These Are the 10 Best Hotels in Sicily

Baroque cities. Archaeological ruins. Sun and sand. Multicultural cuisine. Sicily has it all—and these are its top 10 hotels and resorts.

This guest room at San Domenico Palace, a Four Seasons Hotel, features a large bed that faces the Mediterranean Sea, which is on view through French doors.

A guest room at San Domenico Palace, a Four Seasons Hotel

Courtesy of San Domenico Palace, a Four Seasons Hotel

Sicily is a tapestry of cultures and landscapes with more than 2,500 years of history—all under the watchful eyes of the majestic Mount Etna, Europe’s most active volcano. Sicily is not quite 10,000 square miles—about the size of Maryland—yet everything from art and archaeology to cuisine and landscapes can change in a short drive.

When White Lotus Season 2 aired in 2022, Sicily travel skyrocketed. But Italy’s largest island has long been on the list of keyed-in travelers as one of Italy’s most compelling destinations, and in the past few years, the hotel scene has grown significantly. Here, historic grand hotels contrast with charming bed-and-breakfasts and rustic farmhouses. As part of AFAR’s Hotels We Love series, we’ve scoured the island to round up the 10 most exciting places to stay, whether you’re in search of a beach vacation or immersion in ancient history.

Four Seasons San Domenico Palace

  • Location: Taormina
  • Why we love it: A 14th-century monastery turned luxury retreat with sea views
  • Book now

Located in one of Taormina’s prettiest but most precarious locations (on the bluffs of the hill town), Four Seasons San Domenico Palace began its life in the 14th century as a monastery before transforming into a luxury retreat in 1896. These days, it’s Instagram famous, thanks to its starring role in the second season of White Lotus, and it’s easy to see why it was such a compelling setting. The resort features panoramic views of the Ionian Sea, Mount Etna, and the ruins of the town’s ancient Greek theater. San Domenico Palace also has its own lavender-scented, lemon tree–lined private garden and a 70-foot-long infinity pool that seemingly drops into the sea.

The resort’s 111 guest rooms and suites feature original frescoes and have French doors that let in cool Mediterranean breezes, while the Michelin-starred restaurant Principe Cerami features fresh-caught seafood in such dishes as langoustine with green apples and celeriac, and turbot with artichokes and Etna olives. While San Domenico Palace does not have its own beach club, guests can book a lettino (sun bed) at nearby Nuova Spiaggia Paradiso, La Caravella, and Caparena for some time in the sand. From $2,442

Grand Hotel Timeo, a Belmond Hotel

Grand Hotel Timeo, a Belmond Hotel

Grand Hotel Timeo, a Belmond Hotel, has light-filled halls with wooden floors and large glass windows.

Courtesy of Grand Hotel Timeo, a Belmond Hotel

  • Location: Taormina
  • Why we love it: A storied grande dame with modern hospitality touches
  • Book now

For 150 years, Grand Hotel Timeo, a Belmond Hotel, has reigned as Sicily’s grande dame—and rightfully so. With private gardens and terraced bars overlooking the Ionian Sea, belle epoque interiors, and a Michelin-starred restaurant, the resort has a century-old guest book of such luminaries as Tennessee Williams, D.H. Lawrence (who penned Lady Chatterley’s Lover here), Rudolf Valentino, Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, Bob Dylan, Sophia Loren, and Truman Capote (who wrote Breakfast at Tiffany’s here). Located just off Taormina’s main strip, the hotel is an enclave from the high-season tourism hordes, while its garden sits adjacent to Taormina’s extraordinary third-century CE Greek amphitheater.

Timeo’s 70 rooms and suites, with their high ceilings and large windows, are sumptuously decorated with gilt mirrors and framed paintings on crisp white walls. The hotel’s grounds include a Louis Vuitton café, a lavish spa with the indulgent Le Jardin des Rêves Dior outdoor wellness area, and the Michelin-starred Otto Geleng, where chef Roberto Toro creates masterpieces including octopus with escarole and wild fennel and red mullet with foie gras. Timeo guests have access to Taormina sister property Villa Sant’Andrea’s beach, which can be reached via a complimentary shuttle. From $2,591

Hotel Principe di Salina

This guest room at Hotel Principe di Salina has a large fireplace, blue chairs, and white walls.

A guest room at Hotel Principe di Salina

Courtesy of Hotel Principe di Salina

  • Location: Salina
  • Why we love it: For a tranquil island escape off Sicily
  • Book now

For those looking to get off the grid: Head north on a 3.5-hour ferry ride from Sicily’s port town of Capo di Orlando to Salina, an island in the Aeolian archipelago, and check into Hotel Principe di Salina. Located on the northern edge of Salina in the tiny town of Malfa, the boutique hotel is owned and run by Anita Mottai, who has a miraculous ability to make each guest feel as if they’ve just come home.

The 12 guest rooms, decorated with white walls, crisp white bedding, and blond wood furnishings, each have views of sunrise and sunset, not to mention panoramas of Stromboli, one of the archipelago’s more active volcanos. The white-on-white decor, wide windows and terraces, and azure pool may be reminiscent of the Greek isles, but Principe di Salina is all Sicilian, from the attitude to the cooking classes focused on Sicilian cuisine and a communal dining experience. From $340

Il San Corrado di Noto

This suite at Il San Corrado di Noto has a private patio with a pool and lounge chairs.

A suite at Il San Corrado di Noto

Courtesy of Il San Corrado di Noto

  • Location: Noto
  • Why we love it: An elegant resort near some of Sicily’s most alluring Sicilian baroque cities
  • Book now

The former farmhouse home of a Sicilian nobleman, Il San Corrado di Noto is a destination unto itself, with 26 suites and eight private pool villas, an onsite restaurant focusing on Sicilian cooking, and two fabulous swimming pools. Suites and villas are styled with a neutral palette, stay-in-all-day four-poster beds, and resplendent travertine marble bathrooms. Suites have additional private furnished patios, while villas have large living rooms, private pools, and just enough distance from the main structure that you feel solitude.

The Relais & Châteaux property offers culinary classes, yoga in a private pavilion, and tennis lessons at the tennis court, while a state-of-the-art fitness room and a spa with treatments from deep tissue massages to Tibet sound rituals. Il San Corrado is also located at the center of the Val di Noto province, making it an ideal jumping-off point for exploring the nearby Sicilian baroque cities of Modica, Ragusa, Noto, and Ortigia in Syracuse. It’s also a quick 20-minute drive from the fine-sand beaches of Sicily’s southeastern coast. From $800

La Foresteria Planeta

This guest room at La Foresteria has a private terrace.

A guest room at La Foresteria

Courtesy of La Foresteria

  • Location: Menfi
  • Why we love it: A wine-focused seaside escape
  • Book now

Vineyard views, Sicilian delicacies, and a sea breeze: what more could you want? The Planeta family has infused their 500-year, 17-generation ancestry in Sicily into their hospitality at La Foresteria, a 14-room boutique country hotel a 10-minute drive from the charming sea village of Menfi and a seven-minute drive from the coast. Terroir is the focus here, thanks to Planeta’s fabulous wine offerings (guests can visit all of Planeta’s five wineries across the island) and its country chic trattoria where chef Angelo Pumilia blends traditional Sicilian cooking with ideas from his culinary escapades in Asia (don’t miss his spicy ribs).

Each guest room has a terrace that connects to the estate’s larger working garden, where all of La Foresteria’s herbs and vegetables are grown. While the resort has its own Insula Beach Club on the coastline for guests to use, it’s hard to beat sunset with a glass of rosè while looking out at the vineyards. From $256. Read AFAR’s full article on hotels that feel like $1,000 a night, but are only $300.

Monaci delle Terre Nere

This villa at Monaci delle Terre Nere sits next to a large pool flanked by lounge chairs.

A villa at Monaci delle Terre Nere in Sicily

Courtesy of Monaci delle Terre Nere

  • Location: Zafferana Etnea
  • Why we love it: A rustic-chic agriturismo with serious eco credentials
  • Book now

Located in the green countryside at the foot of Mount Etna, Monaci delle Terre Nere is a wine resort set on a 60-acre organic estate once tended to by Augustinian monks. Sustainability isn’t a buzzword here, but rather a way of life. The Relais & Châteaux property is one of only three hotels in Sicily to be awarded eco-bio certification. The guest rooms, housed in a 19th-century villa, have a sleek, minimalist feel, with blond wood floors, white walls, and sliding glass doors facing the surrounding countryside, while original wood-beam ceilings feature prominently in the ceilings.

Owner Guido Coffa recovered 30 varieties of ancient seeds for the vegetable garden, where 150 types of native fruits and trees grow, providing ingredients for the restaurant Locanda Nerello, which adheres to the Slow Food movement. Guests—especially little ones—are invited to collect eggs and help farmers take care of the chickens, while adults can relax with an open-air ayurvedic treatment or try a cocktail masterclass in the estate’s garden. From $575

Palazzo Artemide

Hotel Artemide sits next to the Duomo on Ortigia’s main piazza.

Hotel Artemide sits next to the Duomo on Ortigia’s main piazza.

Courtesy of Palazzo Artemide

  • Location: Ortigia
  • Why we love it: A recently refreshed hotel that puts all of Ortigia’s attractions within easy reach
  • Book now

Formerly known as Hotel Roma, this member of Italian hospitality group VRetreats Collection is the oldest hotel in Ortigia, the historic center of Syracuse connected to the mainland by two bridges. Set right next to the Duomo on Ortigia’s main piazza, Palazzo Artemide is surrounded by some of the island’s most alluring sights, restaurants, bars, shops, and beaches lapped by the turquoise Mediterranean.

A recent renovation of the hotel preserved its historic architecture, including arches, vaulted ceilings, and decorative stone elements, while updating furnishings and fabrics. The 40 guest rooms and suites, some with balconies, are designed in a neoclassical style with cool blues and grays and dark wood furnishings. The Amunì restaurant showcases contemporary Sicilian cuisine (think eggplant-stuffed ravioli). The hotel is certified by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council for its eco-conscious practices, including the use of 100 percent renewable energy and biodegradable products instead of single-use plastic. From $234

Verdura Resort, a Rocco Forte Hotel

Some suites at the Verdura Resort in Sicily have a private pool.

Some suites at the Verdura Resort in Sicily have a private pool.

Courtesy of Verdura Resort, a Rocco Forte Hotel

  • Location: Sciacca
  • Why we love it: A sprawling resort with a private beach and spacious villas
  • Book now

Rocco Forte’s first property in Sicily is a massive resort with 203 guest rooms, 20 villas, four restaurants, two bars, a sprawling spa, three golf courses, and a private beach, all less than an hour from the Valley of the Temples, a UNESCO World Heritage site in Agrigento. Residential-style accommodations, some with outdoor terraces and private pools, are clad in dark-wood floors covered in thick carpets.

The resort is set on a 28,000-square-foot organic farm with olive trees, orange trees, almond trees, cacti, pomegranate trees, and lemon trees, whose fruits are used to produce olive oil for eating and skincare products for the Irene Forte line used at all of Rocco Forte’s hotels. Little ones can play at the Verdura Resort‘s Kids Club while their parents hit the golf course or relax during the seawater-based thalassotherapy circuit at the spa. From $426

Villa Athena

Villa Athena is located near some of Agrigento's best archaeological sites.

Villa Athena is located near some of Agrigento’s best archaeological sites.

Courtesy of Villa Athena

  • Location: Agrigento
  • Why we love it: A charming retreat with easy access to the UNESCO-designated Valley of the Temples
  • Loyalty program: Invited (Small Luxury Hotels of the World)
  • Book now

For more than 2,500 years, the resplendent Greek ruins of the Valley of the Temples has loomed over Agrigento. Villa Athena is located within the archaeological park, offering a literal front row to the iconic fifth-century B.C. Temple of Concordia. The hotel has an exclusive entrance to the ruins for guests and offers postcard-worthy sunrises and sunsets at its on-site restaurants.

Each of the 27 sprawling guest rooms and suites face unobstructed views, whether of the ancient temples or the serene olive groves that surround the property. Ask for the Deluxe Room with a Temple View (with a private veranda), or spring for the luscious Villa Suite, which has an enormous private terrace with a bang-on view of the temple. From $742

Villa Igiea, a Rocco Forte Hotel

The Donna Franca Suite at Villa Igiea features a seating area with French doors and mahogany furnishings.

The Donna Franca Suite at Villa Igiea

Courtesy of Villa Igiea, a Rocco Forte Hotel

  • Location: Palermo
  • Why we love it: A belle epoque grande dame in Sicily’s bustling capital
  • Book now

Transformed into a grand hotel in the early 1900s by the wealthy Florio family, Villa Igiea played host to royalty and celebrities like King Edward VII of England, the Vanderbilts, and J.P. Morgan in its heyday and was restored to its former glory by Rocco Forte Hotels in 2021. The redesign brightened up the hotel’s 100 rooms and public spaces while preserving original architectural details like the art nouveau frescoes by Ernesto Basile.

Today’s guests can sip spritzes by the pool overlooking the sea; rub elbows with Palermo’s high society at Florio Restaurant, where lauded chef Fulvio Pierangelini oversees the menu; play tennis; indulge in a massage at the Irene Forte Spa; explore the beautiful gardens; and venture out to experience everything Sicily’s bustling capital has to offer. From $585

Erica Firpo is a journalist with a passion for art, culture, travel, and lifestyle. She has written and edited more than 20 books, and her travel writing has appeared in Yahoo Travel, Discovery Magazine, BBC Travel, the New York Times, Travel + Leisure, Fathom, Forbes Travel, and Huffington Post.
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