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Hot List 2010

Verdura Golf & Spa Resort, Sciacca, Sicily  
$$$$

Contrada Verdura

Sciacca, Sicily
Italy 92019

Tel: 39 0925 998 180

In a departure for hotelier Rocco Forte, whose portfolio has previously focused on transformations of fusty grande dame properties into chic urban hotels, this sprawling resort on Sicily's southwest coast was built from scratch on 500 acres of previously undeveloped beachfront, miles from the better-known sun spots. And with its 9- and 18-hole golf courses, massive spa, and private beach (a rarity in Italy), it feels more like a private compound than a Mediterranean getaway. Famed Italian architect Flavio Albanese conceived the striking stone-and-wood structures that house the 203 guest rooms with warm interiors furnished with deconstructed baldachin beds, custom rattan furniture, and printed fabrics in burnt orange and red. The resort is well suited for families (with a sizable children's club and a pool area for the little ones) as well as for couples looking for an almost-all-inclusive upscale experience. For the moment, the Verdura still feels a little bare: Although the place is touted as being surrounded by olive and orange groves, the grounds are still in the planting phase, the pool exposed to the baking Sicilian sun. And even though it is only an hour's drive from sites like Agrigento's famed Valley of the Temples, the resort is quite removed from the authentic Sicilian experience, which can be a blessing or a drawback, depending on your perspective.
Which room to book: All have sea views, but those in the front of the property have their own little garden area as well.
Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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