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Opened in 2021, Villa Igiea is a majestic 1900 residence set beside the Gulf of Palermo that has been revived with full splendour by the Rocco Forte family. If you like to mix rewarding cultural excursions with pampering treats like snapper served with clams and truffles and a massage featuring Sicilian botanicals, this five-star stop will definitely hit the spot.

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Rooms available from £638.79 per night

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On the northwest coast of Sicily, just a 30-minute drive east of Palermo Airport. The hotel and its terraced gardens overlook a wide bay framed with mountains with a marina and shipyards in the foreground. The historic centre is a 15-minute drive south. Parking is available at a charge. You can walk to a bar and restaurant in the marina and the sandy beach of Mondello, packed in summer, is a 15-minute drive north.

By plane: direct flights to Palermo take 3 hours from London and 3 hours 30 minutes from Edinburgh. The hotel is a 30-minute drive. Parking costs €40 per day. Book flights to Palermo.

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The newly-restored Villa Igiea is instantly impressive with its castellated, sand-coloured main building looking onto the Gulf of Palermo. Many original features survive from 1900, including a magnificent mirrored ballroom with Art Nouveau woodwork and enchanting murals. Mature gardens frame a curved pool with elegant green and white-striped loungers resting on well-kept lawns.


This is a grand hotel run with flair by over a hundred devoted staff. Luxury boutiques such as Bulgari border the entrance and there is a library with original wooden writing desks. When it's time to work off all that pasta there's a fitness centre and a sea-view tennis court from the 1920s.

  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Fitness centre
  • Swimming pool
  • Spa
  • Wellness suite
  • Free shuttle
  • Free Wi-Fi


The bedrooms and suites make the most of this venerable residence with its high ceilings, wooden floors and spacious terraces. The elegant contemporary interiors by Olga Polizzi favour warm blues and browns set off by abstract paintings and designer lights. Bathrooms feature marble basins and geometrically-patterned floor tiles.

Room types: Classic, Superior, Deluxe, Family, Junior Suite, Suites

Key amenities: ensuite bathroom with Irene Forte Skincare, bathrobes and slippers, TV, free Wi-Fi


Sicilian cuisine cooked to perfection is a highlight of a stay here. Breakfast and dinner are served al fresco on the terrace of Florio's Restaurant, which also has a charming Belle Époque dining room with chandeliers and potted palms. Don't miss the vaulted Igiea Terrazza Bar with its original bar from 1900 and inventive cocktails such as the Breakfast Martini made with local marmalade.

Florio: elegant, Belle Époque-style dining room. Local ingredients, Sicilian cuisine. Open daily for breakfast and dinner.

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