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“Enjoyable but not quite 5 star”

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Hotel Capo D'Orso Thalasso & Spa
Ranked #1 of 17 Hotels in Palau
Certificate of Excellence
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Enjoyable but not quite 5 star”
Reviewed 12 June 2013

The initial impression you get when you enter the reception of the hotel is a bit offputting as the front door is sticking and the staff uniforms are tired. However the reception staff were very friendly and helpful and fluent in english and german. The hotel is set into the cliff and the rooms are seperate to the hotel rather than within which is nice. The room we had was a junior suite and was spacious and lovely. We did have a lot of ants in the room on the first day which I wasn't too happy about but once we mentioned it to reception they arranged to have it sorted and whatever they did worked as there were none for the rest of the week. We were there the first week in June and unfortunately they told us that that meant only one restaurant was open as it wasn't season yet which was disappointing. This also meant during the day only the bar near the main pool was open where food was very expensive. The beach is lovely but watch out for the jelly fish, and the thalasso pool is great. The views from the terrace are beautiful. Overall lovely stay but unfortunately we wouldnt go back due to lack of facilities open which at the start of June we would have expected

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SandraR2001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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408 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (56)
Date | Rating
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English first
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 June 2013

We have just returned from our second visit to Capo D’Orso in the last two years and I felt compelled to write a review after reading some of the laughable negative comments about this wonderful hotel. I think the only thing that has stopped this not being the topped ranked hotel in Palau is the fact that not enough people have reported feedback. I don’t normally write reviews but I feel strongly about this location as I can see the hard work and dedication the staff put into providing such great service. The resort is the by far the best experience me and my wife have enjoyed as a holiday destination. It delivers a high quality, friendly but sophisticated break.

The venue is set in lovely location, it is beautiful grove of mature trees and plants with odd wild tortoise roaming around. The Thalasso Spa is worth every penny, we spend every day in there. I will let the picture do the talking I took. The massages with is part of the spa packages on each occasion we have been exceptional. There are multiple pontoons that are exclusive to hotel and allow you to enjoy the crystal clear sea just moments from your room. A short walk (a few hundred yards) along the coastal path and you are a lovely small secluded beach. There is also a port that you can take various boat trips from the hotels harbour (see pic). We have a car and don’t feel the need to leave the hotel that much. If we do, then we pop into Palau town which is about 15 mins drive to the night market, the day market on a Friday or get a delicious ice cream from La Gelateria Dell'angolo.

The hotel’s food that is on offer is of a very high standard, you have a choice of several restaurants. The 4 course a’ la carte is fantastic, lovely food served in beautiful surroundings by well trained genuine staff. You can also go to the hotel’s Pizzeria if feel like you need a quicker more relaxed meal, which we really enjoy as well. I believe there is also a pasta restaurant but this was open as we go in June. I would recommend you go half board as this will really give you value for money. You can eat in any restaurant with that option and you know front on how much you will be spending excluding drinks.

The hotel manages to retain their staff for in some cases for over twenty years and that is telling in terms of how a business is run. The attrition rate of staff is something that is looked at more closely in big business as key performance indicator. The general manager Luca is very hands on and is always available and his attention to detail really made me and my wife feel very valued guests. He is by far the best hotel manager we have dealt with in our many years of travelling. I would like to name check, the members of staff that also made our holiday that much richer with their humour and kindness.....Claudio, Rosa, Marco and Vincentzo. If I was to open a hotel/restaurant tomorrow I would be poaching you to come and work for me.

If you want a holiday were you have complete relaxation, to get away from it all then this is the place and to get the best experience you really need to book the Junior Suite Executive rooms if possible. You can make the trip here as expensive as you want to make it. If you using the bar then you are going pay hotel prices, obviously you will pay a more of a premium because this is a 5 star hotel in a beautiful location. It is Italy, the average price of a beer in Italy is 4 euros and they provide a premium service so it is a 'no brainer' that this will come at a higher cost.
We will be looking to try and come back for a few days in Sept and we definitely be back next year.

Room Tip: Junior Suite Executive (800's)
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Shaudndiendk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Isle of Man, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 June 2013

We are just back from the Hotel Capo D'Orso, having stayed there Sunday 2nd June to Friday 7th June.

First of all the positives - the Hotel is in a fairly secluded location, a 45 min drive from Olbia and has great views/scenery. It is close to the town of Palau (5 mins drive, c 2 miles). The suite we stayed in was of a good size, air conditioned and well maintained by the staff. The hotel has its own private beach situated in a small cove, with sunbeds provided. There are two other pools. And there are three restaurants (the main hotel one, a seafood restaurant and a pizzeria) plus a terrace bar which serves drinks and 'snacks' (sandwiches, burgers etc). So a good choice.

So why the disappointment? Well, on arrival at Sunday lunchtime the room was still being prepped so we headed to the terrace bar for a drink and snack. And boy was it expensive! Glass of lemonade €5, a 33cl bottle of Nastro Azzuro beer €7 (no draught beer available) and €10 for a glass of wine. The 'snacks' menu was equally pricey, the standout being €25 for a burger/cheeseburger (i'd love to hear from anyone who tried this - I didn't!.

It then transpired that the Pizzeria and Seafood restaurant were closed that week (we did not know this at the time of booking) so our main dining options were either the main hotel restaurant or try elsewhere. We ate in on two of the nights and the food was very good. The four course set menu with choice of 3 dishes per course was c€50 per person, excluding wine. There is a separate a la carte menu.

Unfortunately our suite was well occupied by the local ant population when we were given access to it but the staff did eradicate this problem after the first night and there were no further problems on the insect front. I must say all the staff were very friendly and helpful throughout.

I have some other observations which may be of assistance. The hotel is built on the side of a hill from the beach up to the car park (you drop your car off near reception on arrival, its then taken to a space higher up). As far as I could determine there are no bedrooms in the main reception building - they are all on different levels 'above' this building, so you spend a lot of time walking up and downhill on cobbled paths. As such, the layout and facilities are not kind to disabled persons or anyone with hip or knee problems (my honest opinion).

The pools are quite small and if the hotel was fully booked, space around them could be a problem. The beach was lovely but be aware that there are no parasols to protect users from the sun. The sun beds to have a 'hood' that will protect your face but not much else. The sea was quite warm and there are schools of tiny fish near to shore that will not bother you. However, jelly fish could be a problem - a stronger current on the Thursday brought loads in to the bay but no one was warning the guests about this, so families with young children please be aware. We also encountered similar at the beach at Santa Teresa.

Disappointed by the limited eating options forced us to drive elsewhere for lunch and dinner, but in some respects that was a blessing as we saw other parts of the Island. Santa Teresa was lovely, Palau was pleasant but difficult to get parking near the centre and Porto Cervo is also well worth a visit. Its a lovely coastal drive from the hotel and for a restaurant/pizzeria with a view, i'd recommend breaking your journey at 'la vecchia lampara' Cannigione which was literally on the beach. A really lovely spot, good food and very good value.

So all in all, a slightly disappointing venue for me, for the reasons given above. In general terms it seems to me that having a 4 or 5 star means hotels think they have a licence to charge excessive prices for food and drink - it may be the accepted 'norm' but that does not mean its right.

Finally, if you are going to Campo D'orso i'd definitely recommend a car hire rather than airport transfer. It just gives you more options than staying solely within the complex. We had a Fiat 500 which was ideal for the roads (which were in excellent order) but watch out for the local drivers - the national speed limit appeared to be 50kmh but they will pass you at any opportunity! Fortunately as you move further away from the towns the main roads are very quiet. And take a tom-tom/sat nav - it makes life so much easier!

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Probbo26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
bath ba1 5sg
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 June 2013

We had an excellent vacation at the Capo D'orso. The setting is idyllic and the service is faultless. The staff were kind, friendly and keen to help at all times. The bedrooms are most comfortable, clean and tastefully furnished. The views are magical. The Hotel even went to great lengths to ensure that musical entertainment in the evenings was of top quality.

Room Tip: If you can push to one of the Suites it is really worth doing so
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank martinBathBa15sg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Whipsnade, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
78 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 February 2013

Sardinia is Italy with just a touch of attitude, beautiful, a little wild and spirited. Which is what makes it different and compelling. One of the inspired decisions by the island's long-standing investors such as the Agha Khan made some years ago was to avoid plastering the place with high rise, concrete slabs, fish and chip shops and ocean-sized marinas and, in the process, being overrun by the "costa" effect (not the coffee chain) including unsavoury ex-residents at Her Majesty pleasure. Unlike their Spanish neighbours who have taken a heavenly coastline and turned much of it into disaster area.

Of course this comes at a price. Sardinia is expensive, very expensive and sometimes silly expensive. But there are some lovely properties which set off the Mediterranean at it's sparkling best.

The Capo D'Orso is such a property, set discreetly across quiet a few acres on the edge of the emerald sea with sweeping views across a stretch of regatta-filled waters. The standard rooms are pinched and pricey. The cardinal suites are roomy and comfortable. And pricey. But they are spacious and light. The staff are charming, solicitous and helpful. I like the way sun-loungers are casually spread throughout the property under casuarina and olive trees. The platforms which jut out into the sea inspired. This easy, relaxed feel is reflected in the simple courtesy and charm of its eager-to-please staff. It's a little spartan and has the slight feel of a nice maiden aunt in her fraying Sunday best but if you're not after uber-luxury and fuss that's a plus.

Where I beg to differ with many reviewers is the food. The standard menu is what I'd describe as sanitised Euronosh, an inoffensive mish mash of dishes, including Italian, aimed to please the hotel's cosmopolitan clientele, a growing number of whom are Russians. It has the feel of a half-board eatery, not a great, let alone refined trattoria.

The off-site pizzeria is mediocre and the adjoining restaurant nothing to write home about. Which is a shame. It doesn't, as many hotels in the interior do, provide Sardo (Sardinian) classics. Sardinians are proud of their independence from Rome and this is reflected in their character and their food which has a distinctive, rural and typically robust flavour. This omission is especially noticeable because Palau, the nearest fishing and ferry port is a little threadbare and has few really good restaurants and none of the bustling charm of La Madellena island, a short boat ride away so going out for a meal is hit and miss.

Parking can a problem at the hotel which is unnecessary because they do have the space too much of which are given over to their villa rentals.

Still for for a relaxed break at a nicely laid-out hotel in a lovely location with helpful staff, wonderful views and understated elegance which does not succumb to the bling of much of the Costa Smeralda and Porto Cervo it's a good choice - at a price.

Room Tip: Cardinal suites are the ones to go for
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  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Slowflyer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Moscow, Russia
Level Contributor
14 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 October 2012

Ok, so some qualifications.
We stayed during their last week of the season, the place was close to empty.
Large, cliched, over priced resorts are just not my thing.
Technically, it is a lovely place. The staff also did try very hard to ensure our stay was comfortable.
However, it was missing something. Maybe it was the fact that everything was closed, maybe it was the five waiters had nothing to do but serve us (I really don't need my water glass filled at every sip), maybe it was the nervous trainee spa staff who were afraid to actually massage us, maybe it was the 900 euro or so that disappeared from my credit card over two days, that made me expect so much more.

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
2 Thank paulchadder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
notts
Level Contributor
39 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 September 2012

Visited last year so a bit late with this review . Capo D'orso is in a beautiful setting , resort spread out amongst attractive fragrant gardens. The main pool is small , however there is a much nicer one at the spa . There are lots of sunbathing spots scattered throughout the gardens and by the sea . There are two small sandy beaches , one near the hotel entrance and one a short walk along a coastal footpath , we only went to the latter , it was beautiful but no facilities and the sea is crystal clear but very cold ! We stayed in a lovely junior suite , the room was very spacious with large bathroom , netted bed and sitting area . There was a small private garden with terrace at the front but it was a bit scruffy and in shade for most of the day due to a rather overgrown tree .

The main restaurant has panoramic sea views . Sometimes the food was great , sometimes not so good . The staff were all very friendly and helpful . Breakfast was very good although there was sometimes quite a wait for cooked eggs from the outdoor hot food kitchen.

As the hotel is quite isolated with only other holiday complexes surrounding it you really do need a car .We drove into Palau a few times for provisions , from there we caught a ferry to the Maddelena Islands - about a 50 min trip and a good trip for lunch out . Santa Teresa is also a pleasant little town and from there we caught a ferry for a day trip to Bonifacio in Corsica which is highly recommended .

Sardinia is quite expensive in general , particularly in the resort of Porto Cervo where we paid 18 pounds for 2 coffees !

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank jodinotts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Capo D'Orso Thalasso & Spa

Property: Hotel Capo D'Orso Thalasso & Spa
Address: Loc Cala Capra, 07020, Palau, Sardinia, Italy
Phone Number:
Region: Italy > Sardinia > Province of Olbia-Tempio > Palau
Amenities:
Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Palau
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Palau
#1 Luxury Hotel in Palau
#1 Family Hotel in Palau
#2 Romantic Hotel in Palau
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Hotel Capo D'Orso Thalasso & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 65
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Hotel Capo d`Orso Thalasso Palau
Hotel Capo d`Orso Thalasso And Spa
Capo d Orso Hotel
Hotel Capo D'Orso Thalasso & Spa Sardinia/Palau

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