Luxurious 19th-century Grand Hotel Timeo, with its hilltop location, offers exquisite views of Mount Etna and the sea, and the hotel is right beside the remains of a Greek amphitheatre. It’s a Belmond, so expect elegant well-equipped rooms with marble bathrooms; an upgrade might include a terrace, or an outside jacuzzi. A heated rooftop pool is surrounded by gardens, and food and drink is exceptional: bountiful breakfasts, aperitifs in the glamorous bar or on the terrace, then fine dining on Sicilian specialities. Sublime.
Where to begin? Much like Sicily itself, where hard decisions have to be made about where to go, the choice of hotels in Sicily is immense, but we’ve tried to make the task a little easier by picking our favourite destinations and accommodation within them. There are city gems like the Alma in Palermo, or grand hotels, such as Taormina’s 19th-century hilltop Timeo, with its stunning views, or the Sant’Andrea with its own stretch of beach. For boutique hotels, there’s the Gutkowski in Syracuse, set within two restored fishermen’s cottages, and the architect-designed Casa Talia, or there’s the Manaci delle Terre Nere, in a restored old winery. Nature-lovers will appreciate the Minareto resort, set on the edge of a nature reserve, or the lovely Capofaro set on a promontory among the Tasca d’Almerita vineyards. Sound enticing? It really is a tricky choice, but hopefully our pick of the best hotels in Sicily will help.