Albero Capovolto

Golfo Aranci, Sardinia, Italy Book from Book from £160 per night

An idyllic hilltop hideaway surrounded by the turquoise beaches of the Costa Smeralda (B&B, or villa for 6-16)

This blissful hilltop hideaway is a world apart from the daily grind. Peaceful, indulgent and eclectically decorated by debonair Alessandro - the youngest of a Milanese fashion family who spent childhood summers here - it opened quietly in 2014 to a handful of his friends. Word is slowly spreading, but the atmosphere remains intimate and exclusive. No timetables, no room keys, just a gracious dolce vita of lazy homemade breakfasts, secret white-sand beaches, chilled Vermentino at sunset, and thrice weekly al fresco dinners magicked up by a visiting chef for the lucky (mostly Italian) guests.

Life flows seamlessly between two outdoor living spaces – one facing the pool, the other the afternoon sun – which spill onto bougainvillea-framed lawns. Cushion-strewn sofas, oversized lanterns and salvaged barber's chairs invite you to relax, while lamps made from colour-matched fabric spools evoke his couture background. Seven bedrooms are simpler but no less elegant. The master suite in the main house is huge, with its own living room and patio; for more privacy, book the separate garden suite a short walk away, with its own relaxation area under an olive tree. Or book the whole place for a magical getaway with your extended family or friends (up to 16, but also fine for a group of 6-8).
Covid update: see our Flexible Booking Policy.

Highs

  • Only 20 minutes' drive from Olbia airport, itself only 2 hours flight from the UK (London and regional airports)
  • If you tire of beaches, there are Bronze Age citadels, wineries, pastel villages hidden in granite hills
  • The seafood feast on our final evening was a banquet fit for a Roman emperor
  • The swimming pool is really the final piece in this idyllic jigsaw
  • Alessandro is a very thoughtful host, always happy to share his favourite restaurants, boat trips and Olbia delis

Lows

  • Can be slow to reply to reservation enquiries e.g. when the owner is away travelling
  • You’ll have to drive to dinner some nights, so you’ll need a car
  • It’s a converted family home, so don’t expect hotel-style reception or all-day staff
  • Fans of simplicity might find it a bit over-decorated

Best time to go

Avoid high season if possible (mid-July through August). Prices soar, temperatures can reach 40C, the roads get clogged and restaurants are tricky to book. May and June are deliciously warm; so are September and early October. However, some restaurants and beach bars close at the end of September.

Our top tips

If you only visit one Nuraghic site, make it La Prisgiona - a 3000-year-old keep of rough-hewn boulders ringed by circular huts where the Bronze-Age inhabitants fashioned terracotta vases and jewellery. Try and coincide with a free guided tour - it will give you a wonderful insight into the place's stories and mysteries - and then follow the shaded path to the Tomb of the Giants (included in the ticket price).

If you only have time for one winery, head to Surrau just east of Arzachena on the road to Porto Cervo. Aside from Vermentinos, their deliciously nectary dessert wine is well worth bringing home.

Great for...

Beach
Eco
Foodie
Great Outdoors
Romantic
  • Boutique Guesthouse
  • 6 bedrooms
  • Breakfast + (on request) dinner
  • B&B: over 12s only. Villa rentals: all ages.
  • Closed: 1 Nov 2022 - 31 Dec 2022
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
Room:

Rooms

The 7 bedrooms are light, airy and stylish without being OTT. Expect white walls, creamy floors, tiled shower rooms, sliding doors onto the garden and lofty eaves in the superiors and suite. Artful touches include vintage suitcases, salvaged wooden doors and ladders for storage, pretty patchwork quilts on super-comfy beds, and Alessandro's signature fabric-spool lamps. The air-con unit is cleverly disguised as a photographic portrait of the family member after whom the room is named.

Staying in the fabulous Master Suite , with its separate sitting room, walk-in wardrobe and double access to the garden, we felt as if we owned the place. Better still is the newer Garden Suite, set apart in the grounds for complete privacy; its doors open onto rolling countryside - complete bliss. We also loved the 2 Superiors, at one end of the house. The 2 semi-subterranean Standard Rooms are best for more budget-conscious travellers, or perhaps for the kids in your group.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Hairdryer
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

By lawns still glistening from their dawn watering, a beautiful breakfast is laid out on Villeroy & Boch crockery. Home-baked cakes, jam tartlets, fresh ricotta and hard-hitting cappuccini were standouts, but there are cereals, yoghurts and bountiful fruit too. It couldn’t be further from the prepacked-rusks-and-jams of your standard Italian hotel.

Three times a week (book yourselves in!) a chef whips up fantastic dinners, presided over by Alessandro and Iacobo, at a big round table gleaming with glasses and silver cutlery. We felt as if we’d stumbled into a welcoming Milanese dinner party – but, if you prefer solitude, they can set up a private table for two without fuss. Our seafood banquet ranged from ‘marine popcorn’ (crisp-fried sea anemones!), via fregula (pea-sized pasta drops) in a clam and mussel sauce, to culminate in a spectacular zazuella (lobster, crayfish and prawn stew). We almost needed a feather to make room for citrus honey pastries.

Otherwise, they'll recommend eateries - half a dozen within 20 minutes' drive, including Al Gambero Ghiotto in Golfo Aranci, whose chef Pupo was responsible for our seafood extravaganza.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Communal dining
  • Dinner by arrangement
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Head for the white-sand beaches - over 50 within an hour's drive, some tucked away down bumpy tracks, other buzzing with bronzing bodies and al fresco restaurants, all lapped by turquoise seas. We loved north-facing Cala Sabina and south-facing Spiaggia Biancha, both about 15 mins' drive (wind direction might be the deciding factor)
  • Explore the awe-inspiring Nuraghic settlements around Arzachena: chunky stone towers (many still intact) and waist-high dwellings from the Bronze Age, with excellent English-speaking guides to bring this fascinating civilisation to life
  • The Vermentino Wine Route runs from Arzachena to Luogosanto, with plenty of opportunities to taste this fresh, fruity white and some powerful reds too; Alessandro recommends Piero Mancini winery
  • Stop for lunch at the charming little village of San Pantaleo, with its flowery piazza, chi-chi boutiques and popular Thursday market, all set amongst granite summits reminiscent of the Alpilles (the Rother guidebook details a couple of great hikes)
  • Drive up to Palau and cruise the 55 isolotti of the Maddalena archipelago, a scattering of maquis hills and pinkish boulders scattered among translucent waters reminiscent of the Caribbean

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Horse riding
  • Private guided tours
  • Shopping / markets
  • Snorkelling
  • Swimming
  • Wine tasting
  • Yoga

Kids

Albero Capovolto welcomes children over 12 - or, if taking the whole house, younger well-behaved children too (by arrangement).

Kid Friendly:

Location

Albero Capovolto is 12km north of Olbia in northern Sardinia. It’s a 2-2.5-hour drive from Alghero and 3.5-4 hours from Cagliari.

By Air:
Fly into Olbia from April to October (12km), or Alghero and Cagliari all year round. Click on the links below for a list of airlines serving these airports.

By Ferry:
There are sailings from mainland Italy (Genoa, Livorno, Piombino) and from Corsica to northern Sardinia (Olbia, Golfo Aranci, Santa Teresa Gallura); and from further afield (including Marseille, Barcelona) to other Sardinian ports.

From the Airport / Port
You could take a taxi but you'll definitely need transport while you're here so it's best to hire a car from the airport. See our car rental recommendations.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com.

More on getting to Sardinia and getting around

Airports:

  • Olbia (Costa Smeralda) 12.0 km OLB
  • Alghero (Fertilia) 145.0 km AHO

Other:

  • Beach 2.0 km
  • Shops 4.0 km
  • Restaurant 4.0 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 7 independent reviews from i-escape guests

10/10
Room
10/10
Food
10/10
Service
10/10
Value
10/10
Overall

Albero Capovolto is one of the best places I’ve ever stayed. The hotel is located in a stunning spot in the Sardinian hills, best enjoyed from the pool where you can watch the sun set. The hotel has a beautiful garden which you would happily pay to visit as a site in its own right with beautiful flowers and comfy chairs to soak up the views. The hotel interiors are beautifully designed. We weren’t surprised to learn that the owner is an interior designer - attention to detail throughout the property is second to none. Finally, the owner is incredibly hospitable and makes you feel instantly at home. He is attentive to all guests and always goes the extra mile to make them feel at home. I was pregnant during my stay and he checked and explained which breakfast items I couldn’t eat as well as giving great tips for short day trip I could manage in the July heat.

10/10,

We loved everything about this place which has a very warm and friendly atmosphere. The food was delicious, the quantities just right, the setting was superb and the Service outstanding. Everything about Capovolto reminded me of home. As it is family owned, it does provide a sense of feeling at home and the Manager, his employees were so kind and warm-hearted with an impeccable sense of Service. Personally, I consider this kind of Service, thoughtfulness to details, a real sense of hospitality innate. Getting there was relatively easy and straightforward and the fact that it was close to Olbia airport was very convenient and useful for us. Many, many thanks to all and of course to i-escape where I was so happy to have someone answer my call at your offices. A real, human voice and not a machine is something I shall remember! Bravo!¨

10/10,

Great location just 25 mins from the airport with lots of beaches within a short drive - car essential. Alessandro provided us with loads of great recommendations for the local area and was always on hand to help along with his employees. The b&b is stunningly decorated and perfect for relaxing. Breakfast was delicious and the evening meal is not to be missed. Overall the perfect place to relax and discover what Sardinia has to offer.

10/10,

We have just spent a week at Albero Capovolto, a beautiful property far from the crowds but very near the stunning beaches of the Costa Smeralda. The location is amazing with wide views of the Sardinian landscape.
But apart from the beauty of the property and its location what makes Albero Capovolto so special is the way you are received by Alessandro, the owner. He makes every guest feel at home. He is friendly, smart, funny and is always finding ways to make your stay special. A very elegant host indeed.
And last but not least THE FOOD ! Breakfast is a very generous selection of home baked bread and pastries, yogurts, jams and fruit.
And then dinner prepared by Loredana. Once you've been surprised by one of her feasts you won't go out again.
As you can imagine it was a very happy week we spent at Albero Capovolto !

10/10,

Perfect service. Helpful and accommodating without being obtrusive. A beautiful spot.

10/10,

Immaculate. Alessandro is a charming and attentive host who definitely 'went the extra mile' to advise on, organise, and provide everything we asked for. You must ensure you take one or two evening meals at the B&B - the food and service at table was fabulous, truly Sardinian. The suite and facilities were spacious, exceptionally clean, and perfect for completely unwinding. Sunsets over the infinity pool, the breathtaking views to the mountains, and the beautifully kept gardens provided the perfect setting. Too many 'wow' factors! But most of all it was a pleasure and a real privilege to share Alessandro's home with him, and to discover his amazing talent for designing and furnishing spaces that really work. Yes, it is not a cheap option, but worth it, and so many memories to take away.

10/10,

An incredible stay, Albero Capovolto is what you hope for when traveling and searching for somewhere unique to stay. Service was impeccable, the food was astounding, the hotel itself is perfect.

10/10,

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