The Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo is beautiful. There is no doubt about it. Although its lobby and indoor public spaces leave something to be desired – their simplicity is not as welcoming as one would hope – the hotel’s magnificence lies in its views. Perched on a hilltop overlooking a joyous dance of medieval rooftops, sea and greenery, it is the flow of lava from Mount Etna that really distinguishes the scenery and makes this hotel one to remember.
Its architecture allows these views to be seen from almost anywhere; and many of the property’s delicately appointed bedrooms have mammoth, high-ceilinged rooms, opening out on to breathtaking scenery.
Make sure to book in the hotel’s main building. Whilst it’s second outpost, the Villa Flora, is lovely in it’s own right, it is set apart (across the road) and lacks most of what makes the main building and gardens so inspiring.
The hotel is perfectly placed in the ancient town of Taormina, whose windy streets are a joy to wonder through in the evening light. It’s gates lie side by side to the entrance of the town’s famed Greek Amphitheatre, which is of huge convenience to those who love archaeology. It must be noted that this could be seen as a minor downside, however. The thousands of tourists who flock to the historical sites on a daily basis – many of which cluster outside the amphitheatre’s gates- can prove a nightmare to those searching for relaxation and quiet.
Once safely inside the hotel, it is a different story. Spend your days whiling away time on the terraced gardens, sipping gazpacho in the shaded poolside restaurant, or lying by the pool framed by jawdropping cliffs. These are far more relaxed than the hotel’s main restaurant and bar, which are more majestic than serene. Nevertheless, they do not want to be missed – there is no where quite so magical at sunset, and the food is second to none.
As we were, you may be privy to the odd Sicilian wedding party go by, which is far more delightful than it is distracting. For this hotel; one of refined elegance, marvels in bringing a peaceful serenity and platitude to its guests. It is one of the utmost luxury properties – a signature of the Belmond group and its liveried staff – but the natural beauty in which it lies really does make it one to remember.