San Domenico Palace, Taormina, a Four Seasons Hotel

An enchanting cliffside retreat with history

History and romance abound at the striking San Domenico Palace, Taormina, a Four Seasons Hotel. With its scenic location on a cliff overlooking Taormina’s winding alleyways, majestic Mount Etna and the bright blue Ionian Sea, the 111-room luxury hotel in Sicily occupies a former 19th-century palace, which was itself a Dominican convent dating back to 1373. From the 20th century onward, this unique property has operated as a sophisticated coastal retreat, welcoming celebrities like Ingrid Bergman, Audrey Hepburn and Sophia Loren for luxurious stays and lavish parties, and serving as the scenic backdrop for season two of The White Lotus.

Having joined the Four Seasons family in 2021, the hotel carries on this distinct legacy alongside exceptional service, attention to detail and enriching local experiences. The hotel’s “Only in Sicily” excursions range from private dining on Mount Etna to helicopter and yacht tours of the Aeolian Islands, lunches at local wineries and stargazing safaris — all highly personalized journeys to ensure an unforgettable getaway in Sicily.

Our Inspector's Highlights

  • The Sicily hotel enchants you with its beautiful cloisters, manicured gardens, private seaview terraces and easy access to Taormina. A highlight of Sicily’s east coast, this ancient hilltop is known for its Greek amphitheater (dating to A.D. 301), boutiques, restaurants and historic architecture.
  • Don’t miss the hotel’s signature restaurant, Principe Cerami, which is named after the nobleman who turned the monastery into a hotel. Today, the restaurant is helmed by Sicilian chef Massimo Mantarro, who serves refined tasting menus highlighting the Mediterranean’s bounty: marinated cuttlefish tagliatelle, braised ox cheek with Sicilian vermouth and more.
  • In addition to exceptional fine dining, you can enjoy Mediterranean seafood and creative cocktails at Anciovi, just beside the clifftop infinity pool (open April to November), or international all-day dining at Bar & Chiostro. For something more exclusive, book a private group meal at Sala Teatro — a venue overlooking Taormina Bay that’s large enough for 35 guests — and let chef Mantarro work his magic for you.
  • Keep an eye out for historical features across the hotel, from the fireplaces inscribed with Latin writing to the restored ceiling frescoes and the ancient water well in the center of the grand cloister. Those who want to learn more can request private guided tours of the property and its collection of timeless artwork.
  • The hotel’s curated excursions enable more profound connections with Sicily's food, people and beauty. Savor ricotta with fresh-baked bread at a local farm, admire the night sky over a private dinner on Mount Etna, explore the volcanic Aeolian Islands via luxury yacht and learn how to make sushi using fresh Sicilian seafood.

The Rooms

  • From the moment you enter the luxury hotel through a 17th-century portal, you’ll be immersed in history, art and architecture. Check in at the stately marble reception surrounded by monastic furniture juxtaposed by ornate chandeliers, then let the staff whisk you away to your private oasis.
  • Naples-born architect Valentina Pisani, who oversaw the design of the interiors, expertly blends the contemporary elegance of the Four Seasons brand with the property’s Old World grandeur. Across the 111 rooms, which have footprints ranging from about 301 to 1,507 square feet, you’ll find smoked mirrors, bronze details and luxurious materials like Patagonian marble.
  • Most accommodations are converted monks’ quarters, but don’t expect austere settings. Serene and understated, the sanctuary-like rooms and suites go well beyond the essentials to surround you in luxury and comfort. Look forward to terraces, chevron wood flooring, full marble bathrooms and a soothing palette of natural shades inspired by the mountains and sea.
  • Breathtaking views are everywhere, especially in the five kinds of specialty suites. For example, the 872- to 882-square-foot Etna Suite takes in Mount Etna. Meanwhile, the 969-square-foot Princess Cecile Suite overlooks the Ionian Sea, the steep and winding streets of the Taormina below and the property’s lush, lemon tree-filled gardens.
  • Of the 15 types of guest rooms and suites available, the grandest is the Royal Suite, a 1,507-square-foot top-floor space boasting a terrace, Jacuzzi and vistas of the Greek theater and sea — an excellent choice for extended stays, families or just-because getaways.

24-hour room service
Babysitting services
Meeting rooms
Outdoor pool
Getting There
Piazza San Domenico, 5, 98039, Taormina, Italy
CTA (50 min-1 hr)   PMO (3 hr 10 min-3 hr 30 min)