Sicily, Italy

Seven Rooms Villadorata

Price per night from$385.30

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 (EUR362.73), via, using today’s exchange rate.


Gargoyles and grandeur


Noto’s historic heart

It may once have been home to a prince, but Seven Rooms Villadorata's owner has now turned his Noto home into a luxe bed and breakfast that makes you feel like royalty: frescoed ceilings, ornate tiles and high windows add a stately air to this honey-hued Baroque beauty.

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


Photos Seven Rooms Villadorata facilities

Need to know


Nine, including six suites.


11am. Earliest check-in, 2pm. Let the hotel know if you're planning on arriving late, as the reception is closed after 10.30pm.


Double rooms from £341.00 (€399), including tax at 10 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €3.00 per person on check-out.

More details

Rates include in-room breakfast and free parking.


Noto is home to Corrado Assenza's Caffé Sicilia, a dolceria on Corso Vittorio Emanuele that is often said to make the world’s best ice-cream (+39 0931 835013).

Hotel closed

5 November 2022 till 31 March 2023.

At the hotel

Free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TV, air-conditioning and Officine Villadorata bath products.

Our favourite rooms

Each of the nine 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 nature reserve nearby, so don’t forget your snorkelling gear.


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


Only those 14-and-over are permitted in tranquil Seven Rooms Villadorata; an extra bed (€150 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 8am until 10am.

Room service



Photos Seven Rooms Villadorata location
Seven Rooms Villadorata
53 via Camillo Benso Conte di Cavour

This old palace is in historic Noto, a small town in Sicily’s south-east.


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


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 (


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 modern Sicilian cuisine with a touch of North African flair, head to Viva Il Bistrot. Just outside of the city centre, you’ll find their sister restaurant W Villadorata, set in the citrus and almond groves of Country House Villadorata. Dishes on both the à la carte and tasting menus are cooked or smoked over a wood-fire, using any branches culled from the land.

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).


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.

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Price per night from $385.30