By Charmaine Hibbert
As the clouds disappear I knew I was in for a wonderful couple of days, the skies over Rome as we start to descend are clear and blue and as I walk out of the aeroplane and down the stairs the warmth hits me. A quick exit though the electronic barriers and I spot our chauffeur from the Argentario Resort holding his placard.
Within minutes we are on the motorway and I am stunned at how little traffic there is, it’s 13.30 on a Monday afternoon and we are cruising down the motorway making rapid time and taking in the beautiful Tuscany scenery. As we cross the Diga bridge the 1.5 hours journey has flown by.
We enter through the electronic gates and pull up outside the hotel, the modern design of the building just oozes elegance, but James of course is too busy looking at the latest Jaguar range that is lined up outside – it transpires the hotel has an affiliation with the company that has offices in the local area.
On entering the reception, you can see the elegant modern vibe is continued inside with a very airy reception area and a magnificent spiral staircase that takes you down to the restaurant, bar, spa, swimming pool and gym areas which are arranged over different levels.
A swift check-in sees me walking down an ambient mood calming corridor where the walls are adorned with wonderful black and white historic golf photography, some of which are very amusing and some are of iconic golfers through the ages.
As always, the big moment arrives when I open my room door, but I shouldn’t have been surprised by how beautifully appointed and well designed my room is. Spacious, modern with dark wood, creams and beiges complementing each other, there’s a deep two-person soaker tub and dark stone enclosed rain shower, which within minutes I am standing in just letting the warm water soothe my being.
After an inspection around the beautiful grounds and a view of the new villas that are being built with their stunning views out across the golf course and the town of Orbetello and its lagoon – these should be ready for occupancy from May 2019, although some are private residences. We are sitting on the clubhouse terrace overlooking what is the 9th green enjoying some light snacks and a coffee in the afternoon sun, James is of course sampling a local beer called Enki which he is raving about and brewed nearby in Grosseto, but as I have a spinning class to go to drinking alcohol is not on the agenda for me until dinner.
I change and head down the gym and pool area on a mission to explore before the start of my class, the pool looks so inviting and you can swim between the indoor and outdoor pool via a pass through in the glass surround. The gym is well equipped with bikes, treadmills, X-Trainers and a weights section, there is also an area for classes which is where I am heading for my spinning class, I am informed there are several classes you can take which include Acquagym, Aerobic Dance, Callanetica and of course spinning.
After a great session on the bike, I am now chilling out in the steam room. I much prefer a steam to a sauna but there is the option of both. Feeling relaxed and refreshed and after a sneaky little snooze in the relaxation room I am heading back up to my room to get ready for dinner.
After a couple of pre-dinner drinks at the bar, I have ordered the rack of lamb which I am told is locally sourced like all the food that is served here, and the chef even has his own allotment for herbs. We are in Tuscany and as you would expect the food and wine are exemplary, cooked to perfection with the wine chosen by the maître d’, a perfect complement to each course.
Val delle Rose Winery
After a hearty breakfast and more chilling out around the pool and steam room we are heading to the Val delle Rose Winery, it’s about an hour or so trip from the hotel and another wonderful chance to soak in the beautiful vistas of the Tuscany countryside.
As we head off the motorway I can see the vines of the vineyards stretching out before me and we pull up outside, what I am later informed is the new winery building having expanded from the old buildings that I can see from the steps of the new. I am surprised as the architecture of the new building looks like a vast hacienda type building that I am about to find out has a massive secret sitting below it.
As I listen intently to Lisa Pianigiani who is our tour guide, I am struck by the lack of staff at the facility in fact our group and Lisa are the only people on the property today. Of course, the part I am looking forward to the most is the wine tasting and we certainly manage to taste a good many of the wines that Val delle Rose produce. It is a tour I recommend you take and as the sun sets over the hills and the orange and yellows engulf the vines, I reflect on my day so far and I can say with the exercise in the morning and now the wine tasting I seem to have this work life balance thing sorted.
The MediSPA not only offers you the usual treatments but is a wellness centre that gives advice on food education and exclusive treatments designed for you to achieve your desired weight, shape and physical-mental wellness, and how to maintain this once you have left the resort.
Things you need to know:
The Argentario resort, not only has an 18-hole golf course – which James will be reviewing in the other section – but there are 2 padel courts, 2 tennis courts, a 5-a-side football pitch and jogging paths, heated indoor pool, an outdoor pool, tubs with cervical cascades, thalassotherapy, Kneipp pools and hot tubs. During summer there’s a terrace with 2 swimming pools, one of these pools is for children.
Argentario Golf Resort & Spa
Via Acquedotto Leopoldino
58018 Porto Ercole GR
T: +39 0564 810292