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Is Arenas Resort
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Reviewed October 27, 2011

We stayed at Is Arenas in October this year and found the Hotel very relaxing indeed.

If you come to Is Arenas and don't play golf as we do, then you may get bored very quickly as its 3km from the main road and a good 4km away from the nearest town.

When we arrived after travelling from the UK at 3.30 pm and the place is lovely, quiet and very swish. We were invited for cocktails by the pool and after travelling for 12 hours we asked for a menu. We were told that the kitchen closes at 2.30pm, but we could have some toast...... We thought a 5 Star hotel that offers toast as the kitchen is closed ? This is a bit weird. How can you have a 5 star hotel that doesn't serve food ? So we waited for dinner which was great.

At dinner we asked the waiter for the wine list and what would he recommend ? All the wines on the list are Sardinian and around 30 Euros a bottle. What he get us was a lovely bottle of wine and I expected it to be in the same price range. Gulp I didn't ask but it was 77 Euros and I did feel a bit stitched up. My fault I should have asked. All the staff are lovely and helpful, but if they offer you wine - check the price as its way way way expensive.

The gold course is very good - i play off 16 and the wife is off 22 so we are reasonable players. It was fun to play and we did so 5 times in a 7 day period. The golf shop is however a shed - a nice small shed but non the less a shed. The par 3 course is OK too - Free as far as we could tell and there is a restaurant / club house right near it and the driving range that serves great food. Avoid the sandwiches as they are rubbish, go for the pasta its superb.

Buggies are Euro 45 a day and teh caddy master gets your bags and stuff onto the buggy so you can walk out of the hotel onto your buggy and go play. You can even go to breakfast in your spikes if you wish. Tip here – ask for some more water on the buggy, we did as 2 small bottles isn’t enough and the pro shop ( Not very pro at all ) didn’t have any water when we asked.

We gave the Caddy master 20 Euros to clean the clubs, never happened we think ? Its the Sardinian way maybe ? That’s what my wife kept telling me anyway

You can also hire bikes to have a ride around too.

Great for couples I would say and also families as there are apartments available within 2 mins walk of the hotel complex. Beach isn't great - covered in sea weed, went there once - decided against going again. Pool is brilliant and a suntrap. We had a Junior Suite which again was superb and faultless apart from the silly designed hairdryer that was really hard to use as you had to hold down the button all the time and it was a poor design, plus the bath plug didn't work i.e. it emptied if you didn't keep toping it up. Bed was great and huge !

So, good for a stay if you like golf as its uber quiet. If you want stuff to do get a car at the airport but don't use the guys at "Auto Europe" or "Thrifty" or "Dollar" which are all one company and really rude to deal with at Cagliari Airport. Their cars are also really ropey too so avoid them if possible.

Room Tip: The Junior Suites were superb. 1st floor and overlook the pool. Safe then to open the large sliding windows at night.
  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank xman1999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 30, 2011

We spent a month at this hotel. Very quiet place. Really quiet. Just forest, the sea, golf course. Very nice sandy beach. About 7 km from nearest village and 3 km from the road. Ideal for small children and people who want to be far from noisy seaside resorts. Restaurant is good, but certainly not gourmet as they declare. The chef is good, but it looks they try to save on products. If products (meat, fish) are not good, it’s extremely difficult to create first class meals. Downside – it’s not five star hotel. Staff was very friendly and tried to be helpful, but they just didn’t have enough experience didn’t properly managed. We were there a month and it’s a small hotel, but we didn’t see a manager. Nobody asked is everything OK or not. I’d advise to the owner to change the manager and, may be, change the furniture in the rooms (it’s too cheap for even 4 star hotel).

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
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4  Thank AlexIlich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotelphilosophy, Proprietario at Is Arenas Resort, responded to this reviewResponded September 2, 2011

Dear AlexIlich,

first of all we would like to thank you for sharing your opinion on TripAdvisor, a travel social network that helps us to evaluate our clients’ satisfaction and gives us the boost to improve our service constantly.

We would like to take the opportunity to answer your review directly from Golf Hotel Is Arenas, where you have recently staid with your family.

Let’s start from our cuisine, that represents the strength of our resort, appreciated by our clients both for quality and variety. We pay much attention in what we serve to our guests, our menus vary constantly in order to offer our clients a wide selection, with buffet and starters degustation, first dishes, soups on request, second dishes served with side dish, cheese and fruit buffet, three dessert degustation. We don’t make use of any frozen products and we don’t serve pre-cooked food, fish and meat are always fresh, furthermore a baby menu is also available.
Judging by our clients’ feedbacks, our cuisine seems to satisfy almost the most demanding palates.
We regret to notice your dissatisfaction, but we take note of your opinion that will help us going ahead in our way toward a true Italian excellence.
Our rooms are furnished according to the resort’s sober style, in line with the idea of a charming hotel featuring complete comforts, but far away from any sort of ostentation. What Golf Hotel Is Arenas wants to represent is not a extreme luxury statement in contraddiction with the local environment, but a suggestive corner built in harmony with the surroundings and a starting point to discover the wonderful sea, the extraordinary beach and natural contest.
We understand however that a certain kind of style can match different opinions, so the valuation is left to everyone’s discretion.
The hotel manager, that you’ve never met and that is personally answering you, was present and available all day long at the hotel while accomplishing his work of supervision and control.
Our philosophy is to always guarantee politeness and courtesy, but preserving at the same time our clients’ privacy.
We are immensely pleased to read your last positive note about the kindness of our staff, which is selected with extreme care, basing on competences, professionalism and that must be always available to the customers' needs. Department managers constantly monitor and control the work of our employees and the satisfaction found in general is high. Said this, we are however concerned to know, through your review, that during your stay you noticed a lack of experience and professional maturity.

We conclude pointing out that Golf Hotel Is Arenas generally boasts very positive reviews and a high customers’ satisfaction. From this we get the right push to continue in our work that aims to turn a simple holiday into a special and memorable stay, within a location of extraordinary beauty.

With the hope of receive you as a guest in the future, we send you our best wishes.

Vincenzo Carta
Hotel Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 14, 2010

we stayed 4 nights at this very nice hotel in mid september; it was lovely and quiet (apparently is much busier/noisy in summer when families come) - only about 20 other guests during the weekdays. we chose it b/c it had its own beach and is reasonable driving distance to explore Tharros, roman baths, and Bosa, amongst other less major attractions.
rooms were spacious, well appointed and very clean. bathroom spacious with nice large shower and deep tub but no place to rest your elbows, making it virtually impossible to read in the tub!
there is a small spa and small exercise room - we did not use either
pool and grounds absolutely lovely and beautifully planted with rosemary and oleander. we are not golfers but the golf course looked nice, and is certainly well located. beach is great for walking - it goes on for miles! - tho much "sea debris", possibly b/c of the mistral, which did keep us from the beach 3 out of our 4 days - boohoo! there are plenty of lounge chairs and a beach-side cafe, but be aware that it is a 10-15ish min walk to the beach, tho there are a few bikes you can use instead.
the staff are all very friendly and helpful, and are all so attractive it appears they are hired from a fashion model agency! most speak very good english.
our only complaint is that we thought the dinner menu extremely expensive, tho some of that may be due to the still weak US$. we were on a B&B rate, and think probably better value to do 1/2 board (bfast and dinner), but be aware if you do that, that your fixed dinner menu will be 4 (or 5??) courses which was too much food for us! there is a small trattoria (da Patrizia) which is walking distance (with flashlight) from the lobby; it is privately owned which is probably why the hotel doesn't advertise it; we wished we'd known about this before our last night as we'd have liked to have tried it one night for something different. also important to be aware that it is 3 km from the main road to the hotel (it is now paved) and probably then another 15-30??? min drive along narrow unlit country roads to get to any other restaurants so unless you are full of energy, you will likely remain at the hotel for your dinner...
all in all a really lovely place - very quiet in sept so very relaxing!

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank peripateticprincess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 2, 2010

This was the third hotel in Sardinia as part of our two-week drive around the island. By that time, I had already got an impression that the quality of top-end properties on Sardinia’s northwest coast is somewhat varied. This hotel was, however, a nice surprise both in terms of design and service and is something that you would normally expect from a good four-star plus hotel in Northern Europe.

As some other reviewers have already mentioned, the hotel sits on many acres of a beautiful pinewood and consists of the main building and numerous villas (family suites, to my reckoning) tastefully scattered in groups throughout the grounds. My first overall impression was that the place did have style and class.

If you are by all means looking for sea views, please note that the hotel does not have such rooms – a nice pinewood view is all they can offer. Although the reception staff told me that there is one villa close to the beach that does have “some sea view” (whatever it means in real terms), I got a strong feeling that this vague description was simply a wrapper for a glimpse of the sea through the leafy boughs of pine trees.

As regards the annoying construction works reported by earlier reviewers, you may be relieved to learn that there are none anywhere around the main building at the moment. I spotted that some works were under way on a couple of villas close to the golf course, but that was at least a mile away from the main premises and I really heard no noise at all. Another piece of good news for those who are going to rent a convertible for their island driving is that now you could be pretty safe getting to the place with the top down as now the stretch of road that leads to the hotel from the highway is almost fully paved.

Though we arrived on September 7 (Sardinia attracts huge crowds from mainland Italy during August, so if you plan your vacation for this peak season, you’d better make a reservation well in advance), the hotel was almost fully booked, so all they could offer was a classic room on the second floor of the main building. I cannot help mentioning a nice touch from the reception, who sent us a bowl of fresh strawberries, homemade cookies and a small flower arrangement just minutes after we had checked into the room (probably making up for their failure to accommodate us in the room we wanted as the hotel was fully booked).
Our room turned out to be fairly decent in size and had a balcony with two brown plastic-woven armchairs with white canvas cushions and a matching coffee table – plastic or not, it all looked pretty attractive. The room proper was impeccably clean and looked quite mint (the same goes for the bathroom). My wife and I liked the minimalist style and colour scheme they used (our cup of tea, but then again, it is all a matter of taste). I believe that the pictures on the hotel webpage (you may want to check out mine too) give a pretty fair idea of what to expect in terms of room design and such. So see for yourselves if this would work for you. The smart lighting arrangement in the room creates a cosy and relaxing atmosphere in the evening. Thumbs up for the bed too, which was comfortable enough and generous in size. The bathroom looked both aesthetically pleasing to the eye and functional – a lot of natural stone, a walk-in shower enclosure with a rain shower head and a separate hand shower, a bathtub, bathrobes, slippers and all that stuff that you usually find in a hotel of similar class. All in all, we liked the room - plain solid colours with purple, dark red and royal blue accents here and there. Conceptually, it reminded me of a room in the Andaz Liverpool Street (Hyatt) in London, a five-star hotel where I stayed on one of my business trips.

An easy five-minute stroll along a paved walking and golf buggy track through the pinewoods with its dry, woodsy, coniferous aromas (so relax, no dust anymore) takes you to what is no doubt a good beach for the Sardinian northwest coast.

Once you have passed a hotel coffee bar (so favourite with local wasps that I had to finish my espresso in one gulp) under a huge sail-shaped canvas shade just a few steps away from the beach and reached the top of the dunes, you instantly get a feeling that this long, deep strand of fairly fine sand is almost exclusively reserved for the hotel guests. The number of other vacationers in sight was indeed virtually next to zero. The hotel tanning beds and canvas sunshades are of good quality and the towel service on the beach is just excellent - no hassle with ridiculous towel cards or a limited number of towels per person.

As for the beach itself, it is indeed pretty nice – not the best we have seen in Sardinia, to be honest, as those on the southeast coast in Villasimius and Costa Rei, as well as in Golfo di Orosei, left us simply speechless – but is definitely better than any beach we had seen in Alghero and Bosa at the beginning of our trip. La Pelosa beach near Stintino with its turquoise waters was very picturesque too but grossly overcrowded. Here at the Is Arenas beach we found tranquillity, a hint of exclusiveness and clear warm waters with no seaweeds (they say it may, from time to time, be a problem for the northwest coast) in the company of an occasional friendly wasp. After dusk, the moonlit beach was absolutely deserted, creating the perfect setting for a romantic escapade under the stars.

The hotel a-la cart restaurant is okay both in terms of setting and menu. A dozen of antipasti choices, several pastas and three-four choices of each of fish and meat main dishes. The desert section of the menu appeared somewhat limited though. A fairly decent choice of mostly local and Italian wines, but since I like those, I would not complain. In case you are curious, our bill for two antipasti, two grilled fishes, a bottle of white Sella & Mosca and a Tiramisu was in the neighbourhood of 100 euros, which by Sardinian standards is very reasonable. The buffet breakfast (though not full English breakfast) was good too. Reasonably fast service, coffee made to order, fresh pressed juices, a decent selection of fruit, freshly baked pastry, sunny-side-ups, scrambled eggs, cheese, bacon, ham and such. No complaints in this department.

All in all, folks, the hotel is definitely worth staying at for a few days to unwind a bit while driving around the island as it sure does have it all to make you feel comfortable in a stylish environment and all at the right price. I would not hesitate to say that it is probably one of the best hotels on the northwest coast. In fact, after having stayed at the Is Arenas, we decided to explore other hotels in the Hotel Philosophy chain, to which it belongs. However, since there is not much to do there besides hang out on the beach and play golf (in case you are into it), any longer time in the Oristano area would be a sacrifice for the fantastic beaches on the southeast coast that, believe me, deserve all the praise they get.

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled as a couple
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10  Thank K_I_R_I_L_L_100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 12, 2010

Beautiful hotel, lovely location, great service, very relaxing. We stayed a week and the downsides were the cost of meals in the restaurant (very high, small portions), the total lack of colour anywhere in the hotel (everything is uber-chic beige), and the lack of anything to do if you don't play golf. All style no soul? Hmm ... some would day so. But we loved it and would return.

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2  Thank Traveller789
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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