Porto Cervo was built in the 1960s by Prince Karim Aga Khan as a retreat for the rich and continues to draw an international crowd of jet setters for its seductive promise of secluded luxury and bountiful yachting facilities, including the prestigious Yacht Club Costa Smeralda. The man-made glamour glides the magnificent natural beauty of Sardinia and glittering aquamarine waters to create a calm, laid-back resort that’s charmingly Italian. With a population of only 200, Porto Cervo’s facilities are more limited than some of the more sprawling, flashy equivalents on the Italian Riviera, but here everything is five-star quality, fine dining and elegant.
Where to Stay
Located amidst the raw landscape of Sardinia, the Hotel Pitrizza follows a contemporary style of design with spacious grass-roofed rooms that blend seamlessly into the landscape. It’s here you can choose from an elegant collection of suites and villages – each decorated in traditional decor native to the Italian island. Designed to bring out the very best in Sardinia’s natural bounty and its leisurely lifestyle, the long list of amenities includes a private beach, world-class restaurants and a stunning saltwater pool that’s sculpted from the island’s granite. While refined intimacy and privacy are guaranteed here, the hotel also offers a number of thrilling activities, such as island hopping and golf excursions.
Where to Dine
If you’re looking for Porto Cervo’s top dining experiences, look no further than the offerings at the storied Hotel Cala di Volpe. Pressed against a sparkling backdrop of Mediterranean beauty, the hotel channels the enduring energy into a number of vibrant gastronomic creations. La Fattoria is the resort’s approach to a Sardinian countryside experience with its exceptional farm-to-table menu within the Vegetable Garden. Head to the iconic poolside Barbecue Restaurant for those long, lingering meals with great company. With picturesque views of the emerald-colored bay, the creations put forth by Executive Chef Maurizio Locatelli and his skilled team offers a delicious opportunity to enjoy traditional Mediterranean fare prepared with the freshest local ingredients.
What to Do
In order to experience the very best that Porto Cervo has to offer, take up residence in the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, the natural habitat of film stars and celebrities and founded by Aga Khan in 1967. Make use of the private pool in between the prestigious regattas that run throughout the summer. The club’s restaurant, Aqua Lounge, caters to those who want to see and be seen, with ceiling to floor windows framing the vast yachts outside and a buzzy atmosphere in the evenings when the boating crew round off their day with a cocktail or two. With translucent seas, days of endless sunshine and the best-equipped port on the Mediterranean, Porto Cervo is the closest you’ll come to a yachter’s paradise.
During the daytime, wander around the designer shops and jewelers before making your way to the Blu Mediterraneo Spa. The members-only club is one of the resort’s hottest attractions as one of the two spas in the world that uses exclusively Acqua di Parma’s products. Post-treatment, feeling refreshed and fragrant, you can join the likes of George Clooney, Julia Roberts and Jay Z on the terrace for an ice-cold limoncello. Or there’s Pevero Golf Course, stretching nearly 4 miles between the Gulf of Pevero and Cala di Volpe, with some of Europe’s most beautiful fairways and very smart clubhouse.