A grand coral-pink mansion that blends effortless Italian style with an eclectic vibe.
Imagine living in an opulent villa like Sicilian nobility in the 1920s, and you’ve pretty much cracked the vibe at Grand Hotel Miramare. This imposing coral-pink mansion started its life back in 1922 as the home of an aristocratic Taormina family, who then transformed it into an elegant hotel four years later – and it’s been a romantic retreat ever since. It’s all refined Italian glamour with an eclectic twist here: acres of glossy stone, mid-century-style furniture in bold blues and ambers, a smattering of statement artwork.
Peeking out from a lush Mediterranean grove of cypress and olive trees, the hillside villa looks out over the bay of Isola Bella and, beyond, the Strait of Messina. These breathtaking vistas also take centre stage in the bedrooms – framed by the windows in the Classic Rooms, or tantalisingly close from the balconies of Superior Rooms. However, the cream of the crop is the view from Junior Suites: an azure sweep of Mazzarò Bay best taken in from the wrought-iron terrace – the perfect spot to sip fresh coffee first thing in the morning. Sleekly understated interiors in warm colour palettes let the views do the talking, while richly textured Italian furnishings and gleaming wood finishes channel that effortless style that Italians do best.
Wake in time for a leisurely breakfast on the terrace – grab a seat by the edge for the best views – before staking a claim on a sun lounger beneath the orange trees bordering the outdoor pool. When the midday sun starts to scorch, escape the heat on a shady patio of traditional trattorias lining Taormina’s pretty piazzas, feasting on Sicilian favourites such as spaghetti alla Norma and pasta con le sarde. But be sure to save room for dinner back at the hotel – the seafood dishes and catch of the day are worth it.
Under a mile from Taormina; around a 10-minute walk from the ancient Greek theatre
• Snorkel the Blue Cave near Isola Bella* • Join a hike or jeep tour of Mount Etna* • Catch a music performance at Taormina’s Greek Theatre*.
Breakfast at the main restaurant.
*Denotes local charge