Glass kicks back at the Hotel Marinedda on the Italian isle of Sardinia

AQUAMARINE water? Check. Dazzling beaches with pristine white sand? Check. An extraordinarily verdant landscape bursting with bougainvillea, hibiscus and jasmine? No, not Mauritius or the Caribbean, but the Italian isle of Sardinia.  A mere two-hour flight from Gatwick sits this sun-drenched island, where startling natural beauty meets world-class hospitality.  Situated on a stretch of coast known as the Costa Rossa due to the naturally pink rocky landscape, lies Hotel Marinedda.
Views for days at Resort Valle Dell’Erica. Photograph: Martin Yates
Despite its size (195 rooms) the hotel has a boutique feel, which is underscored by the staff’s friendly, personable vibe. Low-rise buildings of local rose-toned granite are cleverly nestled within lush gardens of Sardinian flora – rosemary, fig, eucalyptus, and licorice-scented helichrysum – which gently terrace down to a picture-perfect beach.
Local Sardinian stone makes for the prettiest hideaways. Photograph: Martin Yates
Our enormous suite is bigger than most London flats, light and airy in a typically Mediterranean palette of blue, white and terracotta. The luxurious L’Elicriso spa, one of the largest in the Med, boasts state-of-the-art facilities and dozens of treatments, plus a gym, sports activities and frequent yoga classes. Gourmands and gourmets alike (I fear we fall into the former category) are spoilt for choice with four excellent on-site restaurants. The focus is on fresh, locally-sourced ingredients prepared in Sardinia’s rich culinary tradition, such as seafood fregola, a delicious pasta made with prawns, clams and saffron. No trip to Italy is complete without sampling its famous pistachio gelato – thrice daily, in our case.
Bright skies and endless sun. Photograph: Martin Yates
Our next port of call is Resort Valle Dell’Erica at the far north-easterly tip of the Island. Nominated by Trivago as the Best Beachfront Hotel in Sardinia, this charismatic yet uber-luxe establishment is scattered within 28-hectares of herb scented shrub-land, along 1400m of secluded coastline, all golden sands and irredescent waters. The family-run Delphina Resorts Group, who own both hotels, clearly know a thing or two about planning. The sense of seclusion is astonishing, even more so when you consider the 271 rooms, seven restaurants, four pools, and countless activities.
The dreamiest breakfast spot. Photograph: Martin Yates
In spite of an almost full-house, the mood is blissfully serene.  Our days centre around the stunning private beaches. We snorkel among shoals of rainbow-hued fish, laze in the sun, take lunch at the charming beach shack Li Zini, which at night transforms into an intimate candle-lit restaurant.  Boring we may be, but the Technicolor sunrises on our sea-facing balcony call for early nights, such is their hypnotic beauty. Spa junkies can unwind at the Le Thermae Thalasso centre, a rejuvenating retreat for mind, body and soul which features four sea-water pools, private cabins for heavenly massages, plus a sauna, steam room and hammam. 
Typically Italian interiors at Hotel Marinedda. Photograph: Martin Yates
A limitless playground for avid adventurers, mountain-biking, windsurfing, diving, private helicopter charters, kite-surfing, sport-fishing and sailing cruises can all be arranged on request.  Families will love Delphina’s mini-clubs: why more hotels don’t make childcare free, fun and this straightforward, I’ll never know.
One of the two glorious pools at Hotel Marinedda. Photograph: Martin Yates
It’s no surprise that Sardinia has the world’s highest concentration of centenarians. With 300+ days of sunshine annually, fantastic food, and that mesmerising sapphire sea, we’d stick around too.
The luxurious L’Elicriso spa, one of the largest in the Mediterranean.
Photograph: Martin Yates
by Thea Lewis-Yates
All images: Martin Yates
For more details about Delphina Hotels and Resorts, please go here