Hotels

Hotel Review: Villa Ducale offers boutique luxury in southern Italy

Perched high over the cliff tops of the stunning Taormina peninsula, Villa Ducale nods to a rich Sicilian history – it was once the family home of owner Rosaria Quartucci who, along with her husband Andrea, decided to turn the old mansion into a hotel back in the ‘90s.

As soon as you arrive in this boutique hotel – part of the Small Luxury Hotels collection – you feel like you have stepped back in time. The original building is a striking piece of 19th century Sicilian architecture, which has been designed to take advantage of the building’s spectacular view.

Mosaic tiles line the stairs down to the reception, which is impeccably styled with pieces that are both antique and modern. A bookcase with original opera texts that indicate a love of the fine arts by this family. There are eleven double rooms and six suites with full amenities and free wi-fi. Each room has its own private panoramic terrace or balcony. The spacious rooms are tastefully appointed with attention to detail and colour, and kitted out with all the creature comforts –  including a mini-bar with an espresso coffee machine (always a big tick for those who like their coffee in bed).

It is obvious that this family has a keen aesthetic sense, with the decor featuring a mix of Sicilian traditional and contemporary styling. 

Breakfast at the award-winning restaurant is an experience with an extensive selection of both savoury and sweet delights from their on-site pastry chef best enjoyed on the deck overlooking the ancient city. In the evening the space becomes an intimate and romantic dinner setting, so it is no surprise the hotel is popular with honeymooning couples.

There is also a free shuttle to the town centre and the various beaches dotted along the coastline of Taormina – an ancient yet chic city that has long been loved by the likes of DH Lawrence (who was known to have lived there in the 1920’s), Cary Grant, Gregory Peck, Elizabeth Taylor and Woody Allen. 

The understated luxury of the property, combined with friendly and warm staff, great food and beautiful aesthetics make this a perfect getaway in the affordable luxury category for couples.



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