All-inclusive resorts are usually a Fathom taboo. Unless it's a sleek Sicilian golf resort with stellar seaside views, high-end dining options, and a full-service spa. Christina Ohly checks out the secluded, self-sustaining spot outside Catania that's surprisingly hard to leave. And this time, we're okay with that.
Sleek stone finishes and fine linens, endless pools and play spaces, and four different and delicious restaurants mean you'll never want to leave Verdura Resort, a golf resort and spa on the southwestern coast of Sicily.
Claim to Fame
The spa is spectacular, with white zen spaces at every turn. Excellent aestheticians specialize in deep tissue massage.
What's on Site
Everything is on site: a great gym, a full-service spa, a pizzeria, and fine dining options. There's WiFi everywhere, but you'll only find Italian channels on television. Consider it part of the cultural immersion, like the resort's soccer clinics for kids led by Juventus players.
Details at Granita Bar, one of the many food and drink options on-site.
This is a Verdura highlight. Breakfast is served on an enormous poolside patio, and lunch and dinner options range from a simple pizzeria to the seaside Amare, where you get to select your fish from the catch of the day. Chef Fulvio Pierangelini, the famous executive chef of all Rocco Forte Hotels, is often around. He's wonderful, as are his on-site cooking classes.
This Place Is Perfect For
Families, as there are so many kid-centric activities and facilities: A long beach with toys and boats, various pools, tennis courts, and a manageable golf course. Soccer clinics, cool babysitters, and endless room for running around are other highlights. Verdura is also perfect for sun-seekers from the United Kingdom who can fly easily into Palermo or Catania for a weekend away.
But Not So Perfect For
Honeymooners. It seems a bit big and bustling. You never feel like you're seeing other people, so I'm sure there are secluded spaces, but they're not the order of the day.
Room with a View
I stayed in a junior suite with my two pre-teens. It was spacious and comfortable, with incredibly high ceilings and atmospheric linen netting over the king-size bed. Sweeping views of the golf course and the sea made for a relaxing stay.
Seriously awesome soccer camp headed by Juventus footballers.
There is no town nearby, but you won't want to leave anyway. This is a self-sustaining compound, with food, drink, classes, sports of all kinds, beauty treatments...the list is endless. The only downside to all of this is that you'll feel slightly guilty for being in this historical part of the world and wanting to sit poolside, prosecco in hand, doing nothing more than reading a book between lunch and dinner.
What to Do Nearby
The Valley of the Temples in nearby Agrigento and the city of Catania, a UNESCO World Heritage site, are both musts. Force yourself off the sun lounger for these bits of culture and for a quick detour to the seaside village of Sciacca. This last stop provides a real dose of local color and a look at a working fishing port. Other nearby attractions include the ruins of Selinunte, Le Scale dei Turchi, and Eraclea Minoa.
Step out to seaside Sciacca. Photo by Christina Ohly.
Rates start at €220. Click here for reservations.