Spans of rock formations gently sculpted by sand, wind and sea roll along an undeveloped shoreline with waters that reflect a magnificent emerald hue. Costa Smeralda was literally invented by Aga Khan in the 1960s as a glitterati resort destination to rival St. Tropez and Portofino. Porto Cervo has grown to become one of our top summer destinations at JetSetReport, a crown jewel yachting stop that beckons the Med's chicest summertime crowd for a one-month high season that separates the billionaires from mere millionaires.
The best arrivals in Cervo are by sea, taking in the landscape of summertime villas occupied by Russian oligarchs and Italian celebrities. If you do it by hotel, which we don't suggest, our favorite address is still Cala di Volpe with its fishing village silhouette and retro-glam interiors that feel like a 60s resort that won the SuperEnalotto - Italy's lottery. You don't stay there for the designer interiors as much as the service unrivaled by any Italian hotel, epic summertime barbecues and August gala series that this year includes Robbie Williams for a poolside concert and fireworks on August 13th. You'll need a driver, however, to head back towards port with its bling boutiques of Hermes, Brioni and Gucci that dot a harbor of 200-ft super yachts, or in the evening to restaurants like Spinnaker with its unfussy faire or Locanda Sant'Andrea in nearby San Pantaleo that's the antithesis of everything August in these parts.
For those that prefer to only pretend that they're eating, late-night Porto Cervo bursts with life from the last week of July through the first day of September. A summer installment of Cipriani opens along a specially built compound just outside of town with outpost of Billionaire that still manages to be cool after a decade - and even if you're wearing some of owner Flavio Briatore's brash clothing line that's omnipresent in local advertisements. Around 3am, half the visitors linger and the other half make the long haul to new VIP Room in Poltu Quatu or Phi Beach for its all-night parties that mix Italian students with Saudi princes that end in helicopter departures at sunrise.