At a Glance
Steeped in history and much beloved, the San Domenico Palace has been transformed by Four Seasons into a true treasure of Taormina.
- The infinity pool with sweeping views of the coastline and Mount Etna
- The property’s extensive art collection, which guests can arrange a private tour of using the hotel’s art concierge
- The manicured Italian gardens where you can arrange a private dinner
Originally a 14th-century monastery and convent, San Domenico Palace has always been the grand dame of Taormina. And though the property fell into disrepair, losing some of its grandeur, it reopened in 2021 after a takeover and renovations by Four Seasons; refreshed and vibrant, San Domenico Palace maintains its original elegance and charm and has reconquered the hearts of travelers to Taormina. Carved into the cliffside, with sweeping views of the sea and partial views of the coastline and Mount Etna, the hotel is located in the center of town. Despite this central location, San Domenico Palace still evokes a sense of privacy, though it may feel too close to the craziness for some travelers.
The property is a union of past and present, marrying historic and religious elements evident with strikingly modern rooms and amenities that pay homage to the hotel’s past and feel distinctly plush and pristine. Note that there are two separate sides of the hotel, the Monastery side and the Grand Hotel side. The Monastery side is rich with history and character, with enormous hallways and courtyards and murals along the walls. The rooms are quite snug and best for travelers willing to compromise on luxury and convenience for the sake of authenticity. The Monastery's magic comes from the original details like the frescoes and the views of sea, gardens and diverse coastline. The Grand Hotel side has more spacious suite options, and the sea view suites have both plunge pools and lovely verandas. It is important to note however, that these suites are located above the road and do not have the same sense of place as the Monastery side.
At the center of the historic San Domenico Palace is a marvelously atmospheric cloister surrounding an inner courtyard flourishing with colorful flowers and trees—think the Garden of Eden. The infinity pool is simply gorgeous, but small and daybeds go quickly. To combat this, Four Season plans to open a beach club in 2023, which will be an essential addition and major attraction. The food is excellent and some of the best offered in Sicily. The famous Principe Cerami is an exquisite fine dining experience, and the terrace by the pool is an exceptional place to enjoy pasta and sip on an Aperol Spritz.
Who Should Stay
Travelers seeking reliable luxury and service in a historic and grand setting. There are spacious suite options for families, and couples will enjoy the laid-back, romantic feeling throughout.
Written by Victoria O'Leary