Don’t credit score me with the time period—4 Seasons are those who polled greater than one million social media followers and dubbed “Wandermust” an official pattern: the insatiable want felt by travel-deprived globetrotters to indulge their wanderlust with newfound urgency and keenness. That sounds about proper to me, and maybe explains why on a current jaunt to Sicily—an island I’ve dreamed of visiting for years—nothing wanting a palace would do.
Enter San Domenico Palace, Taormina, A Four Seasons Hotel. The 14th-century convent grew to become a luxurious resort in 1896, internet hosting the likes of Oscar Wilde and Audrey Hepburn. Now the 4 Seasons have taken it over and reworked it into one of the vital beautiful, dare I say excellent, properties I’ve ever checked into—a lot in order that after I checked out three days later, I felt haplessly ejected from the Backyard of Eden. Behold the magic components.
THE DESIGN It’s the consummate marriage of previous and new. Remnants of the historic convent that was are all over the place, from the nave-like corridors and vaulted ceilings to the Medieval artwork. However insanely plush rooms are pristine and new, with fashionable décor that pays homage to a storied previous; within the seaside suites, personal plunge swimming pools are pure pleasure. One room within the foyer, although, gained my coronary heart: It has the magnificent gall to don’t have anything in it however an vintage desk, two gargoyles and a wonderful ocean view.
THE LOCATION Talking of that view, Taormina makes a speciality of them. There’s a volcano (feted Mt. Etna). An historical Greek theater. Mountains that plunge into cerulean seashores. Native artwork fueled by Sicilian mythology. And charming cobblestone streets crammed with bars and eating places and outlets. It’s no surprise Taormina has lured big-name vacationers for the reason that 19th century. If in case you have simply days to spend in Sicily, as I did, spend them right here.
THE VIEWS Mt. Etna is at your breakfast desk, a surreal backdrop to the resort terrace. Whereas swimming within the divine infinity pool, there’s that majestic island panorama that these vacationers peering down on you’ve got come all this option to snap pictures of. And from some rooms, gaze on the traditional Greek theater whereas lounging in mattress. Even for those who by no means go away the resort, you’ve seen all of it.
THE FOOD You got here to Sicily to eat. In fact you probably did; 56% of respondents to the 4 Seasons “Wandemust” ballot have been longing for a getaway that’s “all in regards to the meals.” San Domenico Palace is aware of this—and doesn’t disappoint. The property’s delectable eateries concentrate on Sicilian delights and regionally sourced meals and wine; I don’t suppose I sipped a single selection that was not from the slopes of Mt. Etna (and in three days I sipped many a glass!). Breakfast is on the terrace: Sicilian omelets, freshly made cannoli, a decadent unfold of cured meats, cheeses, recent fruit and pastries. Lunch at Rosso is an elegantly informal affair—eggplant tartare with vinegar and steamed carpaccio octopus; eggplant parmigiana; slices of “Cinisara” beef with rocket, pachino tomato and cheese flakes—or, on the pool deck at Anciovi, a salute to all issues of the ocean: Sip a Grapefruit blow fizz whereas indulging in seafood masterpieces like linguine with lobster, cherry tomatoes and courgette flowers. The resort’s crown jewel is Principe Cerami, a fine-dining celebration of Sicilian delicacies courtesy of Etna native Chef Massimo Mantarro. Each the tasting and a la carte menus are choc-a-block with gems: uncooked Mediterranean langoustine, vegetable pearls, ‘cola’ apple jam, steamed wheat and ‘calvisius’ caviar; cuttlefish ink spaghetti with marinated cuttlefish tagliatelle and zucchini flowers fondue; roasted lamb loin with Tropea purple onion, smoked ricotta cheese and parsley sauce; for desert, hazelnut from Etna with mascarpone, Earl Gray and lime. Grant your self 5 kilos to realize on this vacation.
THE LUSHNESS What did I say in regards to the Backyard of Eden? It’s exterior your door, above the pool deck: a Medieval-style backyard ripe with orange and lemon timber and rows of aloe and lavender, bursting with scent. It’s within the courtyard within the resort foyer, too, the place an herb backyard thrives and couches welcome friends to sit down and, in any case we’ve been by way of, pause to soak up all this flawlessness.