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Andrea's 'Unfortgettable Experience' at Forte Village

 andreaintro

I have recently returned from a 3-night trip to the Forte Village in Sardinia with fourteen of my colleagues and what an amazing trip it was. We flew from Gatwick to Cagliari with EasyJet which took around 2 and a half hours. I had not flown from Gatwick before, but it was surprisingly easy to get to by train from Yeovil Station.

We were hosted by Jorge and Kim from Classic Collection and George from The Forte Village. We were treated with impeccable hospitality and generosity. George accompanied us throughout our stay, his passion and enthusiasm for the Forte Village was infectious and his knowledge was exceptional. We have all learned so much from him.

 startandrea

Day 1

Upon arrival in Sardinia, we were collected by an entourage of Black Mercedes that took us to the Forte Village, we all felt like celebrities.

When we arrived at the Forte Village, the hotel manager greeted us. We were then whisked away on a golf buggy to our 5* Hotel II Castello. An elegant Mediterranean hotel which is just steps away from the gorgeous beach and surrounded by beautiful greenery.

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We were greeted by the hotel staff and served appetizers and Prosecco on arrival. We were then given our room keys and off we went to explore where we were staying. When I opened the door to my room, I could not believe my eyes. It was magnificent, incredibly spacious and had a fantastic sea view from the balcony. I was also lucky enough to have it all to myself! My room was an executive Mare with a twin bathroom. It can sleep 2 adults and a child on an extra bed. The bed was extremely comfortable, it was like sleeping on a cloud. Not long after my arrival, my luggage was delivered so I could unpack. That afternoon we had lunch at the pizzeria! We were given a selection of different topped pizzas to share, Italian pizza is incredible. We were also able to choose a salad from the salad bar and what a choice it was! They had everything you could think of plus a selection of fresh fish including tuna and octopus. It was huge and very tasty. For dessert, we had some mouth-watering ice cream. The pizzeria is in a beautiful setting with the beach as a backdrop, they have seating inside and out. In July and August, the Pizzeria make over 400 pizzas each day.

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We also visited the children’s Wonderland where they have a life-size Barbie house! Some of the girls, myself included got quite carried away in here, my inner child came out to play and of course, I had to have a picture in the Barbie box. They have some excellent facilities for the children. They offer a nursery service! It is chargeable for children aged 0-23 months and free for children aged 2 and above. They also have a 24-hour babysitting service. They have lots on offer from arts & crafts, theatre workshops, cooking classes, a mini village, and lots more. They have a ‘train’ to transport the children around the village and they even have a dedicated children’s restaurant! For older children and teens, there is also a lot on offer from bowling, go-karting, tennis, basketball, netball, circus & dance academies plus so much more. They also have a football academy run by Real Madrid! You can train and perfect your skills with one of the most famous football teams in the world. This is for ages 6 years and older, once enrolled you will be given your own football kit, the academies run from the end of May until early September.

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After a lovely afternoon we headed back to our own rooms to get ready for the evening. I sat on the balcony with my glass of bubbles admiring the stunning view. Before dinner, we went to visit Sofia (the head sommelier) at Cantina Del Forte, Forte Village’s wine cellar. She let us sample some fine Italian wines with a charcuterie board. The cellar has a vast selection of some of Italy’s finest wines. You can reserve the cellar as a private dining venue for up to 25 guests. We had dinner at Le Dune this evening, a stunning a la carte restaurant with a magnificent sea view. They had arranged a set menu for all of us. Unfortunately, I am not a great lover of fish, so they quickly adapted the menu for myself and some of the others in the group who had allergies and were gluten-free. The fillet steak was delicious and so was the chocolate and nut dessert.

 andrealedune

Day 2

The Forte Village has 21 restaurants and 14 bars to choose from, with Michelin-starred gourmet dinner experiences. Our hotel restaurant the Cavalieri is where we had our breakfast, surrounded by beautiful trees, and accompanied by lovely piano music. This is a buffet restaurant with nearly everything you could think of for breakfast! From fresh fruit and yoghurt, a full-fried breakfast, cakes and pastries, waffles and doughnuts plus my favourite, the made-to-order omelettes with a great selection of fillings. It was the best way to start the day.

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We then made our way to the Acquaforte Thalasso & Spa where we were in for a real treat! We were shown around the various treatment rooms and areas plus the impressive gym. We were then given gowns and slippers to borrow for the duration of our visit. We experienced six pure Sardinian seawater pools, all at different temperatures and saline densities. The first three pools are at an elevated temperature, around 37 – 38 degrees and have a high saline concentrate which gives you an amazing detox effect. The first pool was brown in colour and it did not look very inviting. Once you got in it felt extremely hot and because of the high concentration of salt it allowed you to float, it was very funny watching everyone bobbing about, some not being able to remain upright. It was really relaxing.

 andreaspa

We were brought water and cold flannels to keep us hydrated. The second pool was also a brown colour and had added aloe and mint. George asked us to close our eyes and be quiet for 2 minutes so we could experience pure relaxation. In between the next pool, George asked if we would like to try the Heavenly legs! This was a walk-through of seawater, divided into different saline densities and decreasing temperatures, from 34 – 10 degrees. He said for the best results we should go through it 6 times! We were like a conga line following each other through the extreme hot and then cold temperatures. I really enjoyed it, at first it was intense but each time around it got easier and by the end, I wanted to go again. My legs felt great after that! It is ideal for toning the legs, I would like to install one in my garden.

 spatourandrea

The third pool was very deep, the bottom was covered with sea salt and it felt very nice swaying your feet across the salt. We also rubbed it into our arms as they had jars of salt around the edges of the pool. I think this one was my favourite as it made my feet feel lovely and soft. The final three pools have a lower saline concentration and lower temperatures. The 4th pool is a pure seawater pool, this one features a whirlpool and a waterfall. It was great to submerge yourself in the waterfall but not so good if it got in your eyes or mouth. However, there is water and flannels on hand to help with that, the staff were very attentive. The 5th pool has a lower temperature of around 30-32 degrees and has added sea oil. The last pool had a sudden drop in temperature of around 25-27 degrees and felt very cold in comparison. This one was great fun, it is enormous and had an upstream lane which we all enjoyed being taken around in, it also has a variety of whirlpools. What a wonderful experience, we all felt very relaxed afterwards and my skin felt soft and silky. In the changing rooms, they have thought of everything! They had toiletries, shower caps, combs, deodorant and hair dryers to use. Plus, a drying machine for your wet swimsuits.

 spapizzaandrea

We had lunch in the Pizzeria, today I had a burger and fries, this was very much needed after a morning in the Spa. Of course, I had to have some more ice cream too - Strawberry and Pistachio were my favourites. In the afternoon we had a little visit to Villa Mariam, WOW! This Villa was absolutely incredible with a real wow factor. It is the ultimate in elegance and privacy. It is set over three levels, with a large garden, heated pool and sauna. It has 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms, the 2 master bedrooms on the first floor each overlook the garden and pool, with stunning sea views and a private terrace. It even has a laundry room. Again, you can have your own dedicated butler when staying here.

We then did one of my favourite activities of the trip! Go-karting. This is in the Leisureland area of the village right at the top. It was very impressive. With so many of us, we had to have 3 qualifying rounds. I never knew I could drive so fast. I was last out of the pit lane but ended up coming second in my race. I was very pleased with the result and did not mind coming second to Mollie a 22-year-old, she went on to come 4th in the overall race. It was great fun, everyone enjoyed it. We all cheered each other on but there could only be one winner! That was Lightning Liam from our Taunton shop.

 andreagokart

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On the way back to the hotel some of us went to the beach bar, this was located by the football pitch. I enjoyed a refreshing cocktail here before heading back to get ready for dinner. This evening, we were whisked off on the golf buggies to the restaurant Sardo which is a Sardinian restaurant overlooking the Oasis pool. We were served local Sardinian flavours, including pasta dishes and Su Porcheddu which is better known as roast suckling pig. We also had some light entertainment. There were two Sardinian ladies making traditional bread. They said they wanted to show us what they make for weddings, I was very impressed with the intricate detail. The desserts were my favourite this evening, I am a huge fan of marzipan and we had a variety of sweet treats. Including some homemade nougat. We also had a traditional cheese with pastry and honey dessert, which was very tasty. After dinner, we experienced the live entertainment at the Piazza, which is at the heart of the Forte Village and is the social hub! Offering shows, entertainment and shopping. We were entertained by a live band playing some familiar songs that we could all sing along to.

Myself, Kim and Jenny were feeling adventurous so we thought we would have a trip to the Discoteca. However, we arrived too early, it was not open (it opens at Midnight-3am), but we did get the chance for a few games of bowling. We then joined Mollie and Lydia at the Tiki Bar. This is a gorgeous beach bar playing music until the early hours which is opposite the Hotel Castello.

 andreabowling

Day 3

I could not resist the urge to get up early to see the sunrise this morning! Jenny, Mollie and I went down to the beach at 5.30am. Lousie, Hayley, Eva, Ella and George all joined us shortly after and we watched the sunrise together, just before 6am. I have never watched the sunrise before, it was really special, surrounded by my colleagues who have now become my friends. The others went back to the hotel, but Jenny and I decided to have a walk along the beach, it was very peaceful, with just the sound of the crashing waves along the way. The rest of the morning we had free time. I spent time on the beach sunbathing with some of the others with a quick paddle in the sea. The beach is stunning, the sand is so soft and almost fluffy. The sunbeds are the comfiest I have ever used, it was a very enjoyable morning.

 andreasunrise

Next up another wonderful experience! A cooking class, of course, we could not be in Italy and not make pizza. We were given our own chef hats and aprons. In my group, I was with Ella and Amanda and we had Christian, who gave us some instructions. He showed us how to knead the dough to make the perfect base. We then added the tomato puree and topped it with our favourite ingredients. It was great fun, and the pizzas were delicious. I could not eat it all, so I took the rest back to my room and enjoyed it cold later that afternoon.

Jenny, Liam, Lydia and I all headed to the pool after lunch. Liam had taken his GoPro camera, so we all had great fun splashing about. They have a pool which is 5 meters deep! When you stand above it and look down it looks like it goes on forever. Lydia and I took the plunge, it was very deep, and you feel like you will never reach the top, it was surprisingly warm because it was heated. The Forte Village has 9 pools in total. Later that afternoon lots more of us went up to the Aquapark, this is a great area for adults and children. They have slides, water cannons, a pirate ship with a soft anti-slip floor, and a 5 lane Olympic-sized swimming pool. We all enjoyed having races down the slides and some more sunbathing.

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In the evening, we were taken to the private Cinema in the basement of Castello. Here we watched a short video about the Forte Village. Our hosts Jorge & Kim also did a small awards ceremony, I was very honoured to be given the Top Photographer award. The Cinema can be privately hired by guests, it has huge reclining seats, they are very comfortable. We met with Sofia again this evening before dinner for some wine tasting. I am not normally a great lover of wine, but I really enjoyed some of them. It was a wonderful experience to try some of the finest Italian wines. We then had the final dinner of our trip at the Ristorante Brasiliano, again in the beautiful surroundings of the Oasis pool. We were treated to delicious meats spit-roasted over a charcoal grill and served at our table. We had chicken, sausage, beef, veal and lamb. This was one of my favourite meals. We later went shopping in the Piazzo before enjoying some more live entertainment from the band.

That evening Liam, Jenny, Mollie, Sarah, and I all went to the Discoteca. We had a fabulous time dancing the night away with some new Italian friends. Sadly, all good things must come to an end and before we knew it, it was time to come home. We enjoyed our last breakfast in the sunshine. The Italian football team ACF Fiorentina were staying at our hotel and I was lucky enough to meet two of the players before we left.

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Before we went to the airport, we had a whistlestop tour of the Palazzo Doglio in Cagliari. One of the leading hotels in the world and a sister hotel of The Forte Village. This is a one-of-a-kind hotel with a fantastic central location. Some of the Forte Village clients like to stop off here for a night to explore the city before heading home. We had a look at a prestige room which was very spacious with a large balcony. We also visited the Doglio Club Spa, which had a lovely pool and treatment rooms. Surrounded by an exquisite courtyard, it makes the perfect setting for a romantic break or a business trip. They also have the Teatro Doglio an exclusive location for concerts, meetings, private events and wedding receptions.

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I had an unforgettable experience at the Forte Village, it is the perfect location for a family holiday. There is so much to see and do with so many culinary experiences on offer. The staff were amazing and very attentive.

If you would like to know more about my time in Sardinia, or you are interested in experiencing this amazing destination yourself, please get in contact with [email protected] or call into the shop in Wells.

 andreaoutro

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