Relais Abaton | Sardinia, Italy

A masterpiece of exclusive luxe travel, the Relais Abaton sits high on the hillside of Villasimius looking out towards the southernmost tip of Sardinia before it disappears into the Mediterranean.

The word Abaton comes from a classic Greek word meaning inaccessible and was used to describe a sacred place that was exclusively available to an elite group and as we shifted our rental Fiat 500 down into first gear and floored the gas to barely manage the ascent up the hillside on which the relais sits I knew the owner had chosen the right name for his luxury 3-bedroom B&B.

Every morning, the charismatic host and owner Aldo laid on a fantastic continental buffet style breakfast with help from his small staff on the upper terrace of the relais where we sat peacefully taking in the panoramic views of the island out towards the bay where pink flamingos flock to feed.

After breakfast, as we sipped a fresh cappuccino, Aldo asked us where we’d like to go and drew us maps by hand to guide us to the best local beaches, restaurants and places of interest, even making our reservations for us. He really is a fabulous host and has crafted an exclusive experience at Relais Abaton unlike anything else you’ll find on Sardinia. (Try the sheep’s cheese with a drizzle of honey!)

Each of the 3 luxury guestrooms is crafted from the finest materials and designed to exquisite detail. No expense has been spared on any of the fixtures of fittings and as you sit on a lounger in either your small terrace or garden, looking towards the hillside the almost perfectly reflected second hillside as the sun sets and periodic flashes from the working lighthouse opposite illuminate the relais, you’ll wish you could bottle this unique view and take it home with you.

We were lucky enough during our stay to be invited to a home-cooked dinner with Aldo at his stunning, glass-fronted private quarters atop the relais. The food was without a doubt the best we ate while we were in Sardinia (although it was a close call between this and some melt-in-the-mouth roast suckling porchetta at a local restaurant recommended by our host). The after-dinner nightcap of Aldo’s homemade liqueurs was the perfect sweet kiss goodnight to round off our perfect stay on this beautiful Italian island.

If you want a different and luxurious taste of Italy away from the mainland, you have to visit the Relais Abaton.