Project Description

In October last year, Pauline took the opportunity of travelling to Sicily and spent two nights at Donna Carmela Resort & Lodges, just 30 minutes from Taormina:

We were greeted by beautiful sunshine having left a wet and windy London – October can be a very regarding time to visit southern Italy.

Donna Carmela Resort and Lodges is surrounded by lush gardens in the shadow of Mount Etna. Having been restored by the current owners, the Faro family, the mansion is central to the hotel and has a very personal yet modern feel. 29 rooms, suites and villas are very nice, slightly quirky and offer a relaxing space.  The surrounding 100 acres of lush Mediterranean gardens are there to explore and guided walks can be arranged.

The hotel rooms are split over several buildings and more recently exclusive villas and lodges have been added to the available accommodation. The grounds of the hotel have been beautifully landscaped with a discreet pool which I found to be quiet and peaceful. There are several lovely towns and villages which are easily accessible by taxi although this is expensive – hiring a car would be a more favourable option.  The hotel is a great base from where to explore local towns and villages and sights such Taormina and Aci Trezza.  The hotel owns its own winery, Pietradolce, where wine tastings and tours can be arranged by the hotel.

I was lucky enough to stay in one of the hotel’s lodges, with a private pool and surrounded by vegetation ensuring they are lovely and private.  In our view, this is quite unique for Sicily.

We enjoyed a super al fresco lunch on arrival at the hotel after which we were taken on an interesting walk around the hotel’s Radicepura Gardens, host to over 5000 species of plants.  We enjoyed a traditional Sicilian cookery class too, arranged by the hotel, where we learned to make traditional Arancino.  It was fun afternoon if not a little messy!  The next morning we set off on a guided tour of Mount Etna, well worth doing and definitely recommended for the beauty of the area and the views.

The hotel’s La Cucina Restaurant offers a tasting menu – each dish is created from locally sourced ingredients, many of which come from their own gardens.  I found the restaurant relaxing with excellent service.  Taormina, is lovely in the evenings too: the restaurant we chose one evening was family run with simple but exceptional food, very typical of Sicily.

Overall I found the hotel, due the family owners, very friendly and welcoming and good value for money.  The hotel is a lovely spot for young families, although there are a lot of steps as, well as couples.  We would suggest a short stay here perhaps as part of a tour of Sicily or twinned with the Aeolian Islands. We understand a further pool and spa are being planned which will enhance the facilities at the hotel.

If you need any information at all about Donna Carmela or the island of Sicily please do give us a call.  We always love to hear from you.

February 2024