Spontaneous holidays are, by nature, set up to be marvellous. With five days off I wanted to run towards guaranteed sunshine and crystal clear waters.
But just five days is an awkward amount of time, it's not really long enough to warrant the 8 hour flight to Barbados and I didn't want to lose a day either side of my holiday. In order to maximise my time in the sunshine I had to find somewhere nearby.
Proximity to the UK and guaranteed sunshine don't really go hand in hand...unless of course you've discovered Sardinia!
Far enough south to guarantee beautiful weather yet just a 2hr 20min flight from London, Sardinia was logistically perfect.
I've been before - shooting for Kinder Bueno. I saw the landing, my taxi ride to my hotel and the inside of a studio for three days. Nothing more. So I was keen to return.
The 'guaranteed sunshine' hit me the second I arrived and didn't waver throughout. The heat is exactly what I wanted and the island was more beautiful than I expected. I took my family to Chia Laguna, a large private resort that hosts three main hotels and private villas by the coast. A short walk to the beach or a lazy child friendly train trip and you're breath taken by crystal clear waters. The train leaves every 15mins and they don't mind you being soaking wet carrying an immense inflatable crocodile or covered in sand. Here in Sardinia they're pretty laid back like that.
Views from the top of the resort give you a good idea about the sheer size, there's something for everyone. Yet not once did I feel like I was in a large resort. My stay felt personalised and every villa well hidden. Unless you join in the children's entertainment, where hundreds of children appear from seemingly nowhere, you can easily feel like you're entirely alone. Which I loved!
One local described Chia Laguna as a luxury Center Parks for Italian's, and I think she got it spot on.
We chose to stay in Hotel Baia, the hotel's white theme suited my minimalistic taste and craving for a peaceful break. Natural fresh water pools and vast amount of open green space gave me exactly the peacefulness I craved and despite being at 80% capacity the pool was almost always entirely ours.
A petite pool side bar serving hand made fruit smoothies and dairy free ice cream kept the vegan in me beyond contented. I blame Hotel Baia for us not seeing much of the touristic side of Sardinia. We were so happy with the resort and private beach we hardly left it's vast borders.
Apart from a spattering of Italian holiday makers we were joined by some surprise guests. Flamingos!
The gorgeous pink birds make their home in the Laguna that gives Chia Laguna its name and we pass them every morning walking down to the beach.
Apart from failed flamingo photos nothing else fails us here. The resort had an incredible customer services team to were speedily on hand with any small query and the beach bar hosting an endless supply of freshly sliced fruit made it the perfect last minute spontaneous getaway.