Crystal clear water coupled with amazing food and I have my dream destination! I have been wanting to visit Sicily for a while now and it definitely did not disappoint!
We stayed at the amazing Belmond Villa Sant’Andrea in Taormina where we were treated to five star service in an incredible location which was right on the water with its own private beach (check out the view above from our room!). From arrival they treated the children like royalty with gorgeous plush toys waiting on their beds for them, their own robes and slippers as well as cookies, milk and treats. Archer thought they had set up a party in his room! The Belmond hotels actually have a different large plush toy for each of their hotels for children to collect along the way. Such a lovely idea as my son now wants to collect the whole set, they give the kids an activity book with all of the toys in it, what a great excuse to visit all the hotels! There was also a fabulous kids club as well that was run by a gorgeous woman whose energy and kindness was infectious and made you feel completely comfortable leaving your precious child in her capable hands for as long as you wished that day.
During our stay at Villa Sant’Andrea we had booked the half board room rate so we either ate at the hotel for dinner or lunch and breakfast was included. I don’t normally like to do this as i enjoy having the option to dine out of the hotel more however when we booked it was the only option available. Lucky for us the food was incredible! My husband even enjoyed granita for breakfast on a few occasions! I kept to my italian staple of freshly shaved prosciutto and burrata followed by nutella croissants and Archer indulged in a freshly baked doughnut each morning, heaven! I always go a bit crazy in italy on the food front but it is impossible not to, the food is out of this world which I think it is why its my favourite place to visit! All the staff were so friendly and nothing was too much of a hassle and they were there to help with whatever they possibly could.
The pool was glorious with an equally glorious outlook. We chose to spend most time by the pool as we virtually had it to ourselves and there was more shade available. Another plus to being by the pool was you could order food as you were unable to do this on the private pebble beach. The beach was lovely and we did enjoy spending time down by the water. There were also some rock pools in front of the hotel that were beautiful and warm that Archer enjoyed splashing about in. One small criticism of the pool would be it could have been a few degrees warmer! Fine for my three year old but a little bit chilly for a baby.
A complimentary two hour boat trip is also included in your stay which was a great way to spend a morning exploring the coast of Sicily. When staying at Belmond Villa Sant’Andrea there is a complimentary shuttle that takes you to and from its sister hotel, Belmond Grand Timeo, up in the town of Taormina which is a five minute drive up the mountain. Dinner at Grand Timeo is a must, breathing in the spectacular view, this is where I had my favourite meal in Sicily, Pasta Alla Norma, so good! It was nice that the half board rate was interchangeable between the two hotels so we could eat at either which gave you more variety.
The town of Taormina was gorgeous with lots of fabulous shopping, from authentic handmade leather shoe shops to boutiques selling Valentino and Pucci. There were lots of restaurants to chose from and plenty of bars for a drink or granita. It was lovely to stroll the cobblestone streets in the early evening which were easily navigated. There was also a cable car that the kids loved which was another way to travel to town from Villa Sant’Andrea.
Sicily is a must and is the perfect place to relax and unwind with enough options to keep you busy and the sunshine and the food will have you wanting to stay lying by the water with an Aperol Spritz in hand!
Check out Belmond Villa Sant’Andrea here