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Il Pellicano, Porto Ercole 

Località Sbarcatello
Porto Ercole
Italy 58018
Tel: 39 0564 858 111
view web site ›'s insider take:

It's hard to find a reason to leave this sumptuous 50-room resort with its heated pool, private pebbly beach on the Cala dei Santi, and superb (but pricey) restaurant. Set in a natural amphitheater on the rocky Argentario coast, this exclusive resort's accommodations are discreetly spread out in villas nestled among pine trees and cypresses. Rooms are spacious and light-filled, and decorated with comfortable luxury in mind; most have terraces overlooking the sea. The privacy factor draws aristocrats and muckety-mucks from the fields of entertainment, the arts, and banking: A staff of more than a hundred is on hand to cater to their every whim. Even if you're not staying in the hotel, a meal at Il Pellicano is worth a detour. From June to September, lunchtime here consists of an informal but spectacular buffet on the stunning seaside terrace overlooking Porto Ercole, with an array of exquisitely fresh fish and meats; make your choice, and it will be custom-barbecued for you. In the shoulder seasons and in the evenings, the elegant dining room serves a creative Italian menu that rates a Michelin star (the only one on Monte Argentario). Choose from tagliolini with lobster in a pea and barley cream, a delicate thyme-scented roast turbot with potatoes crushed with shallots and fennel, or lamb shank with spelt and Swiss chard. The wine list offers more than a thousand labels.

Open April to October.

Appeared in the Condé Nast Traveler Gold List, a directory of the world's best hotels and resorts, in 2010, 2009, 2005

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