With picturesque Cinque Terre to its north and the buzzy Positano and Capri to the south, it’s easy to overlook the Monte Argentario and the gem of the Tuscan coast, Hotel Il Pellicano. But for those looking for a hideaway away from the crowds, that would be a mistake.
Nestled in a private cove along the craggy coast of Tuscany, the hotel was conceived as the private love nest of a glamorous American socialite and dashing British aviator in the 1950s. The couple opened the hotel as a private club for friends and soon Hotel Il Pellicano became the destination of choice for the summer jet set. The vibe has not changed and continues to feel like a hip anti-Capri, where fashionable people summer in a setting less focused on luxe and more on what’s cool and creative.
These days, the hotel invites guests to enjoy a visit to what feels like the chic private club of a tastemaker friend. Mornings at Il Pellicano begin with The Pellican Post Daily delivered with cappuccinos on the terrace overlooking the sea at the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant. After breakfast, it is not uncommon for guests to enjoy a mid-morning tennis match or visit the spa. My husband and I spent lots of time on the grass court and the staff were eager to show their support. The ladies at the spa cheered for “girl power” while the bellmen half-joked that he should never lose, but win only by a little.
The most popular activity at Pellicano is lounging on the property’s famous cement beach. The beach and the cove are private—you will find lifeguards shooing curious yacht parties away from the property’s iconic dock. Beyond relaxing, activities range from tennis to day trips via yacht and jaunts around the area. There are quite a few UNESCO heritage sites on Monte Argentario worth visiting.
Guests have their pick when it comes to dining at Pellicano. Pelligrill, offering Tuscan cuisine for lunch and dinner, is excellent. Pellicano Restaurant, the property’s Michelin option, is creative with a wonderful atmosphere. Drinks are plentiful—with a beach bar, pool bar, and evening bar, where you will find guests lounging after hours sipping cocktail collaborations by Farmaceutica Santa Maria Novella and listening to the sounds of the resident pianist.
In the afternoon guests in brightly colored trunks and Missoni cover ups make their way down stone steps to Il Pellicano’s iconic tiered beach. Where once Slim Aarons and Jackie O sipped Aperol Spritzes, guests relax and read while enjoying creative cocktails mixed with elixirs from the iconic Florentine pharmacy, Santa Maria Novella.
Night falls at Il Pellicano and guests return to the terrace for good food, fine wines, and views of the sea that wipe all cares away. With the of the bar piano and the tinkle of laughter to set the mood, it’s easy to understand why Hotel Il Pellicano has remained a cherished home away from home for its glamorous guests for so long.