Pantelleria is a volcanic island of hot springs and hidden coves, 100km southwest of Sicily. The domed, stone houses peculiar to this island are known as dammusi and it is in a number of these ancient dwellings, hugged by olive groves and vineyards, that owner Giulia Pazienza Gelmetti has spent 10 years creating Sikelia. Giulia’s niece Katherina took care of the interiors, using metals, concrete and glass to reflect the wild beauty of Pantelleria; the artist/designer Gennaro Avallone added paintings, furniture and decorative objects that reference Pantelleria’s heritage. The finished effect is extraordinarily beautiful: as if an ancient monastery had been given a makeover by an Italian design magazine. Pantelleria is not a destination for beach-lovers: while swimmers can slip from the smooth, volcanic rocks into the transparent waters, there are no beaches. But what the island lacks in sand, it more than makes up for in natural spa facilities, from the health-giving mud of its volcanic lake to the natural sauna of Benikulà Cave.
Sikelia offers just 20 Suites. Each one is different but they all offer private terraces, overlooking either the hotel’s tranquil courtyard and pool or the sea. Some have vaulted stone ceilings; others have outdoor dining areas. And they all share the same obsessive attention to detail, furnished with fine Italian linens and original artworks.
One of Italy’s least-known holiday spots, Pantelleria offers a chance to truly get away from it all. With little light pollution, the night skies here are simply magical, with a nocturnal mud bath particularly recommended. Take a boat out and follow the rugged coastline, dropping anchor to discover your own private hot springs in a secret cove; hire a car and explore the towns and villages that pepper the landscape; or spend the day by the walled pool or in Sikelia’s tranquil Arabic garden.
Couples / romantics
THINGS TO DO AT THE HOTEL:
Spend a relaxing day by the walled pool or in the tranquil Arabic garden
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