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Sardinia: A Rocky Island Becomes a Jet Set Retreat

James Suckling
Posted: May 29, 2002

Hotel Pitrizza provides the most serenity of any Emerald Coast retreat.
  Italy's Enchanted Islands
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Sardinia Hotels

Hotel Cala di Volpe
Costa Smeralda, Porto Cervo

Telephone (011) 39-0789-976-111
Fax (011) 39-0789-976-617
Web site www.luxurycollection.com/caladivolpe
Rooms 107
Suites 14
Rates $370-$1,385

A luxury hotel that feels like a private yacht club, the Hotel Cala di Volpe embodies the glamour of the Emerald Coast. In 2000, Starwood spent $20 million upgrading the hotel's 121 rooms, including 13 suites and a three-bedroom presidential suite. Most have views over the hotel's small private bay; all offer soothing whitewashed interiors and warm blue and yellow terra-cotta decoration, in traditional Sardinian style. Besides the chic accommodations, there's a huge saltwater swimming pool with a grassy sunbathing area that resembles a PGA putting green, and a secluded fine-sand beach with private launch service. Two excellent restaurants serve some of the best fresh seafood on the island and offer very good wine lists. Service is impeccable throughout the facility.

Hotel Pitrizza
Costa Smeralda, Porto Cervo

Telephone (011) 39-0789-930-111
Fax (011) 39-0789-930-611
Web site www.luxurycollection.com/hotelpitrizza
Rooms 38
Suites 14
Rates $680-$2,590

Sardinia's Emerald Coast is famous for its glitz and buzz, but those who seek out the Hotel Pitrizza treasure its serenity. The atmosphere is blissfully relaxed and low-key. The biggest decision you have to make while you are there is when to take a swim or what to eat or drink in the excellent, cozy restaurant. The Pitrizza's grounds are stunning. The 52 bungalows, built of local stone and wood, are perfectly integrated into the rocky, rustic coastline. The center of the small complex is the irregularly shaped salt-water swimming pool, which resembles a tidal pool. The hotel's restaurant is one of the best on the island. Chef Andelio Sironi makes delicate yet intensely flavored cuisine with an emphasis on Sardinian ingredients, from line-caught Mediterranean fish to the locally raised lamb.

Sardinia Restaurants

Villa della Marina, Porto Cervo

Telephone (011) 39-0789-91644
Open Dinner, daily
Cost Entrées $7-$23

This no-nonsense fish restaurant overlooks the new marina on the outskirts of Porto Cervo. The food is fresh and well-done. Locals like the restaurant because it stays open most of the night, so it's a good place to stop in for a late meal after enjoying the bar or nightclub scene. The wine list is limited, so choose one of the good-quality Sardinian whites such as Cala Silente Vermentino from Cantine Santadi, which also makes a serious international-style red called Terre Brune.

Gianni Pedrinelli
Piccolo Pevero, Porto Cervo

Telephone (011) 39-0789-92436
Open Lunch and dinner, daily
Cost Entrées $16-$27

The most desirable tables are in a large tent attached to the restaurant, with elegant drapery and soothing lighting. The food is simple, almost home cooking in style, with an emphasis on fresh pastas, fish and meat. Most diners opt for fish as a main course, but rack of lamb roasted slowly in the oven is succulent and creamy, one of the most refined I have had in years. The wine list is solid, with plenty of the top names in Italy available from Gaja to Ornellaia.

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