Augusto Orsini, born in Rome, made his first yearly trek to the Argentario Peninsula in Tuscany as a young boy, with his family and his golf-loving father. Little did he know that many years later this would become the home to a the stunning 5-star Argentario Golf Resort & Spa, which has firmly established itself in the Italian and international luxury golf sector.
Here Mr Orsini shares with us his story and gives us an insider view on the resort and the luxury travel sector.
Please share with us the story of the Argentario Golf Resort & Spa?
A love for the area of Maremma in Tuscany off the beaten path, the local lifestyle, nature and sports, led me to conceive the project that culminated with the golf course and design resort. One of the main ideas behind the project was to show the region’s progressive side. In Tuscany, you are used to seeing rustic villas – which are beautiful – but I wanted to do something new, something fresh. To fulfill this dream, with the help of Architect Stefania Tognoloni and interior designer Andrea Fogli, I looked for original materials that would give the resort a unique and eco-conscious spirit in rustic Tuscany.
And how has your role evolved since you started out on this successful project?
Thanks to recognitions from Condé Nast Traveller, Spa Traveller and more recently The Professional Golfers’ Association, which has added us to its prestigious portfolio as the only PGA licensed golf facility in Italy, we have become an established name in the Italian and international luxury golf sector.
You’re located in Tuscany, one of many amazing destinations in Italy. How can you describe the region?
The Argentario Golf Resort & Spa is in one of the most surprising corners of Tuscany. The area is called Maremma, and it is not very well known abroad. Tourists are always very surprised and glad to discover this hidden gem, which is conveniently located near famous art cities like Rome, Florence and Siena.
What is your top tip for a first-time visitor to this part of Italy?
To take their time to enjoy Slow Travel, to visit the small medieval hilltop hamlets and fishing villages, the beautiful and pristine nature parks, and to enjoy their favorite activities or discover new ones here in Maremma. In fact, thanks to its mild climate, the area offers a wide choice of things that can be enjoyed throughout the year, such as golf, horse riding, birdwatching, biking and hiking. This is also the perfect place to go visit traditional or modern wineries for wine tastings, or join a local chef for creative cooking lessons.
Yours is an environmentally-friendly resort, what does it mean?
One of the main ideas behind the project was its eco-conscious philosophy, starting from the restaurants that use local organic products, to the architecture that maximises natural light, all the way to the golf course, which was built with as little environmental impact as possible. The golf course is maintained with natural products and has received the BioAgricert environmental certification for sustainability and water management. 300.000 new plants were introduced in the area as a result of the creation of the Argentario Golf Resort & Spa, and the new habitat has favoured the return of animal species such as fallow deers, hares and a variety of birds in the area.
Please tell us more about the luxury villas located on the golf course and what guests can expect from their stay here.
We have just launched a collection of independent luxury villas. Five of them are available for holiday rentals all year-round. With three to five bedrooms each, they are ideal for families or group of friends who love wellness and spa, Tuscan food and wines, sports, art and nature. Whilst the new properties offer guests privacy and independence, all villa guests have open access to the nearby facilities and activities in the Resort, such as the restaurants, sports grounds and the wellness centre.
The Argentario Golf Villas are also available for sale, with a choice between existing properties and the opportunity to build a customised villa, from layout to internal furnishings, at the planning stage. For anyone wishing to invest in a property in Tuscany, this real estate project can also offer expertise and personalised management, creating the conditions for maximum return on investment.
The resort is ideally set up for sport lovers. What kind of activities can they find in the Resort?
Yes indeed, our resort and the surrounding nature are great for sports lovers. In addition to our 18-hole golf course and related practice facilities, they will find 2 tennis courts, 2 padel courts, a small soccer field and 2 jogging trails. Our almost 3000sqm Spa includes a modern Technogym gym, fitness room and courses. Personal trainers and nutritionists are available for customized health programs. And after a long day of sport activities, guests can relax with a deep-tissue massage or a swim in our pools.
What does luxury mean to you?
To me, luxury is a mix of memorable experiences, quality services and a touch of class – all of which must respect and value nature. For example, luxury is a round of golf with my friends in a course that is maintained sustainably and where the staff greets and supports you while also respecting your privacy; a cooking lesson with a local chef who uses seasonal products from small farms…
The travel sector constantly evolves to satisfy and, in many cases, exceed the expectations of global travellers, what are the key trends that you predict for the next three to five years?
I believe that the luxury sector will need to create a more meaningful engagement with modern travellers, for example by delivering new personalised experiences to empower individual identities. Sustainability is another great and positive trend: it’s not only about using materials in a more conscious way, it’s also about empowering travellers to understand, track and control their own impact for more responsible consumption of luxury.