As an avid traveller, I have encountered a lot on my trips. From the white sandy beaches of Bali to the copper-blue coastline of Algarve and the sun-kissed desert dunes of Dubai. It is safe to say that I thought I had seen it all- until I arrived at my next travel destination; Forte Village Sardinia.
I stumbled upon Forte Village by chance, when I was looking for an Italian movie to watch. My wife and I have “foreign movie weekends” when one of us picks a non-English language film. While searching online, we came across Forte Village on Design Holidays. It is a lush resort on the charming island of Sardinia in Southern Italy. I knew immediately, that it would be the destination for our annual vacation.
It was still April at the time, but it is never too early to make a hotel reservation. Besides, Design Holidays was offering a discount for early bird tickets. So, I decided to kill two birds with one stone (excuse the pun). I booked for a family of four; 2 adults and 2 children. The customer representative made it look so easy, and within minutes, our flight and reservation was confirmed.
Arrival and accommodation
June couldn’t come soon enough. But it did, eventually. Our flight was on time, a BA 747 flying from Heathrow to Cagliari Airport Italy, via Rome. We boarded and settled in. The trip was a little over 4 hours. By the time we touched down, my impatience was obvious. I had almost left my phone on the plane. Forte Village is a 45 – 50 mins drive from Cagliari Airport, so we took a taxi that cost about €100. The airport shuttle offers a cheaper fare if you want.
When we arrived at our hotel the kids were tired. The man at the reception was very nice. We had chosen the Bougainville because it was one of the newest and it had the perfect accommodation for a family of four. We checked-in and a hotel staff led us to our suite.
The hotel is surrounded by beautiful pine trees and there was a distinctly unique scent in air. I noticed it when we drove into Forte Village. Later, someone said it was a mix of juniper and olives. Forte Village has a rich grove of ancient olive trees.
Our suite was tastefully furnished, and had a patio. The was a King-sized bed in the master room and twin beds exclusively for children in the adjoining room. Max and Sandra are under 12 years, so the beds were the perfect size for them. Other features included air-conditioning, LCD TV, a mini-bar, telephone and a safe. My wife was impressed with the size of the bathroom- that is always the first thing she checks.
Restaurants and Bars
The next day, breakfast was served at the Oasis terrace. It was a beautiful view from where we sat, as we caught the sun in the horizon. There are decent-sized pools at the Bougainville for those who what to recline by the waterside without going to the beach.
Forte Village resort boasts of restaurants that serve delicious Italian and International cuisines. Three have Michelin-starred chefs, and a Gordon Ramsay outpost too. Our first stop was the Belvedere restaurant. With the Forte Village Jewel in the crown, it offers exclusive meals, mainly traditional Italian delicacies. My favourite was the sea bass.
During my stay at Forte Village, I discovered in myself, a new kind of foodie. The hotel’s package includes Celebrity chef evenings- a night when guests are treated to special menus by the hotel’s celebrated local and international chefs. The gourmet foods we had were part of what made the vacation a memorable one.
The Pinetta Restaurant is designed in the setting of a prehistoric pine forest. The menu had various delicious buffet and appetizers. The mains had steak, fish, cheese and Sardinian cold cuts. The children enjoyed the selection of ice creams and desserts.
When we had some time to ourselves, my wife and I sampled the Forte Village Bar. It overlooks the sea, and the ambience as the waves kept splashing against the rocks was nothing short of dreamy. I had different cocktails in the first week, before I decided my favourite; the mojito special. The barman knew just had to get it right.
Design Holidays had promised us that Forte Village was made for family vacations, and they were right. The resort has a Children’s Wonderland package where kids aged 0 – 14 years can experience the adventurous side of the resort. Activities like the Kid’s Interactive Map, Wonderland themed-rooms and a special children’s restaurant makes Forte Village a true family resort.
Although our kids are under 12 years, I noticed that there was also a special package for teenagers. The U-Club promises activities like go-kart racing, beach cruises, and a Zumba party which was on the night we arrived.
While the children were at the fun side of the resort, my wife and I had some free time to check out the Thalasso and Spa. This is Forte Village’s main spa and wellness centre. The interior provided a cosy ambience that was perfect for a massage. The exclusive Thalassotherapy was developed by the resort’s own Dr. Angelo Cerina, whom we were fortunate to meet during one of our visits.
I used the fitness centre a few times. It is great for working on cardio and those who want to carry weights. The instructor was eager to put me on a heavy drill, but I had to remind myself that I was on vacation. My wife plays lawn tennis and Forte Village has a sprawling clay court for both professionals and amateur players.
As a Chelsea fan, I was happy to see a dedicated Chelsea academy at the resort. I promptly registered Max. At least, now I know he won’t miss training whenever we are on vacation.
At the end of the 3-week vacation, we agreed that Forte Village was definitely a ‘keeper’. I have been to many resorts, but I dare say, this one stood out. I currently have Design Holidays bookmarked on my browser. Guess where our next Easter vacation will be?