Visit the awe-inspiring Mount Etna
Set in the Piante Faro plant nursery
Donna Carmela is a luxury boutique hotel set amid the largest Mediterranean plant nursery in Europe. Walter the charming Manager has been involved with Donna Carmela since its inception and adheres to the Chic Retreats philosophy of treating guests as individuals and not just a room number. This 19th-century Sicilian house has been expertly refurbished to create a contemporary hotel with a calm and classy feel. Donna Carmela is in a prime position from which to explore Sicily's east coast, with the famous volcano, Mount Etna, just behind and Taormina's beautiful sandy beaches just 25 km away. Piante Faro's Mediterranean plant nurseries make this area a spectacular place for garden enthusiasts and nature lovers.
The magestic volcano Mount Etna rises up behind Donna Carmela. There are a variety of different ways to explore Etna, including trekking, culinary trips and mountain biking, all of which will be memorable experiences. From the highest crater, far-reaching views of Sicily can be enjoyed, and the Circumetnea train will take you around the villages at the foot of the incredible volcano. Taormina is a great place to visit with its breathtaking Greek-Roman theatre and wonderful views over the Ionian Sea, and Catania is close by with its Baroque architecture, much of it made from the characteristic black volcanic rock spewed from Etna herself. There are 2 ski areas on Etna, and golfers needn't go far with the 18-hole Il Picciolo just 25 minutes by car. Sailing is available in the beautiful surrounding waters. There are a number of festivals in Sicily to keep an eye out for too. For those who want to relax in Donna Carmela, there is an outdoor swimming pool, solarium and lounge-reading room. Of course, a massive draw to Donna Carmela is the vast Piante Faro plant nursery where this luxury retreat is set, alive with the scents of colourful Mediterranean blooms.
The food at Donna Carmela is so fresh that they advise booking dinner the day before so they can source the freshest ingredients for their mouthwatering traditional Sicilian menu, and with an expertly selected wine cellar, the helpful staff will suggest wine to go with any dish. The Pietradolce - Archineri Etna Doc wine produced for Donna Carmela is from vineyards on Mount Etna in Castiglione di Sicilia, which are owned by Donna Carmela, and it is a delight to sample the wine, just minutes from where it was made and grown. Tasting sessions can be organised for those wanting to sample local produce. Donna Carmela's own DOC wine Archineri 2007 has won the Gambero Rosso Award "Tre Biccheri" (Three Glasses) for 2009, so be sure to treat yourself to a glass or two.
Contrada Grotte, 5, Carruba di Riposto (CT), Sicily 95010, Italy
Fontanarossa, Catania, 40 minutes by car
There are 18 rooms in Donna Carmela: 4 rooms, 9 junior suites, 3 suites and 1 flat, all decked out in luxurious comfortable furnishings, and all individually styled. Furnishings are contemporary and classy and there is a strong emphasis on high-quality fabrics. Exposed stone and brickwork and block coloured walls are the perfect setting for luxurious contemporary armchairs and soft sofas. The suites are set apart by some well-chosen antique furniture and have their own terraces with spectacular views. Some of the junior suites are split-level and all have their own colour scheme and style. Lulu's favourite room is number 8 - all white, this is a superior room with perfect proportions and is one of the lightest rooms at Donna Carmela. If looking for something a little larger, suite number 1 or 2 are extremely spacious with a large sitting area and high ceilings. Junior Suite number 15 is on one level and has two terraces with sea views, one directly from the bedroom and the other directly from the living room.
There is also a little private luxury villa just a few seconds drive from the main house. This luxury villa complete with outside jacuzzi, is perfect for two or a family of four and is right at the centre of the nursery in a particularly private spot. With its own kitchen, living room, bathroom and dining terrace guests can enjoy their own little hideaway in utmost tranquillity. Nothing beats enjoying a glass of Prosecco in the jacuzzi looking out to sea. All rooms come with air-conditioning, fridge bar and satellite TV.
Deposit: the guest pays a deposit to secure the booking and the balance is paid by the guest to the Property on checkout
Donna Carmela kindly requests the following deposit:
- The cost of 1 night for stays up to 4 nights;
- 30% of the total amount for stays of over 4 nights.
In case of cancellation of your reservation or in case of no show, the hotel might apply the following penalties:
Up to the 61st day prior the scheduled check-in: no penalty
From 60 to 30 days prior the scheduled check-in: 20% of the reservation total amount
From 29 to 15 days prior the scheduled check-in: 50% of the reservation total amount
From 14 to 8 days prior the scheduled check-in: 80% of the reservation total amount
7 days prior the scheduled check-in: 100% of the reservation total amount
Check-in time: 14:00
Check-out time: 11:00
Early check-in: yes, subject to availability
Late check-out: yes, subject to availability
No pets allowed. Fee is $0
Each hotel selected for its unique charm by Lulu the founder.
Special benefits only guests booking through Chic Retreats obtain.
If you find your stay cheaper elsewhere we will give you £50 towards your next stay with us.