Planning an escape to the Aeolian Islands in Sicily may conjure up images of sailboats, skippers and yacht charters. But for those who prefer to explore the islands by day – and sleep on dry land by night – the archipelago offers an array of charming hotels, resorts and catered apartments that will entice even the most discerning seafarers.
Lipari: Aeolian Charme Collection
For a perfect introduction to the archipelago, don’t miss the chance to stay with the Aeolian Charme Collection: a group of 4 hotels, restaurants and event spaces on the island of Lipari. Owned and operated by Sarah Tomasello and her husband Emanuele Carnevale, two locals and true hospitality experts, the properties are located in some of the most alluring parts of the island.
Hotel Mea, an elegant property within walking distance of the centro storico, is home to Ristorante Chimera where you can enjoy authentic Sicilian flavors in a romantic setting. Start with an Aeolian antipasto platter for a taste of the islands and order the make-your-own-cannolo for dessert. Hotel Villa Enrica, a popular place for weddings and events, has a panoramic infinity pool that looks out onto Lipari’s impressive medieval castle. And for those who prefer to be steps from the beach, Hotel Cutimare is a haven of solitude close to the island’s pumice-stone canyons.
An added benefit of staying with the Aeolian Charm Collection? You’ll have access to Sarah Tomasello, a true ambassador of the archipelago who is passionate about sharing her wealth of knowledge with guests in person and on Instagram.
Vulcano: Therasia Resort
Watching the sun set from the Therasia Resort, a luxurious hideaway on the island of Vulcano, is reason enough to visit the Aeolian islands. With a picturesque infinity pool, access to the beach and terrace suites with private hot tubs, it makes for an unforgettable stay. The Therasia Resort has four restaurants, including Michelin-starred Il Cappero, helmed by the ambitious young chef Giuseppe Biuso who reinterprets local dishes in a creative way. For a fun evening, dine at I Tenerumi, the resort’s new vegetarian restaurant that serves its dishes in a gourmet picnic style, seated on cushions overlooking the sea. Each course is paired with a cocktail, craft beer, or sake. I wouldn’t be surprised if I Tenerumi earns its own star in the future.
Salina: Hotel Signum
Hotel Signum, located in the lush hills of Salina, is certainly one of the most curated properties in the archipelago. The family-owned property was born in 1988 when Clara Rametta and Michele Caruso began to renovate a group of old homes. Today, the hotel is managed by their children, Luca and Martina. You can really feel the Sicilianità – the spirit of Sicily – throughout the hamlet.
Clara sources unique furnishings for the hotel’s suites and quirky common areas, while Luca manages the property and oversees its remarkable wine cellar (home to over 1,000 labels). Martina, one of Italy’s youngest Michelin-starred chefs, is behind the hotel’s excellent Ristorante Signum which serves garden-to-table dishes on the property’s outdoor terrace. Breakfast is also a stand-out. Everything from the freshly-made granita with sweet brioche, to the omelets and cheese plates, is delicious – especially when served in the comfort of your own private terrace.
Stromboli: Il Gabbiano Relais
With serviced apartments, rooftop terraces and a tropical pool, Relais Il Gabbiano is a stylish oasis 5-minutes from the sea in Stromboli. Billed as an “ApartHotel”, it’s a novel accommodation where you can enjoy the luxury of space (and a fully-equipped kitchenette) along with the services and amenities of a hotel – including daily cleaning and breakfast delivered to your door. Il Gabbiano has an on-site chef available for meals, so you can arrange for a private dinner by the pool during your stay. The communal setting also lends itself to celebrations and retreats.
The property is owned and managed by Federica Masin and her husband Vito Russo, two innovators and consummate hosts who have launched numerous enterprises on the island. Their latest addition, Il Gabbiano Mare, is a fun hangout near the beach that comes alive during aperitivo hour. Like the Relais, it features bohemian vibes with elegant details – and striking paintings of Stromboli’s volcanic eruptions created by Federica herself.