La Roqqa, Porto Ercole

Owner: Erqole – Qarlbo AB
Concept interior design: ps+a Palomba Serafini Associati 
Furnighings: on design by the architects; Cantarutti, Ferm Living, Ferri 1956, Tacchini, Dormire 5 Stelle, Cassina, Zanotta, Driade, Desalto, Living Divani, Da a Italia, Desalto, Talenti, B&B Italia, Pols Potten, Azucena, Arper, Cappellini, Varaschin, Bonacina, Crassevig, Pedrali, Kavehome, Vincent Sheppard, Sika Design, Fatboy
Lighting: Artemide, Flos, Foscarini, Frandsen, Louise Poulsen, Zafferano, Oluce, FontanaArte, Platek, DCW, Faro, Zafferano
Curtains: Anza
Bathrooms: Zucchetti, Flaminia
Canopies and sun shading: Ombrellificio Il Parco, Ombrellificio Veneto
Photos: Alessandro Moggi

The first thing you see upon entering is the spiral staircase leading to the mezzanine level with a sculpture that plays music in the center. It’s hard to tear your eyes away as you check in on one of the cream-colored sofas designed by B&B Italia – or a Doron Hotel armchair by Cassina – in one of the little open-concept lounges framed by softly curving perspectival arches. 

The hallmark of Porto Ercole’s new luxury boutique hotel is precisely this mix of rounded lines, informal atmosphere, and high design. All 55 rooms have views of the port or the gardens of the former Don Pedro hotel, recently renovated by Palomba Serafini Associates for Erqole, the Italian company of Swedish entrepreneur Conni Jonsson, who has spent many summers vacationing with his family in this small town in Argentario. 

The designers chose a cross between genius loci and contemporary design as the stylistic concept. The color palette and textures in the private and common spaces recall Italy’s Maremma region with details like braided leather; sand, green, and brick-colored plaster; burnished iron; and custom-made tables in white, blue, and red ceramic. The bespoke furnishings are accompanied by iconic pieces of the 1960s and 1970s, taking us back to the time when international trendsetters first discovered Argentario’s charm.

Chairs by Gaetano Pesce (Up 2000) and Joe Colombo (Tube Chair) and quintessential Italian lamps (like the Arcoby Achille Castiglioni for Flos and Bruno Munari’s design for Artemide) adorn the spaces, from the hallways with their rounded corners and soft light to the rooms and suites with nuances that change on each floor. The five suites include the light-filled 300-square-meter Penthouse, which has three bedrooms and a mosaic of multi-level terraces with views in every direction. 

There is also a phenomenal view from the lounge bar and the fine-dining Scirocco restaurant captained by executive chef Francesco Ferretti located on the fourth-floor rooftop. Each room has a terrace or private balcony, a television integrated into custom-made mirrors, and wardrobes designed by Palomba Serafini with back-lit doors in perforated metal – the same material as the screens in the suites – that help to create an elegant, timeless atmosphere. 

The style of the old Don Pedro has disappeared from the inside, while on the outside it remains evident in the brick-colored facade protected by environmental and architectural constraints. The designers modernized it using tricks of the eye and specially designed evocative lighting, which enhance the curved cornices of the balconies and anticipate the play of arches and perspectives inside, from the staircase-sculpture to the cream-colored lounges framed by a cascade of arches.