Review: Dining At Hotel Cala Di Volpe

Introduction
Review: St. Regis San Francisco
Review: British Airways Lounge San Francisco Airport
Review: British Airways Club World 777 San Francisco To London
Review: St. Regis Rome
Review: Hotel Cala Di Volpe Porto Cervo
Review: Dining At Hotel Cala Di Volpe
Review: Hotel Romazzino Porto Cervo
Review: Dining At Hotel Romazzino
Review: Hilton Rome Airport
Review: British Airways Lounge Rome Airport
Review: British Airways Club World A380 London To San Francisco


As I explained in the previous post, we booked a half board rate at Cala Di Volpe. That meant breakfast was included, and then either the choice of lunch or dinner. Food at Cala Di Volpe was out-of-this-world, so I feel like it’s only fair to devote a separate post to it.

Breakfast and lunch were served at the poolside restaurant, which was outdoors though covered, so could be enjoyed regardless of the weather. We ended up having breakfast here every morning, and then had lunch on three of the four days. Only on the last night did we choose to have dinner as part of our half board rate.

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Cala Di Volpe breakfast restaurant

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Cala Di Volpe restaurant view

The breakfast buffet was great, and I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking there.

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Cala Di Volpe breakfast buffet

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Cala Di Volpe breakfast buffet

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Cala Di Volpe breakfast buffet

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Cala Di Volpe breakfast buffet

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Cala Di Volpe breakfast buffet

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Cala Di Volpe breakfast buffet

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Cala Di Volpe breakfast buffet

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Cala Di Volpe breakfast buffet

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Cala Di Volpe breakfast buffet

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Cala Di Volpe breakfast buffet

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Cala Di Volpe breakfast buffet

In addition to the buffet itself, you could have the chef prepare you eggs however you like.

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Cala Di Volpe breakfast

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Cala Di Volpe breakfast omelet

So the breakfast was great, and I especially loved how fresh everything was. I also love that they had sliced avocado on offer, as avocado should be a food group in and of itself, in my opinion.

The lunch buffet at the hotel, however, was possibly the most insane thing I’ve ever seen. In theory it retails for 200EUR per person, though during our stay they had a promotion where it was 50% off for hotel guests. I couldn’t figure out if that was just being offered because it’s off season, or if that’s always the promotional price for in-house guests. A lot of people come to the hotel from their yachts for lunch, so perhaps the 200EUR price is just intended for them, and the price is always 100EUR for in-house guests.

The lunch menu read as follows:

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The buffet was over the top, though that was only the start.

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Cala Di Volpe lunch buffet

First lets start with pictures. While I think all the food looks great, it tasted even better.

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Cala Di Volpe lunch buffet

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Cala Di Volpe lunch buffet

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Cala Di Volpe lunch buffet

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Cala Di Volpe lunch buffet

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Cala Di Volpe lunch buffet

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Cala Di Volpe lunch buffet

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Cala Di Volpe lunch buffet

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Cala Di Volpe lunch buffet

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Cala Di Volpe lunch buffet

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Cala Di Volpe lunch buffet

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Cala Di Volpe lunch buffet

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Cala Di Volpe lunch buffet

There was also a decadent dessert buffet, and then even a gelato stand.

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Cala Di Volpe lunch buffet

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Cala Di Volpe lunch buffet

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Cala Di Volpe lunch buffet

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Cala Di Volpe lunch buffet

Well, the buffet you see above was only the start. On top of that you could literally order anything you could possibly want, from any type of fish, to scallops, to steak, to chicken, to whatever.

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Cala Di Volpe lunch made to order items

So in general I’d only take a few things from the buffet.

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Cala Di Volpe lunch selection

Then I’d have some fish, which they prepared tableside. You pick out the entire fish from the buffet, and then they prepare it to your specifications (I asked for olive oil and capers).

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Cala Di Volpe lunch selection

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Cala Di Volpe lunch selection

Of course there was also salmon…

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Cala Di Volpe lunch salmon

And steak…

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Cala Di Volpe lunch steak & fries

And scallops…

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Cala Di Volpe lunch scallops

Oh, did I mention there were pizzas as well? It’s ridiculous the degree to which they pushed food on people. When we were basically done with our meal they’d come up to us and say “you must also have a truffle pizza.”

Who the heck orders a pizza as an afterthought?

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Cala Di Volpe lunch truffle pizza

But the lunch was oh-so-delicious, even if I left feeling slightly sick every day.

The last night we decided to have dinner in the restaurant, which was located off the lobby. The restaurant was also beautiful, though it’s dark and candlelit, so it has a different vibe than the poolside lunch barbecue.

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Cala Di Volpe dinner restaurant

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Cala Di Volpe dinner restaurant

There was also outdoor seating, though the last day the weather was sort of nasty, so we ate inside.

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Cala Di Volpe dinner restaurant outdoor seating

I thought the lunch was over the top. Well, the dinner was even more ridiculous. The menu read as follows:

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Unlike the lunch, the dinner was a la carte, though as an appetizer you could also choose to just have food from the buffet. Given how good the buffet looked, that’s what we had to start.

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Cala Di Volpe dinner appetizer buffet

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Cala Di Volpe dinner appetizer buffet

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Cala Di Volpe dinner appetizer buffet

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Cala Di Volpe dinner appetizer buffet

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Cala Di Volpe dinner appetizer buffet

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Cala Di Volpe dinner appetizer buffet

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Cala Di Volpe dinner appetizer buffet

You could also order dessert a la carte, or there was a dessert buffet.

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Cala Di Volpe dinner dessert buffet

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Cala Di Volpe dinner dessert buffet

So for the starter I got some stuff off the buffet, including avocado, tomato & mozzarella, and sushi.

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Cala Di Volpe dinner appetizer plate

Then the first course consisted of pasta. Ford and I ordered different types of pasta, though when they came to plate it tableside, they asked if we both wanted a little of each. The pasta was incredible, as you’d expect.

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Cala Di Volpe dinner pasta course

For the main course I had the sea bass, which was once again great.

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Cala Di Volpe dinner sea bass

Ford had the beef fillet.

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Cala Di Volpe dinner beef fillet

For dessert we ordered the souffle and raspberry mousse, both of which were delicious.

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Cala Di Volpe dinner dessert

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Cala Di Volpe dinner dessert

While the two main restaurants exclusively had the over the top menus, you could also order something lighter in the lobby bar, which had both indoor and outdoor seating.

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Cala Di Volpe bar

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Cala Di Volpe casual dining

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Cala Di Volpe casual dining

The snack menu read as follows:

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And the drink list read as follows:

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Between breakfast and lunch we were typically completely full, and couldn’t even think about having anything for dinner. However, the cocktails in the bar area were good, and at least with the steep price tag they had good bar snacks to go along with them. 😉

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Cala Di Volpe cocktails

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Cala Di Volpe appetizers

One day we had breakfast and lunch especially early, so ended up having some pasta for dinner. While expensive, it was excellent.

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Cala Di Volpe pasta

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Cala Di Volpe pasta

Cala Di Volpe dining bottom line

Ultimately pricing at Cala Di Volpe is sort of ridiculous. 200EUR just isn’t a price for a lunch buffet in the real world. 100EUR is still crazy, but not quite as ridiculous.

That being said, this was probably one of the highest quality buffet setups I’ve seen in my life. Not only was the buffet itself great, but the fact that  you could literally order anything else you wanted really set it apart. We’re not just talking about mediocre food here, but the freshest fish imaginable, truffle pizza that’s among the best I’ve ever had, etc.

So yeah, while not cheap, at least the food is as high quality as it gets…

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Comments

  1. Call me crazy but 100 euros actually seems like a very fair price considering they had what looks like langoustines on offer. And that truffle pizza alone would be ~$30 USD in LA.

    Surprisingly, their champagne prices are also quite reasonable.

  2. Can’t figure out how you aren’t like 500 lb. You sit on airplanes just about 24/7. Eat like this. I just looked those photos and I gained 10lb

  3. Would citi prestige concierge give the 4th night free at this resort with this half board rate)? Wonderful review. Mouthwatering!

  4. @Francisco – If the hotel offers a room only rate, then no they will not offer 4th night free on the half board rate from my experience.

  5. That lunch buffet is worth 100 euro. I’m not saying I would or could do that every day on vacation, but I would do it once on the trip. Everything looks to be of very good quality. Even the crust on the pizza looks right, and a typical tourist trap would botch the pizza, even in Italy. That breakfast looks incredible – I barely even eat breakfast, but I’d have a good time with that.

    The only criticism I’ll offer (of the restaurant, not of Ben) is that other than some nice looking seafood, there didn’t seem to be too much traditional Sardinian food on offer. That’s a shame given the location and apparent food costs that management is willing to shoulder, as it’s some of the most under-exposed food of all of the great things you find to eat in Southern Europe. The menus read more like what foreigners expect to eat in Italy (and as an Italian, I might suggest any time I see a Russian or German print menu, I can expect this), ignoring the regional nature of Italian food (or to state it another way, there isn’t a such thing as Italian food). I’m not ragging on Russians or Germans, it’s just how some tourist restaurants market toward those demographics.

    That said, they took that and did something very high quality with it and I would totally eat all of it. The lunch price I thought was fair for what they were doing.

  6. I would bet that if that same buffet was $35 you would have found it mediocre. But still 100eur is wayy to much. I have eaten at better buffets in Abu Dhabi for like a quarter of that cost, no joke

  7. It really looks delicious, but if the ingredients are really high quality (as in, you didn’t perceive them to be really good because of the price tag), the 100 euro doesn’t seem that crazy for a buffet AND made to order food. 200 definitely is too much though.
    However, and slightly unrelated, I have to concur with another comment above: how do you stay fit, given that you don’t look particularly out of shape but you spend most of your life sitting in planes or at desks writing reviews, and gobbling outrageous amounts of (not super healthy) food ? This is a real question, I am wondering if you have a routine to keep it under control, or if you work out at the hotel gyms, etc… because for me if I travel even 2 weeks I WILL get back with extra pounds for sure :).

  8. This is quite nitpicky, but I feel the plating is a bit lousy, especially with the steak and fries. Looks a little too golden corral.

  9. @lucky did either breakfast lunch or dinner include alcohol?

    1. I must say breakfast was disappointing the only hot item was eggs? No sausages, no bacon… meh from your past posts and my own experience some hotels in asia have better breakfast than that.

    2. Lunch is a diff story…because you have those made to order dishes that is basically one whole fish.. a whole fish that size..I cant really see but at a place to this sort would probably run you more than 50 Euros… steak would be about the same… I think they assume everyone would have the steak and fish so it is priced accordingly. Whether this makes sense or is just maliciously expensive is if they include alcohol.

    3. What about dinner is it also buffet style in the sense that you get a whole fish to share amongst you and you can have multiple orders or everything or you get to pick one each?

  10. Looks good, yet again any good trattoria is Porto Cervo can cook that for 1/3 the price you paid – but I recognize the challenges of travelin to a place you are not familiar with.

  11. Looks like a standard five star hotel buffet in Asia – which you could easily get from about 50€ ( and often for less than that with credit card offers… )

  12. Seems interesting that the lunch menu was in English and Russian, while the dinner menu was in English and German.

    Perhaps lunches draw more Russian guests, whilst the dinners appeal more to German guests?

    Curious…

  13. Good spread but hardly “over the top”. Plenty of places in Europe where you can get a better feast for far less. You need to get out of the big chain hotels more. There’s a lot the world has to offer that you seem to be missing out on.

  14. That is the kind of price these private island resort charge in the Tuamotu Atolls of French Polynesia , as everything is imported, and of far worse quality. On a different note, I think what Cala di Volpe is charging is way overpriced even by Italian standard, I would expect that price tag in Cannes or St Tropez or Capri, but not Sardinia. We got back from visited 3 different Greek islands two weeks ago and the food quality & buffet selection were all excellent for the half board plan which also includes local wines. They were a lot better than what I see in these pictures.

  15. For such a fancy pants resort they do seem to have what appears to be cheap tiling, in both the public areas, as well as the guest room. Maybe they dont photo well.

  16. A high-quality tourist trap is always better than a low-quality one, but it’s still a tourist trap.

    I wonder how many people eating there were Italians…

  17. Expensive but they at least go to the effort of a very comprehensively provisioned buffet offering, and the same at dinner it would appear. Have to laugh at comments about much cheaper options at the same quality being available in Asia – absolutely true, but not of much use when you are in Sardinia of an evening.

    What I think is fair is the point that potentially more interesting dining experiences are likely to have been available outside of the resort, but I know you have already stated you didn’t hire a car and sometimes there is a pleasure of just running with what a hotel offers, costs be damned!

    And I think this is a good overall Trip Report by the way, even if the hotels are at a price point that many/most blog readers would not be willing or able to pay (and equally there may well be a sizable minority in the readership that do travel like this).

  18. The setting, the occasion, the company (maybe even the high price tag?) will make it seem tastier and more special than it really is.
    Frankly I believe my Intercon breakfast today was just as good: but hardly memorable because there was nothing special about the day.

  19. I spied the jar of Nutella in one of the pictures, I’d have wanted to grab that and a spoon and be left alone for a while…………

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