Forte Village Review
Review of the Forte Village Hotel
Originally opened in 1971 the village has grown over the years to cover a 47-hectare site with 8 hotels. On first hearing this you'd be forgiven for assuming that this is some Goliath holiday resort, which for me would be akin to Dante’s 7th circle of hell. However, many of the 'hotels' are actually small collections of bungalows and villas, and the beautiful mature landscape gardens give a real intimate feel to the resort.
The hotel is just 40mins from Cagliari Airport, which is served by scheduled and charter flights from London (2hrs) and is a 45min transfer time for those changing in Rome.
The range of activities on offer are so wide and varied it's safe to say you'll struggle to be bored here. The spa itself takes up 4 hectares and offers a range of treatments from the usual through to Doctor lead medical procedures. Rumour has it many footballers come here in the off season for rehabilitation. Within the spa is the flagship Thallaso spa, a selection of 6 pools containing various magic potions, which guests make their way through over a leisurely 90 minutes. If shopping's your game then you're in for a treat with some of Italy's finest brands running outlets here, such as Versace and Ermenegildo Zegna. For big and little kids there's go-karting and bowling over in 'LeisureLand' (don't worry, it's far enough away from the main resort so you won't hear the screams). On top of all this you'll find 11 pools, 6 football pitches, 13 tennis courts, bike hire and 1km of beach front with plentiful water sport activities.
For the gourmands among us the Forte Village may be the closest thing we'll experience to heaven on this earth. With 21 restaurants and drinks 11 bars you could come for 2 weeks and still not sample all of them. It could be argued that the village has the highest concentration of Michelin stars per acre, with restaurants run by Gordon Ramsey, Emmanuel Scarello, Alfons Schuhbeck & Carlo Cracco. The food served throughout is local, often grown in the resorts own gardens. One of the key concepts of the hotel is maintaining 'Italianity'. They do this by ensuring the vast majority of the 1000 strong workforce are sourced from local towns and villages. Many of them have been there for years, often marrying within the team. The amiable Giuseppe, who manages a number of the 21 restaurants and bars started here in 1972 and celebrates an incredible 45 years’ service this year.
If you require somewhere to host an incentive trip, international conference or product launch then the Forte Village is fantastically equipped for most large events. There are 750 onsite bedrooms, bungalows and villas, which can host 2000 delegates. The main conference space room easily accommodates 1000, with a further 20+ breakout spaces. For those with larger groups the new Pala Forte offers a blank canvas space for conferences of 2000 and dinners for 1500. Should that still be too cosy the Forte Arena, usually used for weekly concerts, can be taken for events of up to 10,000! For incentive groups there are plenty of activities offsite, not that you'd need to leave, such as wine tours, boat trips, jeep safaris and traditional local dinners. The resort is open from March to November, with the busy period taking our July & August. Outside these months, rates are keen and worth travelling for. The key word here is 'flexibility', the resort seems willing to move mountains to meet clients demands. Restaurants can be privatised, drinks receptions held in any space you fancy, activities taken over and whole buy outs more than possible.
Written by Paul Moynihan, Director of wefindvenues