Authentic Sicilian hospitality under the great Mt. Etna
It’s not every day that we welcome to new hotel into our brand, so we like to shout from the rooftops when we have a new addition to SLH. Villa Neri Resort & Spa is a luxury design hotel between Mount Etna and the Sicilian coast with a back-to-nature appeal that is anything but rustic, with every inch carefully designed to pair contemporary comfort with authentic Sicilian hospitality. A trip to Villa Neri Resort & Spa will see you in the only luxury resort in the spectacular Etna National Park, where you can explore the picturesque nature and sea vistas. Those wanting to stay on property can indulge in a spa treatment, enjoy local cuisine at Dodici Fontane or spend a day lazing by the pool. We spoke with owner Salvatore Neri about his remarkable hotel.
How did you end up at Villa Neri Resort & Spa?
As a child I spent summers in the countryside around Contrada Arrigo, close to my hometown of Linguaglossa. This is where my family owned a vineyard, and we usually had outdoor picnics. One day after lunch, many years ago, I fell asleep and had a dream. I dreamt about a beautiful villa over the vineyard. When I woke up I said “I have to build something special to make this a reality”, and after 10 years the dream came true.
What inspired you to make your own mark on Villa Neri Resort & Spa?
I’m Sicilian and I love my region. During the whole process of creating Villa Neri, we have actively chosen to respect the land and the island’s heritage; we built the house using all local materials such as marbles and woods, plasters and lava stones. I’ve also embellished the rooms with some antique furniture that has belonged to my Sicilian family for generations.
What makes your property independently minded?
For starters, we are the only 5-star resort inside the Etna Park, amongst the utterly unique scenery. Secondly, our property is independently minded because the family who own and operate the hotel are always present at the resort. Thirdly, we don’t run the hotel in a standard way. Our service is 100% personalised and the guest is always our first priority.
If you only had one day exploring the area around Villa Neri Resort & Spa, what is the one thing you think is a must-see/must-do?
We are located just few minutes from the top of the highest volcano in Europe, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2013. If you have just one day, you must climb to the top of the mountain where the view stretches from Calabria until the Aeolian Islands.
Which country do you most want to visit and why?
I love mountains, so I would like to visit the cordillera of the Andes in South America. It must be a fascinating place.
What is a current travel trend changing the ways of luxury hospitality for independently minded travellers? How does Villa Neri Resort & Spa cater to this trend?
In the last few years, the trends of tourism have changed a lot. The independently minded traveller wants to live a real and full experience of the destination, so they search for a unique sensorial holiday. In this way, Villa Neri provides unconventional experiences such as a visit to a traditional winery or tailor-made excursions catered to the traveller’s specific interests.