Located in Taormina, on the east coast of Sicily, the Grand Hotel Timeo has long been a favourite destination among the stars of Hollywood and Europe. Glamorous names from the guestbook include Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Sofia Loren and her frequent on-screen partner Marcello Mastroianni.
The setting is just about as good as it gets: perched on a rocky hill, close to the Greek theatre, surrounded by lush gardens and with stunning views over the coastline of the bay of Naxos and imposing Mount Etna. And, unsurprisingly, the hotel decor and facilities are just as impressive.
The remodelled hotel now has 72 spacious rooms and suites, the most notable being the presidential suite with its 200 square metre private terrace and 180º view that encompasses the medieval village of Castemola, the legendary volcano, the Greek theatre and the bay of Naxos. During the refurbishment, a specialised team of craftsmen worked on the decor to combine modernity with traditional craftsmanship and the result is an opulent Italian Baroque style.
Mount Etna, possibly the most famous volcano in the world, adds its magnificence to the scene, and, with the bay, provides the panoramic view from the windows of the hotel restaurant. Here you can savour fine Mediterranean cuisine prepared with care and with particular emphasis on seasonal ingredients and local specialities.
The bar opens onto the 'Literary Terrace', a traditional meeting place for illustrious guests and now one of the most popular spots to enjoy a cocktail or aperitif while marvelling at the stunning views. For those who prefer somewhere a little more relaxed, there's the Pool Snack Bar where light meals are served poolside in a casual atmosphere.
Set amid the hotel's five acres of parkland and gardens is the Wellness Centre. The sweet scent of pine and flowers drifts in at the windows complementing and enhancing the effects of the therapies that use Aromatherapy Associates and Panpuri products made from local flowers and fruit essences including spicy-sweet neroli oil.
The private beach of the hotel Villa Sant'Andrea – under the same ownership as the Grand Hotel Timeo and also recently refurbished - is available for use by guests, as are this second hotel's other facilities. And until the end of the summer, a private boat service makes short crossings to allow guests to explore the famous Isola Bella and the Grotta Azzurra, as well as the small coves, secluded beaches and bays of the local coastline.
Grand Hotel Timeo