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“Overcrowded "feeding frenzy" in beautiful location”

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Hotel Club Saraceno
Ranked #2 of 12 Hotels in Arbatax
Certificate of Excellence
Denmark
Level Contributor
63 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Overcrowded "feeding frenzy" in beautiful location”
Reviewed 4 April 2014

The location of this hotel is absolutely amazing. Down to an almost private bay with no other hotels.
But the hotel only has the use of a relatively small part of the beach, which makes it feel REALLY crowded when all the sun beds are full (which they almost always are). When half the people are in the water, you are actually standing side by side...
The grounds have been wonderfully laid out in typical Sardinian style with only one story buildings and beautiful paths all filled with flowering trees. Unfortunately the hotel has chosen to expand the number of cottages without expanding the facilities to accommodate the doubling of guests.

BUT - there are far too many guests now for the relatively small restaurant area, not to mention the inadequate pool area and beach...
Breakfast is the only meal that you may take on the beautiful outdoor terrace with a view to the bay - and the breakfast area will not seat all the guests at the same time - so there are always guests waiting for a table to be vacated. Quite stressfull when you're trying to enjoy your breakfast to see people standing by the entrance waiting and wishing for you to hurry up.
They do not serve eggs to order - you can choose scrambled ready made in a warming container or boiled - not once in two weeks did the soft boiled eggs turn out to be soft boiled even when we got them directly when they were brought out from the kitchen.
Lunch and dinner are under the terrace, indoors in an air-conditioned restaurant, which is nicely decorated but overcrowded with all tables standing really close.
You get assigned to a certain table, which you have to stay at for your entire visit.
If you are not in the restaurant exactly when they open the doors, you should not count on having a choice of starters. The starters do NOT get replenished as the trays are emptied - the contents of half empty trays merely get spooned over to another tray, and the tables look half empty after 15-20 minutes. See photos...
The antipasti did not change for our two week stay - the same choice every single day. And not enough of them.
At the end of the restaurant there are four "stations" for hot dishes with chefs "slopping" it only your plate. Don't try to ask for a small portion - they only do the standard large "slop" of a huge serving spoon.

The pool is much too small for the amount of people wanting to swim and relax in it. See photos - and this wasn't the most crowded.

Same goes for the beach area. Shoulder by shoulder describes it best. The beach chairs and umbrellas cost extra - although they are owned by the hotel. This is definitely not up to the standard the Saraceno markets itself under.

The rooms are small cottages semi-detached and very nice with balconies.
BUT the beds are hard as rocks. We asked for top mattresses to be put on to make them softer, but the hotel did not have any. We all (2 adults and 2 children of 10 + 14) came home with aching backs.
Also the air-conditioning only works in the main room not in the children's room.

For the extremely high price this hotel charges - the standard was in no way up to it.

Room Tip: Get a room with a view of the bay
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Janice K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Value
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (10)
Date | Rating
  • Czech first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Hungarian first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 October 2013

The grounds of the hotel are very nice the room we had was OK at best. The staff caters to German tourists, as such we were constantly pushed aside. Front desk was the worse experience, where we got little service and had to fight to get ahead of the preferred customers. Essentially it is a production line, catering to certain type of customers (motorcycles groups, European packages etc). I would avoid it unless you are stuck.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Dizzyzz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Delft, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 October 2013

We stayed 4 days in Hotel club Saraceno in June 2013. We are a family with one 1 year old child.

Travel/Arrival: 4/5

We arrived by car from Olbia in the evening. We took the route via Nuoro, which takes one to Arbatax via a mountain road. From Nouro the road is quite desolate and small at certain places and without much streetlights. This in combination with twists and turns of the mountain road makes the driving somewhat challeninging. Once arriving in the Oliastra valley the driving is much simpler. The resort is easy to find with the navigation system and the hotel entrance straight of the road. When we arrived (which was late in the evening) we were awaited by hotel staff in a buggy who helped us park and took us to the main lobby. Check in was easy and afterwards we were taken to our room by the hotel staff. There were some good cold meals and drinks awaiting us in the room as well as the crib we had requested. Overal this was a very good arrival experience.

Hotel and rooms 4/5

The notel and bungalows are build in the traditional style. The rooms are not necessarily very big and showing their age a bit. They still look nice though and they are well laid out with beatiful landscaping and plants & flowers.
The main buildings (restaurant, bar, swinging pool terrance) are efficiently located and all very close together. The breakfast restaurant has a nice terrace overlooking the beach and bay.

Hotel facilities: 3.5/5

Hotel facilities are generally nice, albeit just standard. A swimming pool, garden, children play area and a sporting field. Also certain boats are for rent. Everything is maintained well and located close together.

Beach 4/5)

There is a goog private beach as part of the resort. Nice clear water. The beach has deckchairs and umbrella's and towels are provided as well. There is also a small beach bar and terrace. The sand is a bit rough in texture; regrettably not the finest grade of sand. The area allows itsself reasonably wel for kiteflying.

Food 4/5

The hotel restaurant serves breakfast and dinner (buffet). There is a good choice of quality products in sufficient quantity and variety of both traditional italian and western dishes, as well as fresh fruit. Staff is clearly trained at catering for large groups as they seem always in control. There is a tap with free water and orange fizzy drinks, which keeps the cost of the extra's affordable. Guests have an allocated table for the duration of the stay and children's seats are provided as well.
On the main terrance there is a bar whch serves a wide variety of drinks and cocktails at reasonable prices. Overal very good.


Atmosphere/guests/personnel 4/5

Personnel was friendly, helpful and efficient. Overal there is a very relaxed admosphere in the resort. Guests are predominantly families, and unpretentious. We had some nice interactions and conversations with other hotel guests.

Activities and entertainment: n/a

We didn't realy participate in any activities. We understand there was a disco in the evening, as well as sports activities

Nearby city 3/5

Nearby cities are Arbatax and Tortoli. These are small cites and there is really not much to do. Did found some good supermarkets were we bought the ingredients to cook for our daughter. All are close to the hotel, which is convenient.
I understand there are trips arranged by the hotel to the remote beaches of the Costa di Sisine (eg Cala Luna, Goloritze, Mariolu, Sisine)

Price (quality) 4/5

Price / quality is very good. It is still not cheap but the quality is very good and a number of extra's come standard or are resonably prices. Compared to other options in Sardinia the price / quality is very good

Overall: 4/5

This is a great hotel if you want to go on a relaxed family beach holiday and stay in a good hotel with a nice beach and scenery, with good food and a very convenient lay-out/logistics.

If you are looking to stay in a city area with lots of things to do, or don't like to be in a resort were the guests are predominantly families with children look elsewere.

One last tip:

For parents with you children: baby stuf like baby food, powder milk, soothers etc is not very extensively sold in supermarkets; you have to go to the pharmacist for this, or bring it yourselves.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank dvanrijn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Beckenham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 August 2013

This hotel is excellent, well deserving of its rating. Staff all very helpful, food fantastic buffet fare with lots of choice and presented beautifully. Animation team great, not in your face forcing you to join in, but its all there if you want to. Kids enjoyed clubs and activities (13,9,8) Evening entertainment good. Pool and beach spotlessly clean. Beautiful gardens. Be aware though that we were the only english family for the majority of the time - most guests Italian or Russian, so hard to converse with other people, but that could also be seen as a plus point!
Hotel is also in a fairly remote area - there is a little modern town very close, but other than shopping not much history to see. Mainly mountains and beaches that you have to reach by boat. There are mountain villages but there is not much to see in them. Capitol of Cagliari is about 2 hr drive away and Olbia 2.5-3hrs - so can be a bit of an arduous day trip with kids. Apart from that it was fantastic. Hotel and facilities superb.

Room Tip: We thought we had booked a family room with 2 separate sleeping areas, but were in a quad room with...
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank mehotel12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leigh-on Sea, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
25 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 August 2013

Just got back from the most wonderful 11 days at the Saraceno. The holiday was perfect, a pleasure from start to finish.
The food was excellent throughout. We were a bit worried about eating in the same hotel restaurant 3 times a day for 11 days, but the food was superb with plenty of choices. Our 2 children of 9 and 13 loved the varied selection, especially the desserts!
The setting was beautiful; so lovely to be able to wander down to the beach with its umbrellas and loungers already set up. Equally we really appreciated the lovely pool with the cabanas offering much needed shade during the day. The layout of the rooms was very pleasant and even in the busy high season of August we never felt that the hotel was struggling to cope with the number of guests, either in the restaurant, bar or around the pool.
We found all of the staff polite, efficient and very pleasant. At one stage our bathroom lock broke and it was fixed within 30 minutes of us notifying the reception desk.
There were plenty of activities to keep us entertained, especially the water sports and beach games. I would definitely recommend the water excursion on the speed boat to explore the most beautiful secluded beaches.

To sum up it was a really wonderful trip for all the family. We will definitely be returning to this lovely hotel.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank carolyn2801
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chelyabinsk, Russia
Level Contributor
48 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 August 2013

Our family has spent wonderful five days in Hotel Club Saraceno in the beginning of August.
We lived in a family room with half board.
We were very pleased with the stay and especially the lovely atmosphere created at the hotel.
The room was very clean and light with an inviting terrace with table and chairs, which was very pleasant to sit surrounded by beautiful plants.
The staff was very friendly and always smiling, we were responded to all our requests, including a request for pest control ants.
The beach did not have the emerald color of the water but was very clean and the kids loved snorkeling - lots of interesting fish and even an octopus.
I can recommend a boat trip on rubber boat - we received a lot of positive emotions.
Tanks to the staff and management of the hotel for a wonderful holiday!

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Aleyona
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Geneva, Switzerland
1 review
Reviewed 12 August 2013

We have just returned from 2 weeks here with our 2 boys and friends with their 3 boys. The children loved it, as the beach and pool is fantastic for children. In general, the hotel is very clean and well presented and overall was a very pleasant stay. However there were a few things that we weren't happy about. Firstly the reception staff are mediocre to say the least- no help whatsoever in trying to suggest things to do, or helping in any way beyond their job description and at times reasonably surly. The reception manager doesn't speak English which we found poor for a 4 star international hotel. Generally the service was.very average. The restaurant is very hot and noisy and very much like a school canteen and we got asked to leave after the 9.30pm curfew on several occasions and had to leave our drinks as you are not allowed to take them to the tables outside. The kids club left us with very little confidence that they were actually watching our children- several times they were able to wander off without the staff realising, which was a real concern considering we have a 4 and 5 year old in our group, neither of whom can swim and access to the swimming pool and sea is not restricted. Generally the hotel is good and with some adjustments could be excellent, however the service is not at a 4 star level at present.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Rebecca W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Club Saraceno

Property: Hotel Club Saraceno
Address: Loc San Gemiliano, 08048 Arbatax, Tortoli, Sardinia, Italy
Phone Number:
Region: Italy > Sardinia > Province of Ogliastra > Tortoli > Arbatax
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Arbatax
#2 Luxury Hotel in Arbatax
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Arbatax
#6 Romantic Hotel in Arbatax
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Club Saraceno 4*
Number of rooms: 139
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Club Saraceno combines the appeal of a traditional hotel with that of a modern seaside resort and holiday club. The Saraceno sits directly on the beach of Arbatax, in the town of Tortolì, on Sardinia's east coast. This is where the warm sea of the Mediterranean and the wild nature of the Gennargentu mountain range meet, forming some of the island's most spectacular scenery. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Saraceno Hotel Arbatax
Hotel Club Saraceno Arbatax, Sardinia

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