First discovered by 18th-century travellers on their Grand Tour, Taormina later became known as the go-to destination for upscale holidays in Sicily for the great and the good. While mass tourism has significantly changed the seaside resort since those halcyon days, its dolce vita ethos and appeal still burns brightly. With its Greek and Roman origins, the hilltop theatre alone goes some way to explaining the town’s longstanding popularity, sloping dramatically towards the sea and with the imposing Mount Etna watching over it from a distance.
True to its reputation as a chic and exclusive destination, Taormina is best-enjoyed on a high budget. But when it comes to choosing your accommodation, lower-range options are also available, catering for those seeking a less lavish holiday experience. Read on to discover our top picks covering all budgets.
From €224/ night
Villa Carlotta is a luxury hotel defined by attention to detail and understated elegance. Rooms, suites, apartments and a separated private villa are available, each providing a chic and exclusive ambience backdropped by views of the town and the Ionian Sea. A swimming pool sits in a panoramic garden dotted with palm trees and jasmines, with an outdoor bar serving a range of refreshments and popular food such as cocktails and pizzas. The on-site ‘Il Miraggio’ restaurant offers a menu revolving around Sicilian cuisine, to be enjoyed either on the terrace or in the stylish hall.
From €129/ night
A small boutique hotel in the old town, Taodomus offers romantic and refined accommodation for an intimate stay in Taormina. Each of its ten rooms has a distinct character, with Art Nouveau finishings and décor which nod back to the Belle Epoque era. Two of them come with sea views, while the others look out onto the elegant Corso Umberto I (main street). Served on the panoramic terrace, breakfast comprises a rich buffet of treats either made in-house or locally sourced, in line with the sustainability-driven management of the hotel.
From €99/ night
This family-run hotel sits in one of the charming bays of Taormina. It offers modern comforts and a wide range of rooms, with amenities including tennis courts and water sports during the summer months. The beach is accessed directly from the hotel, while a cable car located 900 metres away transports you to the town centre in only three minutes. A seaside terrace creates the perfect atmosphere to enjoy the extensive menu available at the on-site restaurant.
From €700/ night
Architect Charles Robert Ashbee designed this seafront villa in 1907, making it a prime example of his efforts to move on from Victorian-era styles. The villa is today a luxury hotel where British glamour meets Sicilian history and culture, blending in seamlessly with the Mediterranean environment. The 24 rooms range from classic to suites, each individually decorated to provide different takes on elegance and comfort. The acclaimed St George Restaurant by Heinz Back keeps the culinary offer at pace with the hotel’s high standards.
From €77/ night
Hotel Continental opened in the town centre of Taormina in 1964. The Di Pasquale family has been running it since, making a name for itself thanks to attentive and personalised service. A private balcony and chromotherapy shower are included in the superior rooms. The rooftop terrace is home to a panoramic lounge bar, where guests can kick back and enjoy a sunset aperitivo with views over Naxos Bay and the Etna Volcano.