|Starting Out Right: The Mazzarò Suite at Villa Sant’Andrea in Taormina Mare is a romantic option.|
We say for romance, Taormina in Sicily, Italy, is a great option. The ancient town has winding streets lined with shops and markets and an abundance of dining options. When your honeymooners are ready to call it a night, they can settle in at the Mazzarò Suite at the Villa Sant’Andrea.
The hotel, which has been refurbished by owners Orient-Express, is in a secluded area of Taormina Mare, with access to a private beach on the Bay of Mazzarò. The recent revamp ensured that all rooms in the main building have balconies over the bay; the rooms also now connect, and there’s a new heated infinity pool to boot.
Back to that Mazzarò Suite: We love that it has a 600-square-foot terrace with tables and lounge chairs to recline in over the bay. That’s marvelous in the daytime, and as the sun sets, the terrace becomes the venue for a romantic candlelight dinner. Of Note: The suite, which has free Wi-Fi, also has a very romantic living room and bedroom with lovely bay and garden views and a bathroom with double sinks, which we say is required if a marriage is going to start off right. There’s also a smaller guest bathroom for even more privacy. Need more space for an assistant or other entourage member? The suite connects to a Double Classic room. Hint: Your couple may also request butler service for a fee.
Cool Perks: Those booking the Mazzarò Suite receive complimentary chauffeured car service from Catania-Fontanarossa Airport, which is 45 minutes away and has landing facilities for private jets. All guests also have access to a complimentary boat cruise along the Sicilian coastline. Those who want to sail solo with their own skipper can request that option, for a fee, via the concierge, Antonio Astone ([email protected]), whose team can also set up a boat or helicopter ride to the Aeolian Islands. Another fun choice is a Jeep safari, complete with gourmet lunch, to the active volcano Mount Etna, which is surrounded by wineries. At the hotel, Restaurant Oliviero is known for its fresh fish and seafood specialties; every Sunday there’s a barbecue on the beach. A shuttle will take guests to the hotel’s sister property, the Grand Hotel Timeo, which overlooks the Bay of Giardini Naxos, and whose high-up restaurant has just been renovated.
Peak season for both hotels runs from June through the end of September so be sure to reserve at least three months out; especially since the popular Taormina Film Fest and concert season also run through the summer.