Luxury Hotels

SARDINIA – 1

Three cheers for the organisation of AMOUR, the annual romance show that for the first time landed, if that is a suitably creative word, at ForteVillage Resort outside Cagliari, Sardinia. A total of over 250 exhibitors and buyers somehow managed to get there – not an easy task since the event, 25-28 April 2024, unfortunately was still in airlines’ ghastly ‘winter schedules’. This meant that full-service carriers had for the time being wiped Cagliari off the map.

Never mind. Somehow delegates used to fixing million-dollar-up weddings tightened their Gucci belts and squeezed into low-cost seats. But they all arrived, and when business meetings started what a joy to be greeted by the welcome shown above. As always, Amour, part of the Private Luxury Events portfolio, followed the format of 13-minute meetings, started and ended by a sonorous musical loop.  Exhibitors stay put, buyers move from whichever table to the next whatever table.  All computer-generated so no favours allowed.

It’s fair to say that exhibitors who take their own tables reap more than twice the benefit of those who share tables. By the same token, the higher the level of delegate manning a table. The more the return. How can we convince GMs, and even the owners of resorts, that their properties would benefit substantially by being there to network with these high-producing travel advisors?

Yes, it’s hard work. But one afternoon was, as always, given to self-enlightenment. Some went to ForteVillage’s enormous aqua-centric spa, others hiked or biked or learned how to make Sardinian wedding cakes.

Girlahead joined the group that was bussed half an hour to the Antigori vineyard, started in 2008 by Carlo Luigi Scano, below. As well as vineyards he has substantial olive oil production, and he has gorgeous white horses. In a few years’ time Cantine Antigori will have organised accommodation in nearby hitherto-empty cottages, all the better to offer rural Sardinian retreats. Riding, vineyard tours and more, with superb buildings onsite perfect not only for barrel storage but bridal nuptials.