No trip to Italy is complete without a foray into the southern isle of Sicily. In fact, the hardest part of deciding which villas to rent in Sicily is first determining which part of the island you want to visit first. The beach resorts in Taormina, the Greek ruins of Syracuse, the mountain base of Catania - each are worthy of days apiece. And that"s not even including possible stays in the sleepy coastal towns that dot the island, or the island"s capital city of Palermo, where the highest percentage of Sicily hotels are located.
Taormina has the widest range of accommodations available and the most visited luxury hotels in Sicily. Since this city is the self-proclaimed beach capital of the island, there are many visitors in the summer months. Thus, many of the hotels are booked months in advance.
The Palazzo San Domenico is where the rich go to play. A converted Dominican monastery, torch lit paths lead through meticulously maintained gardens towards medieval courtyards, cavernous hallways and ascending chapels. The Villa Fabbiano is a mock castle that boasts a rooftop garden on a peaceful street safely away from the city"s main thoroughfares. But some of the premiere villas to rent in Sicily are on the outskirts of Taormina, including the picturesque Villa Sant"Andrea in nearby Mazarro, or Villa Ducale, a romantic hillside hotel a few minutes stroll out of town.
Moving south, Catania is the traditional base of operations for excursions up Mount Etna. It doesn"t have a wide array of hotels available, and those that exist are stoic examples of function over style. If you are looking for luxury hotels in Sicily, you"ve taken a wrong turn. But they compensate with convenience, since most of the Sicily hotels located in Catania are directly in the center of town, within minutes of the airport and train station.
Syracuse stretches from the mainland onto Ortygia Island, and the latter part is home to some of the nicer Sicily hotels on the island. The Hotel Des Etrangers creeps out of the historic center of the city, just yards from many of Syracuse"s links to the past. Towering (in both stature and prestige) over some of the smaller villas to rent in Sicily is the famed Grand Hotel Villa Politi, well loved by generations of visitors.
An often overlooked but endearing stop on a tour through Sicily is the city of Argigento. Though many stop in for only a day to see the famed Valley of the Temples, the city offers both the scenic Colleverde Park Hotel and the impeccably lit Baglia Della Luna. Both are amongst the highest rated luxury hotels in Sicily. The former has a resounding view of distant Greek temples and the latter is one of the most romantic spots in all of Europe.