By Jennifer Pelaez
Beyond the beloved and familiar capital and surrounding interior towns of Tuscany, lies the Maremma, a less frequented but equally exquisite stretch of rugged coastal region marked by pristine beaches fringed with umbrella-shaped pines and olive-dotted hillsides. Here, in the province of Grosseto, overlooking the sapphire-blue Mediterranean sea, lies the elegant Hotel Cala del Porto, a tranquil retreat in the charming marina village of Punta Ala. At Hotel Cala del Porto, panoramic vistas of the seaside perfectly collide with the luscious rolling hills and small mountains, which are home to an array of local flora and fauna, resulting in the perfect location to immerse yourself in nature while also luxuriating in Tuscan glamour.
Hotel Cala del Porto is a sight on its own with an architecture that is modern and stylish yet also warm and inviting. The hotel prides itself in making guests feel at home, in true Italian fashion, where every wish is your command. The gardens are perfectly manicured brimming with colorful flowers that complement the rich landscape of the Maremma. With just 41 rooms, including six junior suites, careful attention was placed on designing each one and strategically designed to take advantage of the views. The preferred rooms have balconies and look out over the Tyrrhenian sea towards the eye-catching island of Elba, while others open directly onto the gardens or the pool deck. Each room is decorated in a palette of warm and breezy hues with marble fixtures, elegant furnishings, authentic Tuscan tiles, and soft linen sheets.
Being in the heart of Maremma has its perks – one being the entire Tuscany region is at your doorstep. Whether you are looking to play a round of golf at Punta Ala Golf Club's 18-hole course or visit the Tuscan archipelago in a yacht, there are plenty of options for every possible preference. If you are interested in discovering the ancient traditions of the region and immersing yourself in the well preserved Tuscan culture, there are many historic and archeological sites nearby like the ancient villages of Castiglione della Pescaia and Massa Marittima, and the Etruscan ruins of Vetulonia. Farther trips to Lucca, Pisa, Sienna and Florence are within driving distance.
Wine connoisseurs can imbibe some of the best wines in the region with excursions to Bolgheri, the cradle of Italy's finest wines, which is just a short drive away. Outdoor enthusiasts can explore the natural wonders of the Maremma while shopaholics can revel nearby in Punta Ala, where the modern designer boutiques and exclusive shops offer the latest fashions off the Milan catwalk.
For a day of total relaxation, laze by the pool which is perched on a terrace that has a perfect vantage point to watch the yachts come and go in the harbor below. Or bask in the sun at the hotel's private Bagno Alleluja beach club, complete with pagoda-shaped cabanas. Although it is a mile away, it's certainly worth the short ride on the complimentary shuttle service.
When it comes to savory five- star quality dining for which Tuscany is so well known for, the dining options at Cala del Porto do not disappoint. Choose between the chic and upscale indoor Belvedere Restaurant or the casual beach-side café La Spiaggia, and you are guaranteed an enjoyable fresh Mediterranean culinary experience. From fried calamari and pasta specialties to fish grilled on the barbecue, all dishes are flavored with fresh herbs grown in the hotel's own garden. These delicious flavors pair perfectly with the impressive list of local wines, a constant reminder you are in one of the world's most notable wine regions.
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