Hotel Il Pellicano Turns 50

Hotel Il Pellicano is an iconic Italian destination that has long been on my bucket list. Overlooking the Mediterranean from a promontory on the Tuscan coast, next to the stylish seaport of Porto Ercole, the hotel has been frequented by a cadre of international stylemakers since its opening in 1965.

Hotel Il Pellicanohotel il pellicano overviewInitially built as a small hotel and private club by socialites Michael and Patricia Graham (he a decorated British pilot and she an American heiress), it was purchased in 1979 by friend and frequent guest Roberto Sciò. While maintaining the intimate charm, he transformed and expanded the exclusive enclave into the legendary hotel it is today – below, Sciò and wife, shot by Slim Aarons in 1980.

Owner Roberto Scio and wife at Il Hotel Pellicano shot by Slim Aarons in 1980

A chic hideaway of understated luxury and refined relaxation, Il Pellicano has a glamorous history that was thankfully documented several years ago in a book with photos by John Swope, Slim Aarons and Juergen Teller, each representing an era at the celebrated hotel.

hotel il pellicano bookNowadays it is Sciò’s daughter, the chic Marie-Louise Sciò, below, who, as creative director, oversees the hotel.

Marie-Louise Sciò of Hotel Il PellicanoPhoto by Matthieu Salvaing for the WSJ Magazine

In 2006 she was responsible for masterminding a major renovation. As she described, in a WSJ magazine piece last year, “We have changed it and updated it, but Il Pellicano hasn’t lost its spirit.” She naturally kept the pelican theme and extended it with other avian references such as the custom Fornasetti wallpaper, above and below, that covers the restaurant’s walls.

hotel il pellicano restaurantThe bedrooms feature Pierre Frey fabrics, some subdued and serene,

Hotel Il pellicano suite and some in bright tropical colors.

Pierre Frey at Hotel Il PellicanoPhoto by Matthieu Salvaing for the WSJ Magazine

As annual visitor Margherita Missoni explained in the WSJ piece, “Il Pellicano is totally timeless—but not retro. It’s in its own bubble.” Echoing other regulars, many see no reason to ever leave the property. With a beach club, several restaurants, gym, tennis court, boutique and spa (using Santa Maria Novella products), it is a cosseted and coveted world that seems just the right combination of luxury and laissez faire.

Hotel Il Pellicano

Hotel Il Pellicano view

This Saturday the storied hotel turned 50 and Marie-Louise oversaw a huge gala celebrating half a century of stylish Italian hospitality. It was hard to miss the party pics on Instagram as a bevy of European and American journalists and stylemakers attended. A few moments below via Instagram. Dinner via T magazine

Hotel Pellicano 50 via T magazine instagram

chic style via Marie-Louise

#hotelilpellicano50 via Marie-louise scio

and ambience via Max Mara’s dapper Giorgio Guidotti.

Hotel Il Pellicano 50 via Giorgio Guidotti

Hotel Il Pellicano 50th anniversary party via Giorgio Guidotti

So thank you Il Pellicano for a marvelous vicarious weekend. Here’s to 50 more years of barefoot luxury!


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4 Responses to Hotel Il Pellicano Turns 50

  1. I have that book and just love it, what elegant adventures have been had at that hotel. Happy Birthday Il Pelicano!

  2. Hi Stacey, We were lucky enough to ‘happen’ upon this wonderful hotel about 15 years ago quite by accident. We spent four days there. I will never forget the ravioli! The gardens, tall pines and pool area were beautiful. I would love to go there again! The dining room and sitting room are still as I remember them.

  3. franki says:

    GOLDEN!!! franki

  4. Jayne says:

    Sign me up! All of Italy is on my list!

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