Mention Tuscany and because of films like Under the Tuscan Sun, most people conjure images of sun-kissed Tuscan villas, red wine and green rolling hills. Tuscany sure isn’t a stranger to mass tourism, but there’s a part of this region that is truly ripe to be explored and it’s one that Italians have been sneakily keeping to themselves.
Punta Ala is located on the Maremma coast, a 2 hour drive from the Florence International Airport. It is the playground of Italy’s rich and famous with luxury homes throughout and yachts dotted along the long marina. Looking out to this stunning view (and one that stretches out to Elba Island and even as far as Corsica on a clear day) is the opulent 5 star Baglioni resort, Hotel Cala del Porto.
The Baglioni group of hotels is the epitome of Italian luxury and style. Still family-run, their hotels cannot only be found across Italy but in London, regional France and soon in Morocco and the Maldives too.
Hotel Cala del Porto is the very first hotel in the group. President and founder, Mr Roberto Polito says, “Our hotels are like our home, elegant and discreet, yet open and alive. They are made up of people who, together with their guests, seek experiences that make it worth embarking on a long journey.” And the only thing you’ll regret about your journey to the Baglioni Punta Ala location is that you didn’t make it sooner.
With 38 stunningly appointed rooms and suites, all with a view – whether it be the pool, marina or lush garden setting – the Cala del Porto’s enviable location with spectacular sea views is the epitome of resort paradise.
Set high above the sea with expansive views across the marina of Punta Ala’s port, on a clear day you can see as far out to the Tuscan islands of Elba and Capraia and even to Corsica. The lively seaside towns of Follonica and Castiglione della Pescaia with their shops, restaurants and bars are a short drive away.
It’s also a great base for exploring the surrounding coastal areas of Monte Argentario and Porto Ercole or inland Tuscany like the Chianti region.
By car, the hotel can be reached in approximately 2 hours from Florence airport and about 2.5 hours from Rome’s Fiumicino airport.
Style & Ambiance
While the common thread throughout the Baglioni properties is class and style, the great thing about their hotels is that they are each unique and take something from the destination they are home to. So as soon as you walk into the Hotel Cala del Porto – and without having even seen the sea view from the pool terrace – you just know you’re at the beach.
It has a coastal chic kind of nautical feel that starts in the lobby and permeates to the rooms and suites. Light wood and pastel tones of blue, lime, yellow and mauve is the palette here and it just soothes and relaxes the mind.
The Punta Ala vibe is very laid back but don’t let that fool you into thinking the service is too! Here, you have all the amenities and perks of a 5 star hotel but in a beach getaway set up.
Arrival & Check-in
Check-in here is quick and seamless and without a hitch you’re key in hand and being accompanied to your room (where of course your luggage has already magically appeared).
I stayed in a Junior Sea View Suite. Decked out in plush pastel lime and mauve fabrics and decor, the room features a chaise lounge area and king size bed.
A table for two plus a sun bed were perched on the balcony looking out to the pool deck and sparkling waters of the Punta Ala bay and port.
A soak in the bathroom’s hot tub is the perfect way to end the day and the signature Baglioni toiletries by Sicilian perfumer and cosmetic house, Ortigia are a decadent touch.
The turn down service each night left slippers by my bed, the curtains closed, water by the bedside and fresh, clean towels in the bathroom.
Dine on site at the Belvedere Restaurant or down the road at Baglioni’s beach club La Vela. La Vela means ‘wind sail’ in English and this is reflected in its design. Here you can sit back on the colourful cushion-laden deck chairs and sip on a spritz or negroni as you look out to the beach until aperitif time. Lunch and dinner is a casual yet stylish affair of salads, freshly caught fish and grill style dishes and even delicious sourdough pizzas.
Then there’s La Spiaggia Restaurant located right on the beach amongst the Punta Ala pine trees. Here it’s informal and relaxed but the food is of the highest quality. Chef Giuseppe Angelucci’s fresh seafood and pasta dishes are outstanding.
Back at the Cala del Porto, enjoy a more sophisticated affair at the Belvedere, with live piano tunes in the background – still with a glorious view of the Follonica Bay. Pasta, seafood and meat feature on the refined menu which blends the very best of Tuscan and Mediterranean cuisine. Have the sommelier match your dishes to local and international wines.
The breakfast offering is what you’d expect from any hotel of this calibre. Freshly baked pastries and cakes to fresh fruit, there’s a charcuterie section and then the international classics (if you need your eggs and bacon in the morning!).
The bar staff love creating and while the comprehensive cocktail list features all of the classics, let them come up with something signature for you. You’ll find whatever’s fresh and in season in their cocktail of the day, so pick your poison and sit out on the deck to take in the views.
Rest of the Hotel
La Vela Beach Club
Designed by none other than famed Milanese architects Rebosio and Spagnulo, La Vela Beach Club is the exclusive private beach for Baglioni guests. A shuttle from the resort takes you down the road through the pine trees and in no time you’ll be settled into your sun bed!
Baglioni Experiences & Concierge
Baglioni experiences are like no other and what you’d come to expect of a luxury 5 star chain. From a private dinner for two on a boat to exclusive local shopping or customised exploring activities, speak to the concierge and have them devise something that’s perfect for you. I was fortunate enough to try two of their exclusive packages.
The private boat day around the coast to see the Caribbean-like waters of Cala Violina was unforgettable as was a day on the winery greens at Rocca di Frassinello Winery. Designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano, the winery is a joint venture with French label Domaines Barons de Rothschild-Château Lafite and is located an hour from the hotel – in an area that has been producing wine for over 3000 years. The Baglioni Group offer packages with your stay that even allow you to create your own blend and they’ll have it shipped to you once you’re home!
Spa & Fitness
Located within the hotel’s private beach club complex, La Vela, the day spa is small but full service with treatment rooms for massage, facial and body treatments, a solarium and Turkish bath.
The gym boasts state-of-the-art Technogym equipment and importantly, the views stretch out over the beautiful sandy beach.
Both the gym and spa are open daily 10:00am to 8:00pm. Spa treatments are available by appointment.
Finances & Details
Classic Garden View rooms start at £265 (€315). Breakfast and free wifi is included.
The Junior Sea View Suite featured here is from £560 /€650 including breakfast and all the perks of a suite, such as a living room area, sea views, breakfast and wifi.
Address: Baglioni Hotel Cala del Porto, Via Cala del Pozzo, Punta Ala, 58043
Tel: +39 0564 922455
Author: Maria Pasquale
Born to Italian parents, Maria always knew Rome was her destiny, although she was raised in Melbourne. With a formal background in political science, policy and history, she is now a food and travel writer and contributes regularly to USA Today and Fodors. She has worked with other major brands including Dubai One TV, Rocco Forte Hotel Group, Paris Tourism Board and many others.
Her popular lifestyle blog, HeartRome is read in over 120 countries and has been featured in BBC and Vogue Travel among others. In Rome you’ll find her walking the streets of Trastevere, checking out the latest bar for an aperitivo or dining with friends.