What People are saying
Unwind in a Bucolic Arcadia
Rog2006 on 31/10/2016 00:18
(I would have given Mandra Edera four and a half stars if it were an option).
This is a family-run establishment, somewhat quirky, and all the better for it!
Most of the guests stay in small lodges around the grounds, although I think that there may also be rooms upstairs in the main building. Our clean and attractive lodge was ideal for a family of four, with a generous sized double bedroom for my wife and me and two single beds for my daughters in what could also have been a living area. The bathroom was large and contained an efficient shower and plenty of clean towels replenished each day. One of my few complaints, however, was that the beds were a little too hard (although I appreciated this is a matter of personal taste) and the pillows in need of replacement.
My family are riders of varying expertise, but we are all enthusiastic amateurs and we rode each day: either in the arena or on a two hour hack into the lovely countryside through the warren of little lanes which surround the hotel. This was a particular delight which I would strongly recommend. There is a wide selection of horses, including ponies for young children. We were taught by the patient and charming Stephano, who is adept at entertaining young and old guests with horseback acrobatics. Some of the horses wander the grounds when they are not being ridden, which adds to the charm of the establishment.
The food is hearty, rustic and genuine. The breakfast is not all that exciting. If you want lunch, you notify reception in the morning - there is a decent choice including tasty salads and pasta dishes. The dinner takes place in the dining room where you can watch Mario, the chef, prepare the food as you eat. There is no choice, but the quality is good and the waiting staff friendly and chatty. Excellent local wines and a powerful spirit called mertilo, which is a regional speciality.
There is an unheated pool in the grounds with a large heated indoor jacuzzi section. Although the pool itself remained open in late October, in reality it was too cold to swim in. The jacuzzi was bearable, however, and my daughters spend much of an afternoon splashing in and out. But on the second day the jacuzzi contained numerous dead insects, and no-one knew how to get them out, so swimming had to be cancelled.
We visited Sinis, which is wild and fascinating, and also Santu Antine, which is astonishing. If you are interested in the history, though, I would strongly recommend taking a hour to investigate the nuraghic tower which is five minutes down the lane from Mandra Edera and just visible from part of the hotel grounds. While Sardinia has more impressive examples, I found this one intriguing because of its picturesque abandonment. Look for hidden tunnels and bring a torch!
Equestrian paradise in a delightful setting with a wonderful food
Chantel_Devillard on 09/08/2016 18:16
We booked an equestrian day for our daughter at Mandra Edera along with an evening meal. Our daughter thoroughly enjoyed her two hour excursion with other experienced riders and the instructor. We sat by the pool and relaxed. Although the pool is a little small, it was very nicely kept and just right for cooling off. It was great to see horses peacefully and carelessly wondering in the grounds. We sort of expected some supervision as there were some quite young children about.
We had the standard menu which was made up of four separate courses. The starter was typical sardinian cream cheese which was delicious. The first course of culurgiones (typical sardinian pasta parcels with ricotta and spinach / mint filling) was exquisite. The main was "maialetto". It was out of this world with the crispy crackling done just right. The desert was a mirto based mousse and i still have dreams of it. The mirto digestive was the final part of the meal. It was all washed down with a bottle of cannonau (sardinia wine).
Best meal in sardinia ever all at a measly 25 euros. It has got to be a mecca for all good food lovers and horse lovers ...
I cannot recommend it enough! If you are in the area you would be strongly advised to go for an evening meal there! It is in my next year's hit list as one of the places to spend a week or so in.
Ideallic location, charming hotel excellent for riding, walking and relaxing
Sam M on 16/07/2016 11:18
Tame golden horses wander freely across the green and flowered lawn that is at the centre of this small country estate. You are welcomed by an absence of urban noises and the peacefulness is only broken by the odd owl at night. Here you are part of the family who share the same restaurant area as the rest of guests. The food served is very filling built around local cuisine and food grown onsite resulting in delicious plates of tiny pasta, or bruschetta followed by large plates of fish or lamb and ice cream on request. Always accompanied by the paper thin bread I now know is called music paper due to its crispness, I'd recommend the local wine with a white crisp and delicately floral flavour option or a very unusual rose that was only shade away from a red without losing the chill fruitiness most rose drinkers anticipate. Breakfast is a buffet affair and early riders are awarded by bread straight from the oven both French batons and croissants. Cakes are plenty as well as fruit, cereal and the most largest piece of cheese I've ever seen that you carve out slivers of - just delicious. Lunch is optional but having had it once I had to have it again as its made to suit and I had a large fresh cooling salad some of which was pulled straight from the garden. I had the upgraded bungalow room which offered a large living room and dining area along with fridge. Shower room was large and shower perfect and cleaning gels provided. The bed was huge and the place was extremely clean with plenty of towels so there was no problem using the ice cold swimming pool. For those use to colder weather, the concept of an ice cold swimming pool is quite frankly strange. After a cool morning and temperate evening the day peaks in heat in the afternoon and if you are not going to siesta, then whilst it might make your eyes water for the first 5 seconds, a swim in an ice cold pool will reduce your body heat for a good few hours. Once in, its really enjoyable and the flowers that drop from the surrounding trees along with the odd thirsty horse confirming the freshness of the water only adds to the charm. The water is constantly filtered and a pretty waterfall feature constantly runs gently at the far end. If warmer water is preferred there is a huge slightly industrial Jacuzzi that whilst will fit easily a group of 10 was normally empty. Riding is fantastic - the horses are very relaxed and whilst the odd local sheep dog (which are generally handbag size) might make one side step a bit quickly, there's no flighty runners in this friendly bunch and the instructors ensure the order of the group best fits the horses personalities to ensure the most comfort. The saddle is English and there's a mix of standard bridles and endurance bridles which if like me you are new too are a strong plastic with easy clasps so the horse can be quickly led over any terrain. This is because your riding guides are likely to be champion endurance riders with the lady who covers the beach rides actually representing Italy and France for the Olympics for riding along with being a full time equestrian vet. If you are now worried about galloping off at speed over the mountains, don't be. This lady will ensure that you ride at your speed but she will take some amazing photos of you at the beach whilst her horse performs some spectacular dressage moved in the waves. Stefano the local instructor onsite is also competition standard and his father is a full time vet. It does not stop his father helping out at the estate and its really cute to see the two of them have fun on the tractor hauling straw bails about. The lessons you can opt to take are excellent. As an adult learning I finally managed to pick up a consistent canter without tensing up due to Stefano's calm and experienced observations. Out on the hack, he has a great sense of humour and the local trails take you past vineyards, cork trees, historical ruins and a wide range of stunning vegetation. Gentle ringing of bells sound out the local sheep, goats and cows in the area and most locals will stop and say high to Stefano. However for the most part you are on tracks with small stone walls either side that are completely absent of anyone else overlooking a countryside that varies each 10 minutes over small brooks, up gentle sloops, over small rocks and ducking under the odd overhanging tree. A few hours at a time there is plenty of areas to trot and canter for large periods of time as well as walk to admire the view. If you do tear yourself away from the estate - check in with reception if you are eating out so they do not prepare the food for you and take yourself in 30 minutes to an hour to romantic bustling ports with excellent shopping, villages with painted walls full of scenes from the past and long slithers of land filled with roman ruins and different seas either side you can swim in. This requires a car, but if you wanted a hassle free trip - get a transfer and be sociable and there's a good chance you'll be invited to join others exploring as I was. I've made some great friends visiting here and will be back.
A perfect gateway in the heart of Sardignia
Ranny B on 25/01/2016 21:22
The hotel is a bit far from everything but that's the purpose, to get away a bit from a busy routine life. It's a paradise for those who love horse riding. Room is standard, food is so-so but the service is excellent. When you watch the sky at night from the parking lot and see all the bright stars above you, they look very very close like you could have touched them. This particular experience that I can't find elsewhere. We will certainly visit this hotel again.
Idyllic country retreat - with horses
Steven192 on 11/08/2015 09:29
A lovely little hotel complex with everything you could want if you like animals and horses in particular.
Only stayed the one night as we just wanted to do the beach ride but on the whole it was a positive experience.
The hotel grounds and buildings are well maintained and very pretty. The pool and Jacuzzi are big enough for a cooling dip and relax after a hard day.
If you ride then this is the place to spend your time, the horses are well looked after, the instructors are competent, professional and friendly and they are patient with those of us who aren't accomplished horse riders (thanks).
The evening (or at dawn) beach ride was the highlight of our holiday and I urge anyone thinking about it to just go for it.
Any problems that cropped up during our stay were quickly and efficiently dealt with by the staff.