REVIEW: Grand Hotel Poltu Quatu
We stayed at the Grand Hotel Poltu Quatu in June 2017, after much longing to visit Sardinia.
The hotel is situated in the north of the island, facing La Maddalena Archipelago, which consists of 7 major islands surrounded by beautiful clear sea.
The hotel was approximately half an hour transfer from Olbia airport, and the taxi that was organised by the hotel to pick us up - complete with car seat for our toddler - was efficient, clean and air-conditioned, with a very polite, smart driver who helped us with our bags and made for a refreshingly easy transfer journey to the hotel.
Given the impracticalities of staying in a hotel room with a toddler, we booked a one bedroom apartment complete with kitchenette, dining room, lounge and balcony. While the kitchenette and dining room were useful for bedtime milk and snack preparation, the lack of an onsite or nearby supermarket put paid to our initial plans for incorporating a degree of self-catering into the holiday, particularly when it came to our son's meals. The rooms were, however, comfortable, clean and practical otherwise. It was only the small matter of no bath (only a very spacious walk in shower) that makes things a bit more difficult for a family with young children.
The swimming pool was ideal in that it was rarely very busy, lending to a quiet, relaxing atmosphere to the poolside that you wouldn't normally expect at a non-adult-only hotel. There was also a children's pool separate from the main pool which benefited from the same ambience much of the time, with only a handful of children seeming to be in residence at the time of our stay.
The breakfast buffet was impressive indeed, catering for every need and taste. With pastries, cakes, continental meats and cheeses, cooked breakfasts, and fruit and smoothie options available, breakfast couldn't help but become the most anticipated meal of the day. The friendly waiting staff made us and our son feel extremely welcome, with one particular waiter in particular even making the effort to help appease our sometimes grumpy 1 year old with a biscuit specially selected from the buffet!
Elsewhere, the lunch time menu was equally tasty, though somewhat more limiting in terms of the range of foods available. There weren't any children's meals, or even child size portions, available, which meant having to order our son a meal from the main menu, which at circa £15 a time did work out quite costly for the week. Despite the price tag, the meals were fresh and prepared with quality ingredients, with the bruschetta proving to be a firm favourite and 'the usual' for the week.
Although a lovely resort, there wasn't anything within walking distance of the hotel, meaning the only way of getting out and about to see the sights of Sardinia was to hire a car or book a taxi. There was a range of restaurants dotted in front the the adjacent harbour, but we found that we had tried all of those that were accessible (ie. not fine dining) by the 4th night, which meant having to go back to some of the same places for the remainder of the week. The food, although perfectly acceptable, was not as fresh as in the actual hotel, or as you would expect being in Sardinia My husband did in fact notice the asterix next to some of the seafood options stating that these were in fact 'from frozen', and not fresh as you'd expect being next to the sea.
The nearest beach was a five minute bus journey from the hotel, and the second nearest about 20 minutes. Regular services are offered to both, with the furthest option being the bigger, sandier of the two. Both beaches had cafes and towels were provided by the hotel when you board the bus, which did help lessen the beach baggage for a family of three slightly.
A Final note: In all, we thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the Grand Hotel Poltu Quatu, but would say that the hotel is probably more geared up for couples than families with young children. The best advice if you are looking to stay, and you have one or more youngsters, would be to book a two bedroom apartment (with a bath) as the one bed apartment created the same problem as you'd have with a hotel room. That is, everybody sleeping in one room, and the subsequent risk of disturbed sleep for children and parents. It is also worthwhile booking car hire before you travel, since this will work out more cost effective and will allow for venturing to the nearby tourist spots, beaches and restaurants at your leisure. It will be particularly useful for supermarket runs as well, which I would recommend as being necessary for everyone (not just families looking to self-cater) as the water in the hotel works out about £5-£6 a bottle, so staying hydrated is fairly costly business!