Grand Hotel Resort Ma&Ma
What We Love
- The Jetsetter rate includes continental breakfast, access to the spa and a welcome drink
- This is the island's only five-star property
- All rooms feature balconies
- The high-tech spa has a Finnish bio-sauna and a flotation pool
What To Know
- The island of La Maddalena is a 20-minute ferry ride from the Sardinian port of Palau
- WiFi is free
- Children 15 and under are not permitted in the spa
- Opened May 2013
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
On the tiny island of La Maddalena, off the north coast of Sardinia, the Grand Hotel Resort Ma&Ma is a stylish spa retreat set on seven acres of lush grounds. Just 450 feet from the sea, the resort is made up of a cluster of light coral-hued buildings cut from local stone. The 92 guestrooms are elaborately designed and feature textured wallpaper, oversize headboards, blond wood floors and silk-topped beds. All come with balconies and such upscale creature comforts as Acqua di Parma toiletries and pillow menus. The immense spa is home to a mineral-rich swimming pool, a Finnish bio-sauna, a Turkish bath and a flotation pool. Fill up on Sardinian specialties at the Antica Isola restaurant which champions the sous-vide cooking technique (said to lock in vitamins and minerals). Breakfast is served in the restaurant or on the terrace overlooking the pool.
In the Area
Located between Sardinia and Corsica, the La Maddalena archipelago sits off Sardinia’s Costa Smeralda and is made up of seven main islands and more than 50 islets. La Maddelena is the largest, and it can be reached in around 20 minutes from the port of Palau on Sardinia’s northwest coast. Swimming, sailing and strolling are the order of the day here, and the beaches are some of Italy’s best. On the north coast, the dune-backed Bassa Trinità offers tropical sea and sand, or you can sail across to the smaller island of Budelli to kick back on Spiaggia Rosa, a stunning stretch of sand colored pink by the shells of tiny marine animals. In the island’s main town, stroll the historic streets, stop for a drink at one of the many alfresco bars, and wend your way up to the fortress for sweeping views of the surrounding outcrops that dot the Mediterranean.
How to Get There
Beautiful photos tell one story - and it does have lovely modern appointments & amenities. But it's only skin deep. It's a big modern hotel in a not very pretty spot. Its really more like a super fancy version of a Hampton Inn. Mass-produced experience is the game here. The pool is lovely but we were only allowed access on one of our two days. A wedding party had taken over the hotel including the restaurant. We were TOLD THIS as we checked in - (see letter below) totally unacceptable, since I had booked weeks before and they could have warned us at any time. When we came back in from a chilly rainy afternoon and wanted to take advantage of a "two hour complementary visit to the Spa" we were told, "No, the wedding party had taken every appointment." Not their fault - but it certainly wasn't ours either. We kept waiting for an offer of anything to help compensate for our disappointment (free glass of wine? bottle of champagne? anything!??) and got crickets. The gal at the desk just kept telling me that "since the wedding had been rained out, they all had to go the spa!" as if I couldn't tell it was raining. Humourous.
I'm also attaching photos of the "emergency" exits which were sealed with thick plastic ties. Oh this is some high security.
This place considers itself a"5 star luxury" spot (and charges accordingly) but the service is WAY off the mark. If you DO book, be sure to call before your credit card is charged to make sure a wedding won't lock you out of the pool or other amenities.
This place takes some getting to, certainly from the UK. Flight to Olbia then an hour long trundle through the twists and turns that are Sardinian roads. A 15 min ferry hop to Maddalena and a further 1 km drive through the town and final arrival.
Worth it? On balance, yes
Service is professional. Many staff, always on hand. The place is spotless. Hats off to housekeeping and the cleaning staff. Breakfast too is pretty good, all quality fare. Sit outside near the pool too. Very relaxing on warm May mornings The pool area is nice enough. The whole ambience is quiet and tranquil. On site there is a pizzeria and a fine dining option for later.
Location is about a 20 min walk to Maddalena, which is pretty enough. There are no real beaches nearby. There lies perhaps the biggest issue. The hotel is not really a destination venue. It’s not on a beach nor a property with great views. The architecture isn’t beautiful; think pimped up motel. Rooms face to the car park (not great) or to a partial view of the sea. No contest. It is just a 2 floor hotel. Rooms look to be recently refurbished and the bathrooms are certainly well equipped and roomy. Rooms themselves are a little tight and the beds are neither big nor greatly comfy.
Special mention and thanks for acknowledging (without being asked) my partner’s birthday with a very much appreciated bottle of fizz. It crowned a memorable short break. Fellow guests (mostly Northern European) seemed to be on similar trips possibly through the great deals on offer from providers such as Voyage Privé. Well worth it!
The hotel has the trappings of 5 star but does not quite have the cachet to pull off the ostentatious name. The rooms are small and fashionably decorated but do not feel luxurious. The he hotel lobby is attractive and feels like a night club. The swimming pool area is wonderful hewn from the rocky hill side it does feel like something special. Breakfast was perfectly acceptable without being amazing. I liked the hotel I just wouldn’t have it as a benchmark to measure others by.
The 5 star label is getting used far too much - The Ritz and Claridges in London, where we have stayed are 5 star, but by comparison this is at best a 3 star hotel with 5 star prices.
We dined on the first night in the restaurant, but the food was awful. My fish dish consisted of 3 "lumps" of tuna which was tasteless and my wife had spaghetti which was equally bland.
Breakfast is adequate but the room is far too small and gets extremely overcrowded.
The hotel is also a long way from town (€15 if you use a taxi). There is shuttle bus but it only runs in the morning and late in the evening, which means you have to get a taxi at least one way if you want lunch or an early evening in town.
On one day of our stay we received a letter saying that most of the hotel including the pool was out of bounds to guests for the day, but without any compensatory options for the money we were paying to stay in the hotel and use such facilities.
The staff were friendly and professional, but there needs to be a reappraisal by management of the star rating, the quality of food, and the experience on offer for guests.
A five-star contemporary boutique-style hotel on a quiet little island called La Maddalena off the northern tip of Sardinia was a great venue for a week's well-earned rest in April before the start of the main tourist season in May. Great value for money at this time of the year with cheap EasyJet flights to Olbia and very reasonable car hire costs.
Accommodation of a good standard with good spa facilities plus great suites for those with deeper pockets. Good breakfast room but surprised to find some breakfast items, e.g. boiled eggs, omelettes, were classed as an extra and charged accordingly! Fine dining restaurant for dinner but best to mix and match with local restaurants. Only showers available in most rooms with baths and hot tubs in the suites. Finally, but most importantly, all the staff were extremely polite and only too keen to be helpful.
Recommended for short-breaks but stony beaches not ideal for young families.