La Roqqa is the Newest Design-Forward Charmer Off of Italy’s Tuscan Coast

There’s nothing fussy about the town of Porto Ercole, a quaint seaside village on the Tuscan peninsula of Monte Argentario. But for luxury travelers seeking understated elegance and five-star service, La Roqqa is helping to reimagine this remarkable—and not overly touristy—Italian vacation spot.

Monte Argentario is a 23-square-mile island connected to the Tuscan mainland via two sandbars. Just 90 minutes from Rome and 2.5 hours from Florence by car, it has all the charm of Tuscan’s lush landscape paired with glistening seaside beauty, medieval towns, a large maritime community, and leisure activities like golfing. Porto Ercole is not an undiscovered part of Italy and has long attracted A-listers and dignitaries, including Jackie Kennedy, Slim Aarons, Sophia Loren, and the Dutch Royal Family. However, it still retains its essence and local flair.

The town is brimming with local coffee shops and hidden-gem restaurants, nary a designer store in sight. It’s also a more under-the-radar superyacht destination with more laid-back spots than the sceney Amalfi Coast. Now, La Roqqa is hoping to revive the area with a sustainable, design-forward hotel that oozes sophistication.

La Roqqa gets its name from the neighboring medieval fortress called La Rocca and was formerly a three-star hotel until the Sweden-based Jonsson family (longtime visitors of Monte Argentario) purchased the hotel and embarked on a three-year renovation to transform the hilltop property into a stunning five-star retreat. They tapped Milanese design studio Palomba e Serafini Associati Studio to create a dreamy destination.

Arriving at the hotel feels like you’ve somewhat entered a bygone era. Parked near the front is a tiny, white, and custom convertible Fiat that trades traditional fabric seats for rattan seats. It’s not just for an Instagram moment, but the car can transport you to and from the town, which is just a three-minute drive down the hill. Inside, it’s like you’ve entered an art gallery. A winding, stark-white sculptural staircase is the focal point of the lobby, as is the two-story art installation that hangs from the ceiling within the center of the staircase. Up the stairs is the Mezzanin Restaurant and Bar and gym.

The rooms feature bath products from Ortigia Sicilia and a Nespresso. The proudly plastic-free hotel also provides guests with two metal water bottles (each matches the color of the room category you’re in) and a filtered, built-in water faucet in each room. The hidden TV is built into a lovely circular mirror that shows no indication of a display—a smart addition for a design-forward hotel. There’s no phone, but a What’s App number to text or call if you need anything, from laundry services to in-room dining.

Finally, the rooftop terrace on the fourth floor, which houses Scirocco Restaurant, offers breathtaking views of Porto Ercole and the marina. The design is consistent—and colorful—throughout each space. The hotel makes up for its lack of a pool with the nearby Isolotto Beach Club, located on Porto Ercole’s only sandy beach. Open to hotel guests and the public, the beach club offers a restaurant and bar, day beds, and water excursions nestled in one of Monte Argentario’s most picturesque coves.

Top Takeaways

Location: Porto Ercole, Monte Argentario, Italy

Rating: Five-Star

The Vibe: A contemporary design-forward hotel with all the charm of a seaside Italian getaway, simultaneously romantic and cutting-edge.

Our Favorite Things About the Hotel: Apart from the spectacular design, the service is up to par with some of the most storied five-star hotel brands. Discreet, attentive without being overwhelming, and gracious, a feat not many new hotels can pull off.

Food + Drink: Mezzanine Restaurant and Bar on the second floor; Scirocco Rooftop Restaurant on the fourth floor; Rooftop Lounge for evening drinks; and Isolotto Beach Club, a restaurant open for lunch with a bar.

Amenities: Gym; coffee maker in each room; La Roqqa totes and water bottles; concierge; filtered water in each room; and car services to take you throughout the island.

What’s Nearby: Visit the nearby Old Town, with meandering cobbled streets. Sites in the area include Forte Filippo; Forte Stella; beaches, including Cala del Gesso and Cala Grande; and picturesque hiking trails.

Any Personal Neighborhood Recs? Il Gambero Rosso is a charming local Italian restaurant in town, just a short drive or walk (if you want to burn off your carb intake) from the hotel. Order the spaghetti alle vongole and pair it with a local Tuscan wine. You won’t be disappointed.

Rooms: 55 rooms, including suites

Pricing: Rooms start at $465 (or €430) per night.

Closest Airport: Rome Fiumicino Airport (FCO)

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