We received a very warm welcome on arrival at the Gabbiano Azzurro.
The staff were warm and friendly and acknowledged our 25th anniversary at check-in as we had previously arranged to have dinner at their outdoor terrace restaurant.
Aside from the hotel being lovely, we picked it so that we would be close to the ferry in Olbia that takes you to and from the mainland which is a 5 hour journey. We stayed one night on the way in so we would have a special place to celebrate our 25th and then three nights prior to our departure to ensure good memories upon leaving Sardinia. (Sardegna).
It is a large family run hotel that exudes a casual elegance with comfortable sofas in the lobby, beautiful outdoor furniture on the terrace and sumptuous chaises with thick cushions around the pool.
We enjoyed sitting in the terrace and having a drink. Guests often meet here before dinner.
Ahhh...nothing like having a gin and tonic around the pool on a hot day either!! We enjoyed all our meals at their al a carte Blu restaurant overlooking the sea.
The restaurant indoors is for those using the pension plan. It looked like it may have been a good value with large antipasto and dessert buffets. We opted for the Blu mainly for the enjoyment of eating on the terrace with its lovely view over the bay with stunningly beautiful blue water.
Their breakfast which ranks in our top 5 in Italy and France is served on the terrace. Any hotel that has fresh cut fruit salad rises to the top for us and the Gabbiano went way above that. Their entire breakfast buffet was exceptional in its quality and variety.
We ate lunch at the little restaurant near the beach where you can either get a panino to take back to one of the sun beds you can reserve (with a fee during high season) on their private beach. We opted to have grilled calamari and salads with the requisite bottle of wine on the little outdoor terrace by the beach.
All are meals were delicious!
Our Superior Double room was very comfortable with a fabulous view of the sea and islands. The room was a comfortable size and decorated as you would expect at a resort.
The hotel will book boat excursions for you to the north or southern islands or other activities.
The town of Golfo Aranci where the hotel is located is the nicest we saw on the Costa Smeralda. The hotel is situated on the edge of town and walking into the centre is very easy. The Costa Smeralda is Sardegna's most expensive region of the island being that it is the summer playground of the rich and famous. The Gabbiano Azzurro is a very good value when this is taken into account and even more so if staying in the off season. The water is quite shallow so the water should be warm enough April to the end of October.
Olbia is the closest port to the mainland and Golfo Aranci is an easy 20 minute drive to the ferry. There is also an airport there. We took both the Tirrenia and Moby ferries and both were fine but Moby was our preferred. I would suggest that you book directly with the ferry companies and not through an agent. We did not reserve seats and instead found comfortable seats in their bars for the trip.
A stay at the Gabbiano Azzurro is highly recommended!!