Sardatur Holidays has released its new Italia brochure for 2014 – with the addition of 30 properties that are making their debut to the brochure. Drawing on 27 years’ experience of creating holidays to Italy and an encyclopaedic knowledge of the country, the team behind the beautifully picture-led, 192 page brochure, have put together a comprehensive guide to the country’s newest properties as well as many of its most iconic hotels – from boutique retreats to family friendly beachside properties, city breaks and rural hideaways. Covering all of Italy’s most desirable regions, options include the spectacularly unspoilt beaches and rugged mountains of Sardinia, the famous coastlines of Liguria and the Neapolitan Riviera and the laid-back charms of Sicily. Further possibilities include city breaks, including the iconic towns and cities of Tuscany, a tour of the Italian Lakes or an exploration of the lesser known region of Puglia. These can be tailored for those wishing to plan a self-drive touring holiday, using Sardatur’s exclusive car hire service with Avis or combined with a choice of special events and festivals, such as the Venice Carnival (February/ March) and Regatta (September), Siena’s famous Palio horse race, cookery lessons, photography courses or one of the opera festivals in Verona or Ravello. In addition, Sardatur offers a wide choice of flight options. New for 2014, Sardatur will offer seats on Saturday flights from Gatwick to Catania (Sicily) and Naples with British Airways, as well as Alitalia’s new services to both Catania and Palermo operated by British Airways from Heathrow to Cagliari and Olbia in Sardinia, with two cabin services, economy and Club Europe.
Here are some hotel highlights of what’s new:
■ Hotel La Licciola – Resort Valle Dell’Erica Thalasso & SPA. This exclusive resort is located on a stunning setting of natural scenery on the north east of Sardinia with spectacular views over the archipelago of La Maddalena and the strait of Bonifacio in Corsica. This new hotel enhances the resort and offers 116 elegantly decorated guests rooms and suites. Hotel La Licciola offers family suites which can accommodate larger families. 7-nights half board including return flights from London Heathrow and transfers costs from £1,171 per person.
■ Spazio Oasi is the latest addition to the Chia Laguna Resort, on the southern tip of Sardinia. Located at the highest point of the resort with stunning views over the magnificent Chia Bay, there are 34 light and stylish rooms and suites offering a contemporary twist on traditional Sardinian style. 7-nights half board including return flights from London Heathrow and transfers costs from £1,087 per person.
■ I Giardini di Cala Ginepro Hotel Resort is set in the peaceful bay of Cala Ginepro, in the Gulf of Orosei, about an hour south of Olbia. The area is almost totally unknown to British tourists despite its pristine waters, fine white sandy beaches and splendidly weathered granite rocks. Perfect for families, the hotel has three swimming pools (one reserved for children), a children’s playground and mini-club (from 4-12 years), and free group instruction for children in many water and other sports. 7- nights half board including return flights from London Heathrow and transfers costs from £2,266 total price for 2 adults and 1 child travelling on 12th July 2014.
■ Opening in July 2014 the JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa on Rose Island is set to offer a serene retreat from the bustle of Venice, yet is only a short water-taxi ride from St Mark’s Square. The resort comprises several old buildings that have been sympathetically restored to provide 266 guestrooms and suites, designed by Matteo Thun in a modern contemporary style. These will provide every comfort and the highest levels of quality along with a roof top swimming pool, spa and Cookery and Wine Academy. 2-nights with buffet breakfast including return flights from London Gatwick costs from £640 per person.
■ The stylish Canne Bianche Beach & Spa Hotel is a newly opened retreat discreetly located in Torre Canne, one of the most scenic areas of Puglia. The 55 guest rooms and suites are built to the very highest standard with an emphasis on natural materials and offers guests enchanting views and direct access to the Adriatic Sea. The restaurant serves delicious Mediterranean menus mixing the flavours of Puglia, whilst the resort’s wellness centre allows guests the chance to relax with a comprehensive choice of indulgent spa treatments. 7-nights with buffet breakfast including return flights from London Gatwick and car hire costs from £590 per person.
Sicily and the Aeolian Islands
■ Eremo Della Giubiliana is a stunning 15th Century monastery, situated 14km from the historic town of Ragusa. Immersed in the Sicilian countryside its thick stone walls and white tower overlooks a plateau 8km from the coast. The building also served as a fortress for the Knights of Malta, before being sympathetically transformed into a hotel. The 17 rooms and suites were originally the monks’ cells and each is unique with antique furniture, wrought iron bedsteads and original pitch and limestone stone flooring. Many precious artefacts were discovered during the restoration work and original paintings, dating back generations, adorn the public areas and guest rooms. 7- nights with buffet breakfast including return flights from London Gatwick and transfers costs from £950 per person.
■ Hotel Rocce Azzurre – Off the northern coast of Sicily are the seven islands of the Aeolian archipelago. Lipari is the largest of the islands, and was for centuries the world centre for pumice production. Perched on rocks at the water’s edge the charming Hotel Rocce Azzurre is only a few minutes’ walk from Marina Corta where the people of Lipari gather on summer evenings. Each of the 33 guestrooms is beautifully decorated, many with a balcony and sea view and it is the perfect base for exploring the other islands, such as Stromboli, a still active volcano. 7- nights half board including return flights from London Gatwick and transfers costs from £702 per person.
■ Garden & Villas Resort – located on the island of Ischia, overlooking the bay of San Montano, the elegant 50- bedroom Garden & Villas Resort is set in fragrant Mediterranean gardens close to the 1950’s celebrity hotspot of Lacco Ameno. For those looking to enjoy the island’s famous thermal waters, the hotel has its own naturally heated spring water swimming pool and is within easy reach of the Negombo Thermal Spa Gardens and close to the beach. The hotel’s ‘Il Corbezzolo’ restaurant overlooks the pool and serves fresh seasonal produce grown locally on the island, plus freshly caught seafood and traditional Neapolitan pizza, cooked in a wood-fired oven. Seven nights with buffet breakfast, including return flights from London Gatwick, local (land and sea) transfers costs from £804 per person.
PS. Please note that Hotel JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa in Venice and Hotel Rocce Azzurre in Sicily will open in July 2014.