Grand Hotel Villa Igiea

A grand dame retreat overlooking the Gulf of Palermo, Grand Hotel Villa Igiea retains much of its 19th-century splendour. It was designed by Palermo’s lauded architect, Ernesto Basile, one of Italy’s Art Nouveau pioneers. Inside you will find original frescoes and furniture. Wander through jasmine-scented gardens and you’ll see a Greek temple at the water’s edge.

Rooms boast high ceilings, draped curtains, flock wallpaper and marble bathrooms. Panoramic windows offer views of the sea, courtyards and Pellegrino Mountain.

Lie by the sea-facing outdoor pool. The sun swathed terraces are the perfect place for a tipple. Or unwind at the spa, which offers facials for different skin types and invigorating massages. Itchy feet? The hotel offers cruises along the coastline and also scuba diving.

Draw the gourmet ticket at Cuvee du Jour for slow-cooked pigeon and monkfish ossobucco under chandeliers. Or head to Donna Franca Florio, serving Sicilian specialities with panoramic sea views.

Why we like it

  • Original 19th-century frescoes and furniture
  • Cruises and diving excursions
  • Pampering beauty corner
  • Utterly walkable gardens