At a Glance
The more casual sister property to the Grand Hotel Timeo, this lovely villa is located right on Taormina's pebble beach, making it a perfect enclave in which to end a busy Sicily itinerary.
- The relaxed beachside ambience
- Nearly all rooms (except for seven) have sea views
- The gorgeous Junior Suite Executives (unveiled in 2013) with a modern design
- The Kid's Club, complete with pizza-making and Italian language classes
Located at the end of a long, flower-lined driveway, the Villa Sant'Andrea still feels like the private, tucked-away villa it used to be. The public rooms are few (for the most part you want to be outside, after all), but they feel elegant yet homey, with oriental rugs and sparingly used antiques.
There are just 68 rooms and suites and all except for seven have glorious sea views. Interiors are tasteful and understated, with light drapes, painted shutters and cushioned headboards. Bathrooms are spacious and most have separate showers and bathtubs. The newest set of junior suites are located in the building that overlooks the heated pool (and the sea beyond). Chic and well designed, these feature a much more modern and peppy design scheme, with contemporary designer lamps, vibrant fabrics and modern artwork that align with the beachside environment and maintain a sense of place.
Chances are no matter how nice the room, you won't be spending much time in it because the outdoors are so glorious. The gardens that frame the terraced walkways are lush and colorful; the many terraces all come with cozy spots for having a coffee, an aperitif or curling up with good book. If you want to head up to Taormina for the early evening passegiatta, there's a public funicular, a block or so from the hotel. It takes about five minutes to reach the top (again, those views). The hotel also has a complimentary shuttle that runs into town every hour from 10:00 a.m. to midnight.
The Sant'Andrea's private beach is small (though it's the largest stretch of all the hotels lining this cove), and it’s not a sandy beach but one with small, smooth gray pebbles. It’s not a particularly fancy beach set up, with simple canvas lounge chairs (very Italian) lined up beneath umbrellas. However, there are beach cabanas available for full-day rentals. A casual private fishing boat is available to take guests out to explore the surrounding area, including beautiful Isola Bella in the next cove over.
Who Should Stay
Families (there are connecting rooms and a Kid's Club) and couples looking for a truly relaxing, beautiful ending to their trip to Sicily, who don't mind being 15 minutes from town.
Written by Simone Girner