Delphina Hotels & Resorts – Capo d’Orso Review
One of the nicest places I’ve ever stayed. It’s really that simple. Capo d’Orso, part of the Delphina Hotels & Resorts collection, is a magical spot on a surprising island, which, strangely, I’ve sailed around but never really experienced on land.
My partner and I had been promising ourselves a week off for about six months but never got around to it, so when an opportunity came along to visit the second largest Italian island, we both trashed our diary commitments and jumped on a plane. It turned out to be a great decision.
Situated in North East Sardinia, Capo d’Orso is a romantic and exclusive 86-bedroom, five-star retreat, complete with a golf course, private marina and a Thalassotherapy Spa, which features a collection of outdoor Jacuzzi-style sea-water pools with incredibly powerful jets to invigorate every part of your body. Afterwards, you can relax in one of the many hidden hammocks under the wild olive groves and juniper trees, admiring the aquamarine sea views towards the La Maddalena Archipelago. And if relaxing is your thing, there is almost no point in leaving the fragrant, 100,000 m2 Mediterranean parkland grounds or picture-perfect, white, sandy beach – but you’d be missing out.
For our first excursion, we travelled inland to the Siddura Winery for a tour and tasting with spectacular views over the majestic Sardinian hilltops. If you can, go while the sun is setting for a truly enchanting experience.
On another turn exploring the island, we climbed up a vertiginous path to a medieval temple perched high above the surrounding plains on a rocky outcrop – about a one-hour trek. We found an amazing old town long deserted but inhabited hundreds of years BC and with the original well still holding water.
Another blue-sky day saw us hire one of the hotel’s inflatable RIBS (a three-metre dinghy with a powerful outboard motor) and shot off towards La Maddelena. On smooth seas, we raced along at what must have been 30 knots, both giggling with excitement. We landed at the charming town and found historic churches (Nelson was a benefactor to one of them), old taverns serving the local beer and wines, and winding streets reputedly so designed to confuse invaders.
Then off to uninhabited islands, where it is easy to find an inlet all to yourself, throw down the anchor and swim in the shockingly clear, turquoise waters. We took a picnic provided by the hotel and a bottle of wine to gently ease the afternoon away.
Back at the hotel, every day starts overlooking the tranquil sea with an al fresco breakfast, featuring everything from fresh fruit juices and homemade bread with ham and local cheeses to a full English-style fry-up, and a glass of prosecco if you fancy starting early. With the lilting sounds of the resident harpist in the background, it’s a great way to welcome a new day.
There are four restaurants at Capo d’Orso and we sampled them all, including the glorious Il Flottante – my Italian doesn’t exist but so-named, I guess, because it appears to float over the sea. Here, you eat seasonal specialities, but elsewhere, you can slum it with a piping hot pizza just out of the wood-fired oven or enjoy the freshest fish and seafood landed each morning.
Other five-star services available at Capo d’Orso include: the exclusive ‘L’Incantu’ Thalassotherapy Wellness Centre & SPA; a nine-hole pitch & putt golf course with a practice area; a charming swimming pool on the rocks with a breath-taking view; and five wooden solariums set right over the water in front of the island of Caprera.
Our room was luxurious with high-quality products and toiletries aplenty. We had a two-level floor plan leading out to the private terrace, complete with visiting tortoise, overlooking, yes, you guessed it, the shining sea.
Throw in welcoming, smiling and helpful staff and there you are. An amazing escape from everyday reality just a two-hour flight away!
For more information or to book, visit delphinahotels.co.uk