STYLISH, sophisticated, sensual... Sardinia is not your average Italian destination, as a week in the charming seaside village of Isola Rosso more than proved.
Famous for its translucent blue seas, rugged countryside and stunning beaches we were looking forward not only to exploring this most beautiful of places but also sampling three of its most refined hotels - each one part of the Delphina hotels and resorts chain.
Our first port of call was the enchanting and romantic Hotel Relax Thalasso and Spa.
This was a hotel so dedicated to relaxation even the plants bordering the paths that cobweb the complex were chosen specifically for their calming scents. Every sensation in the hotel - from eating, drinking, strolling and sunbathing has the art of relaxation at its centre.
The decor, influenced by French interior designers, uses a subtle palette of relaxing neutrals and pretty pastels complemented by solid wood, hand carved furniture to create the perfect, soothing surroundings.
While the stylish spa offers a haven of treatments for body, soul and mind including outdoor seawater swimming pools, a jacuzzi, sauna and a relax room.
Guests can choose from an a la carte menu of beauty treatments including facials, seaweed body wraps and relaxing massages.
The hotel enjoys utter privacy and one of the most magical locations on the island, with a small and picturesque port, the Aragonese tower, a quaint sea-front promenade and exceptionally pretty beaches. The wonderful marine view allows holiday makers to drink in the famous sunsets of Isola Rossa.
We were sorry to leave the soothing surroundings and friendly atmosphere of the Hotel Relax Thalasso but at the same time delighted to spend a couple of nights at another of Delphina’s impressive hotels - The Hotel Marinedda.
Hotel Marinedda Thalasso and Spa is a sophisticated sanctuary offering accommodation of a superior standard for the discerning holiday maker.
Our room was decorated to an impeccable standard. Spacious and comfortable it boasted a typical and rustic Mediterranean style while managing to remain refined and elegant.
Decorated with chestnut timbers and covered with local stone, soft draping nets around the bed gave the room an air of romanceand made our stay seem extra special.
This super stylish hotel is located in the beautiful Gulf of Asinara, a few hundred meters from Isola Rossa, and is surrounded by magnificent views and luxuriant vegetation.
It stands in front of one of the most spectacular sea panaromas in the whole of Sardinia and leads down to a stunning beach 250 metres from the main swimming pool.
Beach lovers can explore the bays with striking red rock coasting the sands, gaze out at the crystal clear sparkling sea and soak in the perfumed and unspoiled natural surroundings.
The sea is ideal for surfing, windsurfing, snorkeling and scubadiving. While the beautiful corals and the rich underwater life here makes the seabed very popular with recreational fishing lovers.
Guests can cast away their cares by relaxing in the centre of thalassotherapy and spa - one of the most prestigious in the Mediterranean area.
Dining at the Hotel Marinedda is an exciting and elegant experience. The Delphina Group is famed for the quality of its food and Hotel Marinedda confirms this tradition offering its guests a vast choice of excellent dishes, with a sumptuous buffet or table service.
Our final destination, Le Dune Resort and Spa, was a hotel more suitable to families and couples with young children.
Not as elegant and sophisticated as Hotel Thalasso or the Marinedda, this hotel offers comfortable accommodation while proving a Godsend for parents of young children - boasting a nursery, mini club, baby club, junior club and young club.
There is a Fantasy Village set up on a shady hill with a children’s pool and sandy playground and the Duneland Castle is the base for the children’s clubs with soft play equipment, play centre, organised activities, arts and crafts and sleeping area with cots available.
A fantastic feature of the village is the choice of seven restaurants while the new Le Sabine Spa has three open air spa pools, health and beauty centre with relaxation areas, a Turkish bath and cardio fitness room.
It was here I enjoyed a luxurious and exceptionally relaxing facial - so relaxing I struggled not to fall asleep and felt amazing afterwards.
Le Dune represents good value for money with complimentary wine and water at it’s child friendly restaurants.
Sardinia itself is a land of many hidden gems. Wonders both natural and man made abound here.
A number of grottos and other places of natural beauty are visible accross the island. Just off the road to Castelsardo, an eroded rock called Elephant Rock, attracts much interest. Elephant Rock has a Domus de Janas, a “witches house” that was a tomb in prehistoric times.
FOR MORE INFORMATION check out www.justsardinia.co.uk and www.delphina.it/index_en.html