Luxury Hotels

And sustenance, at the super-luxury ForteVillage Resort

Mackerel tartare

In 1995 Lorenzo The Magnificent – also known as Lorenzo Giannuzzi – arrived back at what is now undoubtedly one of the world’s most amazing luxury destinations, ForteVillage Resort Sardegna. In those days there were five dining options. Now there are 21 restaurants, plus numerous bars and snack places and even a Champagne room. During her far too short stay, the gal ate magnificently, and every meal, it seemed, produced different etceteras. Look at the bread presentation, above. That was dinner outside on the terrace at Belvedere, atop the three-floor main building of the resort’s Villa del Parco hotel. Oh, that was a sensational dinner. Chef Antonello Arrus started our meal with mackerel tartare with vegetables cooked in sea-water.

Turbot, to be filleted table-side

The entire resort is half-board, though unlike cruising here you pay for alcohol (I adored the local wines, especially Tuvaoes Vermentino di Sardegna DOC and, for red, Santadi ‘Terre Brune’ Carignano del Sulcis Superiore). Many also pay extra, supplements for dining at three of the restaurants, including Gordon Ramsay’s. In addition  70% of staying guests, who have all had the opportunity for really copious breakfast buffets, and quite late if they want, then pay to eat lunch. Personally I would certainly do lunch (the seafood is SO fantastic). I would alternate, lunching first in Beach Comber and then, the following day, in Fish Market. Both are right by the beach, with open sides and lots of sea breezes. Both have sensational salad bars, where you point to what you want and a server fills an enormous bowl with, in my case, varieties of greens and the local tomatoes that are, say many, one of the keys to Sardinia’s longest-lifespan of the whole of Italy, rivalled only by a few Greek Islands.

Fritto misto

Next the fish you have already chosen from a display of today’s catch is brought, cooked as you want – one day I had breaded calamari, the next it was fillets of turbot. I lived on fish, here. One dinner I had to have the local specialty, fritto misto, with a veritable who’s who, or what’s what, of fish varieties (do the 1,200 people who work here also eat well? None seems even a pound overweight and yes, they work hard but they have a good life, which includes a regular Friday night staff barbeque). Guests could well put on weight, especially with the icecream and cookie stands around, and with a regular programme of eminent visiting culinarians. And the hotel’s own chefs are sometimes taken elsewhere to spread the word on ForteVillage’s fine cooking levels: last winter, the resort ran Gildo’s pop-up at Gstaad Palace from December through to March, and hosted a gourmet festival in Kiev this March.

A store of bottles

Pommery is main sponsor of the resort’s cooking school, but sadly there was no occasion to drink any bubbles, even Prosecco, during my stay. There was so much I did not do. On the list for next time is to find out about Barbie world, and to visit the Mahiki nightclub. I guess I should take a Deejay lesson, and watch Marvin Berglas the musician, and Anatoly Karpov teaching chess. I might even take a cooking class – see the video, below, of Gordon Ramsay teaching there. Honestly, the thing about ForteVillage Resort is that you just DO need to come back again and again and you still cannot keep up with what it has to offer. I am one of the many who simply love this place.