A favourite with Bellini Travel, the cool cat that is the Hotel Pellicano could be nudging first place for our best hotel in Italy. Just a few miles out of the charming fishing village of Porto Ercole, yet tucked away on a private and very secluded estate, the Pellicano continues to draw the rich and famous.
The hotel opened in 1965. Charlie Chaplin was guest of honour and for the first decade it was run like an English country club with the same guests returning year after year and the owner turning away guests he didn’t like the look of. Things have now changed but the spirit of the original hotel remains. All the rooms are divine. We love the little double rooms with their French balconies in the main hotel building, though the suites in their own cottages to the back of the estate do offer masses of privacy, not that you’d need much more. The terraces gaze out towards the island of Giglio and the clear waters of the Argentario coastline, while the bedrooms are fresh, colourful, traditional and beautifully designed.
The private beach has a James Bond lift that swoops you down from the cliffs to the bathing platform below where a bevvy of polo-shirted beach boys are waiting to deliver English newspapers, your morning capuccino or just a friendly “Ciao” to hotel guests.
We love the informal Pelligrill for lunch. The staff are superb and everyone looks terribly happy to be there. A Pellican martini, expertly shaken by resident barman Federico, should or rather must be enjoyed on the terrace bordered by banks of rosemary. If it gets too hot, the bar itself spritzes mist over thirsty guests in need of a post-prandial sharpener. Dinner in the Michelin-starred restaurant is fancy and completely delicious. The wine cellar is well known and one of the best in Tuscany.
The Pellicano just ticks all the right boxes for a truly happy holiday.