Review: Villa Igiea, a Rocco Forte Hotel, Palermo


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Villa Igiea, a Rocco Forte Hotel, is a stunning turn-of-the-century palazzo that lies at the edge of Palermo, the capital of Sicily. Set right next to Palermo’s busy port, Villa Igiea was built in 1900. It offers a peaceful escape surrounded by terraced gardens and feels a world away from the hectic city. Palm trees and verdant greenery descend down to its glorious pool, which overlooks a private marina and the deep blue Tyrrhenian sea beyond.


Palermo’s Falcone-Borsellino Airport is 30km and 30 minutes drive away from Villa Igiea. Transfers are around €100 each way. You can also arrive by train from Milan, Genoa, Naples or Rome. The fun bit is that your train takes a special ferry from the mainland to Messina on Sicily and then onto Palermo.

Style & Character

Set beneath Mount Pellegrino, surrounded by the deep blue waters of the Gulf of Palermo, Villa Igiea continues to be a sanctuary for royalty, dignitaries, and Hollywood stars. Guests can wander through tiered villa gardens that sweep down to the port and out to the Tyrrhenian sea; enjoy excursions to Palermo’s bustling markets, Baroque palaces, and ancient sites; step onboard yacht cruises along the picturesque coast; or simply work their way through Villa Igiea’s Italian restaurants, atmospheric bars and palatial Art Nouveau interior, which has all been revitalized as a Rocco Forte hotel.

Service & Facilities

The outdoor pool is rather lovely, with green and white striped padded loungers grouped underneath green parasols. The lawns and trees, along with the warm creamy stone of the main palazzo building, provide the perfect backdrop. In front of the pool are unobstructed views of the Marina and Mediterranean sea beyond. There’s also an alfresco pool bar, which means you can enjoy the view with pizzas, fresh fish, and shellfish cooked on a large open grill, or a sip a cocktail here as the sun goes down.

The Villa Igiea Spa merges Sicilian design with multi-sensory healing techniques and signature treatments for a truly restorative and transformative experience that embraces the Rocco Forte Wellness philosophy of complete enrichment and unity of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.

The gym is equipped with the latest gym gadgets, free weights, and Technogym weight machines, along with a full range of Technogym cardio equipment and there is also a small fitness studio.


The 100 rooms and suites epitomize modern luxury with antique furniture, parquet floors, local ceramics, and designer lighting. The palette reflects the colors of Sicily, from the blue of the sea and sky to the apricot hues of its sandstone buildings. The lead-in Superior Rooms have views of the gardens through floor-to-ceiling windows and marble bathrooms with Irene Forte Skincare toiletries. Studio Rooms are more extensive, and the bathrooms have a separate walk-in shower. For ocean vistas, book a suite with a private terrace with sea views, a separate living room, double shower, and guest bathroom.

Food & Drink

Michelin-starred chef Fulvio Pierangelini creates a health-focused menu of foods for Villa Igiea, in collaboration with nutritionist Giancarlo Giammarresi. The dishes are created with organic, seasonal, and locally sourced ingredients and have been carefully prepared to protect their nutritional value.

The hotel features the Florio Restaurant with its exquisite menu, designed by chef Fulvio Pierangelini, inspired by his philosophy of simplicity, generosity, and ultimate quality, as well as by the wonderful flavors of Sicily.

The Terrazza Bar Igiea is hidden within elegant sandstone vaults and opens onto a vast terrace overlooking the deep-blue Gulf of Palermo.

Finally, the Alicetta Pool Bar, mentioned above, serves a delicious menu of Sicilian daily specials as well as fresh Crudo, sashimi and seafood platters, fresh pizza, and a selection of fresh fish and shellfish ready to be cooked on the large open grill.

A stay here offers a beautiful taste of a luxury Sicilian lifestyle and is sure to leave you with memories to treasure forever.

Note: Benefits & upgrades subject to availability. Benefits offered correct at the time of writing. Terms & conditions apply. Enquire for more information. Posts may be sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own & are in no way influenced.