For romantic pampering, enjoy therapeutic thalassotherapy pools and aromatic gourmet dishes at five-star Verdura Golf & Spa Resort, the latest luxury oasis by hotelier Sir Rocco Forte. Situated on the southwest coast 25 miles from the World Heritage site of Agrigento, its 203 rooms and suites, designed by Fortes sister, Olga Polizzi, reflect a contemporary interpretation of Sicilian culture: neutral finishes (wooden four-poster beds and polished cement floors) mix with vibrant locally-inspired print fabrics and panoramic sea views from a private terrace. The cascading 60-meter pool is one of Europes largest and is lined with plush loungers built for two, while the scenic pebble beach stretches for more than a mile. Verduras four restaurants feature cuisine ripe with local ingredientshoney, almonds, tomatoes, olives, seafoodand its five bars serve up fabulous views alongside refreshing libations (rates from $580).
Next up: Grand Hotel Timeo, an 83-room luxury property in the center of historic Taormina, and Villa SantAndrea, with 78 rooms set beachside on Taorminas Bay of Mazzaro, will both re-open early this summer following renovations by new owner Orient-Express Hotels. Grand Hotel Timeo, which dates to 1873, offers access to Taorminas historic sites as well as views of Mount Etna and the Bay of Naxos from its central terrace (each guest room also has a terrace; rates from $530). Villa Sant Andrea, built in 1830 and located on a private beach, has a residential ambience, complete with antique furnishings and paintings plus a manicured garden (rates from $460).