As a family of four, 2 kids aged 14 and 9, we just travelled to Le Dune with friends whose children are 14, 10 and 6. We spent ten days in rooms next to each other in the 'family friendly' area of the resort, I Ginepri.
In truth Ginepri is the cheapest zone of Le Dune and prices rise from there accordingly. According to what exactly it is hard to say, as there seems to be some confusion about how many kids and of what age are encouraged within the other zones and what those zones offer in order to be deemed an upgrade from Ginepri?? The whole status levels thing is typically Italian and I have come across it before. We Brits find it confusing but it clearly works for the Italians.
It is clear however that whole families are naturally placed in I Ginepri and make no mistake, there are a lot of them!! It can be cacophonous! There were babies and toddlers everywhere during our stay [last ten days of August] and many families consisted of at least one baby plus under 5's galore!! A noisy melee around the pool but more noticeably in our allocated breakfast room, the Nautilus restaurant. Pretty frantic! [of course this can be a bonus if you have a young boisterous family and would like to give up all pretence of control and bask safe in the knowledge that yours will not be the noisiest kids on the block!] So my advice would be stay clear of Ginepri if your children are older or more sophisticated in their tastes!!
Its worth mentioning here that the accommodation we chose was a senior family suite and I must say the space was the most generous I have encountered in many more expensive and luxurious resorts around europe. Whilst a little dark and with a rattan, 70's kind of feel, [think green and orange] we enjoyed a spacious double, large, double basin shower room, good sized twin bedroom and a lovely large lounge area. Stocked fridge, two TV's, good, quiet air con and sliding patio doors that managed to keep the noise out from the restaurant just opposite! It might not have had the wow factor but for the price the family suite was a real result in terms of comfort and space. Our friends in the room above us chose the standard family room which managed to accommodate the five of them comfortably but lacked the separate twin room which made all the difference.
So Ginepri is perhaps the most tired and well used area of the resort but more importantly for me it felt very shady, wooded and a little damp. I had a sense of wanting to emerge into the light! I quite like a vista from my hotel room and hopefully a glimpse of glittering blue Mediterranean. No chance here. The whole resort [apart from the sea/road front Duna Bianca suites] lies slightly sunken in a geographical hollow which obscures the view and leaves one with a slightly enclosed feeling, compounded for me by some particularly tall bamboo and overbearing pines! Kind of pretty but not in a colourful geranium kind of way!!
However a five minute walk through the piazetta [evening entertainment hub and home to a curious collection of shops?] brings you to more daylight and the pool/bar area of Le Palme, somehow distinct to I Ginepri, yet we were welcome to use it. So we did! More spacious, sunny, [no parasols??] and attractive. The bar, though operating slowly, under a system I couldn't quite fathom, was open all day and evening for snacks, light lunches, cocktails etc. Our deal was half board which required purchasing a resort credit card for all extras. You have to load your card with cash up front, which somehow feels a bit irritating. Why the card couldn't just be used to run up a bill that you settle at the end I cannot understand. In practice you have to keep schlepping off to reception to add more funds. It is not a relaxing system with the customer in mind. Indeed you have to shell out £££££ refundable deposits for towels, a kettle if you would like one for your room, etc etc. Maybe its the Italian way but it feels a bit mistrustful.
Anyway the food is delicious on the whole. The restaurants offer good fresh local food. Its all buffet style so a bit chaotic and the decor is a little tired in some places. We chose later suppers to avoid the rush. Service a bit hit and miss. Either over keen [trying to clear your plates whilst still eating!] or slow but the staff are ubiquitous and must be pretty tired by this point in the season.
Il Leccio was probably our favourite with an elevated position up in the grown up Sabine area. The food was really very good. Nice wines, helpful staff. La Spiaggia too, next to the beach, was very good.
Which brings me to the beach. The website does not show the road that separates the resort from the beach. Whilst not too busy it has swift traffic back and forth all day long and kids need to be careful. It somehow lends an urban feel, a town beach. During our stay the sea ranged from pretty dangerous and wild to more gentle and safe. There are life guards at the pools and the beach but the bay is quite steep and kids need to be watched carefully. The beds and umbrellas are hierarchically arranged with front two rows reserved for the more expensive areas of the resort.
In conclusion, Sardinia is an expensive island where holidays come at a premium. In light of that fact Le Dune offers an affordable family holiday without a massive price tag but it probably rates a three star rating in my experience and could definitely do with a little upgrading and more care taken with landscaping. Theres a lot of 70"s style cement pathways and pool surrounds that are not pretty. The restaurants could do with some love too!
The clientele are overwhelmingly Italian, which I like. I don't want to be surrounded by Brits on holiday. There is a definite Italian family feel. Some things are lost in translation though and at times the resort felt a little difficult to navigate and slow to help you get what you want when you want it! Individual staff on the whole were good and helpful especially the lovely Paulo in reception at Ginepri!
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- Also Known As:
- Resort Le Dune And Spa
- Resort Le Dune Hotel Badesi
- Hotel Dune Village
- Dune Village Hotel
- Resort Dune Village
- Resort & Spa Le Dune Sardinia/Badesi, Italy