Orient-Express Hotels has purchased two distinctive properties in Taormina, Sicily from The Framon Group.
The 83-key Grand Hotel Timeo is considered by many to be the most luxurious hotel in Taormina, and the nearby 78-key Villa Sant’Andrea has a private beach on the Bay of Mazzaro.
Commenting on the transaction, Paul White, President and Chief Executive of Orient-Express Hotels said,”These hotels typify Orient-Express Hotels’ core business – established properties with history and personality. Currently, they both punch below their weight and because they occupy a premier position in the Sicilian market, we are confident we can make significant improvements in performance, as we integrate the properties into the Orient-Express Hotels collection”
Sicily, the largest Mediterranean island, has been growing in popularity as a tourist destination and was recently voted Conde Nast Traveller UK Readers’ favorite holiday destination in the magazine’s 2009 Travel Awards. The Grand Hotel Timeo is adjacent to one of the city’s most famous attractions, the legendary Greek Theater, which dates back to the 2nd century AD. Below, looking out across the sea, Villa Sant’Andrea, built in 1830, is right on the beach. The two properties, linked by a private shuttle, have the synergy of Hotel Splendido and Splendido Mare, giving guests the best of both worlds Taormina has to offer. The city has good transport links and is located 40 minutes from Catania International Airport, which has direct flights to all major European cities and good connections to those serving the US.
Grand Hotel Timeo
Built in 1873, the Grand Hotel Timeo occupies an excellent position in the historical center of the city. From the hotel’s panoramic terrace, guests can admire spectacular views of Mount Etna and the coastline. Since the 19th century and the era of the Grand Tour, the hotel has been popular with an elite group of international travellers, who choose to vacation here. Each guest room has its own terrace and the hotel’s ‘Il Dito e la Luna’ restaurant specializes in regional Sicilian cuisine, in elegant surroundings.
The Company anticipates that post refurbishment, The Grand Hotel Timeo will trade at RevPAR levels closer to those of its key Italian properties, Hotel Cipriani in Venice and Hotel Splendido in Portofino.
Villa Sant’Andrea is located on the Bay of Mazzaro, the heart of Taormina’s seaside district. The atmosphere is that of a private villa set in lush gardens, with a private beach. Several of the hotel’s suites open onto a private terrace. The ‘Oliviero’ restaurant, on a panoramic terrace overlooking the Calabrian coast, is known for its fish and seafood specialities.
The Company anticipates that the Villa Sant’Andrea will trade, post the refurbishment which will lift it into a category of its own among the beachfront hotels, at RevPAR levels closer to those achieved at its properties Hotel Caruso in Ravello and Villa San Michele in Florence.