Long-time favourite of European travellers on the Ionian coast of Sicily has been fully updated while retaining its unique charms and honouring its historic past.
Perched high above the deep blue waters of the Ionian Sea and in the magnetic presence of Mount Etna, one of Europe’s most storied hotels will soon be reborn as San Domenico Palace, Taormina, A Four Seasons Hotel.
“This is truly a jewel in our crown of historic properties throughout the Mediterranean region, and the perfect complement to our beloved Four Seasons hotels in Milan and Florence,” says Simon Casson, President, Hotel Operations – Europe, Middle East and Africa. “San Domenico Palace is a legend in European hospitality, and it is our honour to welcome the hotel into our portfolio on the occasion of its 125th anniversary.”
Returning to his home country from his most recent Four Seasons assignments in Dubai and a round-the-world career in luxury hospitality, General Manager Lorenzo Maraviglia leads a dedicated team that is writing a new chapter in the history of San Domenico Palace. “We are delighted to reopen in summer, Taormina’s high season, so that we can welcome our guests for a uniquely Sicilian holiday experience. Taormina’s landmarks are at our doorstep, and the ancient Greek Theatre is a stroll away as are countless other historic sites to discover, endless countryside for scenic hikes, and the siren call of Isola Bella and the Grotta Azzura – part of an exclusive yacht excursion that is just one of the bespoke experiences we are planning for our guests.”
Built on the site of a 14th century Dominican convent, the San Domenico Hotel first came to life in 1896 with the addition of a new building in Italian Liberty style (today’s Grand Hotel Wing) adjacent to accommodations converted from former quarters in the Ancient Convent Wing. It soon became a highlight on the Grand Tour, favoured by royalty and nobility and increasingly, a colourful cast of artists, writers and Hollywood stars. Set amid lush Italian gardens with sweeping sea views, the Hotel pairs contemporary art with antiquities and architectural relics throughout. Intimate at just 111 guest rooms and suites (some with private terraces and plunge pools), the Hotel also boasts a spa and gym, and an infinity pool terrace.
The culinary team is led by Sicilian-born Executive Chef Massimo Mantarro, whose signature style is showcased at the award-winning Principe Cerami. Etna’s rich terroir is the inspiration for a memorable culinary journey enhanced by Sicilian wines here and at the additional dining options, including Anciovi, a fabulous poolside restaurant, and Rosso, the all-day-dining venue with a spectacular terrace.
More than 1,700 square metres (18,300 square feet) of beautiful indoor-outdoor event spaces invite both corporate retreats and social gatherings, and wedding couples will love the opportunity to exchange vows in this historic setting.