Design hotels in Tuscany - they do exist!

The Argentario Golf Resort & Spa excels with something not many hotels in Tuscany's countryside have managed to pull off - tasteful contemporary design. 

Tuscan hotels are usually located in centuries-old villas, castles or farmhouses. In the best-case scenario, they will have been painstakingly restored and the interior design is a sophisticated mix of aristocratic joie-de-vivre or a romanticized version of Tuscan peasant life. 

In the worst case, the interpretation has gone awry with lots of velvet curtains, fake antique furniture and heavy-set four-poster beds in an international baroque style that has little to do with Tuscany but lots with a type of interior design invented to pimp up international hotel chains.

It's a relief that the five-star Argentario resort de
cided for a different approach. No more fake Renaissance architecture, but at last a well thought-through contemporary approach to holidaying in Tuscany.  

My Tuscan native trying hard to match our stylish Junior Suite

The reception, hotel restaurant, Espace spa and the elegant outdoor furniture -hurrah, not the usual PVC wicker chairs for a change! - are mostly kept in black and white. The rooms and suites follow through with the approach, but design furniture and bathroom style vary slightly depending on the booked room type. The elegant luxury safari style of our Junior Suite with chrome and dark wood furniture worked really well. 

the Argentario resort hotel bar
First drink of the day (many to follow with a bar like this) 

Apart from the design, the Argentario resort impresses with a 18-holes golf course, large wellness centre, Tennis fields and jogging trails. The golf course is perfectly kept and grants views over the Tyrrhenian Sea and the adjacent lagoon (in this part of the world best remember to bring your anti-mosquito spray so as not to be bothered by the little beasts when rehearsing your swing). 

Tuscan hills and golf course seen from Argentario hotel
The golf course seen from the hotel terrace
With its pools, in- and outdoor playgrounds, this is a great hotel for families too. And don't worry if you don't travel with kids - the grounds of the resort are big enough that you won't have to cross paths with them if you'd rather not. 

Beach-loving golfers should drop the iron from time to time so as to explore the crystal clear water of the bays of Monte Argentario (hotel guests can also rent a deck chair at a beach club on the Giannella). 
The spa pool of the Argentario golf resort
Respite for aching golfer shoulders 

View of modern sculptures shapes as black vases at the spa entrance
Entrance of the Espace spa

view of the spa pool
one more from the spacious spa
Restaurant Dama Dama has a spacious terrace for sunset dinners and a wine list that deserves a special mention. Its Km0 approach focuses on local wineries to help travellers discover new wines from lesser-known estates in the Maremma instead of showcasing the usual Tuscan top gun estates. 

Last but not least, the hotel and restaurant staff is warm and welcoming, 'alla mano' as the Italians would say, a nice break from the sometimes zealously obsequious treatment reserved to clients in other Italian five-star hotels.  

When to come: The hotel is open all year round. Personally, I'd avoid July and August when the peninsula gets very busy but prefer visiting in spring, autumn or even winter instead. The golf course is always open and if you're lucky the Mediterranean Sea may be warm enough even to swim in April or November (we did!) and the empty beaches will be bliss.

Two swimmers and a sailing boat in the Aquadolce bay
April swim at Monteargentario's Acqua Dolce bay
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