Pavlo has been working as a travel writer for more than 8 years, and his work has been featured in CNN Travel, BBC Travel, Time Out and Fodor's, among others. Changing cities and continents is a lifestyle for Pavlo, he has been to more than 40 countries across the globe. He can’t get enough of exploring the world and loves to share this passion through travel writing.
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Sicily is the rough diamond of the European island destinations. Glamor and grittiness go hand-in-hand in this proud and irresistible corner of Italy. I always love to come here for the stunning nature, centuries-old culture, plenty of fascinating cities to discover, and the enticing melange that is local cuisine. The hotel scene is diverse, and you can find some of the most exceptional places to stay in the country; Sicily is the Med’s largest island, after all. Seaside resorts, high-end city hideouts, rural gems, and converted palaces. Here are the coolest luxury hotels in Sicily to book for your next trip to one of Italy’s most beautiful islands.
When on the island, make sure to visit Taormina with the views out of this world. One of the most coveted luxury hotels in Sicily, Grand Hotel Timeo is how you experience this town’s beauty with an ultra-upscale edge. Elegant rooms overlook the Tyrrhenian infinite blue and the steaming Mount Etna. Be sure to get a unit with a balcony – you won’t regret having a morning coffee with such a panorama. The terraced gardens are a joy to be around, and the photogenic pool is as scenic as it gets. The location of this Belmond is superb, too; the UNESCO-protected Greco-Roman Teatro Antico is across the street, and the quaint cafes and cozy trattorias of the old town are a stone’s throw away.
On-site Michelin-starred restaurant with Meditteranean cuisine
If you’re a fan of HBO’s White Lotus series, the rooms and views of San Domenico Palace may look familiar. The show was almost entirely shot at San Domenico Palace, and the sublime panoramas of perched Taormina are among the main ingredients for its success. It’s cinematically breathtaking here. Enjoy the vista of Mount Etna while taking a plunge in an infinity pool, have an unforgettable food experience at the Michelin-starred Principe Cerami restaurant, and properly relax in spacious rooms with marble-clad bathrooms. San Domenico is set in a former 14th-century convent, so the historic charm will surround you everywhere you go. The Old Town of Taormina is steps away from the lodging, and Catania is a short drive away.
Sicily is the sea, and Villa Sant’Andrea is how you enjoy being next to the water in a high-end fashion. Set in a splendid villa from 1919, this hotel is right on the beach, with blue panoramas from every space. Taormina is above, and you have a free shuttle to the sister Grand Hotel Timeo for easygoing sightseeing. Units feature traditional Sicilian decor, bathrooms with colored tiles and soaking tubs, as well as scenic balconies to catch the sea breeze. The apogee of luxury is the two-bedroom suite that comes with a private pool, the ultimate moment of self-indulgence in Sicily.
Spa center with treatments using Sicilian natural scents
Have the privilege of starting your day with the glorious vista of Etna volcano over the rooftops of the Baroque core of Sicily’s capital. Palace Catania di UNA Esperienze takes you to the very heart of the city – the magnificent Basilica Cattedrale di Sant’Agata is just several minutes away on foot. Interiors here are contemporary and black-and-white with little touches of Sicilian traditional elements like tiles and dark oak finishes. The rooftop doubles as a fine dining restaurant where you can introduce yourself to local cuisine and eat your first pasta alla norma, a Sicilian eggplant-based staple.
Buffet breakfast with Italian and international options
While quite austere on the outside, inside Liberty Hotel is as opulent as it gets. A renovated Art Nouveau palace, it is among the best luxury hotels in Catania. Tucked away from the noise of the center, it’s still very close to all the major Baroque attractions of the city. Old World atmosphere dominates the intricate palatial interior, vaulted frescoed ceilings are a delight, and rooms bear the elegance of yesteryear with all the necessary modern amenities.
Unique is a perfect word to describe Doric Eco Boutique Resort & Spa. Here, you will have the privilege to admire the ancient beauty of the Juno temple, one of the symbols of Sicily and a highlight of the UNESCO-protected Valley of Temples in Agrigento. It’s a very peaceful, serene property masterfully woven into the surrounding landscape. To get a truly unforgettable retreat, book yourself a villa with a private pool. Guests were charmed by the setting, the attentive service, and the superb spa facilities.
Spa with a finnish sauna, Turkish bath, emotional shower, and infinity whirlpool
Massage, body, and facial treatments available
On-site Italian restaurant and a bar with a terrace
With its stucco-covered walls, frescoed ceilings, marble-clad halls, and the atmosphere of exclusivity in the air, Grand Hotel et Des Palmes, a central Palermo-located Art Nouveau outpost of Old Europe, is among the best luxury hotels in Sicily in one of the best cities to visit in Italy. Built by the English aristocrats more than a century ago and frequented by the likes of Wagner, Grand Hotel et Des Palmes is still very much worth your opulence-seeking interest. Rooms and suites are classic without being too lost in the period theme. The location is in a safe neighborhood and close to major sights, and you’ve got a gorgeously designed restaurant with a bar, too.
Upgraded suites come with terraces
Panoramic views of the city from the terrace
On-site restaurant serving traditional Sicilian dishes with a twist
Syracuse is an obligatory stop in any self-respecting Sicily trip. The birthplace of Archimedes, one of the most important cities in ancient Greece, and a place for rewarding sightseeing, it’s a highlight. Grand Hotel Des Étrangers is a five-star Art Deco lodging that provides an upscale stay with palatial interiors, sea vistas from breezy rooms, and a spectacular rooftop terrace with a bar. The setting is quite unique, right above the legendary Arethusa Spring or the only place on the European continent where papyrus grows. The narrow streets of Ortigia, with a rich offer of Sicilian restaurants, are at your doorstep, too.
Fine dining restaurant with a terrace
Ancient Greek sanctuary-inspired spa center with a pool
Upgraded rooms feature balconies or patios with sea views
It’s among the olive groves and ancient places of worship of the Valley of Temples that you find true Sicilian magic. Villa Athena Resort is an exceptional property that boasts one of the best indoor-outdoor connections out of all the luxury hotels in Sicily. The restaurant terrace, the rooms, and the pool all overlook the marvels of ancient Greece, such as Juno, Concordia, and Heracle temples, an absolutely sublime sight. But it’s not only about the view – you’ve got polished, well-designed units, five-star guest treatment, and a varied spa proposition too.
Luxury suites with private terraces
Wellness center with steam bath, hydromassage jacuzzi, and perfumed shower
Get off the beaten track with a luxurious touch by choosing Relais Antica Badia – San Maurizio 1619. Located in the hilltop Baroque gem of a city, Ragusa, in the southeastern part of the island, it’s among the top boutique properties in Sicily. The 16th-century palace in the town’s center was renovated to become an exclusive lodging with contemporary designs that cleverly incorporate traditional elements and keep it funky and playful at the same time.
Private internal car park
Wellness center with full body treatments and a sauna