Imagine staying in a villa that blends the best of British and Sicilian style. Picture yourself walking among examples of English architecture then out onto landscaped gardens that feature lemons, oranges, grapefruits, palm trees and a spectacular view of the Ionian Sea.
The merging of these two worlds seems utterly unlikely, yet such is the magic of The Ashbee Hotel, one of the most prestigious hotels in Taormina, off the east coast of Sicily. Built In the early 20th century for a British colonel and designed by renowned London Arts and Craft architect Charles Robert Ashbee (after whom the hotel was later named), The Ashbee Hotel is small and intimate, housing just 25 rooms and suites and therefore giving you the impression of being in your own private villa. This is one of the reasons The Ashbee Hotel is very well regarded within the local community.
Its unique location in Taormina sets The Ashbee Hotel apart from other hotels. It’s within walking distance to local sites, restaurants and bars, yet far enough to escape the crowds via a stroll through the gardens or a dip in the infinity pool.
The rooms and suites at The Ashbee Hotel are spacious and exclusive, each with its own different paintings, decorations and antique furniture. The bathtub/shower was the finest I experienced in Italy. It is luxurious and huge by European standards. The Lobby and garden areas are perfect to unwind in and the breakfast room holds prime position so you can soak in the glorious view.
Taormina is Sicily’s most popular destination, filled with plenty of history including the Ancient Greek Amphitheatre, the legendary volcanic Mount Etna and medieval churches. It is also believed to have inspired the writings of Truman Capote who wrote the “The Grass Harp” while holidaying in Taormina. You won’t want to miss this charming town.
*Ask the concierge to put you on the guest list at Morgana (a local bar)
*Ensure you try the delicious lunch BBQ on offer daily by the pool
*Wake up early and take a walk around the town and through the main street “corso umberto” to discover Taormina before the tourists. You will not be disappointed.
For more details on Taormina, click here.