Family Hotel
Smith Awards 2018 Family Runner-Up

Sicily, Italy

Verdura Resort

Rates per night from$273.91

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 (EUR240.91), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Modern Polizzi hideaway

Setting

Southern Sicily shoreline

Five-star and friendly, Verdura Resort on Sicily’s south coast was lovingly created by Rocco Forte and elegantly decorated by Olga Polizzi. Set in groomed shore-hugging grounds, each room or suite has a private sea-view terrace, and bathrooms are especially spacious and luxurious. 

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Two drinks in the Granita bar

Facilities

Photos Verdura Resort facilities

Need to know

Rooms

A total of 203, including 50 suites and three villas.

Check–Out

11am, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $273.91 (€241), excluding tax at 10 per cent.

More details

Rates include breakfast and use of the spa, beach facilities, golf range and the resort's bicycles. City tax (‎€3.50 a person, each night, for every guest over 12) is charged at check-out. A half-board supplement for under-12s is available for €43 a day.

Also

Make sure you book spa treatments as far in advance as possible so you can properly anticipate relaxation.

At the hotel

Spa and thalassotherapy pools, helipad, gardens, two championship-level 18-hole golf courses and a nine-hole par three course, private beach, fitness studio, salon, free WiFi throughout (high-speed WiFi for an extra charge). In your room: flatscreen TV with satellite channels, pay-per-view films, well-stocked in-room bar, CD and DVD player, and Ortigia toiletries.

Our favourite rooms

Many rooms can interconnect, perfect for larger parties or families; all have sea views. Wooden shutters ensure all light is blocked so it feels like midnight at midday, so no need for troubled sleepers to bring their eye masks.

Poolside

The spa’s sleek, slate-tiled, 25-metre heated indoor pool is good for cloudier days. The star attraction is the parasol- and lounger-edged, 60-metre outdoor pool, between the private stretch of coast and Verdura’s main building; a lifeguard surveys this pool and the shore all summer. For guests in the spa, there are also heated, mineral-rich thalassotherapy pools overlooking the rolling green grass, olive groves and mountains.

Spa

A vision in sand-coloured stone and earthy hues, Verdura Spa is a stand-alone sanctuary at the heart of the resort, with a museum-proportioned hammam, sophisticated relaxation areas and a juice bar. This Sicilian luxury spa takes a holistic approach to wellbeing, with an extensive menu of treatments infused with organic Sicilian plant oils and extracts that promise to promote anti-ageing, detoxification and fitness. Book a couples massage in one of the double treatment suites, and be sure to pop in the steam room and Finnish sauna.

Packing tips

Tennis kit will be handy if you fancy a whirl on the courts. Bring comfortable outdoor footwear to take advantage of the jogging, trekking and cycling trails that meander through the resort’s olive, orange and lemon trees.

Also

Many of the fitness classes take place outdoors, such as Sunset and Sunrise Yoga.

Children

Very welcome. The Kids' Club (for four to 12s) is free and there's a nursery for under-threes (€20 an hour or €60 for four hours and €115 for six). Babysitting costs €24 an hour until midnight and €30 an hour after that.

Best for

Families with children of all ages, looking for a sun-drenched beach break.

Recommended rooms

A baby cot can be added to all room categories for free, and a sofa bed for little Smiths can be also added to all room categories (free for children up to 12, €40 for 13 to 18 year-olds, €80 for over-18s).

Crèche

The seasonal (April to October) Babies nursery, for newborns through to three year olds, has supervised indoor and outdoor play spaces and a sleep room. Sessions are €20 an hour, €60 for a four-hour half day (including lunch), or €115 for a full day (including lunch), and booking is essential. Parents can attend sessions if they wish, too.

Activities

Open during half term and the school holidays (daily from 10am–8pm), Verdùland is the hotel's theme-park-sized, free-to-attend kids club; a 450sq m space comprising dedicated areas for different age groups. There are two parts, one for four-to-12 year olds and another for 13 to 16 year olds. The section for younger kids is tricked out and techy with a TV room, games room and a science lab. Hotel mascot, Verdù the hedgehog, holds lively themed activities focused on education (Sicilian history, astrology, mythology, gardening and language), arts and crafts (painting, pottery, sculpture, dance, short-film making, drama and a Verdura's Got Talent competition), sport (gentle yoga and gymnastics), and food (learning to cook a range of globally inspired dishes in a tot-tailored kitchen) with beach trips in between. There's a supervised shallow pool too (with a maximum depth of 1.20 metres), for games of water polo. Older kids can play video games, table tennis or pool, and listen to music. More adventurous sporting options include beginners lessons in a range of watersports, horse-riding, trekking and biking; and on-site sporting institutions (football and golf academies, and a tennis clinic) help to hone skills. Bespoke programmes of yoga, sports and spa treatments can be arranged, and bootcamps for the more daring. Some activities are charged: three, two-hour golf lessons are €80–120 (including kit), two-and-a-half-hour coaching sessions at the Juventus football academy are from €370–485, tennis coaching is €69–275 for one to five lessons, and swimming lessons are €65–260. On rainy days, the hotel can arrange pizza-making classes at Liolà.

Meals

Highchairs are available throughout the hotel, but for the most appealing children’s menus Liolà is great fun. VerdùDine is the healthy buffet-dining option in the kids club (€18 a child). Off-season, the only rendezvous open to serve food at lunchtime is la Granita bar.

Babysitting

Babysitters can be booked at €24 an hour in advance; for a maximum of two children.After midnight, the charge is €30 an hour.

No need to pack

The hotel has highchairs, sterilisers, bottles, weaning spoons, bibs, beakers, changing mats, baby baths, pushchairs, infant car seats, playpens, soft toys, crayons, potties, stair gates, socket covers, swimming aids, and car booster seats.

Also

Bring your favourite flicks on your computer if you don’t want to pay €5 for an in-room movie (guests get one film free).

Food and Drink

Photos Verdura Resort food and drink

Top Table

It’s the usual seaside shtick here: you may like to sit by the window for a lovely view.

Dress Code

Since this is a luxury resort in Italy you can expect guests to look elegant and groomed – so unless your jeans are Armani, maybe don’t do totally casual if you want to fit in.

Hotel restaurant

Buon Giorno is the chic but casual main dining room where a sprawling buffet breakfast is available 7am–10.30am. La Zagara offers sophisticated Mediterranean dining 7.30pm–10.30pm: reserve a table on its terrace in balmy months. Amare is the Olga Polizzi-styled beachside restaurant open in summer, with fresh Mediterranean favourites and barbecued seafood, and folding glazing for the best views. Families will love the pizzeria, Liolà, Verdura’s colourful take on a traditional local trattoria and a golf-buggy-ride away at the in-resort ersatz village Torre Verdura.

Hotel bar

Depending on the time of day and year, the pool bar is a charming spot for a tipple. Granita is the glossy lounge bar on the same level as reception, which as glamorous as it is, still welcomes families graciously. Off-season this is where to order lunch. During the summer months the Torre Bar is a wonderful place for drink; sit outside and you may hear dulcet notes drifting over from the piazzetta by the tower, where local musicians add a little extra heart and soul. Drinks from the Pool Bar can be delivered directly to your chaise-longue, as can salads, sandwiches and burgers. Open in summer, the Beach Bar is the place for a frosty drink or a post-watersports apéritif. The Spa Bar serves vitamin-packed cocktails created with fresh fruit and vegetables and light healthy dishes.

Last orders

Drinks served until 1am. Liolà is open from April–October.

Room service

Classic pasta dishes and more substantial favourites from the main menu can be wheeled to your own room, with your meal set up at a linen-topped tablecloth on your terrace making it feel like a true extension of the restaurant.

Location

Photos Verdura Resort location
Address
Verdura Resort
SS 115 km 131
Sciacca (AG)
92019
Italy

Planes

Palermo airport is 134 kilometres away from the hotel, which is approximately 80 minutes away by car.

Automobiles

Sticking to the main roads, drive to Sciaccia and then there's a 10-minute drive to the hotel where there's free valet parking.

Other

The hotel can arrange a helicopter transfer service.

Worth getting out of bed for

The fitness studio has daily classes, including Pilates and yoga for €25 a person. Watersports, including scuba diving, stand-up paddle-boarding, knee-boarding and kayaking, can be arranged from the jetty. Or hire one of the resort's boats for a trip to Torre Salsa, Scala dei Turchi, Capo Bianco or Sciacca, finishing your day with a romantic picnic at sunset. On terra firma, the world is your oyster: say the word and a bike can be delivered to your room. The concierge can also arrange most activities, from boat and helicopter excursions to horse-riding. The Sunball Tennis Academy holds frequent classes (ranging €68 for an individual lesson to €305 for five); tournaments and camps are held here throughout the year, and instructors have worked with some all-time greats. On a hot day, you would struggle to decide which sun-drenched terrace to lie on next – this is a resort made for soaking up those Mediterranean rays. Since this luxury Sicily resort has just under two kilometres of private coast, it does indeed have its own beach, which is both pebbly and sandy. If it’s a tad too shingly for you, powder-soft perfection is just a 20-minute drive away along the coast. Venture beyond the groomed grounds and golf course of Verdura, and you don’t have to drive far to experience a taste of authentic Sicilian life and some of the world’s most exciting archeological sites – Agrigento, and the Valley of the Temples, is just under an hour’s drive. Some of the best-preserved relics of Greece’s Golden Age remain at Agrigento. One of eight magnificent temples, a Doric structure built in the 5th century BC is as iconic in appearance as the Parthenon here on this very special Unesco World Heritage site. The Leopard, the classic novel by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, is based on Santa Margherita di Belice – which is a short drive west from Verdura.

 

Reviews

Photos Verdura Resort reviews
Tori Dance

Anonymous review

By Tori Dance, Culture hound

It’s a Sunday morning in Sicily, and we’re fully invested in la dolce vita. The late summer sun beams down on the Mediterranean shoreline, and our breakfast table heaves with ambrosial Italian coffee, a mountain of traditional pastries and bowls of fresh-as-can-be ricotta. Three flavours of home-made granita sit temptingly on the buffet table; it might technically be a dessert, but as it has been made with the oranges and almonds that grow on Verdura Resort’s estate, it would be rude to ignore them.

Across the pool, Italy’s kaftan-clad glitterati have settled themselves in for the day, chattering at full tilt, espressos in hand, oversized sunglasses on head, as the lifeguard tends to their whims. Rocco Forte’s one and only resort hotel offers modern, laidback luxury.

The pool itself is impressive, sprawling across two levels: 60 metres of clean lines and curves. The hotel behind it is comprised of low-slung, statement architecture, finished in natural materials that complement the breathtaking surrounds.

Mr Smith and I headed beyond the pool, down to the waterfront to find our own sun-worshipping spot for the day. After a wander down the jetty and a quick dip in the sea, I take a blissful time-out with my book, all set and ready for a day of seemingly endless lounging.

Verdura is a playground for the rich and famous, and our room’s ensuite does a stellar job of making me feel like one of them, with twin sinks, rain shower, deep bath tub – hell, we seem to have our own massage table, too… Delightfully scented Ortigia bath products are the icing on the cake; made locally, using nothing but natural Sicilian ingredients, they certainly smell good enough to eat.

Instead, we devour the homegrown white peaches that have magically appeared in our bedroom, a warm and inviting space. An enormous wooden four-poster bed takes centre stage, billowing mosquito nets giving it a fairy-tale feel. Outside, our private balcony is the perfect spot for quaffing cocktails as the sun dips slowly into the sea below.

Later, we head to Zagara, the resort’s fine-dining restaurant, where the chef stays true to Sicilian tradition while exploring the boundaries of modern Mediterranean dining. Our waiter is as effervescent and entertaining as he is knowledgeable; we heed his recommendation to try the Sicilian pink fizz produced on the other side of the island, in the shadow of Mount Etna.

Our meal is nothing short of spectacular, from the intoxicatingly fresh olive oil harvested from the grounds, to the veal carpaccio, shrimp spaghettoni and pistachio-crumbed lamb loin. We roll back to our suite like two fat but very happy Italian pigs.  

Shortly after the morning light peeks through the gap in our shutters, we stir and head out into the grounds. Our plan was to blow away prosecco-fuelled cobwebs with a bike ride around the estate. However, we frequently pull over to admire the fresh produce planted every few metres – tomatoes, pomegranates, melons, olives, almonds – which made this a ride of lower-intensity than planned.

Verdura is a large resort, with a few more rooms than the average Smith boutique hotel anyway… But thanks to its clever design, cosy restaurants and grounds you could happily lose yourself in, the stay feels intimate.

Post-workout, we tested the limits of the breakfast buffet. Once again full of Italian goodies, we then head to the nearby Unesco World Heritage Site Scala dei Turchi or ‘Stair of the Turks’.

We climb the slippery white-marl rock, dodging selfie-stick wielders and weary Instagram husbands to reach the summit. Our timing is ideal as we nab a prime spot on the ‘sunlounger’ carved into the rock summit by Mother Nature. It’s a truly magical spot and one that was made even better when Mr Smith wandered off – only for him to return with two ice-cold Birra Morettis from the beach shack. A true romantic…

We headed back to the ranch in time for a late lunch. At Verdura fresh pasta is a specialty; well, that and the pistachio gelato. We ordered both – well, we were on holiday – before heading our separate ways: Mr Smith to take on nine holes of golf; me to ‘tackle’ the four thalassotherapy pools in the spa.

Two hours later, I’m in seventh heaven. Then Mr Smith returned with a beaming great smile and newfound confidence in his swing, thanks to the on-site golf pro whom he credits as a real-life magician. I took one last circuit of the jetted pools as I was regaled with tales from the golf course, before it was time to go home.

‘Sicily is the clue to everything’, said German poet and polymath Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. After a weekend spent on the south coast, warmed by the late summer sun, I’m inclined to agree with him. And if Sicily is the clue, the Verdura lifestyle is without doubt a piece of the puzzle.

 

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 Verdura Resort’s Guestbook below.

We loved

The bedroom – the bed and linen, the blackout shutters, the wonderful bathroom and lush toiletries. The breakfast – so much choice. The spa pool – aesthetic and practical. The staff – welcoming and professional.

Don’t expect

There to be much to do in the surrounding area, you'll have to travel quite a way off site if you want anywhere else to eat or swim.

Rating

Stayed on 3 Oct 2018

We loved

The hotel is really amazing; the room we had was fantastic and the service, food, scenery, etc. was really great. It's really quiet and peaceful, the direct access to the sea via the private beach is great, the pool is large and well-maintained, the grounds are great for exercise, bicycling, etc. The restaurants, especially Zagara, have excellent food and great service!

Don’t expect

Lively nightlife or much to do outside the resort itself.

Rating

Stayed on 19 Sep 2017

We loved

The setting, rooms, friendly and helpful staff, the golf, the bicycles and more...The thalasso spa baths are fantastic. 

Don’t expect

Could have been more variety on the menus. The spa treatments are extremely expensive.

Rating

Stayed on 29 Jun 2017

We loved

The golf experience, the beach bar lunch and the fish restaurant overlooking the sea .

Don’t expect

Cheap prices, but it was still worth every penny!

Rating

Stayed on 2 Jun 2017

We loved

The location is fantastic, the spa and raw food bar is amazing.

Don’t expect

Family facilities or a quiet night's sleep if you're in room 7.

Rating

Stayed on 5 May 2017

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