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“Wonderful Sea Bathing”

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Hotel Cala Caterina
Ranked #17 of 33 Hotels in Villasimius
Certificate of Excellence
Lausanne
Level Contributor
17 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Wonderful Sea Bathing”
Reviewed July 24, 2011

The hotel is small and attracts families with young children as well as singles and wrinklies like us; but few teenagers. They are mainly Italian, Swiss German or Austrian with a few Francophones. The hotel is well run with a manager, possibly the owner, always moving quietly around: no fuss.

The hotel is in a small wooded valley about 120 metres from the sea; some of the first floor rooms have a glimpse of the sea but none has a real sea view.Our room was one of the smaller ones, on the ground floor, looking to the garden. There was a covered patio in front stepping straight into the garden. Because the patio was covered, the room never needed the air conditioning. The furnishings were painted pine, made to look antique. The bed very comfortable and hopusekeeping first class. My only criticism of the room was that the shower cabinet was small. If you dropped the soap, picking it up was tricky; perhaps it is my age!

Breakfast buffet was very good with fresh fruit very much to our taste. If you want eggs, get there early. By 9.30 the scrambled eggs were dire.

We don't bother with lunch but there seems to be a barbecue with fish, squid and, some days, langouste. It is taken in the bar area and looked good.

Dinner is included in the price and served as a tasting menue with three antipasti, two pasti/risotti two main courses and three deserts. If you prefer you can substitute a salad or fruit for one of the courses. We did not. If there is something you don't like, they will double up the portion to compensate. We never deviated, the selection was very good.

Wines were all Sardinian and were excellent with a good price range. The reds were better.

We usually managed three swims per day. Some days there was a stiff onshore wind which made the swimming harsh. No problem, the hotel is on a peninsular: a twent minute walk and you are sheltered!

A tip. If you want to be able to shop, you needa car or taxi. The nearest, very limited, shops are at the Porto Turistico; not a nice walk and all is closed in the afternoon.

Room Tip: Insist on a ground floor. 104/110 are best.
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Oldfeller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (6)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
porto, portugal
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed June 13, 2011

My wife and I stayed in Cala Caterina for five days on a getaway by occasion of our marriage anniversary. We chose this hotel in spite of not so good previous reviews from other guests. It must however be said that we are experienced and demanding travellers and fortunately been accostumed to staying in above-average hotels and resorts. Other information we were able to collect gave us more confidence on our choice.
We were not wrong.
While the rooms and furniture in Cala Caterina could use some more attention (no flat screen tv, wardrobes a bit cranky), the "décor" is very relaxing and quite in line with Sardinian tradition. The hotel lobby and public areas are very well treated and elegantly furnished. Everythig in this hotel is focused on creating a warm, familiar but relaxing atmosphere. This is completely achieved.
The gardens are simply absolutely astonishing with massive "green" from pool area till ocean front, with lots of shade provided by pine trees and several wooden chairs sprawled along the way to the beach, as to inviting a pause or a well-spent time to read.
the Outside areas under the arcades are very comfortable and elegant.
The beach itself, although nested in a small cove, was a bit disapointing since there were a lot of seaweed and other algae and that kind of ruined the deep blue crystal clear waters one sees in other beaches in Sardegna.
Pool area is just wonderful: very peaceful and conveniently located next to the arcades.
This hotel chosed not to have a buffet for dinner but instead provided for four course gourmet dinners, different every day. I am a bit picky with my food but overall it was lots of fun to experience new ways to enjoy your meals. Wine is fabulous of course in Sardegna and the hotel had indeed and excellent cellar.
The service in the restaurant and bar areas could use some improvement (some of our orders were forgotten and/or took longer than usual) but nothing to ashame the four stars of Cala Caterina. The Apperol Spritz took its time to arrive at our table but was well worth the wait.
One special word to Clara, front desk clerk, that was unsurpassed in providing us with everything we wanted and every piece of advice we needed. It must be said though that the other personnel were also very very good and attentive.
taxis a bit expensive if you want to go out of hotel grounds though (EUR 15,00 each way)
In sum, a very good spot to relax and enjoy nature, good italian cuisine and good wine.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
5 Thank costamendes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lisbon, Portugal
Level Contributor
21 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed November 7, 2010

We stayed here last May. True we weren´t lucky with the weather, rainy and windy, what stopped us to try the beach for example. But the hotel itself can be quite impersonal and inhospitable. Everything is fake. Is too expensive for what it worths. We asked a deluxe room but not even a proper bath, just an old and small shower. I don´t care with size of rooms that much, as long as you can feel confy and warm. Furniture dated and not my style.The restaurant is cheesy and everything about the place is pretensious. Felt "cold" all the time while i was there. One of my biggest mistakes ever. The wrong choice. We wanted a place by the beach but i think you can easily find so much better. Maybe in another area. I don´t know the rest of Sardinia but this side of the island is quite badly urbanized and impersonal. Not good restaurants around, at least that i would find out.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank bola_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milan, Italy
Level Contributor
28 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 104 helpful votes
Reviewed September 27, 2010

Me and my husband stayed at Cala Caterina for three nights on their last week end open (so early in September!).
Overall we would not go back, as it's not our kind of hotel - we prefer more upscale, secluded, contemporary concepts and we like good food - but it has certainly some good points.

PROS:

- The grounds. This part of Sardinia has really beautiful beaches, I mean: Caribean style. So the frist hotels arriving here I assume in the 80's got the best areas, including Cala Caterina. The hotel is directly on the beach, and this is the main reason why we have chosen it. The beach is nice even if you can find more breathtaking and wild areas going north towards Costa Rei. But if you are in the mood for total laziness this is perfect.
The garden is very well designed and mantained.

- Some of the staff members. They're professional and make you feel 'at home'. But not all have the same level and remember this is not a five stars hotel, so don't assume there's top service.

- The room size (not the style and amenities).

CONS:

- Hotel architecure and details. Quite old fashioned, a bit tired here and there. The rooms don't have direct seaview and most of them opens to public grounds and areas, so not so much privacy. The room has really old furniture, but the Superior type is quite big with huge bathroom (didn't see a standard).

- Food. The lowest point. Really bad experience: low quality in all what we had, from breakfast to lunch to the depressing dinner. It's really like the old hotels in the 80's when you stayed there every night and got a fixed menu (no à la carte..). The second night we escaped to 'Da Barbara', 10km away and I'm afraid it's the only good alternative in the area.

- Service and hotel concept. Very strange strict rules and no flexibility: breakfast closes at 10am, lunch is only available at the bar with very limited choice, no 24h room service, dinner only until 9:30pm (we had a late check-in at 10pm and we only got a poor cold dish in our room as the restaurant closes at 9:30pm!). Had more 'sorry, no' than 'yes', and we were not pretending a 5 stars treatment. But as I said some staff members are very professional and sometimes compensate the overall old style approach.

- No real value for money. A bit too expensive for what we got.

MY SUGGESTION: if you are accustomed to the latest generation of hotels (smart, chic, refined, good service and good value) and are gourmet-sensitive this is not your place. But if all what you care about is a easy access to the beach in a idillic place, go.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank elghira
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed June 1, 2010

We stayed here for a week.The whole experience was top rate. Beautiful ambience, location,comfort and 1st class staff. I had booked with a little concern regarding the food having read previous reviews. I need not have worried. The dinner consisted of 4 or 5 courses with 2 or 3 "taster" components to each. These were delicious and more than adequate for us--and we both like our food. In any case we were always asked if we would like a further helping of any of these dishes. I guess if you are expecting a plate overflowing with pizza or spagbol and chips, you will be disappointed, but this is classy food. They do know,however how to charge for wine---like a wounded bull! cheapest wine at 33 euros and then only of mediocre quality, anything decent is nearly double that.
The rooms are not grand, but very comfotable. The decor may not be to all tastes-sort of distressed chic- I liked it, my wife was not so keen. One gripe.I wish that there was some form of coffee/tea making facility in the room,not much to ask I would have thought.
The gardens,pool and public areas are all beautifully kept and very attractive.
The small(ish) cove/beach at the bottem of the gardens is attractive-alas when we stayed the strong winds had washed up a lot of dead vegitation on part of it. There are plenty of fabulous beaches within easy walking distance,though.
For a relaxed holiday with excellent food in a beautiful setting, we both could think of nowhere better. Just watch the wine bill and bring a travel kettle.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank FarmerP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed June 8, 2009

We stayed at the Hotel Cala Caterina for 1 week at the beginning of June. Be advised that from Cagliari airport (Elmas) the drive to the hotel is anywhere between 1 hr - 1 1/2 hrs - depending on whether you travel by car or bus. Although it's a lovely drive (once you are out of Cagliari itself) along the coastal roads, there's nothing like going door to door as quickly and painlessly as possible!

The hotel itself is charming. The service endeavours to be of 5 * standard, but falls short. After our long journey, the welcome we received was non descript and we were ushered to our room almost immediately by a porter who struggled to find its location. We booked a double room and received a family room for 4 - with 2 unnecessary beds tucked away in an alcove. The worst aspect of the room was the bathroom which was tiny with a shower that flooded how ever you attempted to stand, aim the water/ head etc. Coupled with the fact that the bathroom contained the only mirror in the entire bedroom, it made for cosy living!

The grounds were fabulous - with private access to a beautiful beach, a great pool and a lovely cocktail bar located in between, there's not much more you could ask for! We spent our days lounging between the three, reading and soaking up the sun. Our deal was half board (breakfast and dinner). While the breakfast offered a good selection of both hot and cold dishes, the dinner menu was a tasting menu every night! A nice idea in theory (fresh, seasonal produce), in practice you end up eating lots of little things, some of which you wouldn't choose and eventually you crave to order just one filling meal! The cheapest bottle of wine on the menu is 35 Euros - so you do spend on top of the deal.

The Spa was not open while we were there, which was even more disheartening when it rained on the first day! Check to make sure it is open when you choose to go...

Villasimius is a 10 minute drive away, and a taxi there costs 15 Euros. The town is run down and there are few restaurants there. We did eat there one night, but the service was abominable - my boyfriend had finished his meal and ordered another drink by the time my food arrived! There was no urgency in any of the service and certainly no charm to make up for it!

Be warned for any culture vultures - there is no culture to see, which is surprising for a 'traditional' Italian village - and other guests in the hotel remarked on the same thing. If you are a nature lover or keen ornithologist there is plenty of wildlife to see. Bring some binoculars...

All in all, the hotel was great for complete relaxation in an isolated spot. The hotel is lovely - but there is a limit to how much eating one can do! If you want to be in isolated bliss (it would be considered rude if your phone rang in any public/ communal area), then the location is perfect. Be warned that there is little to do outside the hotel - no funky bars/ clubs/ boutiques or shops nearby and the port should really be called a marina as there is not much there, save a small supermarket for any last minute essentials! The hotel also has no communal internet access and I was a little annoyed when the front desk charged us 2 Euros – for asking to check in online! Be warned that service will not necessarily meet the expectation of a 4 * hotel… For the price we paid, one could, and would expect, better.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SullyCat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Surrey
Level Contributor
19 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed June 7, 2009

We were made so welcome by the hotel staff and received enormous help when our hired car had a puncture.
It is a well-run beautiful small hotel, situated in lovely grounds and has its own small private beach. Sunloungers, umbrellas and beach towels all provided free of charge.
The big let-down, as far as we were concerned, were the 'taster' evening dinners. We got tired of the nine small portions and longed for a substantial meal of our own choice. Also, it would have been nice to have had a dessert trolley.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SurreyOlderperson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Cala Caterina

Property: Hotel Cala Caterina
Address: Via Lago Maggiore 32, 09049 Villasimius, Sardinia, Italy
Location: Italy > Sardinia > Province of Cagliari > Villasimius
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#6 Luxury Hotel in Villasimius
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Villasimius
#18 Romantic Hotel in Villasimius
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Cala Caterina 4*
Number of rooms: 48
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
LOCATION The hotel is situated in one of the most delightful corners of Sardinia's South East coast, a few minutes from the holiday village of Villasimius (5 km) and close to its well equipped tourist marina (1 km). Surrounded by Mediterranean greenery and facing a crystal blue sea, the hotel offers its guests all the charm and magic of the island. Its secluded position makes the hotel an oasis of peace and tranquillity. Distance from Cagliari: 56 km. Distance from Olbia: 270 km. BEACH A pleasant walk (100 m) through the lovely garden with shady pine trees and well kept lawns, leads to the delightful Cala Caterina beach - a small sandy bay edged by smooth granite rocks. The hotel provides free sun-beds and umbrellas at the beach, as well as on the adjacent lawn. Beach towels are also complimentary. THE HOTEL AND ITS FACILITIES Built in a traditional Mediterranean style with long shady colonnades, the hotel blends in perfectly with the surrounding natural environment. It boasts a wide lobby, an elegant restaurant, a bar with a charming terrace overlooking the swimming pool and the surrounding garden, which provides ample space for taking the sun or lying in the shade. Services: reception open 24 hours a day, porter service, lift, unattended car park, during some evenings piano bar entertainment. There is an extra charge for mountain bikes, scooters and cars hire and for taxi service to Villasimius, where shops, restaurants and various services are available. ACCOMMODATION Situated on either the ground (patio) or first floor (balcony), the 48 rooms are all tastefully furnished in elegant pastel shades, with painted wooden furniture and marble topped tables. The rooms all have private facilities with bath or shower, hair-dryer and are equipped with satellite TV, air-conditioning, direct dial telephone, minibar and safe. There are 5 room types: - Classic (2/3 beds, about 25/30 sqm.): Double room with additional 3rd bed if required. - Comfort (2/3 beds, about 25/30 sqm.): Double room with additional 3rd bed if required, total renovated bathroom. - Prestige (2/3 beds, about 25/30 sqm.): Double room with additional 3rd bed if required, sea side. - Junior Suite (4 beds, about 40 sqm.): Double room with sofa bed, sea side, ground floor, totally renovated; - Sea View Suite (4/5 bedso, about 65 sqm.): Double room, living room and sofa bed and single bed, first floor with balcony, 2 bathrooms, private steam room. RESTAURANT The hotel restaurant offers both local and international cuisine with a wide selection of wines to match. Half board basis includes buffet style breakfast and waiter service dinner (drinks not included). Lunch is on request and with an extra cost: guests may enjoy a light lunch or a snack at the bar. Guests booked on half board enjoy a Gourmet Menu which consists of four courses each with two or three different 'taster' dishes and a seasonal fruits and vegetables buffet. SPA Protected with full privacy, laying out under the gazebo, the wellness treatments, massages, aromatic baths and the steam room will give you a complete relaxation, for body and soul. SPORTING ACTIVITIES There are plenty of sporting activities available nearby, in Porto Giunco (1 km), including water sports (windsurfing, waterskiing, canoeing, sailing) and boat rental. Only 3 km away: tennis, golf, diving and horse-riding. EXCURSIONS At the hotel reception it is possible to book nature and archaeological excursions by jeep and boat excursions with refreshments on board to the Islands of Serpentara and Cavoli, both protected marine reserves. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Cala Caterina Hotel
Cala Caterina Villasimius
Hotel Cala Caterina Villasimius, Sardinia

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