Set just off the southern tip of Italy, the large and lovely island of Sicily has long been a popular playground for the rich and famous. The island boasts an eclectic mix of European styles that sets it apart from the rest of Italy and there are numerous luxurious hotels and resorts to choose from here that boast stunning ocean views and an impressive range of amenities for guests to make use of.
Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo, Taormina
Set right on the edge of the sand in one of the island’s prettiest towns, the Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo offers some of the most enchanting views in the whole of Italy. The hotel was established in 1873 and has played host to some of the most celebrated figures in the worlds of art and literature over the years including Truman Capote, Oscar Wilde and DH Lawrence. The hotel perfectly combines classic charm with modern conveniences and there are just over 70 guest rooms to choose from between the main hotel and the luxurious Villa Flora. When it comes to fine dining there is no need for guests to venture far as chef Roberto Toro creates a mouth-watering range of traditional Sicilian seafood dishes that feature a few original twists to satisfy even the most demanding gourmand.
Verdura Golf & Spa Resort, Sciacca
Those who want the chance to get back into the swing of things while surrounding themselves with pure luxury are sure to love this boutique resort, which comes complete with its own 18-hole golf course. Guests are treated to more than 4,000 metres of space to explore or for those who like something less strenuous they can retreat to the serenity of the expansive spa. The Landscape suites provide guests with stunning views of the beautiful Sicilian beach, while those who opt for a Deluxe or Junior suite will be able to gaze out at the ocean from their private balcony.
Excelsior Palace Hotel
Set on a clifftop on the edge of Taormina, the Excelsior Palace Hotel provides guests with a first-rate experience combined with plenty of luxurious and stylish touches. Couples are sure to love dining on the terrace after dark as the waves crashing on the beach provide a natural backdrop combined with the glittering lights of the town that stretches along the curving bay. Each of the hotel’s 85 rooms are extremely elegant and provides guests with exclusive touches such as large beds and bathrooms, while those who want to enjoy the best should opt for a suite with views of Mount Etna.
The Ashbee Hotel
Walking through the grounds and up the steps to the main doors of the Ashbee Hotel feels like wandering through the pages of a classic English novel and the illusion is perfectly maintained throughout the establishment. In terms of style, the rooms are decorated in soft grey and silver tones that are perfectly accented by royal purple furnishings for a real taste of decadent class, while the grounds are set with stone statues and gently bubbling fountains. Guests will want to make sure that they book early in order to secure one of the 25 rooms and suites and the hotel is so majestic that simply sitting down to dinner feels like a grand affair.
La Plage Resort
Set within the Isola Bella Nature Reserve, this luxurious resort features its very own beach club, meaning that guests will find it very easy to enjoy their time in the sun. The resort underwent a full refurbishment in 2016 and guests are sure to love the modern amenities, which include the award-winning Expire Spa featuring a Turkish bath, Jacuzzi and a selection of skin treatments, the onsite Fusion Restaurant and more than 200 sun loungers set right on the sand. There are just 58 guestrooms and three large suites, which means that guests at La Plage Resort are treated to plenty of privacy and a feeling of intimate decadence that is absent from larger establishments. Taking the cable car down the side of the hill to reach the town centre is an enchanting experience that guests who have a strong sense of adventure will not want to miss.
Grand Hotel Villa Igiea – MGallery by Sofitel
Providing guests with stunning panoramic views of the Bay of Palermo and Mount Pellegrino, Grand Hotel Villa Igiea has been a landmark of Sicily for more than a century. The hotel is set in a stunning terraced garden and offers guests an excellent range of leisure facilities such as the enormous outdoor swimming pool and the tennis court. Lovers of fine dining will want to make sure that they take the opportunity to enjoy a delicious meal in the hotel’s Donna Franca Florio restaurant, while enjoying a cocktail on the terrace as the sun slowly sets over the Bay of Palermo is an experience that should not be missed.