We chose this hotel as we love the set up- kids club for the kids, buffet is easy for the kids, ideal room setup with the kids in one room and us in the other, pool, beach, and spa. This is a family hotel and the guests we saw without children did not seem very happy.
Upon arriving we loved the place, particularly the entertainment in the evenings. It looked like the staff was good with the children and the kids seemed to be having fun. After 4 days there we realised that it was not as it appears. The mini club staff are not inclusive of foreign children despite speaking multiple languages themselves. My husband is Italian and has always spoken Italian to our children. Our kids were raised abroad and they always answer in English. This did not seem to be an issue on any of our previous visits- in Alassio, Tuscany, and Courmayeur. All with other Italian children and playing on the beach, playground and slopes.
We left our boys (ages 3 and 5) at the mini club and they were very excited to play there. At the end of the day they were quiet but we thought they were tired. That night after dinner I did think it weird when we were speaking with a male staff member of the mini club who kept speaking English when my sons would try to speak Italian to him. A little French boy came over and tried to speak to him and ignored him and was very rude to him in Italian. He did not try to find anyone who could speak French to help him. Later all the children were put on stage while they ran a go-cart race in the amphitheatre. I could see where I was sitting that my boys were hitting each other for about 30 minutes next to the same male staff member who did nothing to stop them.
The next day my boys didn't want to go back but it was raining and there was nothing else to do so we went back. My older son did not want to stay but the lady who runs the mini club (who was very nice) gave him to the same male staff member who was playing football with some boys. My son seemed happy so I left. When I came back my son was not happy and I brought him back to the room and he started crying. He said that the boys and the male staff member pretended he was not there and would not pass the ball to him. When he got the ball they just ignored him and wouldn't play with him. I started to realise that none of the Germans, Swedes and French were leaving their children at the mini club. I also started to notice that the kids that the staff members were playing with were always the same children and that they were not even attempting to include all the children.
That evening there was a pizza party and the mini club staffers dressed up. I stayed with the boys but tried to sit a bit apart to watch what was happening. None of the staffers said hello to them apart from the lady who runs it. None of the children spoke to them either. My sons have never been ignored like that and had spent 5 days at Sa Mandra happily playing with other Italian children and 2 weeks in Alassio playing with other Italian children. When my sons would try to speak to the children they would ignore them. They were assigned yet again to the same male staff member who was dressed as a giraffe who largely ignored them. My children tried to ask him questions in Italian and he answered loudly in very poor English in their faces! I tried to speak to him and he did the same to me. I took them and left. I have never seen anyone paid to work with children be so rude and actively exclude such small children. Children need help in socialising. I believe the children at the mini club were being socialised to include some children and exclude others.
The only reason we stayed here was for the children otherwise we would have stayed somewhere nicer with better food and a better crowd of people. I would not recommend this hotel to anyone with children who are not born to two italian parents in Italy and have always lived in Italy. Even then it is no guarantee.
For people not interested in the mini club here are the pluses and minuses:
- the buffet is fine for buffet food
- the pizza (at dinner) is very good
- I like the card system of paying although don't understand why we can't just charge it to the room
- the armchair beds are perfect size for small children and have arm rests so they don't fall out
- the view is beautiful
- the bar at the pool has fresh fruit and fresh fruit drinks (paying)
- the shows at night are great for the kids
- they play live music before dinner
- if you have anyone mobility impaired this hotel is a nightmare. Carrying small children or babies is a nightmare depending where your room is located and what you want to do (eat vs beach)
- we rarely took the shuttle as they were never around when we wanted one. They run every 15 min and it takes 10 min to walk.
- the shower is really very poor
- the wifi only works in the reception and you need a ticket which lasts for 20 hours
- the beds are very uncomfortable
- the pool is salt water. My son had never swam in a salt water pool before, swallowed some water and vomited.
- if it rains there is nothing to do
On par would say only stay here if you are a family. If you are a family then take note of what I said about the mini club as the only thing less fun than not having anyone to play with is watching other people having fun who won't acknowledge your existence.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Park Hotel Cala di Lepre, Palau. To roam freely over wide open spaces. The Hotel enjoys a panoramic, strategic position, facing the Costa Smeralda and bordering the La Maddalena Archipelago National Park. Located in beautiful Capo D'Orso locality, the resort is 3 km from Palau and 39 km north of Olbia, on a hillside sloping down to the sea, immersed in Mediterranean scrub teeming with small wildlife, including tortoises, red grouse, turtledoves and hares, hence the name of the resort. An ideal destination for nature lovers, who enjoy both horseback excursions and nature walks. The fascinating landscape is marked by coves and headlands, the shades of blue and green of the sea and of the Gallura hills, and by the wind-sculpted rocks, such as the unique, world famous "Roccia dell'Orso" just a few hundred metres from the hotel. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Park Hotel Cala Di Lepre Palau
- Park Hotel Cala Di Lepre And Spa
- Park Hotel Palau
- Park Hotel Cala Di Lepre & Spa Sardinia/Palau