Su Gologone is a hotel with soul. Loved by locals and tourists alike (not to mention a couple of adopted purring cats), it has a unique pull that leaves you feeling like you’re checking out of a home rather than a 72-bedroom hotel.
Read on to find our more about Sardinia’s not-so-hidden-gem.
THE PACKING EDIT
The secret to Su Gologone’s charm and character? Its three generations of women that run it. The close-knit family link makes every room, experience and communal space in the hotel just as inviting as its homecooked pasta dishes (we should know, we did some vigorous carb testing).
From art studios to make-a-wish terraces to wine tasting, this is a hotel that’s like a sun-filled Sardinian landmark in its own right. Little wonder Madonna chose to stay at the hotel for two months while filming her Swept Away movie. FYI, check into room 86, aka the Francesca Ciusa executive suite if you want to say you slept in the same room as Madonna…
The Hotel Vibe
Who needs the Italian coastline, anyway? Su Gologone sits 25 kilometres from the nearest beach, perched amongst the slopes of the mountainous Supramonte area. The lush green landscape of ancient olive trees and vineyards is punctuated with the aromas of myrtle and rosemary in the air.
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I arrived in Sardinia and I couldn’t be more excited to stay at @hotelsugologone! It is so unique to stay in a real family owned hotel, run by three generations of ladies: grandmother, mother and daughter! They truly have so much love and care for local traditions and they are just such wonderful, gracious hosts.
Su Gologone’s furnishings are sympathetic to its surroundings with juniper wood, terracotta and a whole load of colourful Mediterranean flora on every available quaint terrace.
Any bold injections of colour are courtesy of hotelier Giovanna and her affinity with art. Personal pieces included, the hotel is adorned with major Sardinian artists, religious artefacts, traditional Sardinian costumes and pieces designed by Giovanna herself in the Botteghe d’Arte that make it feel like you’re roaming through the corridors of a local gallery.
There’s no cookie cutter formula to the décor of the 72 hotel bedrooms – no two rooms are the same. Standout rooms with major Instagram appeal include the Wild Suite, Art Studio Suite and Country Suites.
The Communal Spaces
Su Gologone’s dreamy spaces – and accompanying views of the mountain ranges – make your jaw drop a little. Just in case you lost in the vast grounds, each space has its own individual colour and art themes, just like the rooms.
Go view/Instagram hero shot hunting at the top part of the hotel where you’ll find the al fresco settings like the lavender Terrazzo del Sogni (translated as the terrace of dreams) and green Terrazzo dei Desideri (terrace of wishes). Venture further and you’ll also find the Botteghe d’Arte (arts and crafts studio) which overlooks the stunning whitewashed Magico Tablao bar. If getting lost in art, jewellery and interior design followed by an Aperol Spritz sounds like your idea of heaven (hello, me), this is the spot for you.
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In the immediate absence of the beach, there’s Su Gologone’s huge 25-metre long swimming pool. Not just any water, but filled with the good stuff from the Su Gologone natural spring, which is just 500 metres (and a short stroll) away from the hotel.
The Sardinian Cuisine
Pasta lovers, rejoice (and gluten-free guests, prepare to weep) because the traditional menu includes handmade pasta dishes sent from the gods. Specialities include maccarones de busa (handmade bucatini), culurgiones (ravioli filled with local ricotta), and orecchiette alle erbe, using fresh herbs picked from the hotel’s ‘erbe aromatiche’ garden.
Unlike Sardinia’s coastal areas, which are more seafood-orientated, Su Gologone’s menu features specialities like local cheeses, honey fritters and spit-roasted meats. The scent of slow roasting suckling piglet over the open fire hits you as you’re entering the restaurant.
There are also outdoor areas where you can experience traditional Sardinian cooking first-hand. At the Nido del Pane, or the ‘Bread Nest’, you watch Sardinian women dressing in typical Oliena fashion using a stone oven to bake bread (and sample it fresh from the oven). I defy you to resist seconds/thirds/fourths of their fresh pane carasau, the crispy flatbread that’s drizzled in olive oil and salt. Delicious.
What To See And Do In Sardinia
Venturing outside of the hotel? Continue the Su Gologone sentiment and do as the locals do. Here’s what the three female hoteliers recommend:
Pasqua Salis Palimodde, 81:
“Go horse riding. I used to have my own horse and ride in the beautiful surrounding land. I’ll never forget going into the Cedrino River with my horse. I also love going to visit archaeological sites (Sardinia has more than 40) and going for walks in the Lanaittho Valley just outside the hotel. Every time I discover something new.”
Giovanna Palimodde, 53:
“My favourite thing is heading to the beach. Sardinian Beaches are the most beautiful in Europe and we are so lucky to live so close to them. I go when I can to take a break from work. I also enjoy taking the boat in the Cedrino River, or going to have a walk and coffee in the Su Gologone spring area, which is only 200 metres from the hotel.”
Camilla Crisponi, 24:
“Going to the beach is the best part of living on an island. We’re located in the heart of Barbagia but we’re also very close to the beach (only 20 minutes) and it’s definitely what I love doing most when I can – especially if I can rent out a small boat. I also love to kayak in the Cedrino River, which is the river that goes all around the property.”