Last month our Europe Product Manager, Gabrielle Cowley, took her first trip to Sicily, staying at luxury resort Verdura. Here's what she thought...
Arriving into Palermo Airport I was excited for my first experience of Sicily, especially as I would be staying at the Verdura, a place I have heard only amazing things about! The transfer is roughly 1 hour and 30 minutes, but time flew as it was great to take in the views that this beautiful island has to offer including a gorgeous sunset!
When we arrived at the hotel the first thing I noticed was how large and spacious the grounds are. The resort is so picturesque with views of the ocean and the surrounding golf course everywhere you looked you want to take a photograph! For my first evening dining experience, we went for a light meal at Granita Bar which had live music playing; the perfect accompaniment to Prosecco on the terrace!
I was lucky enough to stay in a Grand Suite which is extremely spacious. There is an outside private courtyard entrance that becomes a sun trap during the daytime, as well as a living area, kitchenette, separate bedroom, walk in wardrobe and huge bathroom. The double doors in the living area and bedroom open out to a terrace with seating area looking right out to the sea. There was a real sense of place and the resort made you feel instantly relaxed!
Food is always a highlight on a luxury Italy holiday and the fresh Sicilian fare at Verdura didn't disappoint! We ate at Liola on the second evening, which is a traditional Sicilian restaurant serving appetisers including arancini balls, traditional pizzas and salads and we still had our main courses to arrive! We also had the pleasure of meeting chef Gianluca at a fantastic cookery class I was lucky enough to take part in. We used local oranges and olive oil to make a seafood salad starter and a traditional pasta dish. Any foodie stay at Verdura should certainly book themselves on to one of these classes; our Concierge service can arrange it all before your trip!
Golf is one of the highlights within the extensive facilities here. Designed by Kyle Phillips the three links-style golf course is home to tournaments and is great for pros as well as first timers, like me! Their academy offers different tuition programmes for adults as well as teens and children. Our group used the driving range first and those of us who hadn’t golfed before had a great introduction. I can't say I'm a golfer yet, but I certainly enjoyed the experience!
Having experience Verdura for myself, I would recommend the resort to both couples and families. The new kids club has just opened and it looks fantastic. With a science lab, cooking station, tv room and much more, the children won’t want to leave! The spa is also fantastic and they offer a number of different wellness programmes so couples can enjoy a relaxing holiday too.
I had always wanted to see the Verdura and was so excited to be given the opportunity to go, I had high expectations but the resort still managed to blow me away. It’s stunning location, excellent food and service made my whole experience exceptional and I cannot wait to go back!