The definitive guide to the luxury hotels in Sicily
Five-star hotels are not all born equal.
In this definitive guide to the luxury hotels in Sicily, we guide you through the choice, give you some tips to evaluate the hotels that better suit you, and even gift you with the complete list of the 5-star hotels available in the whole region.
We put much effort into selecting hotels for our clients because we are firmly convinced that a memorable travel experience starts with choosing the most appropriate accommodation.
So, off we go with our hand-picked list of the top 5 best luxury hotels in Sicily.
Top five luxury hotels in Sicily with international standards
This is an unbiased list of the most charming hotels in Sicily that we recommend and books for our clients to ensure they feel pampered and enjoy only the best of Sicily.
Unsurprisingly, the highest concentration of the best luxurious international hotel chains is in Taormina, one of the best places to stay in Sicily.
Every year, Taormina hosts concerts, theatrical representations, and a famous film festival in its incredible ancient Greek theater, one of the most important Archaeological Sites in Eastern Sicily located in the upper part of the city with a breathtaking view of the bay.
The mild climate, the beauty of the city and its coast, and the availability of a wide choice of some of the best dining restaurants, bars, and shops make Taormina one of the most desirable destinations in Sicily, beloved by an international clientele that includes rich and famous people worldwide.
Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo, Taormina
Set right in front of the Greek theater of Taormina, in the core of the town center, the Belmond Timeo Hotel has an enchanting view over the bay of Taormina and much history to share with guests. Many writers got inspired by the beauty of the environment, from D.H. Lawrence to Truman Capote and Tennessee Williams. The hotel has a well-curated classic style.
Condé Nest Traveller calls the Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo a “relieving retreat,” Indeed, it is a corner of paradise to relax and enjoy the best of Taormina.
Bedrooms are large, starting from a minimum area of 25 sqm (269 sqft) for the double room to 32sqm (344sqft) for the junior suite, and 40 sqm (431sqft) for the suite, all with king-sized or twin beds.
Much attention is put into the preparation of Sicilian and Mediterranean food, and the hotel hosts, in fact, the one Michelin star restaurant Otto Geleng, named after the German painter of noble origins who lived in Taormina and highly contributed to the success of the city.
Main Features: Beautiful six-acre tiered garden, outdoor swimming pool, wellness center, Michelin-starred restaurant, bar and restaurant, pool grill, and bar.
Four Seasons San Domenico, Taormina
This iconic hotel, located on the cliffs overlooking the bay with a view of Mount Etna and the Greek theater, is undoubtedly one of the best hotels in Sicily. Initially, it was a Dominican monastery founded in 1374, then turned into a hotel more than a century ago, in 1896.
San Domenico Hotel welcomed Oscar Wilde, King Edward VIII, Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn, and Sophia Loren, among other famous guests.
The property was recently refurbished in a contemporary style. The white and hazelnut color palette makes the sea blue even more evident through the large windows framing the view over the Mediterranean Sea.
Dining at the hotel’s restaurant Principe di Cerami is quite an experience. The restaurant recently got its first Michelin star thanks to the brilliant work of Massimo Mantarro, executive chef.
Main Features: Two cloisters and art collection, garden, infinity pool, three restaurants, spa, Michelin-starred restaurant
The Ashbee, Taormina
An intriguing mixture of English style and Sicilian atmosphere, The Ashbee Hotel, also known as Villa San Giorgio, was designed by the British architect Charles Robert Ashbee at the beginning of the 1900s for colonel Shaw-Hellier.
Therefore, the hotel was conceived as a private house, and it only turned into The Ashbee, now a member of the Leading Hotels of the World, in 2011 with the intent of providing a home for travelers far from home.
Bedrooms are spacious and classical, with a predominance of white in the tapestries, the bed linen in harmony with a wooden floor, and a few touches of violet color spread around.
The one Michelin-star restaurant, St. George, is the icing on the cake. The restaurant is curated by Heinz Beck, resident chef at La Pergola in Rome, with three Michelin stars. St. George delights guests with creative and contemporary cuisine.
Main Features: Garden, infinity pool, large panoramic terrace, gym with a view, signature Saint George restaurant by Heinz Beck, awarded with 2 Michelin stars, pool bar, bar, and patio.
Belmond Villa Sant’Andrea, Taormina mare
Belmond is one of the luxury hotel chains that invested in Sicily in recent years. In Taormina, in addition to the Grand Hotel Timeo in the upper part of the city, Belmond also acquired one other luxury hotel by the sea: Villa Sant’Andrea in Taormina Mare, directly facing the bay.
This is undoubtedly one of the best hotels in Sicily on the beach.
The style of this property, dating back to 1919, is typical of seaside hotels in the Mediterranean, with colorful carpets, cushions, and majolica. Among the elegant rooms and suites, six sea-view junior suites with private terraces are in a separate building next to the swimming pool for extra privacy.
The restaurant offers traditional Sicilian food, like the Couscous alla Trapanese, a recipe from the city of Trapani consisting of couscous, fish, and seafood.
Main Features: Private beach, swimming pool, baby club, gym, wellness center, restaurant, bar, pool bar, and beach bar.
Villa Igiea, Palermo
Hotel Villa Igiea is in the city of Palermo, facing the marina, and it is one of the two properties in Sicily belonging to Rocco Forte Hotels. The building has a long history linked to the Florio family, the wealthiest family when the hotel was built in 1899.
The hotel has been fully refurbished to maintain the original atmosphere and improve comfort. The bedrooms are large, combining relaxing colors like green and beige. The terrace and the garden are right in front of the sea. The bar and main ballroom, decorated in an opulent art nouveau style, still have the original pieces of furniture and chandeliers, which had to be restored in part.
Scattered around in the hotel halls, lounge, or bar, you can see old memories and period portraits of the Florio family, a true legend in Palermo.
Main Features: Garden and terrace overlooking the bay, outdoor swimming pool, spa, restaurant, and bar.
Best boutique hotels in Sicily
We have suggestions to meet all your needs, from 5-star hotels with international luxury standards to boutique hotels with local flavors.
So, for those who prefer hotels with a more intimate atmosphere and a direct link with local traditions, Sicily has to offer charming, boutique, or small luxury hotels that will make you spend memorable holidays.
Here is our list of the most particular properties and hidden gems, each offering a unique atmosphere.
Monaci delle Terre Nere, Zafferana Etnea
This is one of Sicily’s most innovative and stylish country hotels, as Conde Nast calls it. A small hotel member of Relais & Chateaux, located in the foothill of Mount Etna on the Eastern coast.
The property includes a farm and a vineyard producing Etna wine. Guests can therefore enjoy farm-to-table organic produce and some of the finest wines produced on the south-eastern slopes of the volcano.
The villa dates to the 19th century, and the hotel consists of 8 bedrooms, five suites, and four independent villas of different sizes from 1 to 3 bedrooms. The style is modern with design elements.
Main Features: an estate of 25 hectares, swimming pool, massage and yoga sessions, organic breakfast, restaurant
7 rooms Villadorata, Noto
The seven rooms and suites mentioned in the name of this mini-hotel are located in a private wing of the historical Palazzo Nicolaci in the heart of Noto – the city known as the capital of Baroque Sicily.
The suites are large apartments that make you feel like a local inhabitant. All the bedrooms are comfortable and furnished in a classical style.
The restaurant is in the annex palace under the extensive cap vaults of the ancient rooms of this palace dating back to 1733.
Main Features: restaurant, organic soap produced with olive oil
The Metropole, Taormina
A boutique hotel with 23 modern classic bedrooms and suites, some on two floors, all in bright white color, and an infinity pool that can be reached through an astounding stone tunnel dating back to the 1400s.
The Metropole was the first hotel in Taormina, in a historical building dating back to the 13th century.
The hotel is located on the main road, Corso Umberto, an area offering plenty of choice in terms of shops and restaurants.
Main Features: swimming pool, panoramic terrace bar, restaurant, spa.
Dimora delle Balze, Noto
Noto, in the surroundings of Ragusa, is known as the capital of Baroque in Sicily, an area worth visiting for its beautiful architecture. Dimora delle Balze is a five-star estate is a short distance from Palazzolo Acreide, listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The estate is about 25 hectares, most of which can be cultivated and certified 100% organic, and organic is, of course, the food served at the restaurant, Lumìa.
Beaches are a 30-minute drive from the hotel.
The property consists of 11 bedrooms only, with dimensions that can vary from 215 sqft (20 sqm) to 148 sqft (45 sqm), one different from another, in a very charming style that blends modern design and local heritage linked together by the colors of the Mediterranean Sea.
The French magazine Vogue calls Dimora Delle Balze “the perfect spot to relax in peace.”
Main Features: Outdoor swimming pool, fitness area, spa treatments on request, restaurant
Best luxury resorts in Sicily
Sports lovers and relaxation seekers will love these hotels, which can be easily considered the best Sicily resorts.
Verdura Resort, Sciacca
A top luxury resort by Sir Rocco Forte in Sciacca, on the Western coast of Sicily, this is presently considered one of the best golf resorts in Europe.
Four seafront villas, each with 3 or 4 bedrooms and a swimming pool, three Forte suites with a private pool, and luxurious junior suites and bedrooms are available for guests, all in a contemporary style.
The Verdura Resort is a corner of paradise with 230 hectares of countryside, a white sand beach, a spa, and two golf courses: the East Course, par 73, and the West Course, par 70.
A wide choice of activities is available at the resort, from water sports to tennis and golf.
Main Features: beach, swimming pools, spa, east and west golf courses, tennis court, three restaurants, bar
Adler Spa Resort Sicilia, Siculiana
On the Western coast of Sicily, not far from Agrigento, lays the Adler Spa Resort.
Warm atmosphere in the large and comfortable junior and family suites overlooking the sea, some of which have been specifically designed for guests with limited walking ability.
The resort also offers a wide wellness area of 34,000 sqft and direct access to the white sand beach near the Torre Salsa Nature Reserve.
Main Features: wellness area with pools and sauna, gym, access to the beach, parking, and two restaurants.
Hotels in special locations
These properties are worth mentioning for the destination where they are located, in the heart of historical sites of Sicily or the green vineyards and olive groves.
Ortea Palace, Syracuse
The Ortea Palace Hotel is a building dating back to 1920, overlooking the marina of Ortygia, the oldest part of Syracuse – an area rich in historical monuments, restaurants, and shops.
Bedrooms are bright and spacious, decorated in white with touches of blue, green, pearl gray, and red. The style of the hotel is overall rational and classical.
If you are planning to visit the archaeological sites in Syracuse, take a look at our article on the most important archeological sites in western Sicily.
Main Features: 2 restaurants, cocktail bar, wine cellar below the sea level, spa, and swimming pool
Villa Athena, Agrigento
Villa Athena has a unique location right in the heart of the archaeological site of Agrigento, the Valley of Temples, in front of the Temple of Concordia. Noble residence of the late 18th century, the hotel has stunning views over the archaeological park.
Bedrooms have been refurbished in a modern classic style, and ancient majolicas dating back to the 1900s and 1800s have been restored and used in the spa area.
You can admire the Temple of Concordia framed in your window from the Temple view bedrooms – it will be directly in front of you!
If you are planning to visit the archaeological sites in Agrigento, take a look at our article on the most important archeological sites in eastern Sicily.
Main Features: Unique position inside the Valley of Temples in Agrigento, panoramic terrace, restaurant, bar, and spa.
La Foresteria Planeta Estate, Menfi
This wine resort in the countryside between Agrigento and Marsala is listed as a four-star property. Close to Sciacca and Mazzara del Vallo, La Foresteria Planeta is in a very convenient location, next to the archaeological sites and the beaches on the western coast.
The estate produces wine and olive oil, and the country house consists of 14 bedrooms and terraces overlooking the sea or the countryside of Menfi.
Main Features: Garden, infinity pool, restaurant
Therasia Resort & Spa, Island of Vulcano
Set in Vulcano, one of the seven Aeolian Islands – UNESCO heritage site – Therasia Resort & Spa offers a breathtaking view of the sea, nearby islands, and stacks.
Suites and bedrooms are decorated in a refreshing and sober Mediterranean style, some facing the sea, others the volcano.
The dining experience ranges from the gourmet cuisine offered at the Michelin-starred restaurant Il Cappero with Executive Chef Giuseppe Biuso to the traditional local cuisine at the restaurant L’Arcipelago.
It also includes an all-vegetarian restaurant, I Tenerumi, that just recently received one Michelin star. The chef, Davide Guidara, has also been awarded Young Chef of the Year by Michelin and received a green star as a reward for his efforts in a sustainable way of cooking.
Main Features: Park, infinity pools, spa, and indoor pool, private access to the sea, four restaurants including a Michelin-starred restaurant
Capofaro Locanda & Malvasia, Island of Salina
Capofaro is a project of the Tasca d’Almerita family combining wine and sea. The resort includes a lighthouse, which hosts six special unique rooms today, and the “Anfiteatro” vineyard producing Malvasia grapes.
The estate has 26 bedrooms in total, in a minimalist style, with a sea or garden view.
A system of gardens supplies 70% of the produce used in the kitchen by the young chef Gabriele Camiolo. The bread made at Capofaro is a unique tasting experience, named the best bread on the table in Italy in the 2018 Gambero Rosso Restaurant Guide.
Main Features: Park, restaurant, paddle/tennis court, vineyard, wine bar, clubhouse and shop, swimming pool, shuttle service to a pebbled private beach
Things to know when you choose your 5 star accommodation in Sicily
Star rating criteria change by country as there is no universal standard for hotel ratings. Differences may be significant also when you are traveling within Europe. These variations can depend on several factors as local standards apply.
In Europe, strict rules are imposed in the historical center of cities where hotels in period buildings must deal with specific limitations to what can be changed in the name of comfort and luxury – for example, bedrooms are generally smaller, not all bedrooms are the same size, and it is impossible to modify the architecture of the building or the façade to improve the characteristics of the hotel.
Sicily follows the same rules valid throughout Italy.
If you are curious to learn the minimum requirements for a hotel to be listed as a 5-star in Italy, you can find them in this article’s last paragraph.
As you will notice reading the list, there are several details about the number of services that must be provided to earn five stars. Still, nothing is said about the quality of the services offered – which can make all the difference between a great experience to be remembered and a very flat or very negative experience.
This is a good reason to rely on a local travel consultant and ensure the hotel can meet your expectations before confirming a reservation.
Complete list of 5 star hotels in Sicily: choose carefully!
Below is a list of all the hotels that have officially obtained the 5-star category from local authorities. We mention them all in the list, but please choose the most convenient hotel for you very carefully. Consider that only a few 5-star hotels in Sicily offer quality services suitable for international travelers.
The hotels we recommend to our clientele are the ones we thoroughly described in the article above.
The following is a non-curated comprehensive list with addresses, phone numbers, and websites by geographical area.
5 star hotels Taormina
Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo
Via Teatro Greco, 59
+39 0942 627 0200
Belmond Villa Sant’Andrea
Via Nazionale, 137
+39 0942 627 1200
San Domenico Palace
Piazza S. Domenico de Guzman 5 – Taormina
+39 0942 613111
The Ashbee Hotel
Viale S. Pancrazio, 46
+39 0942 23537
Hotel NH Collection Taormina
Via Circonvallazione, 11
+39 0942 625202
Hotel Metropole Taormina
Corso Umberto, 154
+39 0942 24013
Via Nazionale, 161
+39 0942 618011
Hotel El Jebel Taormina
Salita Ciampoli, 9
+39 0942 625494
Mazzarò Sea Palace
Via Nazionale, 147
+39 0942 612111
Grand Hotel San Pietro
Via Luigi Pirandello, 50
+39 0942 620711
5 star hotels Syracuse and its surroundings
Ortea Palace Luxury Hotel
Riva Nazario Sauro, 1
+39 0931 16681
Borgo di Luce I Monasteri
Traversa Monasteri di Sotto, 3
+39 0931 184 9044
Via del Faro Massolivieri, 26
+39 0931 721222
Grand Hotel Ortigia
V.le Mazzini, 12
+39 0931 464600
Hotel Principe di Fitalia
Traversa Tonnara Terrauzza, 51
+39 345 748 6837
Caportigia Boutique Hotel
Viale Montedoro, 76
+39 0931 580576
Via Salomone, n. 21
+39 0931 181 5404
Grand Hotel Des Ètrangers
Passeggio Aretusa, 12
+39 0931 319100
Grand Hotel Sofia
Via Confalonieri Corrado, sn,
+39 0931 835057
Dimora delle Balze
+39 0931 180 5361
5 star hotels Ragusa
Antica Badia San Maurizio 1619
Corso Italia, 115
+39 0932 247995
Eremo Della Giubiliana
C.da Giubiliana, SP25, km 7,500
+39 0932 669119
5 star hotels Trapani and its surroundings
Luna del Raccolto
Via Simone Catalano, 252
+39 340 080 4556
Strada Statale 115 Dir
+39 0924 941046
Contrada Baronazzo Amafi,
+39 0923 746222
Strada Provinciale 119 km7
+39 0924 183 6042
Almar Giardino di Costanza
Via Salemi, Km 7, 100
Mazara del Vallo
+39 0923 675000
Grand Hotel Palace
Lungomare Mediterraneo, 57
+39 0923 719492
Sikelia Luxury Hotel
Via Monastero snc Scauri
Island of Pantelleria
+39 0923 408120
5 star hotels Palermo and its surroundings
Villa Igiea, a Rocco Forte Hotel
Via Belmonte, 43
+39 091 631 2111
Grand Hotel et des Palmes
Via Roma, 398
+39 091 804 8800
Via Villa Florio, 73
+39 392 542 5393
Grand Hotel Wagner
Via Riccardo Wagner, 2
+39 091 336572
Blue Island Villa Caterina
Viale Kennedy, 40
+39 091 910 2701
Grand Palladium Garden Beach V.le Himera 7/8 ss 113 Km 204.3
Campofelice di Roccella
+39 0921 930011
Abbazia Santa Anastasia
Contrada Santa Anastasia
+39 0921 672233
5 star hotels in Cefalu
Hotel Le Calette
Via Cavallaro, 12
+39 0921 424144
Cefalù Sea Palace
Lungomare Giuseppe Giardina
+39 0921 925011
5 star hotels in Messina and its surroundings
Capofaro Locanda & Malvasia
Isola di Salina, Via Faro, 3
+39 090 984 4330
Therasia Resort Sea & Spa
Isola di Vulcano
+39 090 985 2555
Art Hotel Diamond Naxos
Via dei Sei Mulini, Contrada, Via Sirina – Giardini Naxos
+39 0942 52064
Via Rina, 78
+39 333 304 2234
Villa Rica Turismo Rurale
Contrada Mortizzi, 23
+39 0941 240877
La Plage Resort
Via Nazionale, 107/A, 98039
Isola Bella Island
5 star hotels in Agrigento and its surroundings
Passeggiata Archeologica, 33
+39 0922 596288
S.S. 115, Km 131
+39 0925 998001
5 star hotels Catania and its surroundings
Romano Palace Luxury Hotel
Viale Presidente Kennedy, 28
+39 095 596 7111
Monaci delle Terre Nere
Via Monaci, Via Pietralunga, sn
Zafferana etnea CT
+39 095 708 3638
Hotel Esperia Palace
Via delle Ginestre, 27D
Zafferana Etnea CT
+39 095 708 2335
+39 328 431 5109
Hotel Villa Neri Resort & Spa
+39 095 813 3002
Contrada Fontana della Pietra, S.P.37/ll – Caltagirone
+39 334 121 0205
Appendix: minimum requirements for 5-star hotels in Italy
Decree dated 21 October 2008
- guaranteed 24 hours a day
- night service with the night porter
- baggage service operated by an employee during the hours in which reception is guaranteed
- custody service in individual safes in the rooms
- 16 hours a day with an attendant
- room service is available 24 hours a day with an attendant
- in a dedicated room or at the restaurant
- room breakfast service is available at the scheduled breakfast times
- in a dedicated room
- room restaurant service available at times scheduled for catering
SERVICES FOR BEDROOM
- cleaning service of bedrooms once a day and turndown service in the afternoon
- change of bed linen every day unless otherwise chosen by the customer for the protection of the environment
- change bathroom linen every day unless the customer makes different choices for the protection of the environment
- three languages spoken
- laundry service with same-day delivery
- uniforms for staff
- 24-hour parking service available for 80% of the bedrooms
- fax and photocopying service
- Internet service reserved for guests
- TV set in the common areas
- sheltered entrance
- basic furniture (bed with a bedside table or support surface for each bed, chair or
- another seat for bed, coffee table, wardrobe, mirror, basket, a light point on the bedside table)
- stool or special shelf for luggage
- Network satellite TV
- telephone required to enable external call
- safe internet connection
- mini bar
- measures to reduce noise
- staff called by telephone
EQUIPMENT FOR PRIVATE BATHROOMS
- sink, toilet, bidet, bathtub, or shower
- emergency call in all toilets (private and shared) bathrobe per person
- towels and bath towels in an adequate number for guests, mat
- objects and materials for personal hygiene
- waste baskets and hygienic bags
SPACE AVAILABLE FOR GUESTS
- room dedicated to cloakroom and luggage storage
- restaurant room
- a total area, excluding the restaurant room, not more minor of 4 sq m for the first ten rooms, one sq m for each of the further rooms up to the twentieth, 0.5 sq m for each additional room (increased by 50%)
- lounge or bar area
- lounge or sitting/reading/entertainment area
- breakfast room or area
- room or space reserved for meetings
TOILETS AND BATHROOMS FOR COMMON USE
- restrooms for the premises and common areas for the administration of food and drinks with separate toilets by gender
- private bathrooms in the rooms
- the number of complete bathrooms equipped with hot and cold water must correspond to 100% of the rooms
- a minimum of seven rooms
- as regards the surface area of the bedrooms and private bathrooms, a minimum surface area of 9 square meters must be provided for the single room, excluding private bathrooms
- for the double room, a minimum area of 16 square meters net of private bathrooms
- for each additional bed, a minimum area of 6 square meters net of the private bathrooms
- for the complete private bathroom, an area of 5 square meters, except for the exceptions provided for by national or regional regulations
EQUIPMENT OF THE HOTEL
- Customer lift (subject to the exceptions provided for by national or regional regulations)
- mandatory for buildings over two levels (including basement floors if provided, even in part, with rooms serving guests)
- service lift or goods lift (subject to the exceptions provided for by national or regional)
- heating throughout the year, excluding hotels with a limited opening to the summer season. In these structures, if temporarily open in the non-summer season, the heating must, in any case, be insured in all areas of the operation
- the air conditioning system is used in the common areas and adjustable by the customer in the rooms at altitudes below 500 meters above sea level