The Italian Riviera, the rustic and glamourous sister of the south of France., has in recent years not quite got it ‘right’. Overpriced rooms, no value for money, faded grandeur tacky and a certain apathy for the client. Resting on it’s long- gone laurels.

Oh how things have changed. In Italy’s version of St Tropez - Forte dei Marmi, a gem of a hotel and beach club has been born. Finally.

The 5 Star L, Grand Hotel Imperiale and it’s beach club, Minerva, does what it promises and delivers. There is not a hotel like it in this famous part of Italy. Elegant, tasteful, so very comfortable - a utopia.

I am a jaded and demanding guest – showbiz is my industry – I can be kind of a diva. No need here though – the staff think for you. They anticipate what your needs are and are so accommodating. The rooms, modem, comfy, tastefully opulent. The pool and gardens you can stay all day reading and sipping on the house Champers – Dom Perignon, of course. The spa worth languishing in for at least one afternoon as well.

The beach club is so chic and the food fresh and perfect for being under the hot sun.

The hotel and beach club was founded and run by the effortlessly beautiful and youthful Roberta Bonfanti. She is a master juggler – hands-on and with a super powered attention to detail. Charming and never coming across stressed, she welcomes each guest like old friends. She says” I pratically I live 24 hours per day in the hotel. I try to organize the more glamouros Italian events here, especially in the summer season on the beach. I’m very lucky to have a wonderful staff and sometimes, I can have some luxury time for me.

Roberta’s definition of ‘luxury’ “is as not an idea, more a sensation, something you can feel inside and will remain in your memory. Luxury can be a smile, a candle light, a special event, a glass of wine. A welcome hand-written letter.”

Also present is her incredible mother, Gianna Manni, who is full of sparkle and humour. The family and staff don’t wish to merely to sell a room or a stay at our guests, they propose for them to live a bespoke experience and to make them feel like they are at home.