The elaborate continental breakfast buffet at Hotel Miramare (photo Sarah Ricks)

In the boutique

Hotel Miramare in Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy

experience what life in an 18th Century Italian palazzo must have been like. Well, at least upstairs – this hotel consists of the second and third floors of a converted palace. This gorgeously and eccentrically decorated mansion has lovely views of the marina and sea. The sumptuous breakfast buffet includes fresh fruit, local yogurt and cheeses, freshly baked pastries, and espresso brewed to order. Afternoon cookies are available in the breakfast nook or in the dining room/library, which has good wifi and a view of the sea.

 

What Works for Families

  • Beautifully decorated rooms will appeal to kids interested in trying life as a princess/prince.
  • While the free wifi in the room did not work well, the wifi worked in the lovely dining room/library.
  • Kids might enjoy the tiny, ancient elevator that only fits 3 people.

What Doesn’t Work for Families

  • This is a luxury boutique hotel with only 18 rooms and was converted from a private house, so hallways are narrow. Children are not free to make a lot of noise and there is no place to run or move quickly.
  • Luxuriously decorated rooms would be challenging for a toddler or younger than tweens, and may not interest kids.
  • The hotel is on the second and third floor of a converted 18th Century house. While there is an elevator, it is only accessible with a key and it is tiny.
  • Ring the doorbell on the street to give the front desk warning to send down a bellman help carry your bags. Otherwise, you will be faced with two flights of stone stairs to carry your own bag.
  • Only one crib or rollaway bed is allowed in standard rooms.
  • Two rollaway beds or cribs are allowed only in the top of the line room.

Room cost $$$ – includes wifi, elaborate continental breakfast, parking (November 2014)

The gorgeous view of the marina from our bedroom (photo Sarah Ricks)

 

The Details

We thoroughly enjoyed the luxurious Hotel Miramare. The Hotel is located on the 2d and 3rd floors of a converted mansion, on a central shopping street that faces the marina and the sea.

The location is perfect for exploring the Castello and Marina neighborhoods, where you will find restaurants, shops, and the main tourist attractions. The hotel is about a half-mile uphill walk away from the Cathedral, the archeology museum, and the lookout points of the Castello neighborhood. If your kids are up for it, this is an enjoyable walk through narrow stone streets and piazzas.

The city of Cagliari is an easy, 25-minute taxi ride from the airport. We walked everywhere in Cagliari and did not bother renting a car. While parking is included at the hotel, we did not even ask about it as the city is small and easily navigated by foot – if your kids are walkers. A bus to the Poetto Beach stops across the street and it is just about a 10-minute ride to that pretty beach, the main beach for city-dwellers.

The Hotel

Every room of the Hotel Miramare is unique. Nothing cookie-cutter about its lush decorated rooms, though the finer points of décor may be of no interest to your kids. No pool, no gym. The very helpful front desk staff speaks English. The other staff members are friendly but do not speak English.

The Rooms

Each room is unique. Ours was an explosion of luxe green walls, soaring ceilings, windows that opened to the marina and sea across the street. The bed was comfortable, with soft sheets. We never turned on the flat screen TV (we don’t speak Italian). The bathroom had good water pressure in the shower. No bathtub.

View from Hotel Miramare to the shopping street below, marina, sea and mountains (photo Sarah Ricks)

View from Hotel Miramare to the shopping street below, marina, sea and mountains (photo Sarah Ricks)

 

Amenities

Since this is a boutique hotel with only 18 rooms, there are not many amenities.

The sumptuous breakfast buffet means you and your kids can start the day with a large meal of fresh fruit, yogurt and cheese, sliced meats, fresh bread and pastries, enough food to keep all of you going until afternoon. Since it is a buffet, if the hotel is not crowded, you can get up earlier than your kids and linger over individually brewed espresso while they sleep, and still hang on to your table until your kids are ready to join you.

We enjoyed the robes in the room and the chocolates in the evening. Cookies and fruit are available in the large room that doubles as a library/breakfast room.

Dining

The hotel is located in the center of town, with plenty of restaurants within easy walking distance. Since Sardinians do not eat until later at night, you may want to rest or nap in the early evening, until restaurants open at 7 or 8 pm.

The hotel’s website: http://www.hotelmiramarecagliari.it/