Welcome to Out of Office, Who What Wear UK's chic travel guide that provides you with the most stylish take on any destination by tapping creatives who know where to stay, what to eat and, importantly, which items to pack. This month, Rosana Lai, former fashion director of Tatler Asia, shares her tips for a romantic honeymoon in Sardinia, the picturesque Italian island in the Mediterranean sea.
Whether you're looking for a honeymoon destination or just the perfect holiday, Lai captured her hot spots for Who What Wear UK, documenting where to eat, stay and much more. Keep scrolling to read her Out of Office guide to Sardinia…
"After a busy week comprised of festivities in Naples, a boat trip to Capri with our bridal party, and then a whole wedding weekend in a private villa on the Amalfi Coast, my husband and I just wanted a place to lay on the beach and do nothing for our minimoon," says Rosana Lai. "Enter, Sardinia. Known for its crystal-clear waters and picturesque landscape, we spent an idyllic five days on this Italian island for our dream trip."
"Whilst there are many beautiful properties on Sardinia, many were up in the hills, and we wanted to stay somewhere where there were private beaches for us to lounge on. The 7 Pines Resort had officially opened just three days before we arrived, and has not one but three private little coves available to guests. It's a sprawling property, so you may not cross paths with anyone else, even when the resort is busy, offering the privacy you’d want on a minimoon. It has all the comforts you'd expect from a new hotel, like modern amenities, and any requests are just a WhatsApp message away."
"During the day, I wore bikinis from Moré Noir and Vanessa Sposi, and a cover-up by Charo Ruiz. I also loved wearing a two-piece ensemble by Agua Bendita for lounging at the resort's Cone Club. Then, I’d change into a vibrant dress for a dinner in town, paired with statement earrings and an evening bag by Themoire or Marina Raphael.
"My holiday essentials? I was never without my large Poolside tote, which was customised with a combination of mine and my husband's last names for the wedding; my Helen Kaminski hat, Linda Farrow and Hot Futures sunglasses, Sleepers flip-flops and Olivia von Halle pyjamas."
"The locals are incredibly friendly and proud of their island—as they should be—and Sardinia boasts a stunningly diverse landscape of unique rock formations, walls of bougainvillea and turquoise waters. But tucked in between the beauty spots are pink-washed villages like Porto Cervo, with carefully curated designer shops and bars nestled into the hillside. It’s a place for those who want a quiet, beachside escape, but also the ability to pop out for a nice dinner in the same day.
"If you’re visiting Sardinia and you don’t get seasick, you must do a boat trip to the pristine islands surrounding the mainland. The waters around La Maddalena are some of the clearest I’ve ever seen. I couldn’t stop saying 'wow' at every corner. Our skipper took us to private coves and beaches where we swam in water so shallow it looked like we were in a swimming pool. Pack a picnic and snorkelling gear—you won’t regret it."
"One night, we drove to Ristorante Delle Rose in the chic, hillside Hotel Delle Rose. With a view of some of the island’s tallest rocks, we dined on local Sardinian dishes next to the hotel’s serene pools. The service and food were both impeccable.
"On another occasion, we headed to Pacifico Rosemary, just a five-minute drive from bustling Porto Cervo. In addition to being very Instagrammable and the perfect spot to see the island’s blood-orange sunset, they served delicious fusion Peruvian dishes, including ceviche and a lobster pasta that is to die for.
"Seafood fregola is a very common dish you’ll see on menus. The one at Ristorante Delle Rose was excellent and made me question why I don’t make fregola more often! Seafood lovers will rejoice; octopus is also prevalent in the cuisine, expect to see it both in salads and as cooked mains.
"Whilst it was unfortunately closed during our visit, Ritual Club is a must-visit place for a sunset drink. It's a club and bar erected in the ruins of a temple. The club itself is ensconced in a cave with rotating DJs every week, and guests can sip martinis behind the ancient stone walls overlooking the sea."
My Final Thoughts, Highlights and Top Tips
"Unlike many seaside destinations that have been turned into party towns, Sardinia still feels quite untouched, with its sprawling, rugged landscape and intimate resort scene. Our day on the boat was definitely a highlight, and we immediately understood why the coast is called Costa Emeralda, or 'Emerald Coast'—the views are unmatched.
"For those looking for a little more flexibility around their travels, I’d suggest renting a car to be able to easily hop from one coastal village to another, or simply to try out all the restaurants sprinkled around.
"Although Porto Cervo is worth a quick visit (even just to buy a lovely souvenir from the likes of Esmeralda Boutique, where they stock exquisite Italian-made straw hats), it’s the smaller villages that are really worth exploring. We drove by San Pantaleo, which we’ll be sure to stop in on the next time we visit."