Pros

  • Beautiful historic Taormina hotel with a private beach on a turquoise bay
  • Originally built in 1919 as a private summer villa for the engineer behind Sicily's railways
  • Exquisite rooms and suites with flat-screen satellite TVs and, in most, bay views
  • Private beach has cushioned sun loungers; private cabanas available to rent
  • Waterfront indoor/outdoor restaurant serves all meals
  • Breakfast included in the rates; half-board rates available
  • Main bar open daily for food and drink
  • Heated infinity pool overlooking bay, with towel service and a pool bar
  • Beach bar with cocktails, coffee, ice cream, and snacks
  • Fitness center and water sports, plus free boat tour during the summer
  • Spa with steam room, hair salon, and open-air massages
  • 24-hour room service
  • Free supervised kids’ club
  • Free shuttle to sister hotel in Taormina, with free access to hotel facilities
  • Hotel can accommodate weddings and professional conferences
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout
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Cons

  • Food and drink prices might cause sticker shock, even in pricey Taormina
  • Beach is more rocky than sandy (typical for this part of Sicily)
See More Cons

Bottom Line

The luxurious Belmond Villa Sant’Andrea is a family-friendly boutique resort offering exceptional quality and service. The hotel’s 71 rooms and suites are beautifully decorated with pale woods, marble, and fine Sicilian art. Nearly all have a furnished balcony facing the one of the prettiest bays in Taormina. The hotel’s private beach is set up with a bar and cushioned loungers; cabanas can be rented for a fee. There are free boat rides in the summer and a heated pool with its own bar. The hotel’s indoor/outdoor restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner -- free for guests, breakfast is an ample spread of eggs, bacon, pastries, granita, and more. For this level of quality, the only hotel that can really compare is Sant’Andrea’s sister hotel, Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo, but it lacks this hotel's spot by the sea. Travelers who want to be at the beach for considerably less money should check out VOI Grand Hotel Mazzaro Sea Palace, an upscale hotel located just on the other end of the bay.

See More Bottom Line

Amenities

  • Fitness Center
  • Internet
  • Kids Club
  • Pool
  • Spa

Oyster Hotel Review

Belmond Villa Sant’Andrea

What’s the Scene Like at Belmond Villa Sant'Andrea?

Luxurious villa hotel in beautiful garden by the sea

The experience on offer at Belmond Villa Sant’Andrea is pretty exceptional for Taormina -- it is the lone truly luxurious hotel in the area on the beach. (Sant’Andrea’s sister hotel, Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo, certainly compares -- in fact, surpasses -- but it’s up on the hill and not right on the water. VOI Grand Hotel Mazzaro Sea Palace and VOI Grand Hotel Atlantis Bay are on the beach and quite upscale, but neither are at Sant'Andrea's level in terms of luxury.) Sant’Andrea was originally built in 1919 as the summer home for Robert Trewhella, the English engineer who built many railroads around Sicily and Italy, including the route around Mount Etna, and, on the mainland, the railway connecting Florence and Bologna through the Apennine mountain range. Trewhella’s son converted to hotel into a glamorous hotel for jet-setters in the 1950s. Decades later, the property still retains the feel of an exclusive private residence, with smoked mirrors in the bar, a grand piano, and an original fireplace with an incredible wood mantel. The Belmond Group brought Sant’Andrea and its sister property, Timeo, in 2010 and, in 2014, added a new wing that fits in seamlessly with the original property. 

The whole pretty package is framed by the stunning Bay of Mazzaro and lush gardens filled with herbs and vegetables (including cayenne peppers and chard), wisteria, lemon trees, bright red geraniums, and old stone walls. The hotel’s sheltered location on the Ionian Sea, dignified architecture and history, manicured grounds, and refined atmosphere make it the obvious choice for luxury travelers who want to be on the water and can handle the high prices. (A single Negroni costs as much as a full meal elsewhere -- and that's saying a lot in pricey Taormina.) Perhaps surprisingly, Sant’Andrea is welcoming of families with small children. It attracts clientele from the U.S., the U.K., Russia, and the Middle East; the average length of stay is four or five nights -- a good while, considering that average room rates are well in the quadruple digits. (Belmond Group was bought by Louis Vuitton in 2018, if that's any indication of the type of traveler this property attracts.) Note that the hotel is seasonal, closing between the end of October through early April. Prospective travelers to this part of Sicily should know that the majority of area hotels and restaurants close after Christmas until beginning of March.

See More What’s the Scene Like at Belmond Villa Sant'Andrea?

Where is Belmond Villa Sant'Andrea Located?

Prime seaside real estate in Taormina

Belmond Villa Sant’Andrea is on the Bay of Mazzaro, a calm lapis bay in the Ionian Sea below the historic town of Taormina. It’s less than a five-minute walk from the hotel to the funicular up to Taormina town (the hotel offers shuttles to the town center, also) and about an eight-minute walk to stunning Isola Bella, though be aware that walking along the curvy Via Nazionale requires lots of caution. Getting between the hotel and  Catania Fontanarossa Airport should take about 45 minutes without any traffic.

See More Where is Belmond Villa Sant'Andrea Located?

What are the Rooms Like at Belmond Villa Sant'Andrea?

Elegant rooms and suites, most facing the sea

In line with Sant’Andrea’s upscale atmosphere and facilities, the 71 guest rooms and suites are some of the most plush and well-decorated in Sicily, with fine furnishings, original art, antique mirrors, and fresh orchids. Distinctly Sicilian touches include ceramic pine cones, the Sicilian symbol for fertility, made in the famous ceramics town of Caltagirone in the island’s interior. 

Categories begin with Classic Double Rooms, which overlook the hotel’s lush garden or courtyard. For bay views, upgrade to a Superior Double Room, with either a picture window or French balcony facing the water. Deluxe Double Rooms have ensure views of Mazzaro with their private balconies or terraces. Junior Suites add sitting areas, Nespresso machines, and La Via del Te teas from Florence (English breakfast, jasmine, mint), plus separate rainfall showers and bathtubs in some of the Deluxe Junior Suites. Executive Junior Suites are the top room category. Connecting suites are available.

All rooms have flat-screen TVs with satellite channels, air-conditioning, beach bags with flip-flops, and minibars with butter cookies, fruit candies, chips, and liquors. Marble bathrooms feature a full array of Sicilian Ortigia bath products (bar soap, lotion, shampoo, shower gel); certain suites have copper tubs with Sicilian or mosaic tiled walls. Rooms are cleaned twice a day by housekeeping. Wi-Fi is free in the rooms.

See More What are the Rooms Like at Belmond Villa Sant'Andrea?

What are the Features at Belmond Villa Sant'Andrea?

A private beach, a heated pool, a free boat ride, and a restaurant with outdoor seating, plus access to the features at sister hotel in Taormina

As expected, Sant’Andrea has a fabulous lineup of hotel amenities. Its indoor/outdoor restaurant Oliviero has waterfront seating and serves all meals daily, including a free breakfast. (Guests can also commute up to Timeo via the free shuttle to try breakfast there.) Oliviero serves an upscale lunch and dinner menu with items like pan-fried lemony scallops, spaghetti with local clams, and Mediterranean fish couscous. There is also a tasting menu with seafood salad, Sicilian “Nebrodi” black pig ham, goat cheese ravioli, tuna with Sicilian red wine jam, and almond-crusted rack of lamb. The hotel’s outdoor bar with a bay-facing terrace serves drinks like Etna reds and Negronis and lunch options like pizza, seafood, and gelato. As in the restaurant, prices are quite high, though drinks do come with potato chips, olives, and snack mix. Round-the-clock room service is also available.

The hotel’s private beach has sun loungers with food and drink service and, for a fee, luxury four-person cabanas with minibars, waiter service, and a shaded veranda. Water sports like paddleboards and kayaks come at a fee, and, during the summer, the hotel offers a free boat tour three times a day -- the hour-and-a-half trip goes to the Blue Grotto, Isola Bella, and nearby bays. If the ocean water is cold, then Sant’Andrea’s heated pool, complete with its own bar serving gelato and drinks, is an appealing alternative. The wellness has open-air rooms for massages and other treatments, all using beauty products made locally from Sicilian ingredients, such as kumquat, orange, and lava stone. There is no sauna, but guests can use the one at Timeo, and Sant’Andrea has a steam bath and fitness center with Technogym equipment. For little guests, the hotel runs a supervised kids’ club with activities like cannoli-making and outdoor exploration. 

Belmond Villa Sant’Andrea is available for weddings for up to 200 guests, as well as professional conferences. The hotel offers a free shuttle bus to Timeo, the sister hotel in Taormina center right next to the ancient Greek theater. Guests have access to the amenities at Timeo, including the breakfast. Wi-Fi is free throughout Belmond Villa Sant’Andrea.

See More What are the Features at Belmond Villa Sant'Andrea?

Things You Should Know About Belmond Villa Sant’Andrea

Also Known As

  • Villa Sant'Andrea by Orient-Express

Address

Via Nazionale 137, Mazzaro, 98039, United States

Website

Oyster Hotel Review

Belmond Villa Sant’Andrea

What’s the Scene Like at Belmond Villa Sant'Andrea?

Luxurious villa hotel in beautiful garden by the sea

The experience on offer at Belmond Villa Sant’Andrea is pretty exceptional for Taormina -- it is the lone truly luxurious hotel in the area on the beach. (Sant’Andrea’s sister hotel, Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo, certainly compares -- in fact, surpasses -- but it’s up on the hill and not right on the water. VOI Grand Hotel Mazzaro Sea Palace and VOI Grand Hotel Atlantis Bay are on the beach and quite upscale, but neither are at Sant'Andrea's level in terms of luxury.) Sant’Andrea was originally built in 1919 as the summer home for Robert Trewhella, the English engineer who built many railroads around Sicily and Italy, including the route around Mount Etna, and, on the mainland, the railway connecting Florence and Bologna through the Apennine mountain range. Trewhella’s son converted to hotel into a glamorous hotel for jet-setters in the 1950s. Decades later, the property still retains the feel of an exclusive private residence, with smoked mirrors in the bar, a grand piano, and an original fireplace with an incredible wood mantel. The Belmond Group brought Sant’Andrea and its sister property, Timeo, in 2010 and, in 2014, added a new wing that fits in seamlessly with the original property. 

The whole pretty package is framed by the stunning Bay of Mazzaro and lush gardens filled with herbs and vegetables (including cayenne peppers and chard), wisteria, lemon trees, bright red geraniums, and old stone walls. The hotel’s sheltered location on the Ionian Sea, dignified architecture and history, manicured grounds, and refined atmosphere make it the obvious choice for luxury travelers who want to be on the water and can handle the high prices. (A single Negroni costs as much as a full meal elsewhere -- and that's saying a lot in pricey Taormina.) Perhaps surprisingly, Sant’Andrea is welcoming of families with small children. It attracts clientele from the U.S., the U.K., Russia, and the Middle East; the average length of stay is four or five nights -- a good while, considering that average room rates are well in the quadruple digits. (Belmond Group was bought by Louis Vuitton in 2018, if that's any indication of the type of traveler this property attracts.) Note that the hotel is seasonal, closing between the end of October through early April. Prospective travelers to this part of Sicily should know that the majority of area hotels and restaurants close after Christmas until beginning of March.

See More What’s the Scene Like at Belmond Villa Sant'Andrea?

Where is Belmond Villa Sant'Andrea Located?

Prime seaside real estate in Taormina

Belmond Villa Sant’Andrea is on the Bay of Mazzaro, a calm lapis bay in the Ionian Sea below the historic town of Taormina. It’s less than a five-minute walk from the hotel to the funicular up to Taormina town (the hotel offers shuttles to the town center, also) and about an eight-minute walk to stunning Isola Bella, though be aware that walking along the curvy Via Nazionale requires lots of caution. Getting between the hotel and  Catania Fontanarossa Airport should take about 45 minutes without any traffic.

See More Where is Belmond Villa Sant'Andrea Located?

What are the Rooms Like at Belmond Villa Sant'Andrea?

Elegant rooms and suites, most facing the sea

In line with Sant’Andrea’s upscale atmosphere and facilities, the 71 guest rooms and suites are some of the most plush and well-decorated in Sicily, with fine furnishings, original art, antique mirrors, and fresh orchids. Distinctly Sicilian touches include ceramic pine cones, the Sicilian symbol for fertility, made in the famous ceramics town of Caltagirone in the island’s interior. 

Categories begin with Classic Double Rooms, which overlook the hotel’s lush garden or courtyard. For bay views, upgrade to a Superior Double Room, with either a picture window or French balcony facing the water. Deluxe Double Rooms have ensure views of Mazzaro with their private balconies or terraces. Junior Suites add sitting areas, Nespresso machines, and La Via del Te teas from Florence (English breakfast, jasmine, mint), plus separate rainfall showers and bathtubs in some of the Deluxe Junior Suites. Executive Junior Suites are the top room category. Connecting suites are available.

All rooms have flat-screen TVs with satellite channels, air-conditioning, beach bags with flip-flops, and minibars with butter cookies, fruit candies, chips, and liquors. Marble bathrooms feature a full array of Sicilian Ortigia bath products (bar soap, lotion, shampoo, shower gel); certain suites have copper tubs with Sicilian or mosaic tiled walls. Rooms are cleaned twice a day by housekeeping. Wi-Fi is free in the rooms.

See More What are the Rooms Like at Belmond Villa Sant'Andrea?

What are the Features at Belmond Villa Sant'Andrea?

A private beach, a heated pool, a free boat ride, and a restaurant with outdoor seating, plus access to the features at sister hotel in Taormina

As expected, Sant’Andrea has a fabulous lineup of hotel amenities. Its indoor/outdoor restaurant Oliviero has waterfront seating and serves all meals daily, including a free breakfast. (Guests can also commute up to Timeo via the free shuttle to try breakfast there.) Oliviero serves an upscale lunch and dinner menu with items like pan-fried lemony scallops, spaghetti with local clams, and Mediterranean fish couscous. There is also a tasting menu with seafood salad, Sicilian “Nebrodi” black pig ham, goat cheese ravioli, tuna with Sicilian red wine jam, and almond-crusted rack of lamb. The hotel’s outdoor bar with a bay-facing terrace serves drinks like Etna reds and Negronis and lunch options like pizza, seafood, and gelato. As in the restaurant, prices are quite high, though drinks do come with potato chips, olives, and snack mix. Round-the-clock room service is also available.

The hotel’s private beach has sun loungers with food and drink service and, for a fee, luxury four-person cabanas with minibars, waiter service, and a shaded veranda. Water sports like paddleboards and kayaks come at a fee, and, during the summer, the hotel offers a free boat tour three times a day -- the hour-and-a-half trip goes to the Blue Grotto, Isola Bella, and nearby bays. If the ocean water is cold, then Sant’Andrea’s heated pool, complete with its own bar serving gelato and drinks, is an appealing alternative. The wellness has open-air rooms for massages and other treatments, all using beauty products made locally from Sicilian ingredients, such as kumquat, orange, and lava stone. There is no sauna, but guests can use the one at Timeo, and Sant’Andrea has a steam bath and fitness center with Technogym equipment. For little guests, the hotel runs a supervised kids’ club with activities like cannoli-making and outdoor exploration. 

Belmond Villa Sant’Andrea is available for weddings for up to 200 guests, as well as professional conferences. The hotel offers a free shuttle bus to Timeo, the sister hotel in Taormina center right next to the ancient Greek theater. Guests have access to the amenities at Timeo, including the breakfast. Wi-Fi is free throughout Belmond Villa Sant’Andrea.

See More What are the Features at Belmond Villa Sant'Andrea?

Best Rates

Amenities

  • Air Conditioner

  • Airport Transportation

  • Babysitting Services

  • Balcony / Terrace / Patio

  • Beach

  • Beauty / Hair Salon

  • Business Center

  • Cable

  • Concierge

  • Dry Cleaning

  • Fitness Center

  • Free Breakfast

  • Internet

  • Kids Allowed

  • Kids Club

  • Laundry

  • Meeting / Conference Rooms

  • Mini Bar (with liquor)

  • Pool

  • Room Service

  • Separate Bedroom / Living Room Space

  • Spa

  • Supervised Kids Activities

Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.