Sicily, Italy

Seven Rooms Villadorata

Rates per night from$154.16

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (EUR135.45), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Gargoyles and grandeur

Setting

Noto’s historic heart

The former hilltop home of a prince, Seven Rooms Villadorata hotel in the Sicilian town of Noto retained relics of royalty: intricate tiled floors, frescoed ceilings and floor to ceiling windows. This Baroque residence feels more private home than hotel, offering a handful of rooms with balconies and views over honey-hued rooftops.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

A locally-made Officine Villadorata soap, made with 80 per cent organic extra virgin olive oil

Facilities

Photos Seven Rooms Villadorata facilities

Need to know

Rooms

Seven, including one suite.

Check–Out

10.30 am. Earliest check-in, 2pm. Let the hotel know if you're planning on arriving late, as the reception is closed after 9pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $154.16 (€135), excluding tax at 10 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €1.00 per person on check-out.

More details

Rates include a buffet breakfast and free parking.

Also

Noto is home to Corrado Costanzo, a dolceria on Via Spaventa that is often said to make the world’s best ice-cream (+39 0931 835243).

Hotel closed

9 November 2017 till 28 March 2018.

At the hotel

Terrace, library and free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TV, air-conditioning and Ortigia bath products.

Our favourite rooms

Each of the seven rooms is named after a wind. We loved Austro (wind of the south) most: two enormous French doors open onto a balcony overlooking the golden rooftops and rolling countryside. It was the prince’s bedroom and all of his gilded tiles and frescoes have been restored. Schirone (wind of the south-west) is smaller, but the views are just as good.

Packing tips

Leave the beach towels and big brollies at home – the hotel has all beachy bases covered. There’s a marine reserve nearby, so don’t forget your snorkelling gear.

Also

Smoking is permitted on balconies and the terrace. Two-night minimum stay.

Children

Only those 14-and-over are permitted in tranquil Seven Rooms Villadorata; an extra bed (€100 a night, for each guest) can be added to some rooms.

Food and Drink

Photos Seven Rooms Villadorata food and drink

Top Table

Breakfast out on the patio if it’s sunny, or in the library if it’s wet and windy.

Dress Code

Crisp cotton and linen to keep cool as the Sicilian temperatures soar. (If you're here in winter, stay ahead of the game with cashmere and a raincoat.)

Hotel restaurant

There’s no restaurant at this boutique B&B, but you will be treated to a wholesome spread of fresh fruit, yoghurts, cereal, meats, cheese and pastries in the morning.

Hotel bar

There isn’t a bar, just a white Smeg fridge tucked away next to the library stocked with free-for-all still, sparkling and flavoured mineral water. There’s also a Nespresso machine for endless espressos.

Last orders

Breakfast is served from 8.30am until 10am.

Room service

None.

Location

Photos Seven Rooms Villadorata location
Address
Seven Rooms Villadorata
53 via Camillo Benso Conte di Cavour
Noto
96017
Italy

Planes

Fly to Catania and you’ll be an hour away by car. Both British Airways (www.ba.com) and EasyJet (www.easyjet.com) fly direct from London Gatwick; Alitalia (www.alitalia.com) has routes via Milan and Air Malta (www.airmalta.com) via Munich. London Stansted, Brussels Charleroi and Rome Ciampino all fly direct to Comiso, which is a 90-minute drive from the hotel.

Trains

The closest train station is half an hour away by car in Syracuse, the nearest big town up the coast towards Catania. Trains connecting both towns take around an hour and 20 minutes (www.trenitalia.it).

Automobiles

From Catania, the hotel’s an hour south; take the A18 road until the Noto exit. Take the second exit at the first roundabout, the first exit at the second and the second exit at the third. Take the country road Via Napoli, and once you've passed the public gardens and the Polizia Municipale, turn into Via Camillo Benso Cavour – from there, the villa is at number 53. From Syracuse, allow half an hour for the drive. To reach Modica, to the west, use the SS115, picking up the SP17 and SP28. Parking is free for guests of the hotel.

Worth getting out of bed for

Golden Noto has several Baroque buildings to explore and a whole lot of gargoyles to gawp at. The Palazzo Villadorata has been meticulously restored – live the life of Sicilian nobility by wandering within its walls (+39 0931 835005). Climb up to the bell tower of Chiesa di San Carlo al Corso for a wide-ranging view over Noto’s rooftops. Nine kilometres south of the city, you’ll find excavations of an ancient Syracusan colony, Eloro, and there are golden beaches on either side of the ruin. Further afield, venture to Modica, or up the coast to Syracuse. The Vendicari Nature Reserve is a wild coastline of sheltered coves, a sandy beach and three marshes – birdwatchers will delight.

Local restaurants

For traditional Sicilian cuisine such as veal marsala, head to Il Crocifisso on Via Principe Umberto or Il Cantuccio on Via Cavour. 

Local cafés

Caffé Sicilia on Vittorio Emanuele has been dishing up some of the city’s tastiest gelati and cannoli since 1892.

Local bars

Shop for trendy goods then stick around for a cocktail at Anche Gli Angeli on Via Arnaldo da Brescia, a concept store with a bar (+39 0931 576023).

Reviews

Photos Seven Rooms Villadorata reviews
Jacqueline Skött

Anonymous review

By Jacqueline Skött, Scandi-loving salonnière

We’ve just said no to an upgrade – are we mad? No. We are at the car-hire desk in Sicily, the one place where you really should say no to the tempting offer of a big flashy car. We have been warned that small is beautiful on the streets of Sicily – that’s unless it’s a Fiat 500 Grande, which Mr Smith refuses on the grounds that it’s the ‘on steroids’ version of the car. So we find ourselves whizzing through the vast open space that is the heart of Sicily, in a small sexy Alfa Romeo – which proves just perfect for the narrow streets of Noto.

Arriving at the Syracuse city in the late afternoon, it appears impressively before us, with all its golden colours playing wondrously with the sandstone of the impressive baroque buildings. The streets are slender, and as with everywhere in Sicily, parking is virtually impossible. How pleased we were to find a tiny space right outside the large green double doors of Hotel Seven Rooms Villadorata.

A press of the buzzer and the doors open, not to reveal a hotel reception as expected, but the most wonderful ancient cobbled courtyard sloping down to two magnificent palms and a jasmine tree, the beautiful smell of which fills every inch of the space with an exotic aroma. Palazzo Villadorata – what a pleasure to make your acquaintance.

Salvo greets us looking a little confused. ‘You did not come in a car?’ He cannot believe we have found a space to park; apparently this is something you don’t have to worry about when staying here, as guests can bring cars into the courtyard. Oh well, it was good practice for Mr Smith’s parallel-parking skills.

After being handed an ornate bunch of keys and a printed list of instructions on where and how to use them, we are given free range of this wing of the palace purchased by owner Cristina from one of the noblest families of ancient Noto. She has lovingly restored it with amazing attention to detail, combining elaborate splendour with a modern twist, retaining its grand opulence, but with a sense of space.

The fragrant, calm rooms have high ceilings, exquisite tiles, ostrich-egg-topped bedsteads, gecko door handles, gold turtles, precious French and Italian fabrics, rare gorgonian sea corals and soft muted colours. It feels as though we have stepped straight into the novel The Leopard and we are now living the sumptuous life of the Sicilian aristocracy. There are giant plasma TVs hidden in antique cupboards, super-fast WiFi and modern bathrooms with power showers.

Mr Smith (or perhaps that should be Principe Smith) opens the two floor-to-ceiling French balcony doors to reveal a spectacular view over Noto’s rooftops and golden baroque buildings. We sit drinking in its glory, which looks just too good not to be explored in the setting sunlight.

Walking down the steeply sloping Via Nicolaci and we admire the ornate wrought-iron balconies of the palazzo; jutting out of the façade are horses, griffins, nymphs and cherubs. We walk the length of the main road, dipping up and down the shaded sidestreets wondering at its grandeur. Arriving at the flamboyant golden Cathedral of Noto, we stumble across a Sicilian wedding party in all its finery. The women are so dressed up that it is hard to tell which one is the bride; it looks like most of the men have sneaked out of the church into the bar during the service. This is people watching at its best.

The next morning, and that Italian sunshine is streaming in through the shutters, the whole of Noto glowing right there in front of us. The enormous bed is so comfortable, it would be easy to stay there all day, but I am itching to explore. So, as a way to rouse Mr Smith, I pad barefoot through the palace across the smooth stone floors, (which feel as though they are coated in velvet), to the small pantry where a Nespresso machine nestles cosily alongside a Smeg fridge full of complimentary drinks. We sit in bed, sipping espresso, the French doors thrown open, listening to Noto waking up – being a Sunday, this involves a lot of bell ringing.

Everywhere inside the palace is so quiet and calm, and we don’t see anyone else at breakfast, which is served in Cristina’s private apartment. An enormous roof terrace table is set up with fresh croissants, while a canary is singing its heart out and, rather spookily, our wedding music is playing on the stereo. Rosemary, our delightful host, welcomes us; she obviously loves her job and cares about the palace as much as if it was her own. She asks us what our plans are for the day and shares some secrets of places to visit and tips for the best beaches, for which towels and a parasol are thoughtfully provided. You can see the sea from the terrace, and it is here that Prince Nikolai would stand looking out to the beaches from where his tuna-business staff would signal with flags as to whether it had been a good fishing haul that day.

There is so much to do within short driving distance of Seven Rooms, including Syracuse and the Vendicari Nature Reserve. But we could not leave Noto without a trip to Caffe Sicilia. Opened in 1892, it is now run by the fourth generation, and they have introduced modern flavours into to their age-old granita recipes, by injecting basil and black olive into their sweet icy mix.

Sated, we return to Villadorata for a final taste of the best address in Noto. You know that you’ve experienced somewhere special when all its little details leave a perfect indelible snapshot in your mind. And the magnificence of Seven Rooms Villadorata is now firmly etched on ours.
 

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel or villa, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Seven Rooms Villadorata’s Guestbook below.

We loved

This is a beautiful property in the charming Baroque town of Noto. Our room was clean, comfortable and spacious, and the on-site parking in the palace courtyard was extremely convenient. The front desk staff was so helpful and kind. My only regret was not staying longer.

Don’t expect

A pool? But who would?

Rating

Stayed on 23 Oct 2018

We loved

We loved everything about this beautiful, unique spot! The hotel staff was lovely and very helpful from the moment we arrived. Every detail was thoughtful and special, from the decor to the lovely breakfast. Noto is a wonderful place and Seven Rooms Villadorata is a place I will dream of revisiting!

Rating

Stayed on 12 Oct 2018

We loved

Perfect place, in an old palace, in lovely Noto but everything brand new. Staff very friendly and helpful. Very nice beaches just 20 minutes by car. 10 stars, highly recommended. There are some good restaurants close by. 

Don’t expect

Pool.

Rating

Stayed on 29 Jun 2018

We loved

We loved the whole experience. The hotel is small and gorgeous so feels exclusive and very special. It is housed in one of Noto's the urban palaces and boy doesn't it feel like it. Of course the staff play a huge part in that, they could not have been kinder or more attentive. I stayed with family for a special birthday and they made getting older fun! Now I want to spend every birthday there. We stayed in three of the seven rooms (two of the standard rooms and then the suite) and they were all wonderful in different ways. Breakfast was great with a large and interesting choice. Wonderful cakes! We couldn't eat enough of the mandorla croccante. Do yourself a favour and stay in this hotel. Do not miss Mana for drinks and nibbles on their little terrace in a pedestrianised street or, even better, for a meal. The food is terrific and the staff, charm itself. We loved it so much we ate there twice and went for aperitifs twice as well. They introduced us to Amara (a digestive made from blood oranges). Try it and you may just find your new favourite drink. The Palazzo Ricalcai di Villadorata next door is very interesting and well worth a visit. Not as fully decorated as the impressive Palazzo Castelluccio down the street but we found it enjoyable.

Don’t expect

Room service or a restaurant in house but this didn't diminish our enjoyment.

Rating

Stayed on 6 Apr 2018

We loved

We loved everything about this hotel. We visited with family and stayed in standard rooms for one night before moving into the suite. Both standard rooms were generous and furnished with panache. The suite is a perfect place for two couples or a small family. It has a comfortable sitting room and two large bedrooms. We felt like royalty overlooking the elegant courtyard from the large windows. The staff are fun and perfect at looking after you. Try the Enteco next door for a cheese board and huge choice of wine to go with it...enjoy it in the courtyard with the sunshine.

Don’t expect

Don't expect anything but satisfaction with your clever choice of hotel.

Rating

Stayed on 6 Apr 2018

We loved

I am almost afraid to tell anyone how terrific this hotel is...if word spreads we may never get a room again, for we will be going back. I visited Seven Rooms Villadorata with my sister and our husbands for a signifigant birthday celebration. We stayed one night in standard rooms and then a week in the suite and wished we could stay longer. All the rooms were beautiful. The hotel is stunning to look at inside and out, decorated with artistic elegance. It is extremely clean and well maintained. The staff are engaging and delightful. They were fun, very efficient and helpful, suggesting all sorts of interesting things to do and places to eat then genuinely interested in how we got on and whether we enjoyed ourselves. They helped organise birthday surprises and surpassed themselves in attention to detail. We couldn't have picked a better place to be for our birthday, they totally spoiled my sister and me! I could go on and on, but in short, they could not have done anything better or made us feel more welcome! The bar is now set very high and I'm not sure it can be surpassed. Do not go to Noto without eating at Mana on Via Pirri Rocco! The food is interesting and delicious, the staff excellent and charming and it looks stunning. They also make a mean Negroni Sbagliato which I would recommend enjoying on the little terrace in the pedestrianised street with a terrific view of Baroque wonder all around you. Please visit Palazzo Castelluccio just down the street from the hotel. It is a magnificent vision of the urban palaces that once occupied the town. Furnished handsomely by the modern owner who spent years refurbishing the almost derelict property. Thank goodness there are people willing to saving such significant buildings. Of all the churches in Noto we enjoyed Seminario Vescovile the most. Delicate floral decoration inside and a tower with views across the town. For a small fee you are escorted up to the tower. Our guide was very knowledgable and enthusiastic.

Don’t expect

A restaurant or bar in the hotel. To have a disappointing visit...you just won't.

Rating

Stayed on 6 Apr 2018

We loved

The palazzo experience and the fabulous and knowledgeable staff.

Don’t expect

Baths, not showers.

Rating

Stayed on 17 Oct 2017

We loved

The amazing staff; the beautiful rooms and shared drawing rooms; the peace and quiet. In fact, everything!!

Don’t expect

A pool.

Rating

Stayed on 22 Jul 2017

We loved

The eccentric and characterful interior design, very charming and helpful staff, and the ideal location in the heart of Noto (but still quiet). Manna, directly behind the hotel, was terrific, as was Dammuso on the same street.

Rating

Stayed on 20 Jul 2017

We loved

This is a beautiful hotel, our room was fabulous and the view when we had breakfast on the terrace was amazing. The staff were friendly and very helpful with suggestions and arrangements for activities. The hotel is easy to find and it was great being able to park at the door.

Rating

Stayed on 10 Jun 2017

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