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Concierge.com

Sicily Hotels

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Baglio della Luna
Maddalusa , Sicily
Italy 92100
Tel: 39 092 251 1061
info@bagliodellaluna.com
www.bagliodellaluna.com/en

Centered around a late-13th-century tower, renovated by Emperor Charles V to guard against invaders in 1555, the historic Baglio della Luna features a high-walled courtyard, views across Agrigento's famed Valley of the Temples, and 23 beautifully appointed rooms and suites. The three medieval tower suites are particularly romantic, with dark-wood wainscoting, sitting areas, and hardwood floors (some have beamed ceilings), but all rooms have handsome antique furnishings, including dramatic carved headboards and pretty if slightly faded fabrics. There's no swimming pool, but there is a common outdoor hot tub, and the hotel shuttles guests to a private beach just five minutes away. The intimate Dehors is one of the area's top dining spots for traditional Sicilian cuisine, like mezzelune (half-moon-shaped pasta) with swordfish and lobster tartare.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Caol Ishka
Via Elorina
Contrada Pantanelli
Siracusa , Sicily
Italy 96100
Tel: 39 093 169 057
info@caolishka.com
www.caolishka.com

This former family farm has been painstakingly restored by Emmanuela Marino and partner Gareth Shaughnessy to give Siracusa a much-needed dose of style. Though close to the attractions of the city and the beach (plus the Sicilian Baroque towns of Noto, Modica and Ragusa Ibla), Marino built the hotel as a place to unplug rather than sightsee. There's a pretty raised infinity pool, secluded grounds, and décor that is modern but not out of place (design aficionados will like pieces such as the Edra Angel chaise lounge, a huge Hoesch tub, and a Davide Groppi test tube light). With only ten rooms (ask for one of the bigger ones), the property feels intimate but there are lots of communal areas to read and drink wine, which adds to the uncrowded feel. The nouveau Sicilian restaurant Zaffreano Bistrot is also a draw—try the grouper with ricotta and honey and the crudo, raw fish—as is the English-speaking, friendly staff. Plans are in place to arrange a boat transfer to and from Siracusa, which should make the journey even more romantic.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Capofaro Malvasia & Resort
3 Via Faro
Salina , Aeolian Islands
Italy 98050
Tel: 39 090 984 4330
info@capofaro.it
www.capofaro.it

Named after the lighthouse at the front of the property, this new resort has a beautiful position overlooking the sea, with a big-decked pool and restaurant area that capitalizes on the views. The 20 rooms are spread out through low whitewashed buildings with shaded terraces (you'd be forgiven for thinking you had landed in the Greek isles, but this is actually the typical architectural style of the Aeolian Islands). Inside, the design is pared down but still luxurious, with butter-soft bedding and well kitted-out bathrooms. During the summer the hotel becomes more of a scene, with many tanned Italians crowding into the chic restaurant and bar, but off-season the place becomes positively sleepy. Regardless of the time of year, one of the best sights at night is Stromboli giving a little volcanic firework show in the distance. Ask someone at reception to arrange a boat trip to check out the nearby empty coves, and be sure to try the sweet Malvasia wine grown on the property's vineyards.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Centrale Palace Hotel
327 Via Vittorio Emanuele
Palermo , Sicily
Italy
Tel: 39 091 336 666
centrale@angalahotels.it
www.centralepalacehotel.it

The aptly named, 18th-century Centrale is right near the Quattro Canti, steps from the cathedral…in fact, it's near everything. The lobby's frescoes, chandeliers, gilt-framed mirrors, and marble mosaic floors make a grand first impression; if you're not careful, though, your room might be a relative disappointment. Those who like their digs authentically worn (and who like to save a few dollars) might not mind the 58 "classic" rooms and suites—but more persnickety types may find the faded furnishings and upholstery dowdy. The 46 "neoclassic" rooms (added in a 2003 expansion) are a better bet; despite a slight furniture-showroom aesthetic, they have solid parquet floors, mosaic tile bathrooms, and lots of space—and only cost a little more.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Eremo della Giubiliana
Giubiliana , Sicily
Italy 97100
Tel: 39 093 266 9119
info@eremodellagiubiliana.it
www.eremodellagiubiliana.it

On a clear day you can see Malta from this property, in the region south of Ragusa known as Val de Noto. Built in the 12th century as an Arabic fortress/hermitage, it later became a Knights of Malta monastery. Owned by the Nifosì family for the last 300 years, it's now one of the most sumptuous hotels in southern Italy. The nine double rooms and three suites—formerly friars' quarters—have refurbished exposed-brick walls, arches, and wood beams, and are filled with 18th-century antiques. Splurge on the Tower Suite, in the oldest part of the building, with its two vaulted, stone-walled rooms, fireplace, and private garden. Privacy seekers prefer the five freestanding stone cottages, each with two or three bedrooms, a stone barbecue, a fireplace, and a kitchen. The hotel has its own airstrip for sightseeing tours and guests' private aircraft.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Falconara Charming House & Resort
Località Falconara
Butera , Sicily
Italy 93011
Tel: 800 337 4685
Tel: 39 0934 349 012
info@designhotels.com
www.designhotels.com/hotels/europe/italy/sicily/falconara_charming_house_and_resort_sicily_italy

Falconara Charming House & Resort is the latest stylish addition to the new generation of Sicilian boutique hotels—a place known for grande dame, slightly fusty properties, or mom and pop bed & breakfasts. Despite its proximity to the highway and a stretch of built-up coastline, the new hideaway on the sea actually has an enviable position looking onto a private beach and a number of undeveloped coves. The one building in front of the property is a castle (which houses some of the bedrooms) that only adds to the vista, and the grounds also have a pretty pool and little beach club. The 65 rooms are simple but chic, with black stone floors, dark wood four-poster beds, and relatively small bathrooms that come with tubs and oversize showerheads—ask for a room with a terrace that looks onto the water. The restaurant is well priced and the bar area stylish, with oversize armchairs and chaises—though they could lose the pianist playing over recorded music. Perhaps best of all, service is warm and quick.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Grand Hotel Ortigia
12 Viale Mazzini
Siracusa , Sicily
Italy 96100
Tel: 39 093 146 4600
info@grandhotelortigia.it
www.grandhotelsr.it

This grand turn-of-the-century hotel, set on the island of Ortygia, is arguably the best in Siracusa. In its heyday, the hotel was a social center for wealthy Italians who gathered for lavish balls, fashion shows, and film screenings. Today, both A-listers and regular folks come for the old-world charm and waterfront setting. The three-story building's impressive common areas are an elaborate mix of marble and hardwood, soaring pillars, and stained-glass domes, furnished with period antiques. The 58 modern rooms and suites seem a bit staid by comparison (although the deluxe suite has its own sea-view balcony and Jacuzzi tub). But there's a dazzling roof-garden restaurant, Terrazza sul Mare, with views overlooking the harbor. Guests have access to a private beach with shuttle service.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Grand Hotel Timeo
59 Via Teatro Greco
Taormina , Sicily
Italy 98039
Tel: 39 0942 627 0200
reservations@hoteltimeo.net
www.grandhoteltimeo.com

Sitting above the photogenic Bay of Naxos, near Taormina's 2,500-year-old Greek amphitheater, the circa 1873 neoclassical Grand Hotel Timeo was a natural Sicilian muse from the start. D.H. Lawrence lived here for four years, followed by guests such as Jean Cocteau and Tennessee Williams. An old hand at adopting and refurbishing historic properties, Orient-Express wisely took a respectful approach when it bought the fading diva in 2010. Final renovations won't be completed until 2012, but many of the hotel's 72 rooms have already been refreshed with tech updates (plasma flat-screen TVs, complimentary Wi-Fi) and the kind of sparing makeover (new parquet floors, marble bathrooms, gilded mirrors, and local landscapes) that doesn't disturb the old-world Mediterranean vibe. Most rooms have a balcony or terrace overlooking the bay or the landscaped parkland that frames a pool and wellness center. We recommend starting the evening with a limoncello at the Literary Terrace, where Audrey Hepburn once swanned about, before sitting down to a classic Sicilian plate of pasta with sardines at the hotel restaurant, Il Dito e la Luna. When booking, make sure that you snag a revamped room and avoid the 31 spaces in the Villa Flora across the road—they don't have the grandeur or sweeping views of the main building's accommodations.—Raphael Kadushin

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Grand Hotel Wagner
2 Via Richard Wagner
Palermo , Sicily
Italy 90139
Tel: 39 091 336 572
info@grandhotelwagner.it
www.grandhotelwagner.it/uk

This new five star is providing a bit of competition for the older grande dames in town—a good thing since a number of them are becoming more fusty than charming in their old age. Housed in a neoclassical palace on the street where the composer Richard Wagner lived for a couple of years, it's well located and a close walk to places like the Politeama Theater and Via Liberta. The 61 rooms have plush carpets, upholstered furniture, and heavy silk drapery, but because the property is new they feel more luxurious and intimate than dusty. NB: The chandelier in the lobby was used in the ballroom scene in the Sicilian cinematic classic, The Leopard.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Hotel Gutkowski
26 Lungomare Vittorini
Siracusa , Sicily
Italy 96100
Tel: 39 0931 465 861
info@guthotel.it
www.guthotel.it

The secret is out: Hotel Gutkowski is the best bargain in ancient, seaside Siracusa. You'll need to book way ahead for one of the 26 rooms at this pale-blue villa, on the city's island of Ortygia. All are decorated with rustic simplicity: plain white walls, white linens and drapes, basic wood furniture, and tiled or hardwood floors. But all come with satellite TVs and fridges, and seven have Mediterranean views. Your room rate includes one of the best continental breakfasts in Siracusa, with fresh-squeezed juices, homemade jams and pastries, and organic fruit.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Hotel Signum
15 Via Scalo
Malfa
Salina , Aeolian Islands
Italy 98050
Tel: 39 090 984 4222
salina@hotelsignum.it
www.hotelsignum.it/ing_home.php

Opened by a local couple, Hotel Signum is located in a low-key gorgeous landscape between twin volcanoes that spills down to the pristine sea. The 30 rooms are charming rather than slick (snag one with a Tyrrhenian sea view), and the grounds have an incredible vista of Panarea and Stromboli in the distance. The sunset terrace in particular is a perfect location for doing absolutely nothing but staring off into the distance. If you must move, rent a moped and spend your time exploring the island's gorgeous fishing villages, or hike one of the dormant volcano trails. The included breakfast here is one of Sicily's best and dinner isn't shabby either, though you'll have to let the staff know if you are staying for the meal that morning. One caveat: the ferry schedule can be sporadic when the seas are rough and the staff seems completely clueless about whether they are running—a frustration when you turn up at the port and there is no way to get back to the mainland.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Villa Ducale
60 Via Leonardo da Vinci
Taormina , Sicily
Italy 98039
Tel: 39 094 228 153
info@villaducale.com
www.villaducale.com

Set on a hillside, the elegant Villa Ducale is the best bet for guests wanting Taormina without the crowds. Just a ten-minute walk from the center of town, this pink 17-room villa evokes la dolce vita, from the delicate wall frescoes and terra-cotta floors to the wrought-iron beds, antiques, and lush garden. All rooms have private terraces with gorgeous views of Mount Etna or the Mediterranean Sea. The hotel provides free shuttles to the beach and city center, and a buffet breakfast each morning on an expansive patio.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Hotel Villa Schuler
Via Roma, Piazzetta Bastione
Taormina , Sicily
Italy 98039
Tel: 39 094 223 481
info@hotelvillaschuler.com
www.hotelvillaschuler.com

There's no better deal in touristy Taormina than this pretty-in-pink hillside mansion, which turned a century old in 2005. The former Schuler residence (it's still run by the family) sits on prime real estate, adjacent to the city's botanical gardens and only two minutes from the pedestrian shopping stretch of the Corso Umberto. Most of the 26 affordable rooms and suites have balconies with stunning views of the gardens and the sea. Families will appreciate the separate Garden Villa, with two bathrooms, Jacuzzi, kitchen, living room, and patio. The hotel's many freebies include a piano and TV room, a small library, mountain bikes, and shuttle service to local beaches.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Kempinski Hotel Giardino di Costanza
Via Salemi
Mazara del Vallo , Sicily
Italy 91026
Tel: 39 092 367 500 00
info.mazara@kempinski.com
www.kempinski-sicily.com

When this luxury resort opened in 2005 it quickly became the place to book for a stay on the western part of the island—with easy day trips to places such as Erice, the salt pans of Trapani, and the ruins of Segesta, Selinunte and Agrigento. Most of the hotel is new build though there are some original sections that are around 150 years old, and it is obvious that the property has benefited from a great deal of investment. The 91 rooms are huge, the Daniele Steiner spa suitably soothing and worth a treatment or two, and the garden and pool area is well-landscaped. In many ways the resort doesn't have a great sense of place from inside its walls, and it doesn't feel particularly Sicilian in its décor, but it's definitely the most luxurious pad around. A plus is the private beach club accessible by hotel shuttle—it has a charming blue-tiled restaurant, chaise lounges set out on the sand, and a bar on the small dock—but be forewarned that though the hotel says it is a ten-minute drive from the property, it's really half an hour.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Metropole Taormina Maison D'Hotes
154 Corso Umberto
Taormina , Sicily
Italy 98039
Tel: 39 0942 625 417
www.designhotels.com/metropole

In a town laden with fading grande dame properties, this stylish restoration of a landmark hotel that dates back to the eighteenth century is a special achievement. Contemporary touches meld with the original architectural details of the lava-red palazzo to create 23 ultramodern guest rooms with white leather sofas and headboards, marble floors, massive spiraling crystal chandeliers, and TVs mounted into custom-designed nooks. Bathrooms feel like mini spas, with huge showers. In the public areas, arching stone tunnels from the fifteenth century lead to a cliffside pool that awes even on this hillside famed for its panoramas, and the hotel's entrance sits on the main thoroughfare of Corso Umberto I but feels away from the fray. Perhaps the best part of The Metropole is the warm, hardworking staff, who show no sign of the service fatigue too often encountered elsewhere in town. They go beyond the call of duty, sending a receptionist to guide lost drivers to the garage, offering upgrades and late checkouts whenever possible, and ensuring that rooms are set up the way one wants.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Pantelleria Dream Exclusive Hotel
Tracino , Pantelleria
Italy
Tel: 39 05 33 379 307
pantelleriadream.com

This Sicilian island of black volcanic beaches, pretty coves with colored fishing boats, and an interior of olive trees and vineyards has long been under the radar for non-Italians, mainly because stylish digs were unavailable for those without an invite to the villas of insiders like Giorgio Armani. That changed last year with Pantelleria Dream. Done in the island's traditional dammusi style (whitewashed structures with domed roofs), the 46 spacious and light-filled rooms have polished concrete floors and comfortable platform beds. The property's wide views take in the sea, and stone paths lined with desert flowers lead to a sleek bar area and restaurant (breakfast and lunch are included in the room rate) and a spectacular infinity pool. Other attractions are the friendly staff and the bamboo-lined pergola areas that come with each room, while drawbacks include bathroom lighting that would make a supermodel look unattractive.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
San Domenico Palace Hotel
5 Piazza San Domenico
Taormina , Sicily
Italy 98039
Tel: 39 094 261 3111
san-domenico@thi.it
www.thi.it/eng/benvenuto.asp?id=10

It has been called the most majestic hotel in Sicily, and the legendary San Domenico doesn't disappoint. Built around a 15th-century monastery, the hotel offers incredible views, dreamy gardens, serious in-room luxury, and old-world charm (17th-century painting lines the walls). Not surprisingly, the hotel draws a wealthy international clientele who park themselves around the swimming pool, or at one of four sensational restaurants. The 108 rooms are located in two wings, one old (the Ancient Convent) and one new.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Verdura Golf & Spa Resort
Contrada Verdura
Sciacca , Sicily
Italy 92019
Tel: 39 0925 998 180
reservations.verdura@roccofortecollection.com
www.verduraresort.com

Verdura is a pretty ambitious project, even by Sir Rocco Forte's luxury hotel standards. The only hotel on Sicily that merits the term "resort," eco-friendly Verdura occupies over a mile of pristine coastline and 560 acres of gently rolling land just east of Sciacca, a charming historic town of crumbling Baroque palazzi and buzzing local bars, its streets lined with Cubist-pruned orange trees. A quarter of the way down Sicily's long southwestern coast, only an hour from Palermo's Punta Raisi airport, Sciacca is well placed for day trips to the Greek temples of Selinunte and Agrigento. On arrival, you and your luggage are ferried by golf carts from a distant parking lot to the suavely modernist reception, lounge, and bar area. The 204 rooms and suites occupy low monolithic blocks painted in hot Mexican hues, or landscape-hugging beachfront villas with grass roofs. Inside, Sir Rocco's designer sister, Olga Polizzi, has done a decent job of weaving local motifs, colors, and materials (like Caltagirone tile) into her accessible urbane style. Sharp design meets laid-back leisure, in other words—and the same goes for the clientele, a mix of keen golfers attracted by the two 18-hole championship courses and the discreet, linen-clad Euro rich. The 230-foot pool, the huge spa (including four hydrotherapy pools), and the range of places to munch and sip (our favorite being cliff-perched mod-Sicilian trattoria Liolà) add a wow factor. Perhaps the only downside is the beach: From the main bar terrace it makes for spectacular sunset views, but up close it's partly rocky and prone to seaweed.—Lee Marshall

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Villa Carlotta
81 Via Pirandello
Taormina , Sicily
Italy 98039
Tel: 39 94 262 6058
info@villacarlotta.net
www.hotelvillacarlottataormina.com

Villa Carlotta è fabuloso, say guests who've stayed at this affordably luxe property. Built near the turn of the 19th century, this gem (formerly Villa Fabbiano) is still run by its Swiss-Italian namesake family with Mediterranean hospitality. The hilltop location guarantees good views and few tourists. All 23 charming rooms and suites, many with balconies, are small but stylishly decorated, with lots of cherrywood, wrought iron, exposed brick, and warm colors. The complimentary buffet breakfast will keep you going till dinner.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Villa dei Papiri
Riserva Naturale Ciane-Saline
Cozzo Pantano , Sicily
Italy 96100
Tel: 39 093 172 1321
info@villadeipapiri.it
www.villadeipapiri.it

Kick back at this peaceful country inn, set on a nature reserve just two miles from town. The 19th-century retreat is ideal for families and groups, with eight large suites containing separate living and dining areas, full kitchens, handcrafted furnishings, exposed stone walls, and ceramic tiles. The wood-beamed lobby is the size of a football field, comfortably appointed with potted palms, sofas, and plush woven rugs. Papyrus, olive, citrus, cypress, and other Mediterranean trees fill the huge garden, which has lounge chairs and a barbecue patio.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Villa Sant'Andrea
137 Via Nazionale
Taormina Mare , Sicily
Italy 98039
Tel: 39 0942 627 1200
reservations@sant-andrea.net
www.hotelvillasantandrea.com

This seafront hotel, located below Taormina proper in Taormina Mare, occupies its own private stretch of beach framing the Bay of Mazzarò. The ethereal setting wasn't enough to save the circa 1830 villa turned hotel from a long slump, but Orient-Express' takeover and renovation in 2010 firmly reversed that course. While the updates won't be completed until 2012, most of the Villa's 65 rooms have already been redone in a new, nautical style: a jaunty white-and-blue palette, seashell sconces, balconies facing the beach. The use of local stone and Sicilian materials is complemented by the artisanal treatments in the wellness center (try the orange blossom and jasmine massage) and the locally sourced ingredients at Restaurant Oliviero. The hotel's fishing boat can be commandeered for an exploration of the coast's coves and bays, but if that sounds too sporty, you can always wait for the Bellinis to make the rounds at the alfresco piano bar in the evening.—Raphael Kadushin

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.