Sleepover: Il Pellicano, Porto Ercole, Tuscany

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The Independent Travel

On Monte Argentario, a rugged circle of land off the Tuscan coast that was once an island. It is now joined to the mainland by three narrow sandbars, the lagoons between which form a nature reserve.

Where is it?

On Monte Argentario, a rugged circle of land off the Tuscan coast that was once an island. It is now joined to the mainland by three narrow sandbars, the lagoons between which form a nature reserve.

What's it like?

A hillside haven of style and luxury, wonderfully secluded, with tiled floors, pale wood and lots of natural light. A large terrace looks out over the Mediterranean, and steps carved out of the cliff take you down to the pool and the private beach.

What's it like?

Beauty, fitness and spa facilities that will invigorate, soothe and replenish.

Ambience?

Think The Talented Mr Ripley. If Grace Kelly were still around, this is where she would escape to, with Cary Grant in her slipstream. It may be cool but it lacks the intimidation that so often accompanies hip hotels.

Service?

This is Italy, and as good as it gets. Uniformed, discreet and effortlessly solicitous.

Rooms?

Charming cottages in the manicured grounds, with creamy interiors and comfort without chintz. Each has its own little balcony.

Food?

Exceptionally fine modern Italian cuisine, with the emphasis on the healthy and light. I put it to the soft-boiled egg test, which it passed splendidly.

Clientele?

The young, rich and beautiful, and the older, rich and beautiful.

Things to do?

Nearby Porto Ercole is a non-touristy resort with a pretty waterfront; it fills up with mainly Roman holiday-makers in summer. The area is also rich in Roman and Etruscan antiquities, and charming hill towns.

Address

Il Pellicano, 58052 Porto Ercole (GR), Italy (00390 564 833801). Seasons in Style (0151-342 0505; www.seasonsinstyle.co.uk) offers a seven-night package from £1,295 per person, based on two sharing, including return flights to Rome, transfers and b&b. Il Pellicano opens from 23 March to the end of October.

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