About 186 km off mainland Italy lies a dreamy oasis called Sardinia. Known for its white sand beaches and crystal clear waters, the island (the second largest in the Mediterranean) has become a top destination for jet-setters from around the world during the summer months. For those looking for a stay with breathtaking views, rustic cuisine and extraordinary experiences, the Conrad Chia Laguna will not disappoint.
Nestled in the hills of Chia, just southwest of Sardinia’s bustling capital, Cagliari, the newly opened retreat has 107 rooms (each with unique amenities) that overlook the picturesque turquoise sea and offers a range of accommodation impressive, from a state-of-the-art spa to top-rated restaurants perfect for all kinds of travelers. Here, the general manager of the Conrad Chia Laguna, Marco Pedna, tells T&Cs what sets this magical resort apart from other hotspots in the area.
What do you consider to be the best room in the property and why?
The best room is the Shardana Presidential Suite, located in the main building on the top floor. It has the floor all to itself and spans 100 square meters inside and out, and has a stunning 360 degree terrace that overlooks the entire bay of Chia. You can see the Mediterranean, the tower of Chia – you basically get the whole landscape from this terrace. It has a private jacuzzi with its set of deckchairs, then also a covered dining area on the terrace. It’s a fantastic space.
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How much is it per night ?
During the shoulder season, which runs from April to June and then from September to October, the Shardana Presidential Suite starts at around €5,000 per night (about $4,900).
How would you describe the guests staying at the resort and the general vibe?
We have different types of customers because we serve a few different segments. As a resort, we have a lot of families coming, and they’re obviously looking for the family experience. And because it’s located in a larger complex, you have the beaches, which are obviously fantastic, but also the nearby square, which is the center of the resort where you have evening entertainment and live music. And then there is a Kids Club, where you have a program of activities throughout the day.
And then for our couples or our guests who are also very much looking for a calmer, more exclusive and secluded experience, there are the spaces like the swimming pool and the Bioaquam Circuit at the spa, which are much more calm and relaxed. If you want to be away from the hustle and bustle, at the Conrad you will find this exclusive environment.
What are the best things to do in the resort?
We have a fantastic spa offer. It spans three floors and has five different hot tubs, including a rooftop solarium pool with fantastic views. There are also yoga sessions. On the second floor, there is a brand new gym with floor-to-ceiling windows, fully equipped with new technologies and equipment. Then there is the refreshment area on the first level, then on the lower level, a circuit with three outdoor hot tubs, an indoor hot tub, as well as a sauna, a hammam and sensory showers. You could really spend a day at the spa.
There are also food and drink outlets. We have the main restaurant, La Terrazza, which is the Italian Mediterranean restaurant, and then there is the second restaurant (opening next season) which will serve authentic Sardinian cuisine. Everything will be served in a traditional sharing plate format. The Bollicine Bar is fantastic too and is very popular in the evening for aperitif, before dinner, after dinner, on the terrace.
And then, of course, there are the beaches. Guests have two choices: You have Monte Cogoni Beach, which is on the east side, which is quiet and serene. And then you have Laguna on the other side, which has more people, and it’s a bit busier.
What feeling of the region do you hope to convey to visitors?
It’s really important that we really connect with the local culture and history. We don’t want this to be just a cut and paste hotel. So we try to create experiences that give you the opportunity to see what people eat here and what the story is about.
The beaches sell – they are award-winning beaches – so that’s the number one reason people come. Next, we really want to be able to share what else there is to discover in the surrounding area, so we partner with local suppliers. It could be horseback riding, taking a boat trip around the island or visiting wineries – there are all these partnerships that we want to share with our customers that we have with the local community.
Which local attraction do you always recommend to guests?
One of the most fun things is cycling on the old Roman road. On this bike tour, you can rent the bike with or without a guide, and simply go down the Roman road and you have the entire coastline on your right. It is a fantastic experience in nature.
There is the Argiolas cellar. It’s a local winery with its own local grape varieties, which you won’t find anywhere else. They give a nice tour and then give a nice wine tasting session at the end. Then there are many historical and ancient sites of Nuraghe and Bithia, which are these ancient Roman towns and Sardinian towns of the original Sardinian population. There are also the old mines because there was a great mining culture here on the southwest coast. So you have a lot of options, you could fill a week of activities.
In your opinion, what distinguishes the Conrad Chia Laguna from its peers in the region?
One of the real pillars of the brand, which separates us from others, is the importance of having that connection to the destination, having the story and the meaning behind it, and creating those experiences for customers who are really fulfilling. It’s not cosmetic. It’s an experience. It’s something that makes you feel fulfilled, like you’ve accomplished something. And making that connection and being able to do that in the area, in the local destination, so it’s not just about the hotel. It’s the whole 360 degree experience. While other hotels may just focus on the physical element you can touch, we look more at the overall sense of well-being and the fulfilling experience you leave with and remember.
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Sophie Dweck is Associate Shopping Editor for Town & Country, where she covers beauty, fashion, home & decor, and more.