I’m Going To Sardinia Thanks To A Cheap Business Class Fare!

Overnight I posted about the incredible business class fare sale which oneworld and SkyTeam carriers are offering between the US and Europe. Roundtrip business class on both alliances is available starting at ~$1,100 roundtrip.

Cheap-Business-Class-Europe-2

It really is incredible how many business class fare sales we’ve seen lately, because at some point it transforms the way I view miles. When you can consistently book roundtrip business class between the US and Europe for under $1,500 (assuming you book at the right time), does the value of miles for business class redemptions go down? That’s especially true given that first class redemptions have largely been devalued, making business class mileage redemptions the sweet spot.

Initially I wasn’t going to take advantage of this offer, partly because I wasn’t all too excited about flying British Airways business class to Europe (it’s no secret how I feel about them). But then I realized that this trip could actually be about the destination rather than the journey.

British-Airways-Business-Class-777 - 3

When I asked Ford about going to Italy, he recalled that one of the favorite places he has ever stayed is Cala Di Volpe in Porto Cervo.

Porto where?

After doing some quick Googling I realized it was in Sardinia. While I’ve been to Sicily and many cities in mainland Italy, I’m not all that familiar with Sardinia, to be honest. It would require taking a separate flight from Rome on Meridiana.

Sardinia-Flights

The airline flies state of the art MD-80s between the two cities. 😉

Meridiana

But what’s fascinating is that the small town of Porto Cervo, with only 421 inhabitants, has four incredible looking Starwood Luxury Collection properties.

Porto-Cervo-Hotels-1 Porto-Cervo-Hotels-2

I’m a Starwood fanatic, but I had never heard of any of these properties, so naturally I was very intrigued.

Starwood-Hotel-Italy-1
Hotel Romazzino, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Costa Smeralda

Starwood-Hotel-Italy-2
Hotel Cala Di Volpe, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Costa Smeralda

Starwood-Hotel-Italy-3
Hotel Pitrizza, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Costa Smeralda

All of these hotels participate in Starwood’s Luxury Privileges program, and come with the best amenities I’ve seen for any property. Specifically at all four properties you get a $200 food & beverage credit per stay, regardless of whether your stay is one night or one week. That’s in addition to breakfast, room upgrades, etc.

Starwood-Luxury-Privileges-Rate

Bottom line

I’m a bit surprised I ended up booking this, given that I’m not a fan of British Airways business class. But sometimes you need a destination to motivate a trip, and when I saw how beautiful Sardinia looks, along with the great points earning & redemption opportunities there, I couldn’t say no.

I thought I was at least familiar with just about every Starwood Luxury Collection property, so I was shocked to see there are four on this island within a few miles of one another which I had never heard of.

Sure, I could have redeemed miles to get there as well, but it would have been a worse deal if you put any sort of value to the mileage currency. This trip will also finally get Ford Executive Platinum status with American, so I figure it’s a rather good trip with which to do that.

I also think I’ll enjoy BA business class more this time around. Now I have my expectations adjusted going in, and I recognize that I’d only ever fly this product on a super cheap paid fare. I’ll enjoy the product for the $1,100 I paid, rather than the $5,000+ some other poor suckers paid. 😉

Who else is taking advantage of this incredible fare sale? Has anyone been to Sardinia? 

Comments

  1. I’m excited for your trip, but please do not do a millionth review of British Airways. 😉 Enjoy Sardinia.

  2. Oh great…another how terrible BA is review from Ford and Yourself to look forward too.

    Please remember the $1,100 price tag and remember you get what you pay for.

  3. I booked YYZ-AMS-TXL on KLM in Business Class for $1200 for later this summer. It’s a great deal considering if I used Aeroplan to redeem miles and flying on AC/LH in J I’d be paying just under $700 in fuel surcharges and 110K miles!

  4. Enjoy! I disagree with the other posters and would love a review. I think it’s important to know what is a one-off experience and what is consistent. We all know what BA’s CW hard product is like but I sure am curious what service experience you’ll have!

  5. @lucky…Porto Cervo is one of the VIP hotspots in Europe. That’s the reason you see those Starwoods there. So be prepared for some heavy prices if you plan to dine out there etc:-D

  6. Could you stay one night in each hotel so you get the credits at each property? Would bring the cost way down and you could review all 4 properties in one trip! I’m aware that it’ll be annoying to hop around though

  7. I love Sardinia! I just got back yesterday. You will have a blast. We stayed for cheap on western coast (oristano) but also treated ourselves to an awesome Pullman resort near CAG.

  8. When are you going? I’m guessing not in the middle of July, the top time for the European Aristocrats who are the usual clientele for these properties, when the Cala di Volpe is quoting me a price of 1939 Euros per night, and that’s the non-refundable rate. Or does the Starwood Luxury Collection actually get you 82% off the rack rate? 😉

  9. Not sure when you are going, but In High season, they have mandatory full board. Very pricey.

    I loved the Cervo hotel in September )no full board). There is a town about 5 miles away with great, very reasonable food.

    I also loved the rest of the island.

  10. Lucky,

    We go almost every year (or at least every other year.)
    Please contact me and I will help you out with all sorts of ideas and tips

    I am also working on a blog just for Sardinia.

    J

  11. Hey Ben,

    I know this is completely out of left field, but I have a suggestion for a flight you should review-you should try the new EK MCO-DXB flight, I’m thinking about it, but I’m not sure if I like the 77L v the A380. I haven’t seen a single trip report for it yet, so you could be the first! Or you could try QR through MIA

  12. For anyone wanting to go to Sardinia without taking Meridiana or a low cost EU Airline and on One World.

    From LHR you can catch a BA flight to OLB
    or DUS there is a an Air Berlin to OLB
    (Possibly other German Cities as well)
    Then lastly Iberia does run a hopper between OLB and MAD

  13. How can I find travel agencies that are affiliated with the Starwood Luxury Privileges program?

  14. “But sometimes you need a destination to motivate a trip…”

    Don’t most people desire to travel places to actually see places…? I’m lost as to what would be the primary motivating factor.

  15. I was just there last week and visited all hotels, it is a beautiful island! I flew emirates jfk-milan and than easyjet. Better off with BA i think they codeshare with meridiana. Nothing like calla di volpe their lunch in amazing.

  16. Hi Ben,
    You won’t be disappointed by Sardinia. The flight from FCO to OLB is very short, less than 1 hour, be sure to take a window seat away from the wings (preferably on the right side of the plane) to enjoy the view when approaching Olbia. Depending on the route the airplane takes you get to see most of Sardinia’s northeastern coastline and the view is breathtaking.

  17. OMG. What are the odds. I am also going to Sardinia at the same time! That is crazy! 😛

  18. I’m flying to Cagliari (CAG) from Zurich on SWISS codeshare which is Edelweiss flight…it was very confusing purchasing the tickets to get the points.

  19. Hello Ben,
    Spent a week at Cala di Volpe and loved it and visited all four Starwood hotels and all are unique and lovely.
    Have spent the past several hours searching for the inexpensive business class airfares on Oneworld to a number of countries in Europe starting with Italy in July and August and came up with nothing close to the 1600.00 you mentioned. Was this a one day sale?

  20. @ Gorton De Mond — Unfortunately the fare is now over. 🙁 Happy you enjoyed your time in Porto Cervo! Did you have a second favorite property of Starwood there?

  21. Ben, second choice, because I found it so unique, was the Pitrizza. Hope you have a wonderful trip and would suggest you rent a car so you can drive around and enjoy the island.

    I had just seen your post re the inexpensive Oneworld Europe fare today and it has already ended. Any suggestions for a real time source of such Oneworld sales? Usually try to use my miles, and have lots of those on many carriers, but usually have to plan six to nine months or more in advance if I want First or Business.

  22. @Andre, actually, a fair number of people in this hobby start with a great deal on a desirable plane/airline in biz or F, as long as it’s going somewhere they might want to go. So far, my worst experience doing that was still a great trip. (Let’s just say that Lucky and I have very different views of Hong Kong. )

    For people who are extremely well traveled and/or picky about destinations, it might not work. But I’ve only seen about 20 or so countries, including no more than 50 no-U.S. cities, so I have MANY more places to visit. That doesn’t even include the many places I would love to visit again.

    One way of looking at it is: there are hundreds if not thousands of wonderful places to see. How does oe choose? I kmow–which oe has amazing flights for sale? Or, just as big a draw for me, where’s the most awesome hotel I can stay in for points?!

    I just returned from Paris, where I’ve been before. Why’d I go there, then? Because (a) DL had a biz class rt fare for 87000 miles, (b) I had a ton of IHG and Hyatt points and wanted to check out the Madeleine and Paris Grand hotels (loved the Hyatt, the IC, not so much), and (c) duh, it’s Paris in May. : )

  23. Where do you find great deals without having to put in a destination? I’m completely flexible, I’m not rich, I want to travel all the time. Where do I look?
    I’m new to this site, really enjoy it. A bit envious though… ; )

  24. Sardinia is great, have fun Ben! You definitely have to venture outside of the hotel- the wife and I had great fun as Sardinia isn’t a “museum city” where you get to see locked away dead horse heads in glass cabinets, but rather you can climb over and roam around Roman ruins etc. practically in isolation, if you stay off the beaten path. The food is exceptional too, of course. There’s lots of history, but if that’s not really your thing, the scenery is incredible too. Rent a car or something, ad check out TripAdvisor. Hope you have as much fun as we had, and do post about it, whether it be “10 photos of Sardinia” or something a bit more Tiffany style.

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