Lùme is a verb, and what's more, it’s a love story. When a jet-setting Parisian was first invited to Siracusa, she instantly fell under the city’s ancient charms and with the help of two close friends, began work on a boutique hotel with all the warm familiarity of a family home. The verb, you ask? It’s glow – and with halls of Italian stone, an Ayurvedic spa and exotic in-room accents, you’ll be shining your way into each sun-drenched Sicilian serata which, incidentally, are best spent perfecting the art of aperitivo from the hotel’s heart-stealing rooftop terrace.
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A selection of local products (biscuits, jam, etc.) in room upon arrival
12pm, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.
Double rooms from £249.54 (€290), including tax at 10 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €2.00 per room per night on check-out.
Rates include a continental, homemade breakfast of jams, granola, cakes and seasonal fruits.
Among the lava stone tables and colourful ceramics on display, keep an eye out for Pascal Monteil’s signed tapestry, custom-made for Lùme.
The hotel is closed from mid January to March each year.
At the hotel
Fitness room, spa, rooftop terrace. In rooms: TV, sound system, beach towels, Comfort Zone bath products, minibar, kettle, Japanese tea selection.
Our favourite rooms
We love La Seconda’s pink alcove bathtub, and the Quinta’s extra-large terrace with comfy daybeds and outdoor seating, but if you fancy yourself as a real Sicilian, the hotel’s rooftop apartment, the Attico, is ideal for entertaining.
There’s no pool, but with the beach just a five-minute walk away, you’re unlikely to notice.
The hotel has a single treatment room which can be booked on request. Resident masseuse Cecila specialises in Ayurvedic treatments and Reiki, though you’ll also find bamboo, Swedish, detoxifying massage and scalp massages on the muscle-melting menu. There’s a hammam on site for post-pummel immune boosters and a small – but more than satisfactory – fitness room kitted out with a rower bike, dumbbells and yoga mats.
Pay homage to legendary freediver and Siracusian local Enzo Maiorcan and bring your wetsuit – the protected marine area of Plemmirio is full of spectacular sea fauna, colourful coral and submerged sculptures.
Unfortunately, this hotel is not accessible for those with mobility requirements.
All ages welcome. Cots can be added to your room for no additional charge.
With a charming splay of terracotta rooftops on one side, and the glistening Mediterranean on the other, anywhere on the rooftop is more than fine by us.
Let’s call it Sicilian boheme; a comfortable (and cultural) pastiche of prints and fabrics.
There’s no restaurant, as such, but guests can enjoy breakfasts and evening snacks on the rooftop terrace. Start the day with a roster of Sicilian delights; roasted coffee from Etna, homemade cakes and granola, Tarocco orange or kumquat jam, pandoro, lemon nectar, Bronte pistachios and crema di mandorle. In the evening, artisan cheeses, salumeria, caponata, acciugata, mortadella and Cassibile sausages make for irresistible aperitivo accompaniments.
The beating heart of Lùme, you’ll find the bar perched on the hotel's rooftop terrace with sage green seating, a stellar list of Sicilian wines and unbeatable views of the Med.
You’ll find the hotel on the Siracusian island of Ortiga, surrounded by a maze of narrow streets, Baroque churches and ancient palazzi.
Catania Airport is the closest, just under an hour's drive away. From here, the hotel can arrange private transfers for €70 (up to three people) or €100 (from four to six), with a minimum of two days' notice.
Stazione Siracusa is a 10-minute drive away from the hotel. Transfers can be arranged for €15 each way.
There’s no parking on site, but a space can be reserved in a private lot a short stroll away. Please contact the hotel at least two days before arrival to arrange.
Arriving in style? Land the chopper at Eliporto di Siracusa, just 3km away from Lùme.
Worth getting out of bed for
Centuries at the crossroads of power have left their mark on Siracuse in the most delightful way. It was, according to Cicero ‘the greatest and most beautiful of all Grecian cities’ – and with a stroll through the Archaeological park of the Neapolis, it’s easy to see why. This open-air museum is an ode to the city’s historical legacy and crumbling beauty where you’ll find ruins that span both Greek and Roman periods along with caves, altars, catacombs and gardens. The city’s ancient soul can be traced in its churches, too, the most impressive of which is the Duomo, a baroque Unesco building and former temple to the Roman goddess of wisdom, Minerva. Closer to home, the historical centre of Ortigia has a 13th-century sea-facing castle, Maniace, bustling local markets and to-die-for gelato. We recommend a trip to Volgio Matta in-between tanning sessions at the pebbled Spiaggia di Cala Rossa or one of the island’s many sundecks. Those with a poetic disposition will enjoy the literary legacy of Fontana Arestua, the fresh water spring behind the myth of a steadfast water nymph who went on to inspire Milton, Pope and Wordsworth alike. Admire the work of Milanese bad boy, Caravaggio, in the Church of Santa Lucia Alla Badia, or for something a little more wholesome, take a trip to the Museo dei Pupi a museum and theatre dedicated to the Sicilian folk tradition of puppets.
Come for aperitivo, stay for heaped-up plates of fresh pasta of caponata; Dada’s 1920s style restaurant and wine bar is one you won’t find in the guidebooks. Offering a taste of Trapani in central Siracusa, the mediaeval stone dining room of Al Mazari is one for old-world eats – you best bring a local, though: the menu is written in Sicilian dialect. Or, for simple, remarkably fresh seafood, head to family-owned La Lisca, just a stone’s throw away from Apollo’s Temple.
Chiodois a one-stop-shop for upcycled arts, crafts and clothes, live music and damn good artisan coffee. Turn back the clock at Pasticceria Artale, an accidental 1950s-style bakery where you’ll find creamy, Sicilian pastries and tangy, lemon granite.
With tables spread across the courtyard of a Baroque Palazzo, Cortile Verga makes a fine spot to enjoy a perfectly-mixed Penicillin. Equally elegant, though a little more upbeat, sultry Barcollo serves Sicilian wines, craft beer and finely-tuned Negronis with DJs hitting the decks come the weekend.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this family-owned hotel in the island of Ortigia and unpacked their artisan limoncello and ceramic Teste di Moro, a full account of their spectacularly Sicilian break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Lùme in Siracusa…
If you distilled the soul of Sicily down to three square miles, you’d probably be left with Ortigia; a warm, terracotta sprawl of winding streets, glistening sea and rainbow-coloured food markets where gossiping nonnas gather to exchange intel. Distil it again and you’ll get Lùme – a hyper-local family home turned boutique bolthole in the heart of Syracuse's historical centre. It’s no coincidence that its name is taken from the Italian verb ‘to glow’, either, the hotel is decidedly warm not just in manner but it matter; inside, guests are treated to a check-list of Italian stone – from Etna lava to Ragusian pietra pece – a pick-n-mix of exotic souvenirs from the owners’ international travels, and one-of-a-kind artworks (including a signed tapestry by Arles-based artist Pascal Monteil). It doesn’t take long to realise that here, Lume is much more than a name, it’s also a mantra – aperitivo on the rooftop terrace? Nothing less than radiant.