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Aglientu: Hotel Santa Maria

LocalitÓ Larinzeddu, Phone: 07960302/Fax: 079603019
www.santamariahotel.info

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Reviewed by: sw from USA, review #2096

When: June 2007

Serene location, poor service.

It is difficult to find hotels in Sardinia, especially at our price range, so I wanted to submit this review.

Hotel Santa Maria is located in the northern section of Sardinia, far from the tourist hordes. I would describe it as a small hotel, rather than an agriturismo, although it did have a yummy smelling kitchen.

Pros: Beautiful, quiet hotel. Only 5 or 6 rooms. Our room was two rooms with a bathroom in between; nice towels and linens, and a pool. From the terrace you only saw fields and then the edge of the island. The beach located nearby we grew to love; very duney and lots of fun, safe waves for kids. The long drive to the hotel through fields became quite memorable, and reminded us of similar drives in Crete.

Cons: You should know it is far from restaurants/towns. The pool was disappointing, as it was full of bugs and yuckiness. Our kids would not swim in it, and that was a reason we had booked the hotel.

In addition, the staff was not your typical warm friendly Mediterranean family. Over time, they gradually grew on us, but we felt that they frequently were put out by our requests. I'm thinking especially of breakfast which was extremely limited, only breads and jams, and a single coffee. Were very concerned that our kids would spill jam on the tablecloth, and a friendly fight actually broke out among the staff on what to do.

In the end, they had us sit at dirty tables from the evening before. We are not picky people at all, and enjoy camping and staying at cheaper hotels. We paid E130 per night, which I felt was a lot considering there was no pool to use and the breakfast was so small.

I think we were just used to gracious hosts, having traveled in Italy so much. This was much more business-like, and certainly not memorable in terms of hospitality.

That said, I loved the quietude, the view, and wow - we slept really well.

Hint: If you do book, try beginner's Italian; I had no email response until I tried to make the reservation in Italian. We sent a credit card for 30% deposit, and they faxed a confirmation note to us.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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