Unfiltered test: is the Forte Village Resort really the best vacation club in the world?

Published by La Rédac · Photos by Julie de Sortiraparis, La Rédac · Updated on November 18th, 2023 at 08:59 p.m.
When we decided to visit Sardinia, we were looking for an experience that combined relaxation, luxury and cultural discovery. And so we set our sights on the Forte Village Resort, a renowned establishment nestled on the south coast of this magnificent island. This Mediterranean island of azure waters and sandy beaches has always been an idyllic destination for Europeans. In the heart of the island, this resort is often touted as one of the world's best family vacation resorts, but is it true once you're there? Follow us on this detailed adventure, where we share every step of our stay.

Arrival: First impressions

Forte Village, nestled in the south of Sardinia, offers breathtaking views over a stretch of white beaches with crystal-clear waters, regularly ranked among the most beautiful in the world. Surrounded by mountains, the resort enjoys a tropical microclimate (up to 42 degrees during our stay in July 2023!) A relatively well-kept forest of pine and palm trees decorates the resort, which is quite pleasant when you need to seek shade on hot days. In fact, the Hotel Pineta's buffet is located in the heart of the forest, so you're guaranteed a change of scenery.
The sea is not to be outdone, and, along with the mountains and the forest, completes the undeniable pleasure for city dwellers of finally being bathed in nature. Imagine emerging from the forest to relax by Sardinia's transparent sea, with the mountains as a backdrop: an Italian interpretation of paradise.

Accommodation: a mixed bag

Forte Village is more than just a resort. It's a real vacation village with a luxurious feel, with its many 4 and 5-star hotels.

This test is not sponsored, which means we can give you unfiltered feedback on the reality of the hotel and its services.

Our impressions of the hotels we tested:
The Bougainville is probably the hotel to avoid. The rooms are the narrowest. The hotel's age probably makes maintenance more complex: during our test, the remote controls were defective and the bathroom door jammed. It's also the least well-equipped hotel on our list (no bathrobe, no scale -if you want to watch your figure-, squeaky doors, no bathtub, fewer chairs inside and out, no deckchairs....). We absolutely do not recommend it, the least pleasant for children.

Le Palme is the "plus" version of the Bougainville. Close to the Bougainville and the center of activities, this time you'll find a bathtub, and many extra facilities, necessary if you expect a certain level of comfort from a hotel of this standing.

The Pineta is probably the center's best surprise. For the 10-year-old boy: "I love the smell of lemon, this hotel smells good! Surrounded by greenery, the rooms are very spacious, with a lovely outdoor area. Quiet deckchairs are accessible from a private garden, cut off from outside views. The reception is warm and personalized.
This is not the most luxurious hotel, however.

Il Castello overlooks the sea. This is a 5-star hotel in form and substance. This privileged little cocoon is so well situated facing the sea, you'd forget to check out the activities elsewhere in the park. Choose a sea view (which they can offer if there are few people in the hotel, as was the case during our visit. For the 13-year-old, Hotel Il Castello has by far the best breakfast buffet in the resort (with salmon, mangoes, etc.): a real treat!

Note that the buggy transfers between the hotel and the various activities are generally efficient.

However, we regret the abuse of interns or short contracts, which degrades the service usually expected from 4 or 5 stars:
-few or no drinks offered on arrival, unlike most vacation villages (except Il Castello),
-English is generally very approximate (although some speak French),
-the program and guidance for discovering the large park are very limited (as if new employees were discovering it like us)
-employees are poorly trained, as when our receptionist announces free facilities at the SPA, only to discover once on site that they are in fact paying,
-the hotel receptionist tells us that we don't need to book the go-karting and urges us to go, only to discover once on site that we can't, as there's a beginners' course on that day
-advice is uneven, slow, far from the "luxury" image expected in this kind of establishment.

In short, if you're used to being pampered in palaces, don't bother.

Catering: star-studded gastronomy

Forte Village doesn't disappoint when it comes to gastronomy either. With 21 top-class restaurants, including one by 3-star chef Heinz Beck, gourmets are in for a treat. From traditional Sardinian cuisine to international dishes, each restaurant offers a unique experience.

Our verdict: We were impressed by the variety and quality of the resort's restaurants. Every meal was a discovery, and we particularly appreciated the local produce that was given pride of place. The fact that 80% of the produce comes from Sardinia adds a touch of authenticity to the culinary experience. This is the real highlight of the Resort: Michelin-starred chefs, perfect execution, fabulous service, extraordinary views. If the hotels are uneven, the restaurants are outstanding overall. The only fly in the ointment is incomprehensible billing. Some restaurants charge extra, others do not. Some restaurants offer free wine, others not. If the cocktails are excessively expensive, it's above all the value for money that's mediocre. To be precise on the excessive price of fruit, for example, you'll pay €25 for a coconut, €60 for half a watermelon... Should the difference come from the service? On the contrary, it's often a long way off: 40 minutes for our neighbors to wait for a bottle of wine on the beach.
The unequal aspect is Roberto, Marco or Oretio, extraordinarily kind at the service, and other waiters lost elsewhere, without clear instructions, and with broken English. Forte Resort is all about service: sometimes exceptional, sometimes chaotic.

A special mention for "Wild Scandinavia", an exceptional Nordic restaurant with sumptuous flavours, perfect for a special celebration.

Activities and leisure: something for everyone

Forte Village Resort offers a multitude of activities for all ages and tastes:

  • Thalasso, Spa and Pools: The Acquaforte thalassotherapy center is an open-air circuit surrounded by tropical plants. Designed by thalassotherapy specialist Dr. Angelo Cerina, the circuit features six seawater basins, each with a different temperature and salt density. With the high salt density, the experience is both relaxing and invigorating. The pools are very pleasant, as is the private access to the beach. No need to bring towels, everything is provided everywhere.

Our verdict: The facilities are modern and well maintained. However, we regret the lack of training on the part of the staff, who indicate at reception that access is free, when in fact almost everything is subject to a charge.

  • Children & Teens: The resort offers a wide range of activities for younger guests. What really stood out during our stay was the diversity of activities on offer. Children can have fun in the Kid's Club, dubbed "Children's Wonderland", considered one of the best in Europe. With a Barbie house for little girls, and water slides, it's all very pleasant. The big plus is the well-maintained karting circuit, with training facilities for your children.

Our verdict: Although we didn't travel with children, we could see that the resort does its utmost to provide an unforgettable experience for the youngest guests. The activities are numerous and varied, and the supervisors are professional and passionate.

  • Academies: For sports enthusiasts, the resort offers tennis, soccer (stamped "Real de Madrid") and rugby academies.

Our verdict: These academies are an excellent initiative to enable guests to perfect their sporting skills while enjoying their vacation. The coaches are professional and passionate, and the facilities are of the highest quality.

  • Sports: From scuba diving to tennis, the resort offers a multitude of sporting activities. With a dozen tennis courts, it has no equivalent in Europe. The resort is also famous for its top-class sports facilities. Indeed, it offers 20 unique sports academies, coached by international champions. I was particularly impressed to learn that Real Madrid players had come to coach the youngsters.

Our verdict: We were impressed by the variety of sporting activities on offer. Whether you're a seasoned sportsman or a simple amateur, you're bound to find an activity to suit you. Once again, the price of extras is outrageous: €500 for 4 days of soccer for 2 children, and over €20 a photo if you want to take home a souvenir!

  • Nightlife & Shopping: The resort offers a variety of luxury boutiques, as well as a nightclub for night owls. The shows at the central open-air theater are great and well done.

Our verdict: The resort's boutiques offer a selection of high-quality products, from fashion to jewelry and souvenirs, if you like luxury. Brochures sell exceptional concerts at the large outdoor venue (Sting...), but there was very little artistic content that year: beware of false promises!

Events : An exceptional venue

The resort is also a popular venue for events, from weddings to corporate conferences. The facilities are modern and the staff are trained to cater for every need.

Our verdict: If you're looking for an exceptional place to hold an event, the Forte Village Resort is worth considering, thanks to its magnificent setting and professional, attentive (albeit uneven) staff.


Our stay at the Forte Village Resort was an uneven experience.

Sardinia is a beautiful island, rich in history and culture.
The Forte Village Resort is ideally located for exploring this region, surrounded by sandy beaches and majestic mountains.

However, the frustration lies in the very uneven nature of the service:
-the welcome without a welcome drink most of the time (rare for a vacation restaurant), but an extraordinary hotel transfer
-exceptional restaurants, but totally inconsistent prices (sometimes included, sometimes excessive like the €60 watermelon slices)
-the service, shared by very experienced profiles with lost, inexperienced juniors, unlike the top-of-the-range establishments.

All in all, we find it a mixed bag. Paradoxically, your children will probably prefer other vacations, as the resort seems less organized to supervise your children, for example at Club Med. On the other hand, if you want to go away as a couple, a hotel with a sea view and reservations at the best restaurants for a short weekend will make your stay unforgettable.


By plane, a non-stop flight from Paris to Cagliari takes just 2 hours and 5 minutes.
It then takes around 1 hour by cab from the airport to Forte Village.

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