Ask anyone who’s stayed at Su Gologone hotel what they loved most and the response is probably its charm and character. That homely feeling you can’t put your finger on. The key to the hotel’s magic touch? It’s a family affair – and a female one at that.
Su Gologone is run by three generations of women, from granddaughter to nonna: Pasqua Salis Palimodde, 81 years old, Giovanna Palimodde, 53, and Camilla Crisponi, 24. Living on the hotel estate itself, they live and breathe Su Gologone from the minute they wake up, to their (typically Italian) late nights once the guests have retired to bed.
Meet the matriarchs that run Su Gologone. Here’s what they love most about their hotel – and the room that they would check into if they could…
What’s your main role at hotel Su Gologone?
Pasqua: I take care of everything involving the kitchen and the restaurant, whether that’s wedding menus, creating new dishes, or refining the old favourites. Another of my big passions in the hotel is the nature and flowers – I handpick each flower at the start of our season.
Giovanna: The experiences part. I take care of the hotel’s art and design inside the property and personally designed and furnished every single room. Every room is different and each has its own unique style and furnishings. Everything inside the rooms is handmade in Le Botteghe d’Artewhere I have my own home décor line, like handmade cushions and plates.
Camilla: Even though I love being in contact with the guests, I’m in charge of the back office taking care of emails, reservations, press and social media. I also work every day in the main restaurant alongside my mother and grandma greeting our guests as they go to dinner.
When did the Su Gologone hotel journey start for you?
P: My husband Giuseppe (known as Peppeddu Palimodde) and I laid the first stone of the hotel on November 4th1965, and we officially opened two years later on July 11th1967, when I was 29 years old. We turn our passion into our career and it’s never stopped since that day.
G: I was just a year old when we opened the hotel. We used to live in Oliena for a few years before moving into our apartment inside the hotel grounds. I started working in the restaurant once I returned from my studies in Florence.
C: I’ve always known the hotel as I’ve lived here my entire life. I can say that my journey officially started when I began to help my family by working in the restaurant of the pool (the Gazebo) when I was still at high school.
How have you seen Su Gologone change over the years you’ve been working/living there?
P: I think that the right word is improve instead of change. We tend to update the décor with new colours or ideas while leaving the property just how it is. Even the kitchen and cuisine we cook tends to stay the same, it just changes with seasonal product and the great resources of our local land.
G: I came up with the idea of ‘experiences’ about a decade ago before it was even a thing. Since then, we keep adding new excursions, creative courses and food and wine tasting every year and now have 50 experiences. In some way, they compensate for us not being on the beach!
C: Su Gologone is constantly evolving – we are creating new spaces, new nooks, new rooms and new experiences, but the hospitality, the homely feeling and the vibes stay exactly the same. And I think that’s the reason why people keep coming back.
What’s been your most memorable moment at the hotel and why?
P: The opening. We strongly desired this place, and when we finally brought it to life, it was an indescribable emotion. When we first opened the restaurant, there were all the most important figures of ‘La Cucina Italiana’ giving us their opinion and compliments.
G: Definitely the opening of my small world in the top part of the hotel. Le Botteghe d’Arte (art studios/shops), the Tablao Bar, Il Nido del Pane, the Wishes Terrace and Dream Terrace were all the fruits of my work. My greatest passion is art in all its forms, which you can see throughout the hotel.
C: Every day is memorable. Seeing our guests happy to be here with us is always the best moment of the day, every day. I also love it when we host travel journalists and bloggers from all over the world who see beautiful hotels and are still amazed by Su Gologone.
What’s your favourite area/spot in the hotel and why?
P: Definitely the kitchen – it’s always been my domain. But also the Hortensia Terrace, right outside the kitchen, because I chose every single flower that’s in bloom.
G: The Wishes Terrace, because I love thinking that this terrace makes our guests wishes come true. I dedicated this space to the dreamers, as I think it’s important for everyone to have dreams and realise them. Guests can find paper, pencil and a glass barrel where you can write down your wishes.
C: Definitely the Gazebo area. I guess it was the first not-so-ordinary place at Su Gologone. It used to be a tennis court until my mother decided to create what’s now the most chill, relaxing spot in the hotel.
What’s your favourite room/suite in the hotel and why?
P: All the art Suites, but especially the one dedicated to Biasi, because he was a great Sardinian artist and also my favourite. So much so that we also have a dining room called ‘Sala Biasi’ (Room of Biasi) where a lot of his paintings are exhibited, so guests can dine and enjoy his art work.
G: All the rooms I created and dedicated to the most important Sardinian artists of ‘900, where I put my own original collection of each artist. My favourite is the room dedicated to Ciusa, our executive suite – this was also Madonna’s room when she stayed with us for two months when she was filming in Sardinia.
C: The Art Studio – it was my mom’s personal studio before she turned it into a beautiful suite where guests are free to be creative and be inspired by the environment. We leave canvases and paints for them to work with throughout their stay. I have such beautiful memories about afternoons spent with my mother painting or making pottery.
What’s your favourite dish served at the hotel and why?
P: Pane Frattau because it was one of the first traditional plates that we decided to put on the menu. It’s a first course and second course all together. It’s made with wet carasau bread (crunchy and thin Sardinian bread) with tomatoes sauce, cheese and topped with an egg.
G: Ravioli ai Finocchietti because I think is the most refined dish we have. I created it because I wanted to give an alternative to the regular and classic ‘ravioli with tomato sauce’. It’s now our most popular first course on the menu.
C: Orecchiette alle Erbe. It’s the lightest, flavorful dish we have on the menu. All the herbs come from our own vegetable garden at Su Gologone, which is why it’s so special.