On the east coast of Sicily in Italy, two hotels, both part of the Belmond luxury hotel collection invite us to discover a contrasting approach to Taormina. The Grand Hotel Timeo on the rocky heights of the city and, at the edge of the azure waters of the Mediterranean Sea, Villa San’t Andrea.
When we enter the peaceful and mythical enclosure of the Grand Hotel Timeo, we almost expect to see Jean Cocteau and Jean Marais sitting in the immense Literary terrace which makes the reputation of this place of legendary elegance and glamour. It is here, facing a breathtaking view over this Greek Theatre and with the Mediterranean Sea and the Etna as a backdrop, that you can enjoy a cocktail, a fine lunch or a romantic dinner.
The pastel pink building from the 19th century is hidden under tropical gardens and flowers. The 70 rooms and suites have an old-fashioned charm imbued with classicism and balconies or terraces overlooking the bay of Naxos.
The gourmet kitchen takes on a convivial style near the swimming pool, where the pizzas are cooked in a traditional brick oven! Villa San’t Andrea is a former property of an aristocrat family, built in the 1830s and is located along a small beach on the bay of Mazzaro.
The 68 classic-style rooms are pleasant and feature marble bathrooms. In the restaurant Oliviero, the cuisine focuses on the specialties of Sicily and you can even see the village of Savoca in the distance where the filming of the famous movie The Godfather took place.
Activities are varied and include a Spa with sauna and gymnasium at the Grand Hotel Timeo, sailing from the beach at Villa San’t Andrea, as well as many excursions such as an Etna tour, guided walks in the narrow streets of Taormina, boat trips to the islands, including Stromboli, discovering the area whilst taking photographs, and helicopter flights!