We had planned to go out, to explore some of the real Sardinia, but apart from one brief jaunt into nearby Pula, we never left Forte Village.
Any time we considered leaving, we just thought, why would we want to leave?
Every reason you can think of to leave the place, Forte Village has a compelling answer to. You think you might go out somewhere for a bit of people watching? Forget it, the people watching is superb here.
Wherever you are staying in the complex, there are people who are much richer than you staying in much more plush accommodations, but even those privileged people know that there are posher people than them somewhere too, staying in even posher accommodation.
The beauty of it all is that even if you are in one of the incredible villas with private pool and staff, you still mix it up with everyone else - because apart from the room, almost everything else is shared equally among us all, even us mere mortals.
Never out of fashion, Brendan resurrects his Italian hat
So you can while away mealtimes imagining how various people made their money, and trying to guess how old they really are behind all the work. (Much younger than their husbands is usually the answer.)
Which is not to suggest that Forte Village feels in any way too glitzy or elitist or that you'd feel you had to be on your best behaviour. Dress codes and the general vibe are relaxed, even in the more fine dining restaurants.
We ate in Le Dune, Hell's Kitchen and Ristorante Sardo, all high-end enough food but relaxed and child friendly. There's no whispering or acting posh required. This is Italy, so everyone is warm and exuberant. If there's a subtle caste system based on how expensive your clothes look (the fewer labels visible the dearer seems to be the rule of thumb) the staff certainly don't let on to notice.
The Cavalieri Buffet is probably the finest exemplar of this democracy. Along with the beach, it was one of the main reasons I wanted to go back to Forte Village. It's outside, set as if in a clearing in the forest. And it is the most incredible buffet I've ever experienced (and I know my buffets).
Imagine a vast selection of the finest antipasti known to man. And then imagine a counter where there is a man whose only purpose is to cut you the finest Italian cold meats, as transparently thinly as you'd like them. And that's only one course.
Then to the pasta. If any of that evening's specials, with all kinds of wild pigs and whatnot in the sauces don't work for you, you can get the guys to whip you up something else on the spot. And then to a main course of roasted meats and the finest fish. And then another whole area of amazing desserts, with an all-you-can-eat tiramisu situation.
It's the kind of meal you are mourning as you eat it, because you know that soon it will be over and you'll have to go home.
I reckon I ate a good four meals every evening. And I didn't feel guilty about it. This was despite the fact that many of my fellow buffeteers had clearly spent the day burning off calories at the tennis camp or the soccer school, and were still eating a fraction of what I was eating.
Activities are a big thing in Forte Village. There's high-level coaching in the Chelsea FC Foundation Soccer School and the Tennis Star Academy by Head, as well as various other occasional academies. My kids take after me in not being great for organised activities on holidays, but they did have a couple of swimming lessons. Their teacher? A former Olympic water polo player.
Outside the lessons, Forte Village is a swimmer's paradise. I'd start every morning with a swim parallel to the beach as the sun came up. With nothing to see in every direction, only blue sea and sky everywhere, it was a transcendent experience. Somehow, the beach in this huge resort manages to look and feel like a beach on a desert island. And early in the morning, in the off season, you can feel for half an hour like the last person left alive in the world.
There are stunning pools for all occasions, and they've revamped the waterslides at the Acquapark Pools. The waterslides there always had a special place in my heart because I once taught Mick Hucknall how to use them. He and his little girl kept grinding to a halt on the slide, so I showed him how to lean back slightly to minimise friction. He did it and it worked. And I never even said to him, "You're Mick Hucknall aren't you? I've seen you on the balcony of the incredible apartment you have right on the beach. Can I come up there for a sundowner, just one of the evenings? Maybe when you're not using it?"
The waterslides were a daily ritual for an hour or two in the late afternoon, after the kids had done an hour or two in kids' club, which has an actual, real-life, life-size Barbie house, a child-size village with a mini TV studio, and a main street. They bake and go swimming and also have a ride around the resort on a road train at the end of each session. Everything has nice little touches.
You could of course sit at one of the in-resort bus stops and wait for a golf cart any time you wanted to get from one end of the resort to the other. But it was all walkable, and the kids had their bikes. Yes, you heard right. Kids can get bikes that they keep for the week. It gave them great independence around the place.
For the odd break from beach and pool and eating, there are loads of other things to do. We went bowling one evening at the in-house bowling alley, and another day my wife beat me in a go-kart race, with serious, fast, big, go-karts.
We also carved out a bit of time one day to manage to go alone to the incredible thermal spa. You go through various pools, all at different therapeutic temperatures and with different levels of salts. In some you were floating, the water was so salty, in others, there were massage jets and sprays.
If I had one piece of advice for you it would be to go to the thermal pools every day if you can. I'm not a big one for spas but I felt totally renewed after this, and there was no masseuse poking at you, you just float mindlessly in the various pools, emptying your head.
Your head empties more as the days go on, breakfasting as parrots perch overhead, pizza or spaghetti vongole by the beach everyday for lunch, negronis at sundown. You even make your peace with the music shows every evening in the big outdoor square. It becomes like a really, really nice version of the Truman Show.
And then your time is up - you are dumped back into the real world.
And as you adjust, you do think to yourself, I will go back some day. I was happy there, for a brief few days.
* Brendan flew to Cagliari with Ryanair. Forte Village is about a 45-minute drive from the airport.
* Aer Lingus is flying to Alghero this summer, on the north west of the island making it a bit of a trek down to Forte Village. However, Alghero is lovely, so visitors could start there, tour down the island and finish up with a few nights in Forte Village.
* Weather is good in Sardinia from May through October usually. Brendan went in September and the weather was lovely. Everything is much quieter, and cheaper too.