Wednesday, June 21, 2017


Treated like a celebrity in a seaside hideaway with sophisticated Italian charm, Ulrika Thelander reviews a few magical days at Il Pellicano…

If you want a hideaway by the sea with excellent food and service – where celebrities and “normal guests” are given equal attention – this is the place for a long weekend, a week or longer.

Il Pellicano has the glamour of Costa Smeralda without the beaches and without the crush. There is crystal clear water and plenty of sun lounging for the beautiful people to see and be seen poolside and by the sea. An elevator and stairs lead down to the water and to lounging platforms lined with sunbeds. 

Looking down on the seaside platforms
From around the resort the views are wonderful – and so are the sunsets. At the restaurants you enjoy both captivating vistas and very good Italian food: The Pellicano Restaurant (breakfast & Michelin star dinners), The Grill, and The Pool Bar. The Chef is from Puglia.

Beautiful gardens around the gourmet restaurant

Pool bar
Complimentaru dessert from Pellicano restaurant, with some other delights

The ambience is pure sophisticated luxury. Service is a very high level. I forgot my mascara at home and they went and bought me a new one – put the charge on my room bill. Of course the beach boys clean your glasses and you get small treats around the pool and sea.

Situated on a cliff, the hotel is reached by serpentine road from Porto Ercole (about 5-10 minutes). It lies on Monte Argentario, a peninsula connected with the mainland by three spits of land. In the immediate surroundings enjoy scenic mountains, castles, forts and the amazing coast line. 

If money is not a problem – rent a boat! A lot of other activities can be arranged by the hotel – wine tasting, tours, hiking etc.

There are many small local restaurants in Porto Ercole but since the hotel has two very nice restaurants you will not want to leave Il Pellicano if you are only there for a few nights like myself.

This is a wonderful property in an amazing garden.  I could easily spend a week  or more here – explore their surrounding areas, play golf or tennis, spend time on the sea and of course take excursions further away. But so nice to come back to this little gem each evening.

View from my room
Gardens and seawater pool
Argentario golf course


No. of rooms:  50
Distance from airport:  90 minutes from Rome Fuimicino intl apt.
Distance from nearest town/shops/restaurants:  5-10 minutes by car (Porto Ercole & Harbour)
No. 1 reason to choose this hotel: For a ultra luxury/romantic/hideaway small boutique hotel experience. Without too many children and without the the hustle and bustle of popular areas like Capri & Amalfi Coast in high season.
Who to stay: Honeymooners, couples, families with well behaved kids.
The pool: saltwater pool heated to 26-27 degrees, a lot of sun chairs and lovely view.
The spa: Lovely, small but very professional.
F&B The Grill Restaurant. Il Pellicano Michelin star restaurant.
Sports: water activities, tennis court, golf course 15 minutes away. Hiking, biking and a lot more.
Excursions are offered for a fee.
Room tip: For privacy for honeymooners the garden rooms are probably best, but for those of us who love sea views, a room in the main building. I stayed in room 6 in the main building with a patio (a table and 2 chairs plus 2 sun chairs). I did have neighbours next to me but I never saw anybody though the hotel was fully booked.
Prebook: pre-book dinners and excursions -  especially think ahead for the Michelin star restaurant.
Why choose this hotel: For a ultra luxury/romantic/hideaway boutique hotel experience. Without too many children and without the the hustle and bustle of popular areas like Capri & Amalfi Coast in high season.

Images by Select Collection & Ulrika Thelander

Pellicano restaurant

Pleasant bar

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