The Ashbee

  • Sicily, Italy, Taormina Area

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The Ashbee started out as a Villa designed by the English architect Charles Robert Ashbee in 1907. These days it’s a luxurious hotel, where you’ll still feel the fusion between English and Sicilian style when you step through its doors – it’s a perfect choice for that special break. You’re immediately greeted with amazing views, down through the terraced gardens and out onto the Strait of Messina. At the end of the garden there’s an infinity pool – we loved finding a shady spot out here and just soaking up the scenery, with a drink from the bar.

The location’s superb. It is walking distance to Corso Umberto and the main shopping area, cafés and restaurants. But when you’ve got the St George by Heinz Beck, the one Michelin star restaurant right here at the hotel, you won’t have to venture far for incredible food. Chef Delfo Schiaffino focusses on using fresh Sicilian produce, cooked to perfection. It's hard to beat the setting either - in the summer dinner's served outside on the terrace (weather permitting), so you'll have those views to admire too.

Transfer time: approx. 1 hour by private car from Catania Airport.

Added value

Free nights available in Spa Suites from 01 May - 31 Oct 21 (min 4 night stay, bed & breakfast only)

Rooms
  • No. of rooms: 24
  • Official rating: 5

Rooms

Classic Rooms are located on the first and second floor with windows overlooking the pretty courtyard. They have been equipped with modern amenities including air conditioning, television, minibar, safe and hairdryer. Rooms are individually designed and differ in style and furnishings. They sleep up to two people.

Superior Rooms are large and bright with lovely garden views. They sleep up to two people and are available on request, please call to book. 

Deluxe Rooms have a terrace with a table and chairs. They sleep up to two people and are available on request, please call to book. 

Suites have tailor made furniture, are bright and airy and some have sea views. These rooms sleep up to three people and are available on request, please call to book. 

 

  • Lift accessible: No
  • Lift serves all floors: No
  • Access ramp: No

Please note that this hotel may not be suitable for guests with walking difficulties.

Taormina Area

Stunning views of Europe's largest active volcano, often capped with snow, sweeping sea vistas that stretch as far as the eye can see and gardens full of the colours and aromas of bougainvillea, lemon trees and jasmine - all combine to create one of the most enchanting destinations in Italy.

Inghams operate an in resort Rep service in the Taormina Area.

Excursions

Valley of the Temples

Agrigento & Scala Dei Turchi (full day)

This awe inspiring excursion will take you on a journey along the South Coast of Sicily to Agrigento, known as Akragas in the past, a place in which one of the most influential civilisations of ancient Greece flourished. Explore the archaeological site and discover the ruins of the ancient temples, some among the best preserved in the world, Concordia, the temples of Juno, Zeus, Hercules, Vulcano and the ruins of the temples of Castor and Pollux.

The journey continues towards Scala dei Turchi and its white marna cliff formations on the south coast of the Island. Its name is translated to ‘Stair of the Turks’ due to the ladder like rock formations that undulate across the landscape. This unique striking landscape is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Italy. There are two sandy beaches surrounding the cliffs that you can make your way down to (comfortable shoes are highly recommended). Pack your swimsuit, towels and sun cream so that you can take a moment to relax by the glistening emerald ocean before making the trip back to Taormina in the late afternoon.

Departs: Tuesdays from 01 May – 31st Oct

Price: from £49pp (entrance fees and lunch are payable locally)

 

Mount Etna & Alcantara Gorges (full day)

This trip takes you on an adventure to Europe’s largest and most active volcano. To reach the towering Mount Etna from Taormina, take the highway (about 20km) until you reach the mountain road that meanders through the villages of Etna and the surrounding fields of vineyards, olive trees and fruit trees. As you ascend the mountain road through a continuously changing landscape, a chestnut and pine forest closes in at an altitude of 1000 metres, before opening up into a volcanic lunar landscape at 1900 metres. From the carpark you can take a short trek up to the Silvestri Craters that formed as a result of the eruption of Etna in 1892.

There is also a cable car up to the spectacular viewpoint at 2500m. If you are feeling even more adventurous you can join a Jeep and mountain guide that takes you to the foot of the mountain crater at 2900m where the black volcanic landscape intensifies into a kaleidoscope of red ionised rock, white ashfall and yellow sulphur. This extension depends on the activity of the volcano and the weather conditions. During your visit to Mount Etna there will be time for lunch at the base of the cable car where there are small souvenir shops and self-service restaurant.

As you head back towards Taormina you will have the chance to see the stunning lava prisms at the Alcantara Gorges. The black lava walls that tower above the glistening Alcantara River, have been formed from the lava cooling process and water erosion. A stairway leads you down through the gorge or you can descend through the canyon via a lift.

Departs: Daily except Fridays from 01 May – 31st Oct

Price: from £103pp (entrance fees and lunch are payable locally)

 

Palermo (full day)

Take a trip from Taormina through the heart of Sicily to Palermo via the Catania-Enna-Palermo (about 280 km). Once you reach the Capital of Sicily you will find yourself in the political hub and cultural centre of the Island. Palermo is at the crossroads of the Mediterranean and as a result, is a melting pot of many influences. First stop is the magnificent Cathedral of Monreale, a visual culmination of these influences with its mix of Western, Byzantine, and Islamic architecture. Its original building was constructed on the orders of King William II of Sicily and dates back to 1182. The majestic building is set on the hillside overlooking the city’s centre in a striking and strategic location that assured that the residents security and defence. Famed for its intricate mosaic finish that covers almost the entire interior from floor to ceiling with geometric patterns and rich figural decoration, it is a sight to behold. You will have the option to visit the adjacent cloister on the southern side of the cathedral, which is part of the original monastery building.

Departs: Wednesdays from 01 May – 31st Oct

Price: from £49pp (entrance fees and lunch are payable locally)

 

Syracuse & Noto (full day)

The beautiful baroque town of Syracuse is known for its ancient ruins and stunning architecture. You’ll get to explore the thousand-year-old history of the town on this excursion, starting with the incredible cathedral that dominates the piazza. After a short walk, you’ll arrive on the seafront promenade to admire the Arethusa Fountain before getting some free time for lunch. With Syracuse’s daily market filled with fresh food and plenty of family-run trattorias and cafés, you’ll be spoilt for choice. After lunch, you’ll stop at the archaeological park before heading to Noto, which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to its maze of beautiful baroque buildings.

Departs: Mondays and Fridays from 01 May – 31 October

Price: from £50pp (entrance fees and lunch are payable locally)

 

Mini Cruise to Aeolian Islands - Lipari & Vucano (full day)

This full-day excursion takes you north to the stunning Aeolian Islands. Heading to the port town of Milazzo, a comfortable ship will take you to Lipari via the Punta Castagna - a beautiful area of old Pumice Pits and white beaches, where you can admire the charming landscape and the crystal-clear waters. On Lipari you’ll get to visit the old town and archaeological park before having some free time for lunch or a spot of shopping. Next on the agenda is Vulcano, an island known for its black sand beaches, hot springs and mud baths. Before heading back to mainland Sicily, you'll enjoy an hour and a half's sail around the islands to view the Faraglioni, Papa Giovanni rock, the Grotta degli Angeli and the Scoglio della Mummia. On the way back to Milazzo, the boat will pass near the picturesque village of Gelso to admire the ancient lighthouse.

Departs: Wednesdays and Fridays from 01 May – 31 October

Price: from £63pp (entrance fees and lunch are payable locally)

 

Mini Cruise to Aeolian Islands - Panarea & Stromboli (full day)

After departing Taormina, you'll drive to Milazzo and board a boat directly to Panarea, one of the Aeolian's most fashionable islands where luxury yachts fill the tiny harbour and some of Italy's most elite sip prosseco in bustling cafés. You'll have two hours here to wander around - visit the picturesque village, take a swim in the crystal-clear waters or stop for a bite to eat. The afternoon takes you to Stromboli, where the smoky volcano dominates the sky. You'll have time to explore before leaving at sun set when you can admire the 'sciara del fuoco', the stream of fire, created when the lava flows down the active volcano.

Departs: Thursdays and Sundays from 01 May – 31 October

Price: from £74pp (entrance fees and lunch are payable locally)

Facilities

Pools & Beaches

Terraced gardens lead down to the Ashbee's infinity pool - it has views right out to sea and along the coast. There's comfy sofas and shaded sun loungers dotted around the place so there's plenty of space for you to pick a quiet spot with a view when you're not cooling off in the water. 

It's about 25 minute walk down to Mazzaro beach and the beautiful Isola Bella or you can hop on the cable car (payable locally) near the hotel. It's a pebble beach where you can rent sun loungers and parasol. Or, the hotel have an arrangement with Paradise Beach Club, a serviced area of the beach with a bar and pool too (payable locally), speak to reception and they'll be able to help you plan a beach day here. 

General Facilities

  • Open air gym with a treadmill, exercise bike and a multi-functional exercise machine
  • Free WiFi
Meals

Breakfast here is buffet style. In keeping with the English history of the hotel, it includes a typical English breakfast options like scrambled eggs and bacon. Have it each morning on the roof terrace, where you have the most amazing views of the coast.  If you choose to upgrade to half board you'll dine in the hotels restaurant, with a three course dinner (drinks excluded). Dinners are served on the sea view terrace, in good weather, or inside the St George Restaurant

St George Restaurant by Heinz Beck is the Ashbee's gourmet dining option, that's awarded one Michelin star. Dinners here are a long leisurely affair. Expect modern Sicilian style cuisine, made using fresh seasonal produce from the island. Main courses like 'Catch of the day' with lime potatoes, anchovy sauce, olive chips and rocket have us dreaming of being back there. For a really special dining experience we'd recommend giving the tasting menu, with wine pairing, a try - the favours the chef creates are delicious. Inside the restaurant you immediately get a feel for the merging of cultures, decorated with a combination of typically English and Sicilian features. In the summer (weather permitting) the restaurant moves outside on the terrace, so you can see the entire bay while you eat. 

In the day the roof terrace becomes a bar serving light lunches, afternoon tea and cocktails. Its a lovely place to come for a pre dinner drink and enjoy the sunset. 

Board basis options available

  • Bed & Breakfast
  • Half Board
Location in resort
  • Longitude: 15.2879624
  • Latitude: 37.8558629
  • Location Description:
    • Close to the centre of Taormina
    • 350 metres to Mazzaró Cable Car (top)
    • 600 metres to Taormina's Greek Theatre
    • 500 metres to Taormina's main bus station

Reviews of The Ashbee

Tripadvisor reviews
Total price from
£1632
per person from £816
The Ashbee
Taormina Area, Sicily,Bed & Breakfast
13/10/2021 - 3 nights
2 adults
From London Gatwick
Amend holiday details

Due to the constantly changing nature of the COVID-19 crisis, we may need to change or withdraw at short notice some advertised accommodation facilities and resort services to help keep everyone safe.

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