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Hotel Cala di Volpe - Costa Smeralda, Sardinia | Hotel Review

My Worst Hotel Experience Ever


Hotel Cala di Volpe - Costa Smeralda, Sardinia, Italy:
On one of our usual hotel-daytrip-dinner routines we take during our trips to Italy, we decided to stay over at the Hotel Cala di Volpe in Costa Smeralda, Sardinia. Being accustomed to staying at five star luxury hotels, I was expecting nothing but the best for this one in particular because of its exorbitantly priced rates. The following is a review of what would eventually become one of the most disappointing hotel experiences I have had in my entire life!

First Impression/Lobby:
The minute we pulled in, the place looked like a mad house: cars were everywhere, traffic was backed up, and worst of all no one was around to direct traffic, park cars, or even help with bags! Despite all the signs that this is a fairly terrible hotel, we finally decided to leave our car parked halfway up the driveway (blocking the cars behind us) to try to find someone to help us out.

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What greeted us at the front door was the sight of busy bellmen…busy talking to each other! Instead of a courteous greeting, I just got a half-meant “hello,” and that’s when I told him that my car was half-parked down the driveway and I needed help. Although they seemed to have gotten the message, it took them forever to get mobilized and get to work. Absurd!

Knowing that this would have to be the most expensive hotel we’ve ever stayed at in Italy (our stay cost almost twice as much as the Palazzo Sasso’s Infinity Suite), we were expecting that we’d receive only the best that the hotel would have to offer. When I mentioned this notion to the receptionist, he smirked and chortled as if to say “yeah right, whatever!” It was a generally breezy check-in, but the unwarranted actions of the receptionist made me wonder quite a bit!

To the hotel’s saving grace, the Concierge was fairly knowledgeable and helpful, offering us detailed information regarding directions, flights and sightseeing destinations.

The Room:
When we got into our room, we had to brace ourselves for the day’s biggest disappointment yet, it was a tiny “suite” that had nothing special about it. It was a regular room and nothing more! I didn’t feel like I got my money’s worth, especially considering I paid an exorbitant amount of cash to get the “best room” the place had to offer! What a joke!

Room Service:
I was hoping that the hotel would have great room service, but I was absolutely disgusted to learn that their Room Service only served food from the restaurant during dinner hours. The limited selection of the menu was bad enough, but the fact that I had to pay the restaurant price for the food (Euro 160 per person!) was nothing short of highway robbery. I do not expect a five star hotel of class and “distinction” to offer such substandard products and practices to their customers.

Since we were going to pay what the hotel restaurant was going to charge anyway, we decided to drag ourselves down to what we were hoping would be a comfortable, cozy and classy 5-star restaurant. What we got instead resembled more like a Caribbean resort with noise levels going through the roof! The place looked more like a party than a sit-down dining area.

Despite all of this, we were still expecting to receive a high quality meal, but what we were offered instead was the buffet table or a menu with four choices for main dishes at a ridiculous Euro 160/head. We told our server we didn’t like anything they had on the menu, so they told us that they’d make anything we wanted. I chanced upon this opportunity (it seemed like one!) to order my favorite lobster pasta, and they said they could do it for an additional Euro 80! I ran the numbers through my head while maintaining a look of shock, and I figured the dinner to reach Euro 400 without the drinks. How’s that for dinner at an overhyped resort with terrible rooms and service?

Overall Impression
I don’t know exactly what the hotel’s target market is, but if you’re willing to pay Euro 12 for a ½ Euro bottle of water, then you must be willing to pay Euro 160 for a buffet dinner, but I doubt that you’d pay for it in that setting considering the hotel was below average. The overhyped, overpriced and unwelcoming and uncaring staff leads me to rate this terribly run hotel a big fat NOT BOMBASTIC.

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