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Sicily's Traditional Masseria With A Contemporary Flair

Once owned by Prince Nicolaci, Il San Corrado di Noto is an upmarket resort in south-east Sicily attracting couples and young families seeking a tranquil getaway in luscious surroundings.

Set among olive groves, citrus trees and vineyards, the sun-bleached masseria ensconces guests in tradition and nature, while contemporary amenities (including an impressive 100-metre swimming pool and state-of-the-art spa) have won it a reputation for being one of the best hotels in Italy.

The Vibe

It’s not hard to see why The White Lotus cast stayed here while filming the second series of the hit Netflix show. Undeniably fit for celebrity clientele, Il San Corrado di Noto embodies Sicily, from its peaceful suites to the superb food served by attentive staff who know more than a thing or two about hospitality. Spend days relaxing on your foliage-strung terrace, sipping an espresso granita in the elegant library, flitting between the two expansive pools, and tucking into seafood platters washed down with local sparkling. Rinse and repeat.

The Rooms

Il Sancorrado di Noto

Drawing inspiration from the Kingdom of Olympus, 26 suites (including two with private pools) channel luxurious tranquillity via high ceilings, spacious patios and glass doors that let the smell of citrus and sound of birdsong drift into rooms on the air. Traditional touches such as Moor’s heads and local artwork meet a muted colour palette, fluttering linen, four-poster beds and lashings of marble. We particularly enjoyed lounging in the Zeus-proportioned bathtub. For families and groups, newer villas set a short walk away from the main property offer the same access to all facilities but with added privacy. 

The Food + Drink

Head chef Martin Lazarus is hailed as a trailblazer in Italian cuisine, driven by an unwavering commitment to sourcing his ingredients in the most environmentally conscious way possible, and inspired by ancient recipes rooted in Latin, Arab, Iberian and Norman traditions. Poolside Osteria Casa Pasta is an excellent place for lunch, serving up rainbow-coloured salads, pretty plates of ceviche, creamy pasta dishes and spiny lobster.

Il San Corrado di Noto Luxury Hotel

For a more refined and romantic dinner, head to Principe di Belludia, where you can dine à la carte, or go whole-hog with a wine-paired tasting menu. Expect eye-wateringly good food spanning spaghettone with king prawns and plump ravioli bursting with ricotta, as well as pigeon, red mullet, and lamb dishes served with sweetbreads. Breakfast, taken on the same peaceful terrace as Principe di Belludia, is a bountiful offering of the best local produce alongside the usual breakfast suspects.

The Little Extras

More than a little extra, the hotel has its own beach club, accessed via a free shuttle. Sun loungers, soft sands, warm waters and a restaurant-cum-cocktail bar are all you need for a perfect day beside the sea. On-site facilities include a well-equipped gym, an inviting spa, a yoga pavilion (be sure to check the schedule for free classes) and tennis courts.

The To-Do List

©Sabrina Mazzeo

©Sabrina Mazzeo

Visit the town of Noto, which is enjoying increased attention having being featured in The White Lotus. Renowned for its baroque architecture, highlights include the 18th-century Noto Cathedral; Palazzo Ducezio (now the Town Hall) with an ornate Hall of Mirrors; and the decorated balconies of Palazzo Nicolaci. All three are within a five minute walk from one another. 

Ten kilometres away, explore Ancient Roman history with a visit to the Villa Romana del Tellaro. This archaeological site is probably one of the latifundia – ancient and significant private agricultural estates specialising in export crops like grain, olive oil and wine. These estates held significant societal and economic importance during the Imperial period.

The Cava Grande del Cassibile in Avola, approximately 30 kilometres away, is a nature reserve featuring a stunning canyon carved by the Cassibile river. Here, you’ll find archaeological tombs and beautiful natural pools known as “uruvi.” Be prepared to leave your car at the top and continue on foot down to the valley.

For a day trip, Marzamemi, a delightful fishing village, is just 20 kilometres away. The village’s history is closely tied to the sea, with a historic tuna fishery that remains an important part of the local economy: you can still witness small artisan tuna and swordfish processing industries, alongside the growing tourism scene.

Between Noto and Marzamemi you’ll find Vendicari Nature Reserve, a 1,500-hectare oasis with a unique ecosystem made up of rocky and sandy coastlines, Mediterranean scrub, marshes, salt pans, moorland and cultivated areas. Its marshes serve as a crucial stopover for migratory birds, and on a visit here you can explore archaeological remains and a small necropolis, before heading back for sunset drinks next to the hotel pool. 

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