Hotel Review: T Hotel Cagliari, Sardinia
Hotel: T Hotel
Location: Cagliari, Sardinia – Italy
Room: Junior Suite
Perfect for: Beach holiday
Category: Luxury, 4 star
When people think about travelling to Italy, they often think of Rome, Florence, Milan or Tuscany… but what people neglect to look at is the amazing surrounding islands of Italy that are just a short flight away! Sardinia, or Sardegna as the locals call it, is one of the most amazing islands we have visited. To be able to spend a week visiting the top rated beaches, with its crystal clear water yet each with its own unique characteristics was simply an incredible experience and something everyone simply needs to experience!
Cagliari, the capital of the island of Sardinia is a perfect base for anyone wanting to explore the southern part of the island and surrounding beaches such as Chia Beach, Tuerredda as well as Villasimius.
Planning a road trip around the island required a bit of investment and we spent a lot of time looking through hotel reviews, photos and comparing prices for our stay in Cagliari. When you travel throughout Italy, you appreciate that a lot of affordable hotels are not luxurious and often feel like they haven’t been upgraded since the 80’s. When we saw the T Hotel, it was nice, clean and modern and given we were spending 2 nights in Cagliari, we wanted something comfortable and relaxing! The fact that it had free parking for our little Renault Twingo was an added bonus!!!
We stayed at T Hotel for two nights in September 2015 during our six night holiday around Sardinia.
Our welcome experience…
We arrived mid afternoon with a warm welcome from Francesca. Francesca appeared very professional and informative, providing us with a brief explanation of the hotel restaurant, spa and bar areas. We were also very fortunate to receive a complimentary upgrade to a Junior Suite with access to the Spa and a dinner for two at the restaurant.
Once the check in was complete, Francesca walked us to the elevators and showed us where our room (1204) was located.
Spacious. Luxurious. Perfect.
Having visited Italy on many, and I mean many, occasions, the room was much larger than any other Italian hotel we have stayed in. The hotel is in a tower and provides you with complete privacy, an abundance of natural light as well as panoramic views over the Cagliari Castello district, the city and port.
The room itself contained a short entrance hall, the bedroom itself as well as the bathroom. The bedroom, in my opinion, was styled in a minimalistic approach and whilst the largest Italian room we have stayed in, not the most luxurious itself. The bathroom (further below) however was spectacular and made the room!
Storage can also often be a concern within hotels, but not here! The entrance hall provided ample bench space for two carry on suitcases, two large cupboards if you wished to unpack, extra blankets, pillows as well as a handy safe (which is less common than you expect!).
We were so impressed with the suite, we thought we’d put together a quick video of the room to try and show you how spacious and incredible it really was!!
Hopefully, you were able to see just how spectacular those panoramic views from the room are, however, we thought we would show you a different perspective down towards the port in the picture below.
When we walked towards the bedroom, we noticed the delicious layered fruit platter, together with some Italian treats and some gifts from the spa which included aloe vera cream (perfect for sun-kissed holidays) as well as a face serum (which has since replaced my usual product and as I’m writing this becoming more and more concerned about the ease of replacing the tube once I run out!).
The room has a king sized bed, kettle, tea, mini bar, tv as well as information about the hotel and surrounding areas.
We then went to the bathroom … let’s say… massive!
I loved the tiles and the bathroom, in my opinion, was much more luxurious than the bedroom and absolutely made the hotel in my opinion. The panoramic views continued throughout the length of the bathroom and with the blinds pulled up the light glistened off the tiles creating some spectacular colours (which you can see in the below photos, even with the blinds closed!).
The amenities included the usual suspects, shampoo, body lotion and so forth but then …
… you’re also presented with a ‘his’ and ‘hers’ pack which goes over and above your expectations, including a small day cream, hand cream, exfoliator, toothpaste and toothbrush, the men’s pack also included a razor, shaving cream and comb. I also love a good set of robes and slippers, and these did not disappoint. The slippers were plush and very comfortable!
Another nice touch was having the toilet itself in a small room off to the side of the bathroom, providing privacy whilst your partner in crime can continue to brush their teeth or have a shower.
We enjoyed both a buffet breakfast as well as an al la carte dinner at the hotel restaurant.
The review will focus on the dinner itself, however there really was something for everyone at the breakfast, freshly squeezed juices, fruit, eggs, bacon, sausages as well as some of the more Sardinian specialties which I couldn’t resist trying such as fresh Ricotta and honey (which you drizzle over the Ricotta). This was, however, an unusual experience for me as it was quite a rich meal for breakfast!
The restaurant (dinner) is usually in a large room, however, we were quite pleased to find the restaurant instead used the seating located around the bar extending to the outdoor alfresco area to perfectly maximise the experience for patrons on comfortably warm evenings.
Now, having studied the menu to decide on the perfect combination we thought we felt like that evening, our entire night was thrown upside down with a surprise after surprise! Enrico, the restaurant manager on duty talked us out of the relatively safe but delicious choices, suggesting we simply had to experience the true southern Sardinian delicacies (some of which wasn’t even on the standard menu!). And so, the degustation began…..
For the table, we were served with a mixture of traditional southern Sardinian bread, including Pane Carasau, which in simple terms is basically a delicious hand-made flatbread.
For starters, we had the following dishes:
- Prosciutto with Indian figs (clearly, the Indian figs are grown in southern Sardinia, and might I add great a great addition to balance the prosciutto)
- Sardinian olives and artichokes (artichokes are generally not my favourite and this was no exception, however, bonus points for the olives)
- Shrimp tartare accompanied by Sardinian peaches (delicious, light and the peaches provided a distinct yet not overpowering flavour, my favourite starter)
- Botargo (Italian name for a delicacy of salted, cured fish roe, typically of the grey mullet) and sweet white grapes (which should be eaten at the same time to balance the otherwise bitter and salty fish roe)
For entree, we had the following dishes:
- Fregula soup with clams (Fregula is a type of pasta made in Sardinia which has a similar consistency as quinoa. The soup itself was exactly what you would hope for and the clams so fresh that you could place a bet that these were literally collected from the ocean a few minutes before being specifically cooked for your soup!)
- Lorighittas with cockerel, mint and vegetables (The best pasta I have had in Italy! Lorighittas is from a small Sardinian village called Morgongiori, hand-made and allegedly takes around 5-6 hours to intertwine the rings for a kilo of pasta! Clearly, the chef has a challenge set for him to ensure these are al dente and just perfect (imagine wasting 5-6 hours of someone’s time with an average chef!) and I let me assure you the chef on duty at the T Hotel that evening got it just right!)
For main, we had the following dishes:
- Amberjack roasted on laurel and cauliflower stew (Amberjack is a mild flavoured white fish and quite a specific flavour, whilst mild this wouldn’t be recommended for those who do not love fish, although luckily I quite enjoyed it!)
- Sardinian beef fillet sautéed in herb carasau breadcrumbs and sun-dried tomatoes with vegetable ratatouille (This was, in fact, one of the dishes we originally selected and without knowing what the Sardinian delicacies would actually include, we simply couldn’t risk having food envy of what may have been!)
For dessert, we had Seadas, a traditional Sardinian dessert which is a Pecorino cheese filled pastry! Enrico noted that depending on your preference, it could be eaten with either sweet or bitter honey, so without knowing what we preferred we simply had to cut it in half and try both! Being a bit of a sweet tooth we both preferred the sweet honey and found it was perfectly matched with the refreshing ice cream on the side.
The entire degustation was of course accompanied with matching wines, starting with southern Sardinian white wines and moving onto the more fuller bodied reds and ending on a dessert wine. Unfortunately, we were too busy enjoying the meal itself to specifically take note of the vineyard to list these here but I thoroughly enjoyed each glass! As quite typical in Italy, we also ended the meal with a Sardinian liqueur (Mirto) made from the Myrtle plant which Enrico mentioned most families grow at home and generally create their very own Mirto for consumption at home (so this is as Sardinian as you can get!). Generally the liqueur you end your evening on will be a form of digestive, however, according to Enrico, Mirto has no digestive benefits and is simply a nice way to finish the meal!
The meal was absolutely delicious and the service was even better. Enrico provided information about the dishes served, the area where the tradition was started and generally continues (most interesting being the Lorighittas hand-made pasta) and even typed up our menu for the evening so we could take it home with us to remember!
I have attached a copy of their standard menu (as at September 2015), but if you do have a spare few hours it is absolutely worth experiencing the degustation tasting menu!
Health and Fitness…
The hotel Spa and Wellness centre is available as an extra for hotel guests. The spa treatment (which you should book as there is a limit on the number of patrons at any given time to maximise the experience) can last for up to 90 minutes). The Spa brochure perfectly described the experience … “All five senses are awakened in the regenerating atmosphere: hearing through the harmonious background music; touch stimulated by the force of the six hydro massage jets of the Aqua Journey schedule; sight and smell through the aromatherapy and chromotherapy of the Emotional Showers (the toning menthol of the aromatic mist, the Maracuja essence of the marvellous cycle alternating hot and warm water, and shower max resembling a tropical storm). Beneath the colour prism of a starry sky, the steam bath with an essence of eucalyptus will guide you on a fragrant journey followed by the warmth of a hot herbal tea from the wide selection of green fruit teas and ayurvedic blends reminiscent of age-old flowers. Soft thick towels perfumed with the tranquillity blend fragrance complete this sensorial journey”.
Separate men’s and ladies shower and change rooms are available to use after your session. We found the check in process at the spa quick and easy and we could spend as long or as little time in there as we wanted to.
There is also a gym at the hotel which is filled with all of the necessary equipment and it never appeared to be overcrowded so perfect for the fitness fanatics or those of you whom may have recently read our tips on staying active and healthy while on holidays!
The foyer of the hotel is extremely spacious and includes a desk with optional excursions which are available for guests to book, as well as a bar area leading towards an outdoor feature pool with additional seating. When you order drinks at the bar, they bring over complimentary snacks which are a nice added touch!!
Good to know…
The hotel offers free parking for all guests. This is located on the opposite side of the street and includes both ample undercover parking as well as rooftop parking – we never struggled to find a park during our stay.
Check out was a very smooth process and the hotel offered to store our luggage for the day if required.
We stayed at another 4-star hotel in Arbartax, Sardinia during our holiday for a similar price. I can honestly say that the two hotels don’t even come close in standards and the T Hotel was by far the more superior hotel!
Above and beyond…
Francesca was a delight to liaise with throughout our stay at this hotel. There is so much that fits in the ‘above and beyond’ category … in a nutshell, the hotel, the room upgrade, complimentary spa treatment, dinner as well as the information on the hotel was so unexpected and something we will remember for a lifetime! It is also the nice touches such as being walked to our room upon check in and shown to the lift to the wellness centre.
The not so good…
It is difficult to fault this hotel. Everything ran exceptionally smoothly. However, if I were to pick on something it would only be that the spa was a little confusing! The jets within the Spa all serve a different purpose and if you do not use these correctly you’re unlikely to receive the benefits it intends. The most confusing jet would have to be the third one which was basically a ridiculously powerful jet that spurts up from the floor and creates a small … atomic bomb … shaped effect in that section of the Spa, having watched some of the other guests (none of whom might I add correctly used it) we ended up asking one of the Spa employees upon exiting and learned that you are meant to force yourself into the centre of the jet and stand there for a period to improve your blood circulation. We would have found it useful if we were either provided with a brief, but clear explanation of the various jets, or possibly a metal plaque (similar to what gym equipment have on them) with instructions or a diagram.
This hotel, without a doubt, is highly recommended for your stay in Cagliari, Sardinia. The hotel grounds, together with the staff and amenities are spot on. I only wish we had longer to spend at the hotel!
If you’re interested, we’ve attached a short video presentation from T Hotel.
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“Nobody can discover the world for somebody else. Only when we discover it for ourselves does it become common ground and a common bond and we cease to be alone.” – Wendell Berry