For the parents of small children, there’s three things you’ll need to tick off your list when booking a family holiday. Safety, ease and most importantly… fun!
Forte Village certainly ticks off all of these boxes while also offering a real touch of luxury.
Where is Forte Village?
The picturesque resort of Forte Village is located on the southern coast of Sardinia, an island just off the coast of Italy. It’s easy to get to, with its closest airport, Cagliari just two hours away on a flight from the UK. It’s around a 45 minute drive from the airport, which you can take via taxi or private transfer booked via Forte Village - it really couldn’t be easier and less stressful.
The actual resort is perched right at the bottom of the island with its own large stretch of private beach, so it’s ideal if you’re looking to take your tots on their first beach holiday while remaining in the safety of a resort. There are plenty of lifeguards located along the beach, and the gentle waves make it ideal for splashing with a bucket and spade.
What is there to do?
The sports facilities at Forte Village are seriously impressive, and are the thing that really sets Forte Village apart from other holiday resorts. If you and your family are active and into your sports, it’s the perfect place for you, with all the sports you can think of on offer.
Even if you aren’t confident when it comes to sports, there are a range of professional trainers and ex-professionals on site to teach you all their knowledge in one of Forte Village’s many academies. I tried out a tennis lesson which helped me master my forearm and backhand swing and it was brilliant!
The sports include:
Prices start from €75 for the academies for day sessions, but there are options for Monday-Friday lessons too.
Although there is a keen focus on sports at the resort, there’s no pressure to get stuck into a sport if you prefer to relax and chill out on your holiday, and you can easily spend your days soaking up the sardinian sun on the beach or at the pool or relax and unwind at the spa (more on this gem later).
Being a real family orientated resort, I was very excited to see the kids club and baby care facilities and they did not disappoint. The Children’s Wonderland is nestled in its own little corner of the resort, with its own pool, theatre, garden and playhouse area. We particularly loved the theatre space, where the kids can prepare a show all week before performing it on the main stage of the resort to their parents at the end of their holiday! As well as all the Wonderland facilities, the childminders also take the children out into the rest of the resort to try different sports, visit the water park and leisureland.
The Wonderland is split into two zones; babies and toddler and older kids. For the baby and toddler section, it’s one member of staff to every little person or baby, with quiet and calm napping and feeding areas, as well as plenty of soft play areas and outdoor space.
For the older kids, there is plenty of room for them to explore and make new friendships, with a huge indoor and outdoor play area, a safe and shallow pool space, a vegetable garden where they can learn all about growing their own and even a mini town!
The wonderland is open 9am-1pm and then 3pm-6pm and is available for kids 0-12 years. As well as this, there is a baby sitting service available that you can book if you fancy a date night one night.
Although it’s a great place for families, it’s also a lovely place for a babymoon too. We spotted a number of mums-to-be relaxing and enjoying the resort ahead of the arrival of their baby.
Where will I sleep?
Not only are you spoiled for choice when it comes to activities, food and shopping, there’s also a huge range of different accommodation options to choose from too. So, whether you’re wanting to go all out on a luxury villa or you’re keen to keep costs to a minimum and stay in their hotel, there is plenty of accommodation to choose from.
The resort is split into different areas, with a number of different accommodation choices in each part of the resort. There’s Castello where there’s the hotel, family bungalows and suites, Villa Del Parco hotel which is right next to the spa, Pineta hotel (ideal for families), Il Borgo private bungalows, Le Palme bungalows, Bouganville villas and finally Le Dune which is where I stayed.
These bungalows are located less than a minutes walk away from the beach, and offer everything you’d expect from a luxury private villa. Each villa has a large, spacious and private garden, surrounded by plants, and inside you’ll find a large bedroom with very high ceilings and a very large bathroom, with all the amenities you need including a safe, mini fridge, large bath, shower, sink space and wardrobes.
The bed was extremely comfy and thanks to the air conditioning, they remained very cool (despite a heatwave). The rooms are thoroughly cleaned on a daily basis with towels and robes being replaced.
What struck me about the villas was how private and quiet they felt, despite being right next to the beach and having neighbours on both sides. Le Dune in particular was in a brilliant location (especially if you love being beside the beach). Having said that, the resort is extremely easy to get around either on foot, by bike (which are available to rent) and also via one of the many golf buggies you’ll see around the resort, which act as taxis for guests. There are even small bus stops located around the resort, so no matter where you are staying, it’s easy to get around.
While it was lovely to have a villa so close to the beach for toilet trips and a private shower, there were plenty of places to shower and use the toilet right next to the beach, so if your tot did announce they needed a number two, you’re never too far from a toilet!
When it comes to spa facilities, the Forte Village spa was certainly impressive and like nothing I'd ever experienced before. Not only are there a range of spa treatments, experiences and services on offer, but there is a real focus on health, with a clinic on site for medical assessments during your visit.
New for 2022 is the Thalasso experience. Made up of six separate pools, simply follow the route around the spa, taking a dip in each pool for the instructed amount of time as you go.
I must admit, I was a little unsure when seeing the pools for the first time. While the final four pools are what you’d expect from a saltwater pool, the first two are full of sea oil and dark brown in colour, very warm, giving an oily feel to the skin. Once you’re in there, you can’t help but lie back and let the water carry your weight as you float (there are little inflatable floats by the pool to allow you to truly relax). There are endless health and wellness benefits to these pools, and these benefits are explained on notice boards as you go around the spa.
Thalasso circuit from €105
Massages from €170
Facials from €180
What is there to eat?
There are an impressive 21 bars and restaurants in Forte Village, serving up the most delicious traditional Italian and regional cuisine dishes, as well as two Michelin star restaurants too. Although the food may seem fancy, there are plenty of buffet options (which we love for the little ones) as well as a pizzeria - you really can’t go wrong with a margarita! The chefs were more than happy to accommodate any dietary requirements and the kids' menus were great.
Although parents are very welcome to take their kids along to any restaurant, there’s also Mario’s - a restaurant specially designed for children. There are plenty of child friendly meals on the menu, even for the fussiest of little eaters. Another thing which we really loved is that this restaurant opens earlier than the others, so kids can head off for their dinner and then bedtime a bit earlier too. Accommodating children and their schedules is so well thought out at this resort, and they really do put children first.
If you are a foodie, you’ll know it’s a very important aspect of any holiday, which is why throughout the months of July and August, some of the world's most talented celebrity chefs descend on Forte Village to showcase their talents. There are also a number of cooking academies running throughout the summer where you can learn how to cook some iconic Italian dishes yourself.
As someone who is always unsure on the quality of food at a resort like this, I was extremely impressed. All the food I consumed was delicious - I’m still looking at photos of it now! The barata in particular at the Beachcombers restaurant stood out, and I was very impressed to learn that the majority of the produce comes from local Sardinian suppliers, so it’s very fresh ingredients with a very low carbon footprint which is a major win in our eyes.
How much does it cost?
Forte Village, Sardinia offers stays for a family of four from €663 per night on a half-board basis (excluding drinks). Book here: fortevillageresort.com
There’s a reason Forte Village attracts so many families year after year, and it’s easy to see why. Although there are a huge range of family friendly resorts in Europe, many don’t offer the same levels of luxury for families as Forte Village does. There really is something for every type of holiday goer from every generation, and it was so lovely to see large groups of multi-generational families holidaying together. And while grandma and grandad might like sunning it up on the beach, and mum and dad might want to take some time out in the spa, and the kids will want to have a blast at the kids club, it was so lovely to see families come together for an evening dinner together to spend some real quality time with one another.