via dei Gabbiani
07020 Golfo Aranci
We received a very warm welcome on arrival at the Gabbiano Azzurro.
The staff were warm and friendly and acknowledged our 25th anniversary at check-in as we had previously arranged to have dinner at their outdoor terrace restaurant.
Aside from the hotel being lovely, we picked it so that we would be close to the ferry in Olbia that takes you to and from the mainland which is a 5 hour journey. We stayed one night on the way in so we would have a special place to celebrate our 25th and then three nights prior to our departure to ensure good memories upon leaving Sardinia. (Sardegna).
It is a large family run hotel that exudes a casual elegance with comfortable sofas in the lobby, beautiful outdoor furniture on the terrace and sumptuous chaises with thick cushions around the pool.
Ahhh...nothing like having a gin and tonic around the pool on a hot day!!
We enjoyed all our meals at their al a carte Blu restaurant overlooking the sea.
The restaurant indoors is for those using the pension plan. It looked like it may have been a good value with large antipasto and dessert buffets. We opted for the Blu mainly for the enjoyment of eating on the terrace. Their breakfast which ranks in our top 5 in Italy and France is served on the terrace. Any hotel that has fresh cut fruit salad rises to the top for us and the Gabbiano went way above that. Their entire breakfast buffet was exceptional in it's quality and variety. We did not expect that we would be able to eat there our final day due to the early ferry departure but the management arranged for the breakfast to start an hour earlier due to the number of people vacating that date. What a wonderful thing to do!
We ate lunch at the little restaurant near the beach where you can either get a panino to take back to one of the sun beds you can reserve (with a fee during high season) on their private beach. We opted to have grilled calamari and salads with the requisite bottle of wine. All are meals were delicious!
Our Superior Double room was very comfortable with a fabulous view of the sea and islands. The room was a comfortable size and decorated as you would expect at a resort.
The hotel will book boat excursions for you to the north or southern islands or other activities.
The town of Golfo Aranci where the hotel is located is the nicest we saw on the Costa Smeralda. Glenn likes to be located near a town for early morning walks so this was perfect. The Costa Smeralda is Sardegna's most expensive region of the island being that it is the summer playground of the rich and famous. The Gabbiano Azzurro is a very good value when this is taken into account and even more so if staying early June or late September. The water is quite shallow so the water should be warm enough May to the end of October.
Olbia is the closest port to the mainland and Golfo Aranci is an easy 20 minute drive to the ferry. There is also an airport there. Because we picked up our convertible in Rome we stayed one night at the Hotel Miremare in Civitavecchia to catch the 9 AM ferry to Sardegna. We took both the Tirrenia and Moby ferries and both were fine but Moby was our preferred. We did not reserve seats and instead found comfortable seats in their bars for the trip.
Because Sardegna has a population of only 1.5 million there is a lot of distance between the towns. We stayed in the north staying in Golfo Aranci and Alghero. We liked the old town of Alghero and the city of Sassari. We drove down the coast highway from Alghero and Oristano and loved the scenery. We passed through the little town of Bosa with its multi-coloured houses and famous beach.
Very good value for Sardinia. Enjoyed the pool which had enough chaises to accommodate the number of people that were staying there at the time. I would have preferred cloth pads to the foam ones but I guess for all practical purposes the foam is better to accommodate turnover.
We liked that we could have bar service around the pool. The view from the room was very nice. Street parking was not a problem. We ate all three nights at La Ramblas just a block away from the hotel. The pizzas were excellent and the whole meal including wine was VERY reasonable. It is about a 20 minute walk into the old town of Alghero. The staff were very friendly and helpful. One of the best beds in Italy!
Breakfast was a big disappointment. Watered down juice and very poor coffee from a machine that makes different coffees was a little hard to take. The room that is used for breakfast and dinner is not that appealing so we did not eat any of our dinners at the hotel. The daily charge (I think 3€/day) seemed excessive and they could have been a little bigger. Also, they should get with the program and offer free WiFi. Overall, we enjoyed our stay!!
© Glenn & Karen Marcus
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