GONE: Le Meridien Chia Laguna, Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy [Master Thread]
Le Méridien Chia Laguna – Cagliari, Sardinia (7 nights)
Le Meridian Chia Laguna
My Wife and I arrived at the Le Meridian at about 12:30 because of the flight troubles in Milan. Our car was waiting for us to take us to the resort. The hotel is about 45 minutes from the airport and it was a great thing we got a car. The hotel arranged this for us and it cost 100 Euros. It was well worth it.
I had been talking with the manager of the property and his assistant over the prior three months. They were both extremely helpful and wanted to make sure my honeymoon turned out to be all that I wanted.
When we arrived at the hotel the manager was waiting up to greet us at 12:30am. This is an example of the great service that this hotel provides. The room rates include half board (breakfast & dinner) and because of our flight problems we missed dinner. We thought we would go to sleep hungry, but waiting in our room was a table filled with Italian cheeses, meats, and bread.
I can not convey how gracious the staff at the hotel was to me and my wife. I stayed in the hotel section of the resort. There are two sections, the hotel and bungalows (two level “condo looking” buildings both built into a hill and overlooking the ocean. There is a unit on the bottom floor and a separate unit on the top floor.
This resort is one of the best Starwood properties around. I have stayed at many nice places, but the Le Meridien Chia Laguna is one of the best!
Some favorite items of the hotel:
-Breakfast – The buffet had freshly made mozzarella balls, fresh procuitto di parma, freshly baked breads, eggs, sausage, and a huge table of fresh fruit.
-Dinner – Had more Italian meats and Cheeses, freshly made desserts, amazing pasta, shellfish, and fish.
-Friday is seafood night and they had caught a large swordfish and were cutting fresh swordfish steaks to order. (ie: whole swordfish was lying on the table next to the bar-b-que.)
-BEST GELATO!! – There is a Gelateria on site. The gelato maker has been making gelato for 60 years and only makes gelato for the resort now.
-Finally, Best service! The whole staff treats you like you are family and welcomes you into the resort.
Last edited by SanDiego1K; May 26, 08 at 2:03 am.
Reason: Copied from a trip report covering several hotels
My wife and I just returned from a 15 night stay in Italy, 2 of which were at the Chia Laguna and 3 at another Starwood property on Sardinia. Prior to departing I searched this board for reviews on this property and found only BusTravDave's report of his honeymoon at this property, and another in France.
We had booked our flight from FCO (Rome) to CAG (Cagliari) on Alitalia with AA, but when Alitalia pulled out of the FCO to CAG market, they moved us to Meridiana, an Italian Budget airline with whom AA did not have a ticketing agreement. This meant that I had to have my ticket rewritten, had AA refund the price of the FCO-CAG ticket and then booked the Meridiana flight as a standalone flight with Lufhansa, an airline that had a ticketing agreement with Meridiana. Upon arriving at CAG, we picked up our rental car just to the right in a trailer-like building outside the terminal, and then drove the 30 km south of CAG to the hotel.
When we arrived at the Le Meridien's Chia Laguna (pronounced Kia and not Chia as in Chia pet), we were greeted at the front desk by the desk clerk who told us the hotel staff was expecting us, and that they had a welcoming drink for us on the terrace just off the lobby, overlooking the property and the ocean. While enjoying our welcoming drink, the Front Office Manager, GianFranco came by to introduce himself, and to give us our room key and guide to the property. He told us we had been upgraded and then handed us our room key packet which had a preprinted sticky attached that said "Congratulations, you have been upgraded" We had booked a room in one of the bungalows, but like BusTravDave, we had been upgraded to a room (# 55) in the main hotel building located on the 3rd floor. This room was large and had a balcony that looked out onto the lagoon, and on to the sea. It appeared to be one of the largest rooms on the room chart of the rooms on our floor, and one that also had a superior view. No sooner than we settled in, a bottle of a Sardinian sparkling wine made from the Vermantino grape arrived along with a basket of fruit. As we neared the end of the bottle of wine, the hotel manager, Mirko Aru, called and asked if we were satisfied with the room, if there was anything he could do for us, as well as apologizing for being unable to greet us upon checkin because he was in the middle of another duty.
The rate we booked included dinner and breakfast, and while at dinner during the first evening, Mirko Aru came by to our table and introduced himself and mentioned that he had searched for my name on the web, and that he was aware of many of my accomplishment (now I never have had a hotel manager mention that he had searched on my name on the net and could recite some specifics about me). Dinner and breakfast were both buffets, and with the upgrade of our room came an upgrade to the dining room and the buffets just off the lobby rather than the buffets one floor below. One of the dishes we enjoyed was spagetti and clams that a chef and his assistant would make over a wood burning grill for those who wanted a specially made portion. We also agreed with BusTravDave's review of the food, as we found both buffets of high class with some difficult to make local dishes. Mirko spent considerable time with us during dinner on our second night, describing his career prior to coming to Chia Laguna (he worked for Hyatt in the Middle east), and saw his current job as an opportunity to make the Chia Laguna into a world class property similar or perhaps even surpassing the three outstanding Starwood properties on Sardinia's Costa Smerelda. To do this he had recruited a young, aggressive, goal driven staff who shared his vision to establish this resort over the next five years. Clearly, the staff worked hard to please, and offered personal service on par with the best of the Starwood's properties. They also mentioned that being a part of Starwood rather than going it alone as a Le Meridien would help them immensely meet their goals because of the committements they received.
The property is sprawling and appeals to families with small children who come on budget airlines from Britian, Germany, and Italy, usually renting cars and spending time at the beach. The resort sits on a hill, with perhaps 20 bungalows and a central hotel building, surrounded by many private cottages. Construction on the outskirts of this property abounds with additional cottages and bungalows being constructed. From our description of the web page, we assumed that the beach was nearby, but it is a 10-15 minute walk or small train-like vehicle ride across the road. The beach was sandy and perhaps as long as a NY City block: it was unlike many of the rocky beaches we saw as we toured Sardinia. While we were there, we estimated that there were as many as 400 guests at the hotel on each of the two nights.
There are no major historical tourist sites close to the hotel, but Cagliari, just 30 kms north is an interesting city with a number of sites. Although Cagliari has many old buildings as does any major city in Italy, the south of Sardiania where the Chia Laguna is located is surrounded by all new developments.
When I booked, I booked a single night, but then added a second night as a second reservation. I pointed this out to the hotel staff when I checked in, and they acknowledged this second stand-alone reservation. However, on the second afternoon after returning to our room, a second bottle of sparkling Vermentino and some other local tidbits arrived earlier for our enjoyment. We initially suspected that this was an error, but based on how hard management worked to make Platinums happy, we were unsure, and were too embarassed to send this gift back.
Overall, we rated this property high with the staff, the setting, the new construction, the food, the rooms, and the beach being the major strengths of this property. For those who insist on recognition of one's Platinum status, it appeared to us that this hotel did a better job than any other hotel we had stayed at.
It depends on what you want to do on your vacation. This hotel is luxurious and there are a lot of activites on property. Boating, beach, ATV rides, new scuba center, driving range, pitch & put, and tennis.
Not anymore. I don't recall any advance notice of this one, so I guess that it happened rather suddenly.
"Le Méridien Chia Laguna will be leaving the Starwood system on December 19, 2008. Reservations for dates on or after December 19, 2008, will not be eligible for Starwood Preferred Guest membership benefits, award redemption or accrual."