It's hard to know where to start to describe this, the most bizarre hotel / resort I've ever been to! First of all I would say BEWARE! because what you see on the website is not what is included in your Monte Turri charges i.e. they have pictures of swimming pools, beaches and facilities that are NOT included in the Monte Turri price - instead you have to pay €5 per person per day to use these other facilities (we were so indignant at the false advertising that we refused to!).
We booked airport transfers through the hotel from Olbia airport and were unceremoniously 'dumped' at the reception of the one of the other hotels in the resort. Basically, Monte Turri is one of three hotels in a small resort which is kind of like a mini safari park or nature reserve. The other two hotels are kind of like Italian Butlins...a little bit cheap, noisy and overcrowded. By contrast we definitely had picked the nicest hotel of the three - Monte Turri is more couples than families and was quiet and peaceful compared to the other sites which were carnage during the day.
Not many of the staff speak English although a lot speak French so we managed to get by and get a lift from the other reception to Monte Turri which was lucky given that this place is built on a cliff / hill and a lot of uphill walking is involved! This is definitely not a site for the lazy or lacking in mobility. We had buns of steel by the end of our week there.
The Monte Turri rooms are not 4 star level at all. They are however rustic, charming and basic which suited us fine but is going to be a shock for anyone expecting luxury. We had a twin room 641 which had a lovely view and air con - that's all there is to say really. The bathroom was small, the decor dated, and the wooden wardrobes had been saturated in air freshener that made them stink for a week so all our clothes smelt 'pine fresh'. We spent all day outside though so weren't really that bothered. It would have been nice to have tea and coffee making facilities in the room as there aren't many places to get a drink.
The staff are an odd mix...Francesca booked us in and was a little brusque but maybe that's the Sardinian way? Luca was the porter who (as per other reviews sweated buckets) was the only person I tipped in my time there for his sheer good cheer and carting our luggage up and down hundreds of steps in 35 degree heat - a star! We also loved the waiters and waitresses - they were funny, charming, very eager to please and remembered our morning tea preferences etc. These are the staff at the Monte Turri restaurant by the way...we ate one night at the Borgia (the closest hotel to Monte Turri) and my advice is AVOID AVOID AVOID. It was a buffet style canteen that descended into chaos and you share tables with other people with everyone looking awkwardly at the ceiling so as not to stare at the total stranger sat eating opposite. That and the fact the food was terrible...
The food at the Monte Turri however was at least fresh and although not all to my taste for the most part was fine. You get a set entree, choice of starter, choice of main, fruit and salad buffet and dessert for €35. The desserts were odd to be honest - I'd fill up on fruit and avoid the 'frozen cake' which was kind of like frozen pepto bismol.
The biggest issue we had with the Monte Turri was the total lack of services during the day. Their restaurant doesn't do lunch and their bar didn't open til 4 and only services crisps / nuts (when there was actually someone there to serve you which was infrequent as we waited aaaages for cocktails in the evening and usually gave up). Your only option for lunch (or indeed just a drink of water!) is; eat what you took from breakfast or get some fast food (hot dog / burger / ciabatta / panini) from the Borgia bar which is a 5 min walk downhill and a 10 min gasping walk back uphill. And to buy anything from any of the other hotels you need a pre-paid chip card that you have to load with cash...that's a pain in the wotsit too.
The beach at the Monte Turri has ROCKS only and limited sun loungers on the two tier deck they have. You have to get there early to get a lounger as there are probably only 20 or so to go around and even less parasols. It's not that easy getting into the water, or rather getting out of the water once you get in as there is a rope ladder up a rock on which I grazed various toes and fingers during our stay. BUT the water is amazing, the view is beautiful and I happily spent all my time down there. One thing to bear in mind - there's no toilet at the beach so it's an uphill hike to your room or pee in the sea!
There are lots of hidden (and bizarre) delights at Monte Turri - the late night cinema in the Amphitheatre, the boar, donkeys, deer and other animals roaming around free (I did tell you it was like a safari park), the fact that after the peak hours you can actually roam around the other faclities without having to pay (unofficially like - we swam late at night in some of the restricted pools just out of principle).
Overall, this place is nothing like advertised, is definitely not 4 star, takes several days to figure out (and don't rely on the useless maps they give you) but that said we did have an enjoyable, restful holiday here and the view is stunning.
I probably wouldn't recommend it to a friend as it was really overpriced for the service and facilities you actually get included in the price. Final word on the Arbatax resort - beware the Adam and Eve buses that cart the €5 paying holiday makers from one end of the resort to the other...they nearly ran us over several times...
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Hotel Monte Turri is a small hotel full of charm situated in a suggestive and scenic position, furnished with taste and fitted with every comfort, the ideal solution for those in search of elegance, refinement and complete tranquillity. The rooms are equipped with: air conditioning and heating system, wall safe box, telephone, hair dryer, LCD HD flat screen TV with access to SKY, minibar (pay-per-use for guests of the V. Garden rooms). The hotel provides a scenic restaurant, a swimming pool with solarium, scenic glass elevators used to reach a private cove, equipped with beach beds and umbrellas (upon availability) on wooden platforms. WiFi is available in public areas and is free of charge. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Monte Turri Luxury Retreat Arbatax, Sardinia