Hotels in Sicily
Like its northern big brother Sicily is famous for its food and wine and with good reason. With 11 Michelin-starred restaurants as well as quaint but wonderful osterias and trattorias around every corner, there is a restaurant in Sicily to suit every traveller.
Sicily restaurants and residents alike follow the seasons very closely and pick their produce accordingly. Not only does this mean that it is nearly impossible to find an out of season vegetable in the grocery store, but also restaurants in Sicily serve fresh farm-to-table ingredients that are both aromatic and tasty (and not just because that's a thing now). Think olive oil straight from the vine and salty sardine and Frutti di Mare plucked from the ocean, even small hole-in-the-wall spots offer exceptional food – sometimes the best places have no menus and no tablecloths.
Some local delicacies to sample in restaurants in Sicily include "arancini," fried balls of creamy risotto stuffed with meat and cheese, cannolis, which were first made in Palermo, and Pistacchio di Bronte, the "green gold," a favorite ingredient in everything from gelato to savory pesto.
The recently opened hotel has 77 rooms housed in an 18th-century walled fortress that faces the sea.
19th-century residence inherited from Sicilian nobility—the first hotel to be built in Taormina—overlooking Mount Etna. The 70 Baroque rooms were refurbished by current owner Orient-Express in 2011.
Five hundred and seventy acres on Sicily’s southwestern coast have been shaped into a golf resort with the subtle, undeniable luxury we’ve come to expect from the Rocco Forte Collection. Every room has an unencumbered sea view (a non-putter might never know there are two 18-hole courses).
Antonio and Giuseppe La Rosa’s restaurant Locanda Don Serafino was so popular that the two brothers opened a small 10-room hotel in a nearby 19th-century mansion to accommodate customers too full or tired to go home.
Inside the refurbished 19th-century palazzo, the 12 spacious bedrooms are painted in rich ochres and light blues. You can swim in the warm waters off the hotel’s small private beach, or take a 15-minute walk to Ortygia, the ancient city center, with its many gelaterias.
When the Marquis and Marchioness Paterno’ Castello di San Giuliano returned to their ancestral home in Sicily after years abroad, they renovated their villa that had stood empty 100 years.
“The Beach” occupies the triangle of land between the coastal railroad tracks and the bathtub-size bay of Isola Bella, a taxi, bus, or cable-car ride from the town of Taormina, high on the cliff above.
Previously a 15th-century monastery, the exclusive San Domenico Palace Hotel took on its current form in 1896, when the Prince of Cerami added a new Belle Époque wing.
A rustic farmhouse with eight antiques-filled rooms, set in an orange grove on the fertile Catania Plain, facing Mount Etna. Everything from the olive-oil soaps to the pasta (prepared by a Tunisian chef and served poolside) is produced on or around this 300-year-old estate.
Set among ancient vineyards, olive groves, and Greek amphitheaters, this Kempinski-run hotel is contrastly very modern in amenities.
The sun-filled island of Sicily has both historic cache and an emerging arts-and-culture scene, and a stay at Donnafugata Golf Resort & Spa, in Ragusa province, makes for a serene home base.
In the hills of Sicily, 2_ miles from the sea, is the secluded 19th-century farmhouse Mandranova.
For gravitas, it’s hard to beat the Grand Hotel et Des Palmes in the center of old town Palermo. Built in the 1850s, the hotel has seen sensational murders, suicides, dangerous liaisons, and diplomatic intrigue, especially in 1943, when it served as allied headquarters.
Just five minutes from the Castello dei Conti (Castle of the Counts), the Palazzo Failla hotel is housed in an 18th-century mansion in Modica Alta (Upper Modica). Inside, the hotel retains historic design elements such as frescoed vaults and original Maiolica ceramics.
An abbey stands on a hilltop overlooking the town of Castelbuono in northern Sicily. Eight centuries ago it was full of Benedictine monks, but today it's the Relais Santa Anastasia, hosting guests in 25 rooms and three suites behind its thick, stone walls.