At the crossroads of civilization through the centuries, Sicily enjoys an extraordinarily complex cultural mosaic for a beautiful small island, thanks to its fragile geography and some of the best hotels in the Mediterranean.
But amid its variety of food, art, religion and architecture, there is a very unified identity that separates it from mainland Italy and makes it so alluring.
The finest hotels in Sicily reflect a unique and diverse mix – each whispering a different story of conquest and confrontation, all honoring their magnificent natural surroundings and offering a sweet breakfast feast of cannoli, granita and brioche con tuppu.
From 18th-century palaces salvaged from Palermo’s crumbling glory to time-worn rooms that breathe the salty Tyrrhenian air of the Aeolian Mountains, here are Sicily’s finest hotels.
1. Villa Igiea, Palermo
Palermo’s tangled, honey-colored maze laments the golden age of opulent opera, magnificent parties and sprawling aristocratic palaces. One of them is Villa Igiea, a majestic palm-fringed beauty built in 1900 for the wealthy Florrio family.
Its recent Art Nouveau spirit is driven by Olga Polizzi and Paolo Moschino’s wily old-meets-new design dialogue. In this new chapter of Rocco Forte, Villa Igiea’s chandelier, with its antique frescoes and fine appearance, welcomes modern furnishings and elegantly reduced decor with the same warmth as European beau monde of old, from Sophia Loren to Queen Victoria.
Its opening in 2019 heralds a wider Palermo revival, one of the same creative flavors that filled the old bones of Athens a decade ago. One that is also manifested in the new author’s contemporary interpretations of classicism and commitment to locality, from fritti and pasta ingredients to works of art that refer to the island’s stunning natural beauty.
2. Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo
Grande dame Sicily is a high-energy Taormina stop in Slim Aaron—where views of the pool are great from all angles and a pianist (and Negronist) encourages couples to dance on the balcony against a menacing backdrop of Etna.
Luxurious marble bathrooms and silk-walled rooms extend onto terraces bathed in golden sunshine where a sumptuous breakfast of granita brioche, regalia tea and sugar-topped cakes sweeten the view.
After a long nap under one of the beach huts at sister hotel Belmond Villa Sant’Andrea, guests throw themselves into their make-up for Otto Geleng’s gourmet theatre.
And it’s a splendid show: flickering oil lamps drawing swirls of lace along the table and bringing to life plates of seafood that would make an artist blush, maybe even the German restaurant painter who bears his name.
With the magnificent Greek amphitheater and Amalfi-style Taormina on the hotel’s doorstep, Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo’s manicured terraced gardens and elegant swimming pool complex make for a relaxing retreat.
3. Zash Boutique Hotel and Spa
Located in a maze of citrus groves beneath the towering Mount Etna, Zash Boutique Hotel & Spa was once a summer retreat for Catania’s royalty and now, through a contemporary prism, transports guests back to a time when nature called shot as one of the best hotel in Sicily.
The airy interior of the main house (a beautiful large, chipped remains of Sicily) honors its former life as a palmento and now presents itself as an elegant restaurant, beneath which a dimly gurgling and steamy spa reflects the volcanic surroundings.
The rhythm is tame, dictated by shifting fruit trees and occasionally punctuated by the rumbling of a train (it’s a good idea to book a room that doesn’t backtrack to the rails). Lava stone slabs line the walls in the photogenic Iraci Architetti’s Iconic Poolside Room and Villa, whose cubic glass structures and sharp-edged furnishings contrast sharply with the soft quaint buildings of the main house, and the clementine trees deftly draw in.
This is one of Sicily’s lesser-known hotels, a favorite of Italians who, wrapped in soft towels, toss between the spa and pool (cut into volcanic rock with contemporary finesse) before enjoying Guiseppe Raciti’s signature uovo poche croccante and pasta dishes. heartwarming.
4. Monaci Delle Terre Nere
The pioneering agriturismo Monaci Delle Terre Nere remains one of the most elegant and stylish country hotels in Sicily. The fading splendor of its main house (a carefully renovated 17th-century convent) is as alluring as Mount Etna itself, whose lush slopes are crossed with groves of olives, apricot trees, herb gardens, and grapevines.
The mystique of the volcano looms over 27 scattered designer caves, refurbished old barns and villas, and villas sparkling across a scenic hillside landscape that welcomes the sea. This slow-moving, soul-healthy property uses 60 acres of organic produce for its destination restaurant, Locanda Nerello, where sarong fish soup, aged zucchini parmigiana and classic Italian dishes take the lead with superb ingredients.
Breakfast is just as exciting expect fresh scrambled eggs sprinkled with farm wildflowers and black honey sprinkled with ancient grains on homemade Sicilian bread.
In the afternoon, listen to the famous Sicilian song Il Dolce Far Niente: drift to smooth jazz and the clink of ice cream in a glass of Sicilian gin by the volcanic pool, or enjoy a soft drink with a glass of Giuseppe Tomasi’s The Leopard in Lampedusa , a cream-colored sun lounger Red ethna balanced on the grass.
5. Dimora Delle Balze
An abandoned 19th-century castle north of the Baroque town of Noto might seem like an unlikely birthday present – but after a grueling nine-year restoration project, Elena Lops is now sharing the joy, along with a keen eye for designers. interior of Draga Obradovi.
The soul of the property’s Masseria remains completely intact, the mottled gray walls and earthy tiled rooms blend seamlessly with the surrounding meadow-like shrubbery and rolling lush forest.
A sun-drenched courtyard decorated with wrought-iron daybeds and large terracotta pots leads to a serene pastel-colored bedroom, a further courtyard, and a light-filled dining area where local cheeses, meats, apricot scones and brioche are spread atop.
farmer’s table for breakfast. It can be enjoyed on the weathered stone terrace, overlooking the golden and green mist of Val di Noto, framed by the classic broken columns salvaged from an abandoned property.
Even the pool area seems to have embraced an organic theme where the evening moonlight plays with the ripples of the water while guests generously water the focaccia with plantation olives.
6. Hotel Signum
Just below Naples and above Sicily’s gloomy port of Milazzo lies Italy’s best-preserved secret: a group of volcanic islands floating in a sea too blue and too warm for the Mediterranean.
Salina is one of them, a collection of lush slopes covered in slow-moving herbaceous plants and sun-drenched hills that stretch from its volcanic neighbors.
Nestled at the base of one of its volcanoes and occupying the pretty old bones of a fishing village, Hotel Signum attracts an elegant and understated crowd. The dazzling Mediterranean sun shines through a tangle of wild lemon, honeysuckle and jasmine trees, enlivening nostalgic views of broken windows, metal furniture and fine cocktails.
The rooms evoke the elegant hideaway of an 18th-century novelist, with mahogany furnishings adorning simple Sicilian tiled screens and white curtains fluttering in the breeze.
They share the same otherworldly views across the tyrants to the smoky waves of Panarea and Stromboli as the terraces, where a delicious sea urchin dinner with creamy mashed potatoes and sarong fish breaded with tiger’s milk showcases the treasures of the island and the sea and the owner Signum. daughter of Martina Caruso wild creativity (youngest Italian chef to receive a Michelin star).