Choosing a destination for our summer holidays was not easy this year. Like everyone else, after a period of forced isolation due to the COVID-19, we wanted and needed a period of relaxation to restore our bodies as well as our minds. We wanted to stay in Italy and our choice fell on Sardinia which, for some strange reason, we had never visited and which, in my imagination, I always thought had something mysterious about it.
As usual, the choice of the hotel was made in a very meticulous way as it was very important for us to identify what would become our home away from home for the duration of our stay on the island. If I am normally fussy, in this particular situation, I was even more because the choice had to take into account our safety and that of our grandson.
The Marinedda Thalasso & SPA in Isola Rossa could not have been a more appropriate choice. The Delphina Group, to which this hotel belongs, adopts a protocol, in relation to COVID-19, able to offer a safe and, at the same time, carefree holiday as if the problem was only a distant memory.
Flight and hotel booked, we left for Sardinia and, more precisely, for Isola Rossa, where a week of sea, relaxation and fun awaited us at the Marinedda Thalasso & SPA. On our arrival at Olbia airport we find our private transfer, booked through the hotel, waiting for us, ready to take us to the Marinedda, which is about 1h 30 minutes from the airport.
Although the journey is quite long, time passes quickly thanks to the beautiful landscape of the Mediterranean vegetation that is offered to us at every turn.
Our arrival at the hotel
Pulling into the private driveway of the Marinedda estate, while the car drives along the road bordered by a luxuriant Mediterranean vegetation, we can smell the characteristic scent of the myrtle.
As soon as we arrive, in front of the reception, our luggage is picked up by an attendant to be sanitized and then delivered directly to our room. On entering the hotel, due to the restrictions of the Covid-19, we find the reception unusually empty and quiet: no voices are heard and no people are seen coming and going!!!
However, despite the masks, we are greeted by smiling faces wishing us a pleasant stay. While the employees carry-out the check-in formalities, I can’t help but notice, in the distance, the breathtaking view that can be seen from the terrace partially empty for the particular moment that we are going through, I like to think of it, in normal times, crowded with friends, couples and families sipping a drink and enjoying this beautiful view waiting to go to dinner.
Once the check-in formalities have been completed, we are escorted to our suite; just enough time to unpack and freshen up, and it’s time for dinner. We decide therefore to postpone to the next day the exploration of the hotel and to linger for a moment on the sunset that we can admire from our terrace.
If last night we were treated to a breathtaking sunset, waking up to a enchanted, almost magical sunrise was no less impressive: it’s not every day you get to see both sunset and sunrise from your terrace!!!
The Marinedda Thalasso & SPA has a truly spectacular location. Surrounded by lush Mediterranean vegetation, it overlooks the Gulf of Asinara, on the north-west coast of Sardinia, known as Costa Rossa (Red Coast) because of the colour of its rocks. It is located not far from the small village of Isola Rossa, which during the summer season magically comes alive with the presence of numerous holiday-makers.
As usual, while Lorenzo and Gianmario getting ready, I go out to explore. The hotel is perfectly integrated into the landscape, in fact the facilities, rooms, suites, swimming pools and restaurants are hidden by lush Mediterranean vegetation and stretches slowly towards the sea, facing the bay of the same name and the rocky coastline of Punta Li Cannedi.
As I walk down the road to get to the beach, I can’t help but be enraptured by the view I am gradually offered. I spontaneously think that I am in an oasis of peace and tranquility and that I could not have chosen a better place for a week dedicated to relaxation.
The two-storey cottages with rooms and suites are scattered throughout the hotel and, as mentioned above, are perfectly integrated in a lush Mediterranean vegetation.
Our spacious and comfortable suite with sea view, is furnished in a simple but pleasant and cosy way, in typical Sardinian style, with wrought iron details, fine fabrics and local marble.
It consists of a very large living room, a bedroom and a large and functional bathroom. It is equipped with all the comforts such as WIFI, 2 flat-screen TVs, a hairdryer, air conditioning, safe, minibar as well as coffee and tea making facilities.
The cleanliness of the room is impeccable, but the highlight of our suite is definitely the terrace with a direct view of the sea, where in the evening we relaxed contemplating the view and the sunset, while in the morning, before going down to breakfast, we admired the sunrise.
I don’t deny that before leaving, given the restrictions in place, I had some doubts about the catering. However, I must say that there were absolutely no problems. Using the QR code was a quick and practical way to consult the various menus of the restaurants and bars, thus avoiding having to consult the paper menus.
The poolside breakfast buffet, located below the reception, is very well managed without creating queues. The food is good with a wide choice of sweet and savoury items to satisfy even the most difficult palates. When in doubt, advice is often given by the very friendly manager who, as in my case, served me an excellent apple cake every morning.
Lunch is served either in the Piazzetta Punta Canneddi or, for a light snack, at the beach bar. Personally, we have always had lunch at the Punta Canneddi where, in addition to the delicious food and excellent service, you can enjoy a spectacular view. The menu is very varied with various starters, salads and cold cuts, first courses, which I couldn’t do without, and second courses of high quality, ending with a dessert or a delicious fruit salad. Every day the chef, teases the palate with dishes of the menu with the intention of promoting Sardinian cuisine which, to tell the truth, really surprised me.
Dinner is served at the Il Tramonto restaurant, which offers an enchanting view of the bay where every evening while dining you can admire an unforgettable sunset that is never the same. Dining while the sun slowly disappears into the sea filling the sky with a thousand colours is unparalleled!!!!! In addition to all this, the Chef’s creativity in proposing skilfully prepared Mediterranean dishes and the helpfulness of the dining room staff in giving advice on the choice of the wine and dishes. Each dish is a pleasure for both the palate and the eye.
For those who prefer an informal dinner at the Piazzetta Punta Canneddi an assisted buffet is offered by attentive and very helpful staff. Personally, we went there on the evening of our arrival and I must say that we had a very good dinner. The chefs offer traditional and international dishes, hors d’oeuvres, first courses and main courses of fish and meat accompanied by side dishes and salads, concluding with a vast variety of fruits and delicious desserts.
For those who like to stay on the beach and have a light lunch at the beach bar, tasty and quick dishes are prepared.
How did we spend our days?
Beach and swimming pools
The Marinedda is the ideal place for a holiday in total relaxation. The outdoor spaces surrounded by lush nature invite you to spend a lot of time outdoors.
For swimming pools lovers there are 2 options, one in the main building of the hotel, with fresh water and another, not far from the beach, with sea water. Both are equipped with comfortable sunbeds and bar service.
The Marinedda beach is definitely one of the hotels’s highlights.
This beautiful beach is actually a bay of fine sand with shallow waters and a fairly shallow seabed, making it ideal for children. The particularities of this beach are the red rocks and the sea that every day give you different shades ranging from blue to emerald green.
The sea is beautiful and calm, but with the Mistral or West wind it can show itself in a different way, swelling and creating waves that attract surfers. On the coast you can find many aegagropilus balls, which are formed by the remains of the Posidonia.
These vegetal balls should not be removed, as they protect the beaches, from the erosion of the waves. Those of us who like to walk can discover beautiful sandy coves hidden between the rocks that line both sides of the beach.
The beach is free but you can rent parasols and sunbeds in the hotel’s reserved area. The walk from our suite down to the beach is a pleasant 10 minutes. Those who prefer to avoid the heat can take advantage of the shuttle service which is available free of charge for both the outward and return journeys.
Every day, when we arrived at the beach, we were greeted by the smiles of the young people who kindly accompanied us to our beach umbrella. In the area reserved to the hotel guests there is also a small bar where you can have a coffee or something fresh to drink or have a light lunch at midday. There are also changing cabins and showers where you can freshen and get rid of salt and sand. I would like to point out that we felt really safe and at ease for the attention to hygiene in the bathrooms, common areas and sunbeds as well as for the spacing regularly held in this unusual context.
If you, like my husband, can’t do without a gym even on holiday, you’ll find everything you need to keep fit here. The gym is free of charge, but due to the COVID-19 regulations, it is accessible at set times and by prior booking.
In addition to the gym, which is always free of charge, there are floodlit tennis and five-a-side football pitches, mini basketball, archery and hiking trails. The only requirements are the willingness to get involved and a love for sport!!!
What about the children?
Don’t worry, there is a dedicated area for children and teenagers.
A free mini/junior club for children from 4 years to 12 years old is available 6 days a week from 09:30 to 13:00 and from 15:30 to 18:30.
At the club many activities are organized for their enjoyment such as group lessons of tennis, five-a side football, mini basketball and archery. Parents can relax and enjoy their holiday, leaving their children in safe hands for a few hours.
The Elicriso Thalasso & Spa Centre
What could be nicer, when on holiday, than to be pampered at the SPA!!!! In this case the Elicriso Thalasso & SPA Centre of the Marinedda will be able to satisfy your needs.
This centre, run by highly qualified staff and therapists, is one of the most prestigious in the Mediterranean.
In this centre of about 2500 square meters you will find:
- a semi-covered seawater pool with hydromassage
- outdoor thalassotherapy with 4 multifunctional seawater pools at different temperatures
- a Jacuzzi
- a cardio fitness gym
- 15 cabins for thalassotherapy treatments and massages
- a relaxation corner where you can enjoy herbal tea
- a Turkish bath and two saunas (one for men and one for women)
- a reception area with an adjoining medical clinic
- a boutique where you can buy products for your body and face.
The spa and treatments have an extra cost, but in my opinion it’s really worth it.
What have we seen around Marinedda in Isola Rossa!!!
The Marinedda is just a stone’s throw from the village of Isola Rossa, which can be reached either on foot, as we did almost every day, or, for the lazier ones, with the shuttle bus available to the guests. This enchanting fishing village stands on a small promontory improperly called Isola Rossa as it is completely on dry land. The name Isola Rossa derives from the fact that it faces a reddish-colored islet.
There are a few things in this enchanting village that should not be missed:
- the Spanish tower that probably dates back to 1500. From there you can admire the most beautiful beaches of Isola Rossa.
- The small harbour from where you can set sail for sea excursions to the Maddalena Archipelago, Budelli, Spargi, Caprera and Asinara.
- The promenade is located on one of the most famous beaches of Isola Rossa, namely La Spiaggia Longa located between the cliffs of Li Bicchi Russi and the panoramic viewpoint. This is the most popular beach of Isola Rossa as it is very close to the town centre.
- A starting point for visiting all the other countless beaches of Isola Rossa.
One morning, through the hotel reception, we booked a taxi that took us to Castelsardo, which is about 30 minutes from the hotel.
Castelsardo is truly a beautiful village perched on a promontory that creeps into the Gulf of Asinara. This village has medieval origins and is rich in architectural beauty and splendid bays.
Founded by the Doria family in 1270, it was then under Spanish rule for about 300 years and became Castelaragonese.
The Doria Castle is perfectly preserved, it can be visited all year round and is home to the Museum of the Mediterranean Interweaving. From the Castle you can enjoy a wonderful view of the Gulf, the port and, on clear days, you can see the mountains of Corsica.
As you slowly stroll through its paths and linger in Piazza Duomo, overlooking the sea, you will fall in love with this magnificent village!!!
On the way back, a must-see is the Elephant Rock, an original rock formation resembling the silhouette of an elephant.
We had never been to Sardinia before but I have to say it was a pleasant surprise so we will definitely be back. Our stay at the Marinedda Thalasso & SPA was relaxing and fulfilling from all points of view. The location of this hotel immersed in a lush and in some ways wild nature is incredible.
We will never forget our dinners accompanied each evening by an incredible sunset that first sets the rocks on fire and then slowly sinks into the sea. We will think back with nostalgia to waking up at dawn to catch the sunrise, to walks in the alleys surrounded by greenery, to the turquoise and crystal clear sea, to the exquisite and never banal cuisine and, last but not least, to the kindness of all the staff. I consider the staff to be the jewel in the crown of this hotel.
Everyone, from the receptionists to the staff in the restaurants and bars, masterfully led by Fernando and Moreno, are always helpful, smiling and friendly. I would like to thank everyone, without exception, because you were fantastic in making our holiday unforgettable despite the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19. Compliments to the omnipresent director Alessandro, unique in his kind, always welcoming and smiling.
I say goodbye to you leaving you with this unforgettable sunset.
Disclaimer: This article was written by me after a week spent at the Marinedda Thalasso & SPA together with my husband and our grandson Lorenzo. The stay was duly paid as it was not a freebie for promotional purposes.