Kaos Hotel - (www.bluhotel.it) four-star rated, located approximately three miles from Agrigento, where we stay on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis for three nights is situated in a quiet location with extensive views over the surrounding countryside and sea, approximately three miles away. The public rooms are beautifully decorated in a typically Sicilian style. There is a pretty courtyard where you can enjoy a refreshing drink in this hotel’s calm and tranquil ambience. The hotel is set in its own extensive landscaped gardens, has its own tennis courts and a large swimming pool. Dinner may be served al fresco in the gardens if the weather allows.
The hotel Baia di Ulisse - (www.baiadiulisse.com is set inside a beautiful pine forest which runs down to the hotels private beach San Leone, just a few miles from Agrigento. This stylish andtasteful hotel is lovingly cared for by its owner with his own antique furniture, fine paintings and exquisite ornaments displayed throughout.
The hotel boasts a outdoor swimming pool, bar and very elegant restaurant. There are several relaxing lounges with a variety of seating from carved hardwood chairs to soft leather sofa’s plus an outside terrace with spectacular views across the bay. The Mediterranean style air-conditioned rooms all featuring a balcony with either a garden or a terrace view. This privately owned hotel is the owners life work and it really shows. It is beautifully designed and such a refreshing change from the standard ‘chain’ hotels so prevalent is many parts of Europe.
The Dioscuri Bay Palace - (www.dioscurihotel.it) is situated overlooking the picturesque harbour in San Leone, just eight kilometers from Agrigento, right on the coast. Set on the seafront the hotel boast a beautiful pool and expansive terrace looking out over the sparkling sea, American bar and lounge and restaurant serving traditional local food. All rooms boast either a balcony or terrace, are air-conditioned and have safe, minibar and satellite TV.
Neighbouring Taormina is Giardini Naxos, a charming typically Sicilian town with a seashore lined by quaint seafood restaurants and fishing boats drawn up onto the beach and the beautiful family run four-star Hotel Sant’Alphio Garden (http://www.santalphiohotel.com), situated just a few minutes walk from the sea itself. This hotel sits in a very picturesque spot with views of nearby Taormina and Mount Etna. It has a host of fantastic facilities including a restaurant serving local and international cuisine, bar, outdoor pool surrounded by shady palm trees and beautiful bougainvillaea with poolside bar where you can relax and soak up the sun after a hard day’s sightseeing. The hotel also boasts a private beach just a short walk away and spa with indoor pool, Jacuzzi, sauna and gym (available at extra cost). Rooms are modern, air-conditioned and equipped with private facilities, mini-bar, safe and all have a terrace or balcony affording views over the surrounding area.
Single supplement £169. Sea view with balcony or terrace £65 per person. Single Sea view room £269
In Taormina itself, you can choose the four-star Hotel Excelsior Palace (http://www.excelsiorpalacetaormina.it), a classic building, over a hundred years old, which during its long history has welcomed guests as diverse as the King of Italy to Antonio Banderas! It is superbly situated on a promontory with panoramic views of the sea to one side and Mount Etna on the other, set in its own lush, extensive landscape gardens, and yet centrally located in the old town. The restaurant focuses on local cuisine and the sophisticated bar/terrace enjoys amazing views of Etna. The large swimming pool, set in the terraced gardens on the end of the promontory enjoys the same breathtaking views as the hotel itself and has its own bar. All rooms are air-conditioned, elegantly styled, in keeping with the rest of the hotel, and very tastefully decorated.
Single supplement £129. Single supplement with sea view (no balcony) £229. Front sea view (no balcony) £105 per person; Side sea/Etna view (no balcony) £75 per person; Side sea/Etna view (French balcony) £85 per person
Finally, just eight kilometres north of Taormina, built in Sicilian style and set into the coastal cliff itself, overlooking the stunning Bay of Taormina, is the luxurious, four-star Hotel Baia Taormina (http://www.baiataormina.com) It is a member of ‘Charming Hotels – Independent Luxury Hotels of the World’ one of the world’s most stylish hotel chains and has also received the following comment from one of the world’s most prestigious hotel guides, Johansens: ‘Four stars does not do it justice; every member of staff, every detail shines with courtesy and excellence. . . It is an honour to have you in our guide book.’ This superb hotel with its stone-faced walls, terracotta tiles and wide arches has a wonderful welcoming atmosphere. There are two swimming pools, an excellent restaurant specialising in local cuisine with a stylish and romantic ambience (there may also be the opportunity to take dinner on the terrace during your stay); a relaxing bar and lounge and a coffee shop, all set into the hillside making excellent use of the topography. The rooms themselves are extremely well-appointed, tastefully decorated, and all face the sea. Should you wish to visit Taormina, there is a free shuttle bus, and to avoid the walk you can take this to the beach too, which takes approximately two minutes. In short, your comfort is assured whichever hotel you choose.
Single supplement £159
Please note: Where hotels feature a swimming pool, pools are open in the summer months weather permitting.
* Selected departures in October 2015 and April to October 2016, prices from £849pp flying from London Gatwick
The price of this holiday is per person based on two people sharing a twin room. Single and sea view rooms are subject to availability at the relevant supplement. The price includes return flights as indicated, seven nights dinner, bed and breakfast, airport departure taxes and transfers, all tours as mentioned, guided tours of Valley of the Temples, Villa at Piazza Armerina and Monreale, visits to Palermo, Siracusa and Etna and the services of a Riviera tour manager. Occasionally the opening times of the places of interest vary, and if this happens we may have to change the order of events. Where hotels feature a swimming pool, pools are open in the summer months weather permitting.
Not included: Ortygia boat trip €10, Mount Etna exploration: cable car only €30, or cable car, jeep and compulsory guide €60, approximate costs, payable locally.