Luxury Beachfront Hotels in Sicily, Italy
As a travel photographer, I believe the hotel we stay at is a huge part of the experience so, especially when in the mediterranean, I always look for a hotel with a spectacular view. The resort we stayed at in Sicily was maybe my favorite beach view yet!
Mazzarò Bay in Taormina
When I came across Mazzarò Bay, I immediately knew this was the destination for us! There are two luxury hotels in this nearly private bay with sparkling and clear water. We stayed at the more affordable of the two options, the five star rated Mazzarò Sea Palace. Rooms start at about 1000 USD per night in peak season of June through August. We visited right when Italy opened back up in July 2021 so rates were much less!
The hotel is relatively small but the grounds and beach are absolutely beautiful. We booked a Superior Deluxe Sea View room and our balcony was amazing with the best view of the bay. I ordered breakfast and ate out there daily because it was just too good not to soak up. Upgraded rooms even have private pools!
Things We Loved
· The location! This bay was nearly private and felt very secluded yet we could walk to the cable car in about 4 minutes and quickly be lifted up to Taormina to go to lunch or dinner, do some shopping, etc. Cable car tickets are 6 Euros per person roundtrip but keep in mind, the cars stop running at 8pm. Taormina is definitely worth visiting. There are ancient ruins and tons of excellent restaurants and bars! Morgana was a fun spot but go early around 6pm as it turns into a club in the evening and reservations are required. If you're gluten free, we had pasta at Licchio's and incredible pizza at Shelter Ristorante Pizzeria. There's also a cute beach restaurant right on the bay called Ristorante "IL Barcaiolo". When you walk out of the hotel on the beach, take a left and walk down the boardwalk. The restaurant is at the very end. Be sure to make a reservation. For a beachfront resort, we really had a lot of walkable options!
· The property grounds and room. Everything was beautifully manicured and updated with a contemporary design yet still felt Italian. There is a lovely terrace overlooking the bay. We had appertivo one evening and watched Italy in the World cup. So fun!
· There's a lovely pool and spa on site.
· If you're a daredevil, swim out to the cliff and jump. I'm more of a beach lounger but my husband did it!
· It's mostly adults only. The hotel doesn't specifically state this, but we noticed the guests were mostly adults. This resort really caters to romantic getaways, which was just what we were looking for.
Things That Could Be Better
· I feel the service wasn't truly 5 star and the restaurant food was average. It wasn't a deal breaker, but one day at lunch, we had a server bring us the wrong bottle of wine and tell us it was what we ordered. Also, for a couple of days, we didn't know that to order drinks at the beach, we had to press the button on the umbrella. This is very common in Italy but we had no idea. A mention at checkin would have been nice but, again, not a big deal.
· The beach was VERY rocky. I don't mind this at all because it's very typical of Italian beaches but I should have brought some sort of swim shoes. The rocks were scorching and hard to walk on even in the water.
· As I mentioned earlier, the bay is mostly private. There is a small section at the end by the hotel that is public and I believe there is even a small hotel down there. We were there during peak season so that end of the beach did get quite noisy at times BUT it was also so enjoyable to watch the local Italian kids enjoying their summer. We didn't mind this but I could see how it could bother some trying to enjoy a romantic getaway. There is also a public beach club to the right of Mazzarò Sea Palace.
· Keep in mind, there is an active volcano on the island. While we were there, Mount Etna was erupting, so several days, the air was quite hazy and we even coughed a bit. There's no way to know when the volcano will erupt so booking this destination is a risk for getting the best sunshine but it wasn't a risk to our safety at all. The upside is that the volcanic soil produces incredible wine. Don't miss tasting Etna Bianco!
Like I said, none of these things are deal breakers and you shouldn't let it deter you from staying at this beautiful resort. Overall, our experience was fantastic and I would stay again!
Another Hotel Option
For ultimate luxury and a pretty penny, the Belmond Villa Sant'Andrea rests at the opposite end of the bay. Rooms in peak season will run you about 4500 USD a night. We didn't stay there, but the reviews are excellent and I can only imagine how luxurious it is!
Getting to Sicily
I think the easiest way to get there is to fly into Catania CTA. We then booked a car to drive us to the hotel. The hotel can help you arrange this or you can book a transfer service like Airport Taxi Transfers.
Remember, if you use the cable car to get in and out of Taormina, it shuts down at 8pm. There are taxis available but they're kind of hard to find. I suggest asking your server at dinner to either call you a cab or ask where you can find one. They'll direct you! It was about 20 USD one way back to the hotel.
The wine in this region really is spectacular. We visited three wineries with this tour company and it was perfect. They have hundreds of 5 star reviews!
Sicily is truly a beautiful island and I hope you get to visit! For more behind the scenes of our stay in Sicily, visit our Instagram and watch the Sicily stories. Ciao!