Hotel Signum, Salina
Laidback and ever so peaceful, this restored country house features simple, stylish bedrooms, a pool, spa and exquisite home-cooked food served on a dining terrace overlooking the pretty flower-filled garden. Situated in Malfa, the hotel is a 20-minute drive from Salina’s main port of Santa Marina, and a short walk through Malfa’s narrow streets to the clear blue sea.
Run by husband and wife team, Michele and Clara, this is slow living at its best. Wafts of jasmine pervade the entire pastel-coloured complex and the infinity pool has views across to Panarea and Stromboli. The spa is small but enticing, with a steam room, outdoor hot tubs, plunge and water massage pools. Spa treatments make use of the mineral-rich Aeolian thermal waters and local almond milk, with some conducted on a bed of thermal rose salt.
Bedrooms and suites are situated in restored farm buildings with views over the gardens or the sea. Classic and minimalist, they are dotted with antique furniture and designer touches, with large windows that allow in perfumed sea breezes. All rooms are individually styled. Classic, Superior and Deluxe rooms generally have a smaller terrace or balcony although the Deluxe Room with Terrace has a terrace overlooking the pool. With a living room and space for up to two extra beds, the Suites are the best option for families.
Restaurant and eating out
The Signum restaurant has recently been awarded a Michelin star, thanks to Martina Caruso, the owners’ daughter and the youngest Italian chef to have earned the Michelin accolade.
Lunch (generally light and informal) and dinner are served on the shaded dining terrace. The menu is simple but delicious, featuring Aeolian fish dishes and homemade pasta prepared from freshly sourced local ingredients. Guests are requested to book dinner (from around €40) by lunchtime of the same day.
When you feel like a change of scene, there are a couple of good restaurants and a local pizzeria in Malfa as well as in Santa Marina and Lingua. In Lingua, Da Alfredo is best-known for its fabulous granitas (including fig and almond flavours).
The hotel is situated on Salina, the greenest of the Aeolian Islands, in the village of Malfa. Beaches on the island are generally stony - the nearest beach is a short stroll from the hotel.
The best way to get around the island is by scooter. There are just two roads, one to Pollara, the location shot for the cliff-backed beach scene in the film of Il Postino, and the other to Leni. Alternatively, explore the rocky coastline and crystal-clear water by boat – snorkelling and diving are both great options on the island – and ask the hotel about boat excursions to neighbouring islands. There are also regular ferries from Salina to the other Aeolian islands.
If you enjoy walking, there are a number of marked trails including those that scale the island’s twin volcanic peaks.
Getting there: Hop on a hydrofoil or ferry from Milazzo, around two hours by car from Catania, in north east Sicily. It is a 20-minute taxi ride to the hotel from Salina’s port at Santa Marina.
A 7-night stay sharing a classic double room starts at £ 970 per person including breakfast and private airport transfers.
Prices are subject to availability, special offers and current exchange rate.
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Santa Marina, Salina
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