Europe’s best beach holiday hotels

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With more than 4,700 miles of coastline, Italy is home to some of Europe’s most picturesque seascapes peppered with secluded coves and stylish resorts. The dramatic scenery of Liguria’s Cinque Terre, where traditional villages perch on rugged headlands, attracts scores of tourists in the summer months; the Amalfi Coast is another major draw, with its cornice road that winds along towering cliffs. Italians descend on the beaches in July and August, although it’s possible to seek out tranquillity at one of the exclusive hotels that hug the country’s coastline.

Set up in the 1960s by a dashing British aviator and his American wife in a secluded cove on Tuscany’s rugged Argentario coast, this spring-to-autumn haven of dolce vita luxury has always been a clubbish, word-of-mouth kind of place. Now under the dynamic management of style maven and designer Marie-Louise Sciò, the hotel has refined its service, gained a Michelin-star and added a spa without losing its insider cachet and house-party vibe.

A superlative example of the best hotels, not just on this coast but in Italy, run since 1904 by a family who mix warmth and devotion with professionalism and the highest of standards. Add to that a handsome, intriguingly laid out 19th-century building; standalone folly-suites tucked amongst the gardens, citrus groves, pergolas and arbours that tumble down the hillside to the sea; a glass lift that whooshes guests down to the pool and beach club, balconies that jut over the water and classic white Amalfitana interiors splashed with Mediterranean colour, and you have an address that joyfully combines personality with glamour and integrity with charm. READ MORE…

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