HOT HOTEL: VERDURA RESORT
Vibe: Set in a peaceful corner of southern Sicily surrounded by orange, lemon and olive groves, the five-star Verdura Resort is part of the exclusive Rocco Forte Hotel Collection.
A modern, minimalist resort positioned in two miles of coastline with its own private beach, it includes three beautiful golf courses and superb wellness facilities.
Style: Designed by Sir Rocco’s sister Olga Polizzi and mother of Alex, host of Channel 5’s The Hotel Inspector, bedrooms are decorated in the hotel group’s signature Anglo-Italian style, with sleek dark wood, baroque prints and soft furnishings in muted orange.
Each has a walk-in wardrobe and a large stone bathroom and comes with Sicilian Ortigia toiletries, complimentary bathrobes and slippers, a smart TV and a four-poster bed.
There are also six new villas, sleeping up to six, with private pools and dining areas.
Food & drink: Start as the sun goes down with a Spritz Siciliano cocktail mixed with fresh oranges from the gardens, Aperol and local sparkling wine at the resort’s Granita Bar.
Try the signature spaghettoni made with shrimps from the neighbouring village of Sciacca, zucchini leaves and lemon in the Zagara Mediterranean restaurant. Enjoy the catch of the day drizzled with olive oil, citrus juice and a sprinkle of rock salt at seafood specialist Amare down by the beach.
Activities: Home of the Rocco Forte Sicilian Open,Verdura Resort is a magnet for golfers. Among the hotel’s three golf courses are two 18-hole championship links courses.
The resort also offers a host of sports academies including tennis, swimming, fencing, rugby, beach volleyball and hip hop dancing. Football mad kids will love the Juventus Training Experience. Fancy becoming a DJ for the day? Learn how to mix with the hotel’s resident spinmaster, or test your nerves at its brand new escape room.
There is also a 60ft infinity pool, six clay tennis courts, yoga and Pilates classes. Guests may also join guided treks around the resort and up to the hilltops, which offer views of the sea and the hotel’s fruit and vegetable gardens.
Spa experience: Take the prescribed hour-long journey through the resort’s four unique thalassotherapy pools. Spend 15 minutes in each as jets positioned to relax every muscle work their magic.
Guests can also sweat it out in the steam room followed by the infrared sauna.
There’s also a Finnish sauna, an indoor lap pool and a range of face and body therapies in the treatment rooms.
Sightseeing: Perched on a hillside, just six miles away from Verdura Resort, is the charming town of Sciacca, with its 16th century ramparts, natural thermal spas and shops selling local ceramics and handicrafts.A bit further afield is Palermo, Sicily’s capital. Stroll around the city’s market and marvel at the mosaics of Palazzo dei Normanni, Europe’s oldest royal palace.
Then admire the Annunciata, Antonello da Messina’s most famous work, at the Palazzo Abatellis, explore the catacombs of the Convento dei Cappuccini before taking in a performance at Teatro Massimo, Italy’s largest opera house.
Verdura Resort offers deluxe rooms from €240 (around £206) per night on B&B basis. See roccofortehotels.com/verdura-resort or call +39 06 32 888 630.
Flights to Palermo are available with British Airways, easyJet and Ryanair.
More info at visitsicily.info/en/