Superior Double Bedroom at Augustus Hotel & Resort, Forte dei Marmi, Italy

Augustus Hotel & Resort

Comprised of three separate buildings and a set of seven villas, the sprawling Augustus sits two streets behind the beach (no hotels in Forte de Marmi are actually on the beach), and its verdant landscaping, hedge-enclosed pool and interior dining courtyard offer a lush and quiet oasis from the fashionable crowds lounging on the beach and strolling about town. Guests can enjoy a newly redone and sizeable gym, a family-friendly pool and a variety of spa treatments on property.

A quirk of the Augustus is the wide variety in the style of rooms. The primary building, Villa Pesenti, has the convenience of being located near all of the hotel’s main facilities. A few steps away, the annexed La Nave building mimics the structure and visual panache of a ship, with open-air corridors, nautical themed bedrooms and colorful tile bathrooms. One street closer to the sea (outside the gates of the Augustus Hotel) sits the resort’s third building, the Augustus Lido. Once an 18th-century private villa, the Augustus Lido is reminiscent of Forte dei Marmi’s glamorous history, with more classical décor featuring brightly colored pink and blue florals, matching tile floors and small antiques throughout. The Lidino building, a small annex building on the grounds of the Augustus Lido, added four double rooms and an apartment to the resort’s repertoire in 2013.

With a welcoming and attentive staff, kid-friendly amenities and a tranquil environment, the Augustus is ideal for families or couples looking for a low-key, five-star beach vacation experience.

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Suite at Grand Hotel Imperiale, Marmi, Italy

Grand Hotel Imperiale

Situated on a pedestrian street in the town center, Grand Hotel Imperiale is conveniently located on the outskirts of the fashionable yet quaint town center. Protected by vegetation and a gated entrance, the property remains insulated while being centrally located and close to the town-based action. The hotel’s grand lobby features marble columns, crystal chandeliers, metallic-colored fabrics and gold detailing. While it is ornate, it lacks the elegance and sophistication that make Forte dei Marmi desirable.

Opened in 2007, Grand Hotel Imperiale’s rooms and suites are done in cream and pastel colors and feature wood floors, gold paneling and heavy fabrics. The overall style creates a rich and classic style that is consistent but lacks finesse. Many of the rooms and suites offer private balconies, the best of which overlook the Apuan Alps that sit behind the property, and all rooms are generously spacious (even the entry-level rooms feature private balconies and double vanity marble bathrooms).

The hotel has three restaurants, the Garden Restaurant that offers al fresco dining in the front of the property, the more formal Olivio d’Oro, which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner with tables that extend outside near the pool and the hotel’s beach club restaurant, Minerva, which specializes in fish. The hotel has a large but unadorned gym and a spa that offers a host of treatments. Just a few hundred yards from the property is the hotel's Minerva Beach Club. Here guests can enjoy a seaside lunch and reserve private cabanas complete with sun-beds, deck chairs, a chaise lounge and beachside food and beverage service.

The service at Grand Hotel Imperiale is slightly more formal and buttoned up but still family-friendly, with a 24-hour concierge desk and a Kid’s Club with organized activities and entertainment. The hotel’s overall vibe and aesthetic, however, is more corporate and commercial.

Lounge at Hotel Byron, Forte dei Marmi, Italy

Hotel Byron

Originally constructed as the private summer residence of José Caferino Canevaro, the Duke of Zoagli, Hotel Byron stands today as a symbol of Forte dei Marmi’s glamorous past. The intimate property retains the atmosphere of the original villa with small, separate public areas, a large outdoor pool and traditional, elegant décor. In lieu of a lobby or grand entryway, Hotel Byron offers a more discreet layout—a simple reception desk connected to various public rooms and spaces by different corridors. The hotel’s restaurant, Magnolia, is just as private, with a handful of tables in a cozy dining room. Outside, the villa-turned-hotel boasts lots of open space and seating with a large and furnished patio and spacious pool area.

Accommodations at Hotel Byron are simple and straightforward. Rooms are smaller in size and either traditional or contemporary in style, but always colorful and simply furnished. The marble bathrooms are more luxurious and relatively spacious. Unfortunately, no rooms offer landscape views.

The staff on property is incredibly friendly but not as buttoned up as some of the other hotels in town. Hotel Byron’s allure appeals to a particular kind of traveler who is willing to compromise space and convenience for the charms of the Old World.

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Arial View at Principe Forte dei Marmi, Italy


Centrally located a block from the sea and two from town, the Principe offers modern luxury in Forte dei Marmi, making it a top choice for summer globetrotters from Europe, Russia and the Middle East. The hotel, which opened in 2010, is stylishly decorated with contemporary flair featuring straight lines, neutral tones, light leather, shag rugs and plush linen touches. Together, they create a soft and luminous setting that is both welcoming and refined. The Principe’s distinction as the modern, five-star hotel in town is felt immediately: the lobby is spacious and sleek, the first floor features floor-to-ceiling glass windows allowing for lots of natural light and there are plenty of comfortable areas both inside and out for lounging while enjoying a spritz or small bite. The hotel has a lovely pool and poolside bar as well as a small grassy field, perfect for children to play in. Adults can unwind at the beautiful Egoista Spa which features advanced technology therapy, a host of rejuvenating treatments from Natura Bisse and Cinq Mondes, an elegant relaxation area with pool, Jacuzzi and ‘reaction’ hydro-jet showers complete with aroma therapy as well as a fully equipped fitness room with personal training programs.

Rooms at the Principe are consistent; all 29 are spacious, well appointed and feature a design scheme composed of glass-enclosed marble bathrooms, pile rugs and parquet flooring. The Junior Space rooms and higher room categories above include lush living corners with Italian-designed sofas and armchairs and many have lightly furnished balconies for private outdoor space. While none of the rooms have sea views, most overlook the lovely neighboring private villas and grounds or offer views of the white marble-capped Apuan mountain range. The overall sense achieved is one of harmony with the property’s natural surroundings.

The Principe’s beach club, Dalmazia, is located one short block from the hotel and lives up to the Principe’s standard of style. Tables at the Beach Restaurant are scattered throughout an open-air veranda that sits directly on the sand, boasting sweeping views of the sea. The menu consists of local Italian recipes with a natural emphasis on fresh seafood. Beyond the restaurant, guests can enjoy private, full service cabanas and gazebos for lazy days at the beach or book fitness, swimming or surfing lessons for a more active day in the sun. Best of all, the hotel has its own luxury yacht available for charter. Many guests book a day at sea along the beautiful Versilian coast and visits to the surrounding towns of Cinque Terre and Portofino. Expect friendly and professional service throughout.

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Exterior View - Villa Grey, Forte dei Marmi, Italy

Villa Grey

Once a privately owned villa and now a 19-room boutique hotel, Villa Grey opened the doors to its cozy and contemporary four-star property in 2010. As its name suggests, the concept of the hotel is centered on contemporary design dominated by grey hues. Entrusted to the Milan-based design firm, Culti, Villa Grey succeeds at creating a comfortable yet chic environment, results in a warm ambiance and a polished setting. Dim lighting, contemporary furnishings and a small modern bar make up the villa’s modest lobby, while the front patio and back piazza provide comfortable space for outdoor lounging. Though the hotel does not have a pool, it does have a lovely back garden and courtyard where guests can enjoy drinks or Italian fare from the restaurant menu. The villa itself is located along the main road in Forte dei Marmi, which runs parallel to the beach and provides guests the added value of being directly across the street from the hotel’s beach club, Bagni Villa Grey. (Note that this also means being in closest proximity to the traffic along the town’s main road.)

All rooms and suites feature the same stylish design elements including grey bedframes, plush gray upholstered furniture and stone bathrooms. Accommodations face the back garden and Apuan Alps in the distance, or the wide stretch of beach spanning the coast and the Tyrrhenian Sea beyond it. Worth the upgrade are the Deluxe Rooms and Junior Suites, almost all of which have a private balcony where guests can enjoy views over the beautiful sea below. The property is family-friendly and offers a category of Family Rooms that feature a separate sitting area with a sofa bed and ample space for a crib.

The staff at Villa Grey is cheerful, welcoming and eager to please. Though the hotel does not have the services and facilities of a five-star hotel (there is no gym and the front desk manager doubles as the concierge), the team on property is helpful and professional and they make a concerted effort to anticipate and fulfill every guests’ needs.

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