It’s Worth a Trip to Sicily Just for This
Imagine sunning by a modern pool idly gazing upon Mount Etna smoking in the distance with the smell of citrus wafting through the air…
It should be on a list of top 10 hotels to visit but it was only chance that I found out about Zash Country Boutique Hotel. I was having dinner with a friend and mentioned I was still trying to figure out what to do with myself during my day and a half in Sicily.
He raved about the amazing experience he had and pulled up all his pictures of the amazing property. And when I arrived a few weeks later it was even better than it had looked on his phone.
Set in a working tangelo grove a little outside the town of Riposto, the driveway winds through the fragrant grounds before ending up at the historic manor house.
I had gotten lost on the way there and arrived a little frantic, but the owners, both of whom were there to give me a warm welcome, soon put me at ease, offering a beverage before I was given a quick tour and my choice of 3 rooms. I had a choice of the first floor of the manor house looking out of the tangelo groves, and pretty thrilling room set in the old wine cellar, but in the end I chose the room “in the garden” that featured a glass walls looking out into a private green space.
Well, a semi-private garden as I discovered the next morning there was a room behind me that shared the garden path my room looked out on.
The room had a an emphasis on minimalism without sacrificing comfort.
Zash provides fluffy terry slippers, but no bathrobe. The cement floors made it rather cool at night, but it warms quickly with the heater.
The bathroom was what really attracted me. I loved the outdoor feeling of the rocks underneath the washstand. And was pretty amused by the cute little lizard that visited in the morning. There were dual shower heads, and great water pressure with plenty of hot water.
And I always appreciate it when the free internet is also fast – which made it easy for me to catch up on work email and email pictures to my family.
The restaurant is amazing! And I’m not even talking about the food yet. It’s in the ground floor of the old manor house, in the stone vats where wine was once made. It only allows for a few tables and makes for a cozy, intimate environment.
The food was fantastic, I went with the chef’s tasting menu, and will provide a more extensive review of that later. In nice weather, the restaurant offers outdoor seating over looking the garden and grounds.
The bar is upstairs in the old “stomping area” where the grapes were crushed and sent to the vats below (now the restaurant).
Breakfast is also in the restaurant but more low key. It includes eggs to order and a carefully curated selection of options, laid out in the former wine press room. I rarely eat pastries but I had two that morning.
While I always wish I had more time at the beautiful places I stay, it’s rare that I feel a real longing and disappointment a place. But as I was strolling the grounds early in the morning and saw the gorgeous pool with lots of sun and great views of Mt. Etna, I wanted nothing more out of life then to spend the day there basking.
So, I now encourage all my friends to add Sicily to their list. And while you should definitely see things while you’re there, the Zash experience alone is worth it!
More from this trip:
American Airlines Flagship Lounge in JFK
American Airlines Economy JFK-MXP
Day Room Upgraded to the Diplomatic Suite
Getting from Malpensa Airport to Linate Airport
Linate Airport Lounge and Alitalia Economy LIN-CTA
You Get What You Pay for at the Sheraton Catania
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