After the long bus journey from Baunei to San Teodoro, I was more than ready for checking in and chilling out in my room at Hotel Bonsai. Just five minutes from the bus stations, five minutes from the historical centre of San Teodoro and only a 15-minute walk to the beach, Hotel Bonsai turned out to be the perfect place to stay for the night to make the most of the town.
Like all of my accommodation in the north of the island, they seemed surprised to have me stay. The guy on reception eyed me curiously (the backpack tends to throw them off a bit too) and looked confused when I asked about travelling further north in the morning. November doesn’t see much tourist activity and what with me being solo, I put the slightly awkward welcome down to me just being an anomaly as far as the staff were concerned.
The man on reception checked me in and kindly grabbed my backpack, showing me to my room on the second floor. The hotel is rated as four stars, which might be a little of an over exaggeration but it was clean and I was getting the room at a bargain November rate so I certainly wasn’t complaining. My room was basic, with retro wooden furniture and a big double bed. I had a small balcony, which after battling with the stiff lock, I managed to get out onto to catch the end of the sunset. The room also had a minibar, with probably the cheapest rate card I’ve ever seen!
The bathroom was big and clean, with the usual free travel minis (always handy to grab a couple of those for onward travel!) and lots of fresh towels. I freshened up and grabbed my bag to go and check out the rest of the hotel. The lobby sitting area seemed more modern than the rest of the place, with a little homely feeling bar next door. Apart from a woman on the bar, there was no one else around and I wasn’t keen on just sitting in for the night.
I went out to explore San Teodoro for a couple of hours (you can read about it in the San Teodoro post coming soon) but came back fairly early. I was leaving the next day for Olbia on a bus at 11 am and I wanted to have enough time in the morning to walk to the beach of La Cinta and see if I could spot the famous pink flamingos on the lagoon.
I slept really well – it turned out that the old vintage bed was incredibly comfortable! I headed downstairs for some breakfast, where two local elderly men were sitting having coffee. They promptly moved when I came in, and refused to sit back down at the breakfast tables even when I tried in broken Italian to say please don’t move on my account!
The barmaid brought me juice and said to help myself to the breakfast buffet. It definitely wasn’t the best breakfast I’ve ever had…nothing was particularly fresh looking. They’d laid out meats and loaves of bread, which looked a bit stale and the pastries were burnt. I had a couple of bits of fruit and a yoghurt and then left for La Cinta.
After my morning of exploring, I came back to pack up but I wanted to see if I could use the Turkish Bath or pool at the hotel before leaving – the two things that had made Hotel Bonsai so appealing when I was booking online. The woman on reception explained that the pool had been drained for the winter (which I’d half expected) and that the Turkish Bath was out of use. I was a bit disappointed but it seems that after September, the hotels don’t expect to see any tourists – which makes it the perfect time for them to do renovation work.
I settled up at the front desk and headed upstairs for my rucksack, taking a slight detour to the rooftop terrace. I sneaked up the stairs (I wasn’t sure if I was allowed up there as it looked like a construction site too!) and discovered the most beautiful view of the rooftops of San Teodoro, with the town’s little church steeple shining in the morning sun.
Hotel Bonsai is probably a different place entirely in the summer – I can just imagine eating breakfast on the rooftop terrace – but in November, like the town of San Teodoro, it feels more like an empty, work in progress type of place.
Hotel Bonsai Details:
There are regular buses to and from Olbia from San Teodoro, where the main airport is, but services to other areas, especially on Sundays (and out of season) are less reliable.
- The WiFi was good – in both the lobby and my room
- Free toiletries, a hairdryer and plenty of towels
- The bed was really comfortable
- The breakfast buffet wasn’t the freshest
- The Turkish Bath was closed