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By Chris | December 31 2012
The 5 Best Hotels on the Amalfi Coast, Sicily and the Aeolian Islands
The charming boutique Hotel Signum on the island of Salina is the exquisite result of the renovation of an old Aeolian hamlet a few steps from the sea. The rooms are equipped with every luxury and comfort.
Immersed in the perfumes of citrus orchards and jasmine flowers, you’ll be able to enjoy a number of relaxation areas: the infinity pool, the solarium, the gardens and the reading room. The terraces with panoramic views of Stromboli and Panarea play host to the bar and renowned Aeolian-Mediterranean restaurant. The Signum SPA embraces guests in a relaxed haven whose architectural style and spa menu were both inspired by the archipelago’s traditions. A geothermal spring provides the water for the spa’s open-air facilities.
The Signum restaurant can be found within the welcoming Hotel Signum. In the kitchen, chefs Martina and Michele Caruso transform carefully chosen seasonal ingredients and quality preserves into dishes that are as Aeolian as they are Mediterranean, with a selection from the wine cellar to match. About 350 labels are typically available, largely local delights from Sicily and the rest of southern Italy. Terraces with evocative panoramic views are home to the restaurant and cocktail bar, where you can admire the sea of the archipelago, or simply sit back, relax and take in the starry Salina sky.
Owner and Manager Luca Caruso
+39 090 984 4222
Via Scalo 15, Salina, Messina, Sicily, Italy
If you’re jetting in from afar for the start of your yachting adventure, why not fly into Naples the night before, and, like royalty and cinema legends before you, use the Excelsior as a base for sublime pre-trip luxury and relaxation?
Expect opulent antique features and furnishings, beautifully finished rooms imbued with the grand elegance of a truly classic hotel and views of iconic Mount Vesuvius and the Bay of Naples. Enjoying this blend of indulgent luxury and the inimitable beauty of the Italian coast is the perfect way to prepare for your cruise.
Why we love it: This elegant suite takes care of the comfort, convenience and enjoyment of guests and their friends with attentive little features, such as a piano in the large living space, an inviting Jacuzzi that promises pure romantic bliss and lavish furnishings. Best of all are the spacious balconies with commanding views across the bay, which are perfect for soaking up sun and sea air over breakfast.
Room Division Manager: Gianni Ricci
+39 081 764 0111
48, Via Partenope, Naples
Grand Hotel Timeo is a beacon of elegant luxury, located in front of Taormina’s world-famous Greek theater.
The hotel is centrally placed so guests can visit the town’s most iconic of sights while also offering truly breathtaking vistas of Mount Etna. Enjoy rooms infused with lavish baroque opulence and crowned with endless Mediterranean views. Sip cocktails on the hotel’s happening Literary Terrace where Audrey Hepburn once reclined, where stars flock during film festival season and where DH Lawrence wrote much of Lady Chatterley’s Lover. Savor fresh seasonal dishes on the restaurant terrace and see if you can concentrate on your food amid the sensational view. As you explore Taormina’s golden beaches and abundant cultural wonders, this is the perfect luxury sanctuary to come home to.
Why we love it: Bright, elegant and impeccably finished, the Presidential Suite’s opulent furnishings, vaulted ceilings and gleaming wood floors are the height of luxury living. Its two lavish bedrooms are spaces for pure indulgent relaxation. Meanwhile, the suite’s enormous 2,000 square foot ocean-facing terrace offers a stunning view of the Bay of Naxos and Mount Etna, which can be enjoyed from the blissful relaxation of a private Jacuzzi, or the romantic shade of a gazebo.
General Manager: Luca Finardi
+39 094 2627 0200
59, Via Teatro Greco, Taormina
If you want to unwind in style before your flight home, why not do so in pure five-star opulence at the Grand Hotel Villa Igiea Palermo?
Igiea is the ideal base from which to end your luxury cruise – a home-away-from-home – whether you choose to fly out the next day or take some time to explore this fascinating city. Villa Igiea is set in idyllic surroundings just two miles from the center of Palermo and provides lavish facilities for relaxation, leisure and business. A decadent Greek-style swimming pool offers an intimate and beautiful view of the ocean; excellent restaurants and bars serve delicious gourmet fare and stylish cocktails; and abundant conference space caters to guests’ business and corporate requirements. A stay at Igiea really is the perfect way to bid adieu to Sicily in style – that is if you can work up the heart to leave.
Why we love it: A perfect contrast between classic elegance and sophisticated state-of-the-art modern conveniences, this gorgeous suite is flawlessly finished with decadent furnishings and an ocean view. It also offers the impeccable comforts of an exceptionally good minibar, in-room wireless internet and up-to-the-minute electronic security features.
General Manager: Vito Giglio
+39 091 631 2111
43, Salita Belmonte, Palermo
Known as the coolest place to lay your head in the Aeolians, Hotel Raya is not your typical luxury hotel.
Spartan but chic, Raya’s impeccably hip credentials have attracted visits from the likes of Naomi Campbell and Dolce & Gabbana – but don’t expect every modern convenience or ceilings dripping with gold, Raya’s appeal is in its eclectic, bohemian feel and its magical views of the islands. At this idyllic, intimate retreat you can escape from it all, let your hair down and melt into pure paradise. Divided across three unique sleeping, relaxing and partying spaces, which take in both the lush hillside and blissful seascape of Panarea, Raya is the perfect Aeolian getaway, a secluded haven where you don’t have to choose between unspoilt natural beauty and a glamorous celeb party scene. What’s more, Raya’s cute bistro is the ideal place to sample gourmet treats when you need a break from dancing.
Why we love it: This chic, minimalist suite, a particular favorite with visiting VIPs, offers authentic island living that is both stylish and comfortable, and sports gorgeous views across the ocean.
Hotel Manager: Miriam Beltrami
+39 090 983 013
Via San Pietro, Panarea