This castellated, 19thC folly lords it over its own bare, rocky promontory, and it stands aloof from the blocks of flats that otherwise characterize this unattractive part of modern Alghero. The interior all marble floors and ornate chandeliers is as grand as you might expect of somewhere that was a holiday retreat for Italian royalty until the 1940s. Yet the unstuffy and businesslike staff ensure it is not intimidatingly formal. Antiques abound, including in the luxurious bedrooms, which feature brass or sleigh beds and grand canopies, along with swanky marble bathrooms. Those billed as having garden views in reality overlook Alghero's apartment blocks. You pay extra to open the shutters on a view across the bay to the awesome cliff of Capo Caccia; priciest sea-facing rooms come with balconies. Rooms were revamped in 2000. There are no beaches in this part of Alghero, but the hotel has a pool, and many guests swim off the rocks and from an old dockyard. When we inspected, breakfast was dire. For food, you may be better off making the five-minute stroll along the seaside promenade into the magical backstreets of old Alghero, where you'll find a wide choice of restaurants. Bicycles are provided free.