The Big Six: Italian island retreats

Saturday 21 August 2010 00:00 BST

JK Place, Capri

Since it opened three years ago, JK Place has established itself as one of the most fashionable places to stay on Capri. This is the epitome of breezy but sophisticated seaside chic, with impeccable interiors by the celebrated Florence-based decorator, Michele Bönan. Perching on an outcrop above Marina Grande, the hotel's 22 guest rooms mostly all have swoon-inducing views of the glittering Bay of Naples with Mount Vesuvius looming on the mainland just beyond.

JK Place Capri, Via Prov Marina Grande 225, Capri, Campania (00 39 081 838 4001; Doubles start at €500, including breakfast and soft drinks.

Grand Hotel, Timeo Sicily

The town of Taormina seems to defy gravity, clinging to the steep incline of Mount Tauro on Sicily's eastern coast. There are few better places to lap up the views of the mist-shrouded Mount Etna than from the terrace of the Grand Hotel Timeo. Set in front of a Greco-Roman amphitheatre, the hotel reopened earlier this year. Guests can also take the public cable car for a day at the hotel's private beach at Mazzaro, or a complimentary cruise along the coast.

Grand Hotel Timeo, via Teatro Greco 59, Taormina, Sicily (00 39 094 262 70 200; Double rooms start at €420, including breakfast.

Capo Spartivento, Sardinia

Built by the Italian Navy on a rugged outcrop on Sardinia's southernmost extremity, Capo Spartivento lighthouse still sends its guiding light across the sea. However, since May it has coexisted with a luxury guesthouse with just six rooms available.

Faro Capo-Spartivento, Viale Spartivento, Chia, Sardinia (00 39 333 312 9638; Doubles start at €400, with breakfast.

Hotel Signum, Salina

The Unesco-listed Aeolian archipelago is a string of seven volcanic crags north of Sicily. On the charming island of Salina – with its vines and caperberry trees – is the family-run Hotel Signum complete with spa, restaurant and gardens.

Hotel Signum, via Scalo 15, Malfa, Salina, Aeolian Islands (00 39 090 984 4222; Doubles start at €130, including breakfast.

Locanda Cipriani, Torcello

Opened in 1935 by Giuseppe Cipriani, who went on to open Harry's Bar in Venice, Locanda Cipriani is a world away from the crowds and bustle across the lagoon. Although it has welcomed luminaries such as Ernest Hemingway and Queen Elizabeth II, it is very much a family affair with just six antique-scattered rooms. Dining is another draw – you can feast on Cipriani classics such as beef carpaccio and ham tagliolini in the downstairs restaurant, which spills out on to a flower-bedecked terrace during warmer months.

Locanda Cipriani, Piazza Santa Fosca 29, Torcello, Venice (00 39 041 730 151; Doubles start at €200, including breakfast.

Zubebi Resort, Pantelleria

Pantelleria's dwellings are known as dammusi – small cube-shaped houses made from volcanic rocks with Arabic-style domed roofs. A small cluster of these houses form the chic Zubebi Resort, which sits on a slope surrounded by vines and olive trees.

Zubebi Resort, Contrada Zubebi, Pantelleria (00 39 0923 913 653; Doubles from €140 incl breakfast (three-night minimum).

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