961, the upper-middle-range Villa Margherita is one of the older hotels in Golfo Aranci, set in a quiet but central location a five-minute walk from the beach. Despite that, this 44-room property feels modern and intimate, with serene ivory-filled interiors and charmingly traditional embroidered linens. Though it has a homey vibe, the on-site features go beyond simple comforts, including an outdoor pool and hot tub, a spa that offers massages and a sauna, and a small gym. All rates include a hot and cold buffet breakfast, and The Grill restaurant serves regional cuisine with a focus on seafood. All rooms have flat-screen TVs, minibars, and safes, while spa rooms add private outdoor whirlpools.
The Jazz Hotel is one of the few truly hip and modern upscale hotels in Olbia, though it caters mostly to business travelers considering its proximity to the airport. All types of travelers will likely appreciate the hotel's large rooms, almost all of which come with balconies. Other nice perks include a lovely outdoor swimming pool, a fine-dining restaurant, and freebies like Wi-Fi and parking. However, the removed location means guests do not have direct access to the beach and will need a car to explore the surrounding area.
Barely two minutes’ walk from the white-sand beaches of Sardinia’s west coast, and a 15-minute walk from Alghero’s old town, the three-pearl Alma di Alghero Hotel is conveniently located for a coastal getaway. The 43-room boutique's drawcard is a roof terrace with a sleek pool and views over the Mediterranean and town. The hotel serves a free buffet breakfast on another terrace, but there is no full-service restaurant. Rooms are decorated with a minimalist flair, some of which are more modern and attractive than others. All have flat-screen TVs, minibars, as well as free Wi-Fi. Travelers looking for additional on-site amenities, including two restaurants and a private beach, should consider the Hotel Corte Rosada.
Hotel Angedras is an affordable boutique hotel in a quiet neighborhood of Alghero, a seaside town on Sardinia's northwest coast. The location is within walking distance markets, restaurants, and ocean, but the nearby beach isn't suitable for swimming. The hotel's 31 rooms are large and bright rooms, with handcrafted Sardinian furniture and balconies (though views are not spectacular). While there's no on-site restaurant, the hotel offers discounts at two waterfront restaurants, and serves a free breakfast -- on a terrace on sunny days.