I loved Porto Cervo. The wealth and presumably complete disregard for the cost of anything is amazing and a true site to behold. Would I live here? Perhaps if I could afford it but there are also other places in Sardegna that I would probably choose first. But, that said, you must go. It really is a stunning and enchanting place that everyone should visit at least once in their lives.
If you aren’t staying on a yacht, there are plenty of hotels in and around Porto Cervo. Le Ginestre Hotel (http://www.leginestrehotel.com/) is a lovely hotel laid out in various buildings within what I think is a gorgeous pine grove. The rooms are fantastic, and all come with a balcony or patio and, if possible, request a patio: there is nothing like being able to walk outside and relax with nature.
There really isn’t a lot to do in the Costa Smeralda unless you have a boat (really a yacht!). But if relaxation and people watching are your cup of tea, this is the place for you. And I must admit, I had a brilliant time people watching! Nestled against the port for million dollar yachts to doc is a recently built mall. But this is no ordinary mall and you won’t find a Gap or even a Macy’s-type store. No, this is where all the high-end designers and jewelers congregate because, who doesn’t need another pair of heals or trousers for their next port of call?!
If catching rays in what you hope to do here, the Le Ginestre Hotel has a great pool, as do all hotels in the Costa Smeralda, but what I loved is that, after a 15 minute stroll through the “forest,” the hotel has their own private beach. Few people wanted to walk “this far” so the beach was quiet, relaxing, and the perfect place to read and nap.
I read your comments with interest on Costa Rei, we feel the same and don’t want to get trapped in an all exclusive or half board. Would you choose Costa Rei over Pula, or have you not been to Pula. We are trying to find a good beach hotel for 6 nights and are torn over area which is best for beach and restaurants within walking distance of a b&B hotel! Can you help.
Sorry for the delayed reply: I was back in Italy (again) and just returned. I have not been to Pula and would love to hear your thoughts. I absolutely loved Costa Rei and really cannot wait to return. Happy travels!