10 of the Best Hotels on the Costa Smeralda

SardiniaCristian Santinon via Flickr

Starting just above Olbia, Sardinia, the Costa Smeralda is a heavenly stretch of blue-green paradise, which runs northwards to Palau and the Golfo di Arzachena. The Aga Kahn and some friends bought this strip of idyllic coastline in the 60s, planning to turn it into a luxury holiday destination. And tick, now it’s one of the most expensive places to stay on the planet! But it doesn’t have to be. And despite the A-list nightclubs, mega-yachts and crazily priced hotel suites, some of the best hotels on the Costa Smeralda are actually very affordable and unexpectedly family friendly.

SardiniaManuel Bierbauer via Flickr

Some of our Guru’s recommendations for the best hotels on the Costa Smeralda are right on the beach, or overlooking the water, but they’ve found some precious gems just back from the coast if you’re looking for somewhere a bit quieter or more secluded. And if you have a car, which it’s a good idea to plan for on the Costa Smeralda, then the whole coast, and it’s wealth of near-perfect beaches, opens up to you like some kind of paradise daydream.

SardiniaNeil Falzon via Flickr

The Best Places to Stay on the Costa Smeralda

Porto Cervo is where you’ll find many of the most impressive yachts and the most presidential and imperial of hotel suites. It’s become the unofficial capital of the region, a creation of the Aga Kahn’s group, a place of blended culture and architecture which is very glossy, but not particularly Sardinian. It’s certainly worth seeing though.

Porto Cervorockpainting ☼ yvette via Flic

It’s also worth seeing this beautiful coastline from the water, both over and under, and there’s some spectacular snorkelling around the Della Maddalena off Porto Palau.

If all the luxury and gloss gets a bit much, head inland to Arzachena for the authentic Sardinian experience. Just a few kilometres behind the Costa Smeralda this small rural village has a pretty centre and beautiful views of the coastline. It’s also close to some fascinating ancient burial sites and a beautiful old temple or two.

if you don’t happen to have your own mega-yacht the size of a floating palace, you can always get here via EasyJet or Ryanair, flying in to Olbia, or take the ferry over from Genoa or Livorno. Then use our guide to the best hotels on the Costa Smerelda and start to plan your visit.

fry_theonly via Flickr

10 of the Best Hotels on the Costa Smeralda

The Best Beach Break Hotels on the Costa Smeralda

Hotel Sporting

  • The Hotel Sporting in Porto Potondo, has its own private beach just moments from Porto Rotondo harbour, so it’s like being on the marina. There are 47 light, airy rooms with balconies and sea views, plus a gourmet restaurant, tennis courts, pool and gym.

The Most Relaxing Hotels on the Costa Smeralda

Hotel Relais Villa del Golfo and Spa

  • The Hotel Relais Villa del Golfo & Spa is a larger hotel, with all the benefits of larger facilities, including an extensive spa and a private hotel yacht, but it's still got a relaxed vibe. The hotel has beautiful views, and if you upgrade to one of the creamy suites you'll have your own private terrace from which to enjoy them.
  • Just on the wrong side of Olbia for the Costa Smeralda, Cala Cuncheddi seems close enough to include, especially because it’s an elegant hotel with a tranquil vibe and extensive spa and gym facilities. There are 79 simple, yet stylish rooms in calming neutrals, many with balconies overlooking the Med.
  • Just back from the coast, the Albero Capovolto is a quiet, five room B&B set in lovely gardens beside its own pool. Great for a group and there are plenty of nice white, sandy beaches close by.

The Most Romantic Hotels on the Costa Smeralda

Petra Segreta

  • Petra Segreta is a small hotel with spectacular views over the Gulf of Arzachena and out to Corsica. As well as the views the hotel has a spa, gourmet restaurant and a lovely pool.

The Best Value Hotels on the Costa Smeralda

Tenuta Pilastru

  • Arzachena, just a few kilometres behind the Costa Smeralda is a small rural village with a pretty centre and a great resort style farmhouse: Tenuta Pilastru. If you feel like the mega-yachts are crowding you out a bit then head here for a rustic feel and fantastic pool and spa facilities. There are 32 rooms staring from around €78 per night including breakfast.
  • Right in the centre of Olbia, the Hotel Panorama has great views of the ferry port action from the roof top bar and lounge deck. It's also got good facilities, and rooms start from around £65 per night.
  • Also just outside Arzachena, Ca La Somara is a collection of 12 villas converted from stables. There are nice features, like hand painted tiles and beautifully rustic Sardinian linens, and there’s a homely feel you’ll not find in too many places on the Costa Smeralda.

The Best Hotels on the Costa Smeralda For Families

Hotel Balocco

  • Affordable, with beautiful sea views, the Hotel Balocco is a charming boutique-style hotel perched on a clifftop overlooking some of the most beautiful beaches on the Costa Smerelda. There are tropical gardens and a separate pool for the kids, and around 40 chic, spacious rooms.

Still not sure which of our Guru’s recommendations for the best hotels on the Costa Smeralda might be perfect for you? You could:

10 of the Best Hotels on the Costa Smeralda

  • Hotel Sporting 47 rooms from £85

    Olbia (Porto Rotondo)

    With its own private beach area and just moments from Porto Rotondo harbour guests can experience the best of both worlds. Light airy rooms with vaulted ceilings enjoy private balconies and sea views. There is a gourmet restaurant, tennis court, swimming pool and gym. The ultimate seaside stay!

    Private Hot Tub  -  Book the suite for your private terrace with outdoor hot tub
    Sailing  -  Head out on a sunset cruise embarking from Porto Rotondo.
    Seaside  -  Ideal for a seaside holiday.
    Designer  -  Uniquely designed interiors.
    Check prices
  • Petra Segreta 24 rooms from £158

    San Pantaleo, Sardinia

    Fabulous hotel and spa with a gourmet restaurant. Gorgeous rooms and suites in neutral tones with big comfy beds and private terraces. Lovely pool and spectacular views. A great choice for a honeymoon.

    Views  -  Spectacular views of the Gulf of Arzachena, the Island of Caprera, the Island of Maddalena , and Corsica
    Spa breaks
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, I Escape, Relais & Chateaux
    Check prices
  • Hotel Panorama 80 rooms from £65

    Olbia, Sardinia

    A large centrally located hotel with good facilities and great value for money. Lovely views from the roof top bar and lounge deck, modern rooms and suites, gym, conference facilities and breakfast room. Very family friendly.

    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Roof terrace
    Spa  -  Only offered on an exclusive use basis
    Check prices
  • Albero Capovolto 5 rooms from £101


    A quiet B&B in a peaceful garden with new swimming pool. Very relaxed atmosphere with outdoor seating areas and cool indoor lounge. Bedrooms have air conditioning and all have en suite bathroom. An ideal getaway for a group or those looking to do their own thing. Plenty of beautiful beaches nearby.

    Local markets  -  In charming nearby town of San Pantaleo
    Cycling  -  Bicycles available for hire.
    Sights nearby  -  Nuraghic settlements nearby.
    Other Activities  -  White sandy beaches nearby.
    Recommended by  -  I Escape
    Check prices
  • Cala Cuncheddi 79 rooms from £202


    An elegant hotel on the edge of the beach with tranquil swimming pool, extensive spa and gym facility. Rooms are simple but stylish, decorated in calming neutral tones, many with a balcony overlooking the Med. The restaurants serve exciting Italian dishes. Perfect for beachside relaxation.

    Spa  -  With indoor hydromassage pool featuring chromatherapay
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor infinity pool overlooking the sea
    Great walks  -  Get to know Sardinia on foot
    Diving  -  Tavolara Diving Cente
    Check prices
  • Tenuta Pilastru 32 rooms from £68

    Arzachena Olbia-Tempio,, Sardinia

    An excellent little resort-style farmhouse with charming rustic chic rooms. Fantastic pool and spa facilities, local restaurant, and extensive conference facilities. The ideal choice for a gathering whether for business or pleasure. Also not far from the beach and excellent value.

    Spa breaks
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor/outdoor
    Sights nearby  -  Well located for major sights.
    Recommended by  -  Michelin Travel
    Check prices
  • Hotel Balocco 40 rooms from £149

    Porto Cervo (Costa Smeralda)

    Charming boutique hotel in Costa Smeralda. Light, chic and specious rooms with marble bathrooms and beautiful sea views. Tropical gardens with seating areas and separate adult and kid pools. A great base for exploring the beautiful beaches of northern Sardinia.

    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor with separate kids pool
    Hideaway  -  Tranquil and intimate.
    Great walks  -  Good for walkers.
    Check prices
  • Ca La Somara 12 rooms from £70

    Arzachena, Sardinia

    Converted stables now chic guest villas decorated in vibrant colour palettes and well kept gardens. Fun hand painted tiles and embroidered Sardinian linens decorate the rustic bedrooms. Breakfast is laid back and served outside when weather permits - which is almost always! A homely hideaway.

    Hideaway  -  Former stables this rural idyll features hammocks in which to relax and a tranquil pool
    Restrictions on children  -  No children allowed under the age of 14
    Remote  -  Off the beaten track.
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor/outdoor
    Check prices
  • Hotel Relais Villa del Golfo & Spa 59 rooms from £174

    Olbia, Sardinia

    Stunning views over the Bay of Cannigione, a private yacht at your disposal, an extensive spa to indulge in, and chic Sardinian interiors to relax in. Beautiful creamy suites have private terraces. A very relaxing spot.

    Hotel boats for hire  -  The hotel's yacht can be taken out on reservation.
    Views  -  Fabulous views over the bay.
    Romantic Break
    Total relaxation
    Recommended by  -  Tablet
    Check prices


Written by Kat Parr Mackintosh

posted Wednesday, 30th November 2016