An Island Paradise: Conrad Chia Laguna, Sardinia – Review

By Kamin Mohammadi

2 weeks ago

A magical hotel set in the rugged Sardinian hills


The island of Sardinia is a hardly undiscovered, but nestling on the pristine south coast is Conrad Chia Laguna – a resort that can still make you feel like you’re the first to have stumbled on this island paradise, says Kamin Mohammadi.

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Review: Conrad Chia Laguna, Sardinia

Aerial view of Conrad Chia Laguna resort at sunset

The buildings of Conrad Chia Laguna are smattered across the hills up the south coast, and its genius is to combine traditional Sardinian materials, crafts and aesthetics with modern comforts and clean lines to make a thoroughly contemporary hotel that feels like it has been part of this rugged and majestic landscape forever. 

Situated just 50 minutes from Cagliari airport, Conrad Chia Laguna is set between the mountains of the island’s majestic interior and the white beaches of the sparkling coast, its countryside covered in the famously fragrant scrub of Sardinia. The resort is a mere 10-minute walk to the nearest beach, past the lagoon that harbours a flock of bright pink flamingos – such beloved and iconic birds in the island that they are known as ‘gente rossa’ (‘red people’). The Baia Chia beaches on the south coast of Sardinia are some of the most extraordinary, not just on the island but in Europe. Famous for their turquoise water and fine sand, these beaches boast the colours of the Caribbean, right here in Europe, and have been awarded the ‘cleanest beaches in Italy’ accolade from environmental association Legambiente.

Bedroom with cream walls, white bed linens and a balcony overlooking the Sardinian mountains.

With billowing white curtains, terracotta floors, clean lines and an indoor/outdoor design, the hotel reflects the very territory it sits in, giving an overall sense of lightness with wide open spaces while Sardinian breezes bring in the sweet fragrance of the surround flora and Mediterranean maquis. Refurbished just two years ago, the use of Biancone di Orosei marble – locally quarried limestone rock finished on the island which ranges in colour from coral to sparkling greys filled with fossilised shells – brings more of the island into the structure, as do modern artisan interpretations of traditional Sardinian masks and ceramic wedding vases. The rooms and suites are similarly large and airy, and some overlook the lagoon and the sea, furnished in soft tones and featuring marvellously luxurious bathrooms, cloud-like beds and spacious terraces to enjoy stunning sunsets from. 

The hotel’s La Terrazza restaurant features a large terrace overlooking the sea outside, and a big open kitchen inside where the chefs perform their magic for all to see; the food is probably some of the most delicious and beautifully presented on the island. Every meal here is a revelation, a combination of traditional local ingredients and a creative flair not often seen in hotel restaurants. The Bollicine Bar again embraces both covered and open spaces outside as well as an elegant space inside: the bar itself links both. With a delicious cocktail menu, including the best non-alcoholic Negroni I have ever tasted, each drink is accompanied by a delicious little tray of curated nibbles that go far beyond the regular offering of crisps and peanuts. 

Pool with sun loungers, parasols and a view of the Sardinian mountains.

The Bioaquam poolside bar is a cool place to relax – loungers and even wider beds line the pool, and the shaded restaurant has a small but mighty menu of healthy eats that come similarly beautifully imagined and presented, as well as freshly pressed juice combinations that the friendly staff will gladly change and adapt to your taste. Lying by the pool and gazing over the lagoon and the sea as the breeze carries the sweet smell of the maquis over you is surely one of life’s greatest pleasures.

And wellbeing continues in the carefully designed spa, which offers a modern gym as well as a rejuvenating and relaxing roster of treatments and a whole plethora of saunas and hot/cold tubs: steam rooms, rasuls and different Jacuzzis and extraordinary shower booths, both hot and cold. There are many corners and lounges for relaxing, and there is a gorgeous Mediterranean garden set with a series of unheated small pool Jacuzzis to dip in and bubble away your aches and pains. The rooftop terrace offers a heated Jacuzzi for views onto the coast and the sea, while the loungers rest in a sun-trapped terrace. 

Restaurant with lanterns, wooden tables and a view of the Sardinian mountains, photographed at dusk.

THE FINAL WORD

Throughout the hotel, whether in the spa or restaurant, the warm and friendly staff elevate each experience to one that really touches the heart. The ladies who clean your room soon learn your preferences and leave personalised touches, and the front of house staff feel like genuine friends within a day. Conrad Chia Laguna really typifies Sardinia at its best – and that includes the radiant warmth of the Sardinian people.

BOOK IT

chialagunaresort.com


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