Category Archives: Sicily

Grand Hotel Timeo • Taormina, Sicily, Italy

In the shadow of the ancients

Grand Hotel Timeo - view over countryside

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The Grand Hotel Timeo is nestled on a hillside beneath the Greek Theatre amid acres of parkland and looking out toward Mount Etna, a steaming semi-active volcano across the Gulf of Naxos.  Built in 1873, the neoclassical buildings echo the land of history where they are situated.

Grand Hotel Timeo - Exterior

One of the highlights of the hotel is the “Literary Terrace” named after the  intelligentsia that were once attracted to the Grand Hotel Timeo and its luxe  Baroque interiors, storied location and breathtaking views of the volcano and bay.  Oscar Wilde and other wags once tarried here to enjoy the view and modern-day wits will also feel the pull to while away the hours admiring the bay and companion volcano.

For moments away from the views, the hotel feature a health and fitness center with  a gym, outdoor pool and a wide range of health and beauty treatments including aromatherapy and hammam steam baths.

The informal restaurant, Il Dito e la Luna, serves Mediterranean fare and extends into a delightful terrace during warm months of the year. Il Giardino di Bacco is a poolside restaurant serving modern Sicilian dishes, and drinks and light meals are served in La Zagara terrace bar.

The 83 air-conditioned guestrooms and suites are located on four floors. All feature antique-style furnishings and most have balconies or terraces. Amenities include satellite television, direct-dial phones, wireless Internet access (surcharge), complimentary minibars, complimentary newspapers, hair dryers, bathrobes and slippers.

Grand Hotel Timeo - Dinner on the terrace

Grand Hotel Timeo
Location: Via Teatro Greco 59, Taormina, Sicily, Italy; 60 kilometres from airport (approximately 50 minutes).

Luxury style: One hundred years ago, cultural icons such as Oscar Wilde and D.H. Lawrence spent time at the Grand Hotel Timeo. The storybook locale and appeal to the imagination ignited by the Greek and Roman traces exerts just as strong an appeal as in the days of yesteryear.

What we’ve heard: The magnificent Greek Theatre, located just above the hotel on the hillside, hosts operatic and theatrical performances. During the summer, the Taormina Arte takes place, a festival dedicated to all kinds of music and featuring world-famous performers.  A memorable experience. Reserve well in advance.

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Hilton Villa Igiea • Palermo, Sicily

Palermo pleasures in an Art Nouveau palace

Hilton Villa Igiea Palermo, Sicily

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Designed by noted architect Ernesto Basile more than a century ago, the Art Nouveau palace today is a world-class hotel, perched on a cliff looking out towards the Sea of Palermo. Often noted as Palermo’s finest hotel, the visitor will be first swept into a gracious and grand welcoming lobby with many touches recalling the Belle Epoque period. From there, the breeze will blow toward the terrace where views out to sea are magnificent.

Exotic and fragrant gardens surround the property and there’s a delightful free-form swimming pool with more extravagant view out to the sparkling waters.

Grand Hotel Villa Igia - Palermo, Sicily - Guest room

The guest rooms are large and spacious, many with balconies looking out to the gardens or to the sea. Warm tones and rich fabrics set an atmosphere of complete relaxation.

Mediterranean fare plus top notch service will enchant diners at the Villa Igiea restaurant. The hotel also welcomes business meeting and special occasion events with meeting rooms and special programs.



Villa Igeia - Palermo, Sicily

Hilton Villa Igiea Palermo
Location: Salita Belmonte 43, Acquasanta 90142, Italy; 35 kilometres from the Palermo airport, approximately 40 minutes drive.

Luxury style: Elegant conferences, special event gatherings, family holidays

What we’ve heard: There is a shuttle from the hotel to the town center (approximately 3 kms) but the distance is more reliably traversed by taxi.

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Hotel Des Etrangers et Miramare • Siracusa, Sicily, Italy

Dazzling sea views in Sicily

Etrangers et Miramare, Sicily - Exterior

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The Hotel Des Etrangers et Miramare is a seafront gem located in the historic city of Ortigia. The watchwords at this intimate 78-room hotel are simple elegance and understated luxury. Imagine a candlelit supper from the hotel’s terrace. Before you lies a panoramic seafront vista that you enjoy while sipping fine Italian wine and sampling Sicilian specialties. These pleasures are to be had at either the Medusa restaurant or the equally impressive roof garden.

Sea view at Etrangers et Miramare

Hotel Des Etrangers et Miramare - Guest room

The rooms offer a lush decor with terrazzo floors, antique wooden furnishings and finely woven linens and buttery soft sheets. Many of the enchanting rooms offer the dazzling seaside vistas and the height of comfort is available in 13 suites.

Hotel Des Etrangers et Miramare - Guest room

Hotel Des Etrangers et Miramare
Location: Passeggio Adorno 10-12, Syracuse, Sicily 96100, Italy; 60 kilometres from Catania airport; inquire at hotel for airport transfers.

Luxury style: Some hotels have the most perfect location and this property is blessed with that quality. Good for couples, families, Roman ruin seekers, old maid geologists, groups, excellent value for a luxe (4-star) category hotel.

What we’ve heard: A caveat is ‘watch out for the parking’ which can be tricky. It is absolutely essential to book a sea-view room. The heart and soul of this property is in the spectacular views whether from the guest room, the terrace or the rooftop. Grab your martini, sit back, take it in.

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