We just got back 3 days ago, having spent 2 weeks at this retreat. The journey to the hotel from Olbia Airport was an adventure in itself. The road, which our Sat Nav insisted upon, was closed for no apparent reason and there were no diversion signs or hints of how we should proceed to get to Tortoli. It took us four and a half hours to get there (it should have taken just over 2 hours).- we encountered herds of sheep, goats and cows on the roads. We thanked our lucky stars that our journey was not in the dark but in the afternoon. We could not find the entrance to the Monte Turri Hotel unproblematically. There are no big signs to say that you are there. Luckily the person we asked on the hillside worked at the resort and was able to direct us to reception.
On arrival we were exhausted and just needed to unwind and relax. Life in the UK seems so crazy and so fast that we just wanted everything to slow down. Two weeks later, we left feeling so chilled out - we had been on something of a journey at Monte Turri but we felt totally relaxed and we will never forget our time there. It was amusing, entertaining and totally enjoyable.
The first shock was that the room was 79 steps down through the gardens from the reception. Had we known this, we would have insisted that someone should carry both our suitcases (and not just mine), as my husband has a weak back from a slipped disc last year. The first question to ask is obviously how many steps down to my room...? I loved the way that the room was like a little house - it was a little dark inside the room but spotlessly clean and also very cool. I loved the window over our bed, which had mosquito netting to prevent unwanted visitors but provided air at night. It was not at all damp but maybe it depends on the time of year. I was able to use the Wifi by sitting just outside the door of our room but sometimes the signal was not strong enough.
The restaurant terrace, where we had breakfast and on a few occasions dinner, had stunningly spectacular views. It was such a pleasure to sit there and enjoy the sound of the seagulls echoing from the cliffs around the sparkling waters. The coffee was Italian and delicious - we had breakfast at a leisurely pace and enjoyed every minute of it. The dinners were more than adequate but more expensive than the Borgo Restaurant, where the "others" dined further down the cliff. The buffet and free-flowing wine downstairs was a very attractive proposition - the range of starters alone was impressive. I liked the large, communal tables, where you could talk to other guests more easily and what a range of nationalities! For 20 euros you could have as much food as you wanted and also red, white wine or beer on tap. I thought that the food was even better than "upstairs" at the Monte Turri restaurant as there were so many dishes on offer every evening. I was pleased that we had not paid for half-board.
The Arbatax Park is a very strange construct indeed. The Monte Turri part at the top appears to be trying to be a 4 star resort (refined and discriminating - for example the piano playing every night in the bar) and down below, where the swimming pool is and the Borgo restaurant, it turns into something else. I found it completely fascinating - the whole concept of 42 orange-outfitted young people of different nationalities, smiling and dancing. At first it was puzzling but I found out after the first few days that they were "animators" and were there to offer services to the "others" - not the Monte Turri guests specifically but "the others", who were wearing armbands to demonstrate their "all-inclusiveness." If you go to any of the shows, put on by the "orange people" I have some important advice - the amphi theatre is not very well lit at night and the stairs down are not evenly spread, so watch your step and do not take a tumble in front of the whole assembled audience as I did! If you have children with you, make sure you ask about the suitability of the show. Out of the 3 which I saw and enjoyed, one was totally unsuitable - much too much sexual content for any age group. No one complained but I heard many people talking about how shocked they had been, having their children with them. It was similar in delivery to Rai Uno TV!
We were lucky enough to have a car for the whole time and we enjoyed exploring at the beginning, looking for a beach where we could hang out. The cove at the resort was lovely for a quick swim in the evening but too small and rocky to spend a lot of time there. Apparently there was kayaking available every morning although we were only informed of this by one of the "orange people". I did join in with their aqua-aerobic sessions when I was there. The evening singers in the pool area were dreadful and my husband objected to the music played every day, which did not facilitate relaxing by the pool.
We discovered some great beaches; Cea and Orri to the south and they became our favourite destinations. In the main season, which apparently starts middle of June, it will be a different experience. A lot of the time we had the whole bay to ourselves but more sunbeds were appearing every day. Also we did not have to pay for parking - the sunbeds are also more expensive later on in the season. The sea here is divine; different shades of blue; pristinely clear and clean, golden sand (but really amazing with flecks of gold everywhere in the sand). I had some great walks along the beach with a bit of scramble across the rocks to get into the next bay. Perfect opportunity to just "stand and stare" and recuperate.
The lack of organisation, particularly the lack of information, which other people have mentioned in their reviews, is irritating. However, I started to find it amusing and regarded it as an adventure. On arrival we were given a map, the mysteries of which we are still trying to unravel. Every time we asked a question, we were given another map! These maps did not help because of the different levels of the resort. I do not think we explored the whole of the resort although we did have some wonderful encounters in the gardens with a wild boar, goats and a little deer. I could write much more but I think I have given you my impressions of the Monte Turri resort. We loved it but I can imagine that you would either hate it or adore it. If you don't like "quirky", don't go but you will miss out on a fascinating and unique experience!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Hotel Monte Turri is a small hotel full of charm situated in a suggestive and scenic position, furnished with taste and fitted with every comfort, the ideal solution for those in search of elegance, refinement and complete tranquillity. The rooms are equipped with: air conditioning and heating system, wall safe box, telephone, hair dryer, LCD HD flat screen TV with access to SKY, minibar (pay-per-use for guests of the V. Garden rooms). The hotel provides a scenic restaurant, a swimming pool with solarium, scenic glass elevators used to reach a private cove, equipped with beach beds and umbrellas (upon availability) on wooden platforms. WiFi is available in public areas and is free of charge. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Monte Turri Luxury Retreat Arbatax, Sardinia