Reena Patel discovers two top Delphina resorts on Sardinia’s Northern coast
We flew into Sardinia’s Olbia airport and took a reasonable 45-minute drive through the winding Mediterranean mountains to reach Resort Valle dell’Erica Thalasso & Spa –Delphina Hotel’s rustic-rich respite nestled on the Northern coast near the village of Santa Teresa Gallura.
Steeped in tradition, you can expect the authentic taste of Sardinia when visiting a Delphina Hotel. The expansive resort of Valle dell‘Erica is split into two hotels: the slightly more modernised Hotel La Licciola and the quaint dressing at Hotel Erica. We stayed at the latter property in the ‘Le Thermae’ suites, where rooms are furnished in traditional characteristic tones of pink terracotta and stone.
The food is kept fresh and simple yet brimming with Mediterranean flair across the resort’s five restaurants – all to enjoy a stay that’s in harmony with Sardinia’s charming natural beauty. Here you’ll also find many a buffet, but the spread is bountiful so you’re completely spoilt for choice on a daily basis. The best dining spot by far is the show-cooking experience at La Ciusoni, where fresh pizza bread is baked in a wood-fired oven along with other Sardinian favourites.
Spa-goers can enjoy the myriad of outdoor fresh seawater pools, offering a thalassotherapy circuit to promote the sea’s natural therapeutic healing powers. We plunged into varying degrees of temperatures to boost our circulation levels, purify the skin and unwind whilst soaking up the stunning scenic hilly backdrop. This spa is also host to one of only four in the world to offer the official Dukan food diet, which is prepared by the resort’s chefs who have been trained by Dr Dukan and his team.
We took a boat trip out to explore the La Maddalena Archipelago, taking an exhilarating speedboat ride to swim out to secluded romantic coves and castaway inlets, each one kissed with white sandy beaches and crystal azure waters. Sardinia prides itself on its pristine beaches and quite rightly so, as it evokes that feeling of being in the tropical Caribbean but without embarking on such a long journey to get there (Sardinia is just a short two-hour flight from London airports). The recommendation would be to visit during high summer when the weather is guaranteed to be hot enough to enjoy the beauty of the beach. La Maddalena also faces the Straits of Bonifacio, which greets you with a view of neighbouring island Corsica when looking out towards the skyline.
We were also lucky to have a day at Delphina’s exclusive sister property, Hotel Capo d’Orso Thalasso & Spa, which instantly became my personal favourite for its delicious fine dining options and romantic secret garden paths winding through the resort. Located in the prestigious Cala Capra reserve, the hotel is surrounded by wild olive groves, junipers and beaches. During our short stay here, we sat down to enjoy a well-presented lunch menu at restaurant Paguro of tempura scampi with a spicy dip, a seafood starter platter of a trio of octopus, prawns and fish, followed by grey mullet with fennel, then fregola – a classic Sardinian type of pasta, a dentex fish course (similar to swordfish) and a sublime mascarpone and lime pudding with raspberry sorbet and hazelnut crumble. We then took some downtime at the private marina, with its secluded jetty spots tucked behind the trees.
Whilst Delphina offers the true essence of Sardinian culture and Mediterranean living, when it’s time to dip into some serious luxury, Porto Cervo is the recommended port of call. Just a short drive away from Valle dell’Erica, the super yachts lounge at the harbour alongside a dazzle of restaurants and bars sparkle to create the Sardinian uber luxe scene.
Delphina – Where and How?
For more information, or to make a reservation with Delphina, visit www.delphina.it
See more of Sardinia and the Delphina Resorts visited by Reena below