“Gorgeous country-house hotel with stunning courtyard garden, close to beautiful beaches and the ruins of fabulous Tharros”
This 17th-century house belonged to owner David’s grandfather, a gathering place for several generations of the extended family. When he died no one could bear to part with it, so they decided to turn it into a lovely small hotel, keeping the feel of the past alive while adding the comforts of the present. It’s gorgeous from top to toe - 7 smart rooms, generous prices, lovely staff on-hand to help - but it’s the garden that steals the show, a lushly shaded wonderland with tables and chairs scattered about in all the right places, and a massage tent in a quiet corner. Add a string of beaches to the east and the coastal ruins of Phoenician Tharros and you’ll find this small slice of heaven hard to leave. One of the loveliest hotels on the island, simple as that.
- There are 20 beaches within 20km - sunset is usually rather good - and beautiful bird-filled lagoons behind them, where pink flamingos gather in April
- The courtyard garden - you’ll be coming back from the beach earlier than you think
- The sense of staying at a proper old country house - there's a billiards room and free house aperitifs are served at sunset
- Phoenician Tharros, its beautiful ruins slipping gracefully into the sea nearby
- You’re well positioned to explore the island - the fast road makes day trips easy
- Although meals are available on request, you’ll have to drive a few km if you want something more than a simple supper or local pizzeria
- The village (Riola Sardo) is a bit dull, but once ensconced in the courtyard, you forget it’s there
- There’s no pool, but you do have 20 beaches within easy striking distance
- Some may find the decor a little too old-fashioned but we loved it
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Charming Guesthouse
- Breakfast (+ other meals on request)
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Concierge Service
- Bicycles Available
The 7 rooms are scattered about, most in the main house, the suite with its sitting room in the old olive press. All take their name from plants growing in the garden and all are lovely, so it doesn’t really matter where you wash up. An immaculate country-house style runs throughout: whitewashed walls, beautiful bathrooms, beds piled high with pillows, original terracotta-tiled floors. Ornate wooden doors pop up all over the place, there are big wardrobes and pretty pieces of art, and shuttered windows keep you cool. All have fine wooden ceilings, some made from river reeds in the traditional style. Three rooms in the main house open onto the sitting room, where a fire burns occasionally, but don’t expect much noise - the tables and chairs outside are much more popular.
Bathrooms are lovely with a splash of colour coming from pretty tiles. You get carafes of water, lots of space, then smart power showers and the odd bath or spa bath. There are robes, fluffy white towels and fancy oils, too. One bathroom is accessible for wheelchairs.
- Air conditioning
- Cots Available
- Extra beds
- Safe box
- Satellite TV
An excellent breakfast is served along the corridor from the sitting room, past the Roman amphora and the gaslights which once helped illuminate the house. You eat in a small traditional dining room; in good weather you decant into the garden. There’s lots of choice and it’s all irresistible: freshly baked breads, fruits and yoghurts, homemade cakes and pastaccini, plates of ham and cheese, warm croissants, even bacon and eggs on request. Strong coffee, good tea and jugs of juice help you wash it down.
If you’re around at lunch staff will happily bring you plates of cheese, ham or salami with fresh bread or salads or a plate of fruit, perhaps with a glass of local wine drawn from a chestnut barrel in the cellar.
Dinner is available on request: it's peaceful and unhurried affair, and can be taken in the garden if the weather's cooperating. The hotel also kindly dishes out free aperitifs at sunset (local wine accompanied by finger food), and has compiled a great list of eateries - the best fish, meat, pizza and agriturismi in the area. We ate a good pizza in the village, but for the best fish restaurants you’ll have to drive. The same applies for the agriturismi, but these are usually well worth the detour, though in season you’ll need to book early.
- Dinner by arrangement
- Lunch by arrangement
- Organic produce
- Restaurants nearby
- Vegetarian menu
- You are spoilt for beaches - wild ones, posh ones, some with restaurants, others with sunbeds. Punta Is Arutas, with its sparkling quartz sand, is popular. Owners David and Paolo grew up here, know every square inch, and offer the very best advice. Boat trips to small islands are also possible, as are kayaking expeditions
- Visit Tharros (8th century BC), the Phoenician town at Capo San Marco. It was abandoned in 1070 AD by locals who were fed up of attacks by Saracens and Vandals. The town moved inland, founding Oristano; the ruins remain, flanked by a lovely sandy beach
- Several lagoons behind the beaches fill with migratory birdlife every year. You’ll see pink flamingos in April, when you can ride through, watching them from horseback
- Learn to cook Sardinian style - cooking classes are available and you’re taught how to conjure up fish soup on the beach. Classes for 2-8 (enquire in advance)
- Explore Oristano, the provincial capital. Reception can help you hire bikes. The cathedral has an octagonal tower and an onion dome
- The fast road is close, making much of the island accessible for day trips: Bosa, Alghero and Cagliari are all within easy range, as is Nuoro in the interior.
- Or spend a day at Fordongianus for its old Roman ruins and a spa with Turkish baths and a sauna
- In early July head up to Sedilo above Lake Omodeo for S’Ardia, one of those centuries-old, testosterone-fuelled horse races; it draws an eager crowd
- There’s golf up the road at Is Arenas. Also, diving courses can be arranged, you can hire dinghies and explore the coast or saddle up and ride on the beach
- Spend a day cruising the coast on a Sardinian fishing boat with lunch on board. Or go wind- and kite-surfing
- Head down to Barúmini and the World Heritage site of Su Nuraxi, the finest and most complete Nuraghic settlement on the island. Built on a hill, it dates to 1500 BC
- Come home after a tough day on the beach and have a massage in a quiet corner of the garden - perfect stuff
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Boat trips
- Cooking classes
- Historical sites
- Horse riding
- Mountain biking
- Scuba diving
- Scuba diving courses
- Well being
Children are welcome, and stay for free up to 2 years old; thereafter there is a supplement charge. Baby cots and extra beds are available; babysitting can be arranged.
Family friendly accommodation:
Cots Available, Extra Beds Available
Hotel Lucrezia is set in the heart of Riola Sardo, a small village 10km from Oristano in western Sardinia. It's 1 hour north from Cagliari, 1.5-2 hours south from Alghero and 2 hours southwest from Olbia.
Fly into Cagliari (100km) or Alghero (150km) all year round. Or Olbia, a 2-hour drive away. Click on the links below for a list of airlines serving these airports.
From the Airport
The hotel offers transfers or you could take a taxi but you'll probably need transport while you're here so it's best to hire a car from the airport. You can park for free on the road outside the hotel.
Sardinia is well-served by car ferries coming from elsewhere in Italy. You can arrive from Naples, Genoa, Fiumicino, Livorno, Palermo, Trapani and Civitavecchia. The quickest is Civitavecchia to Golfo Aranci (4 hours), the longest Naples to Cagliari (17 hours). They sail into Palau, Olbia, Porto Torres and Golfo Aranci in the north and Arbatax and Cagliari in the south. Car ferries also connect Sardinia with Corsica.
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
- Cagliari Elmas 100.0 km CAG
- Alghero 150.0 km AHO
- Beach 10.0 km
- Shops 1.0 km
- Restaurant 1.0 km