This is an unusual and remarkable property nestled in the foothills on the Eastern side of Sicily, where you are surrounded by fig and olive trees and grapes for the local wine. There is a calm that descends upon you the moment you arrive, with incredible views of both the sea and Mt Etna. The accommodations are luxurious but not ostentatious, each having its own "charm" and decor, with every comfort one could want (except TV). Yet what makes it especially noteworthy are the people. The delightful staff was truly committed to making our stay memorable. We were "made" to feel welcome from the moment we arrived and were escorted to a lovely spot with an expansive view to enjoy a welcome beverage -- served by Alberto, a charming young man who really knew the local wines -- and then Nuwan gave us a tour of the grounds and showed us to our room, explaining everything we needed to know, and insisting we reach out to him if we needed anything at all. Each morning we were greeted by Rosella, and her glowing smile, at the sumptuous outdoor breakfast buffet, the perfect way to start the day! There is a lot do in the area, but we also just enjoyed being where we were, relaxing by the pool or on the chaise lounge on our terrace... until dinner, a major highlight! Dinner was much more than just a meal; it was an experience. The meals were simply amazing -- created by the very talented chef Blesi, a young man we think will become one of the great chefs of Sicily one day. The menu was not overwhelming, but each was distinctive, with subtle flavors and creative combinations. And if in doubt, you could always rely on the recommendations of Sebastian, the gracious and knowledgeable maitre d', who also enjoyed sharing his knowledge of the area and its history. In short, it seems that everyone on the staff really loved being there and loved what they were doing, and it showed! Even the housekeeping staff greeted us warmly and always asked if there was anything else we might need. By the time we left, we felt like "family" ... we couldn't have been happier with our decision to stay here ... and we're already looking forward to returning!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- In 2007, by chance, I stumbled upon this place, fell in love with it and decided to devote my life to its resurrection.To bring this place, previously chosen by the monks of Saint Anna’s order for his special energy and extraordinary charm, back to life. It has become the second great project of my life. The estate Monaci delle Terre Nere is situated along the slopes of Mount Etna, the biggest volcano in Europe on the border of the Etna National Park at 500mt above sea level. My wish has been to preserve the historic identity and local traditions, more than a Boutique Hotel it is a home which I hope retains its intimacy. The house which dates from 1800 is listed as one of historical importance. It is now a place where traditional Sicilian Architecture is combined with contemporary art and living. ... more less
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