Cas'almare

Favignana, Sicily, Italy Book from Book from £138 per night

A small, chic hotel set on the spectacular coastline of tiny Favignana, with a private beach and ocean-facing terrace
For years the tiny butterfly-shaped island of Favignana, off western Sicily, was a secret summer haunt for in-the-know Italians. But in recent years, a crop of newer villas and flights to nearby Trapani have attracted adventurous foreigners. For now, the island remains wonderfully peaceful; ferries dock at the horseshoe port amid bobbing wooden fishing boats and weekending yachts, the bright turquoise sea is backed by rugged rocks and arid hills.

Cas’almare is in a plum position, perched on a rocky headland near the main town, with stunning views across to the smaller island of Levanzo. Former fishermen’s cottages have been sensitively converted to offer stylish rooms and suites, there’s plenty of terrace space for sunset dinners, and a private stretch of sand is ideal for lounging. Sea-washed rocks lead into the clearest of waters; grab a mask and snorkel. Parisian owner-designer Sonia can rustle up a skippered speedboat, electric bikes or cannoli e cappuccino with equal ease. An idyllic spot for those seeking a romantic escape on a little-known island.

Highs

  • We love the sun-drenched terrace, where meals are served overlooking watery views
  • This pretty little island is small enough to explore by bicycle - the town is only a 5-minute ride away, with great restaurants too
  • Some of the rooms have rolltop bathtubs with fabulous ocean views; a couple even have private pools
  • With its stunning waterfront location and Zen-like calm, this is the perfect bolthole to unwind
  • New in 2014, the Sea Suite - with its "feet in the water" - is an amazing honeymoon bolthole

Lows

  • The coast is rocky, but Sonia has imported some blond sand for her 'beach club'
  • There’s no pool, but with the sea on your doorstep, it's no huge loss
  • The Moon and Pool Suites are about 5km from the hotel building (and 6km from town), but you get free use of bikes to get around
  • Hard to reach. Favignana doesn’t have an airport, but then again, that's half the point
  • Summer brings quite a few yachts and speedboats popping over with holidaying Sicilians

Best time to go

The heat is pretty sweltering in July-August and the beaches can get rather crowded, so we think the best time to visit Favignana is in the spring (late April-May) and autumn (September-early October). Cas'almare is closed from mid-October to mid-April.

Our top tips

While it’s cheaper to hire a bike for local exploring, it’s hard work cycling in the summer heat: we recommend whizzing around on a scooter instead. Make sure you head into town for a pre-dinner drink; most bars offer ‘Happy Hour’ around this time, meaning complimentary tapas with your drink. It’s the perfect (beautiful) people-watching experience.

Great for...

Beach
Great Outdoors
Honeymoon
  • Boutique Guesthouse
  • 8
  • Breakfast (+ other meals on request)
  • Over 10s welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Bicycles Available
Room: Deluxe Room

Rooms

All rooms and suites look appealingly simple, with chic, uncluttered design focussing on natural materials - stone, wood and iron. Small decorative touches add warmth: glass candlesticks on the mantelpiece, fresh flowers on the table, Ingo Maurer lamps. You get air-conditioning, a flatscreen TV, a minibar/fridge, toiletries and fluffy bathrobes. Bathrooms are elegant, with ornate carved mirrors and, in many, amazing sunken stone bathtubs or vintage rolltops.

To keep cool, the Superior Room has an outdoor plunge pool on the ocean-view terrace. For extra space, choose the Garden or Sea Suite, each with a separate living room and private secluded terrace. Or book one of the 2 Suites about 5km away: the Pool Suite has a 5x5m lake-edge pool and a private garden. We stayed in a Deluxe Room: sheer romance, with polished wooden floors, a beautiful concave stone ceiling, and a free-standing rolltop bathtub looking out to Levanzo.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Extra beds
  • Fan
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Safe box
  • Satellite tv
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

A rustic continental breakfast is served on the terrace overlooking the ocean. As often in Italy, there are no cooked options, but there's a good selection of fresh fruit, homemade marmalades, natural yoghurt and cereals. Don't miss the chef’s finger-licking pastries and cakes - soft, doughy cornetti (croissants) or creamy cannoli (rolled pastry filled with ricotta, for which Sicily is renowned). Heaven with a rich cappuccino.

A daily menu of gourmet Sicilian dishes is available at lunch and dinner - think swordfish carpaccio, followed by seared tuna steak with red onion compote. Guests can head into Favignana town more more dining options: 5 minutes by bike or scooter, 10-15 on foot. The team speak highly of Ristorante Aegusa, which serves traditional food in a romantic, lit courtyard. The prices are reasonable and the caponata comes highly recommended. For delicious Sicilian desserts, head to La Pasticceria FC on Via Garibaldi.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner by arrangement
  • Lunch by arrangement
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurants nearby
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Chill out with a cool drink on one of the sun loungers at the private stretch of sand attached to the hotel
  • Hire a scooter and zip across to one of the island's beaches and sculpted coves: Cala Rossa is famous for its dramatic rock formations
  • Cycle into the island's pretty little town (5 minutes), with its 2 pedestrianised piazzas, surprisingly grand tuna fishery and charming evening passeggiata (Cas’almare can provide bike hire)
  • While in town, book a dive trip : the crystal waters and caves off the island are part of a marine reserve, host to eels, starfish, sea urchins and parrotfish
  • Saddle up for a donkey trip up Mount Santa Caterina to the ruined castle. The views are incredible, but choose your time carefully: late afternoon is best
  • Sonia can arrange a skippered speedboat out to the islands of Marettimo and Levanzo for astonishing sea caves, rugged shorelines and bright fishing boats bobbing on turquoise waters
  • Visit the island’s remarkable tufa quarries, where gardens and buildings have been fashioned out of the cavernous, subterranean interiors; Villa Margherita has an underground garden open to the public

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Cycling
  • Donkey trips
  • Fishing
  • Historical sites
  • Scuba diving
  • Snorkelling
  • Swimming
  • Yoga

Kids

Children over the age of 10 are welcome and some suites can take an extra bed. However, the hotel is best-suited to adults.

Best for:

Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

Extra Beds Available

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 5 independent reviews from i-escape guests

10/10
Rooms
10/10
Food
9/10
Service
10/10
Value
10/10
Overall

We loved both Cas'almare and Favignana. We only wish we had stayed longer than 2 nights. Interestingly, other guests (1 from Tokyo and a couple from Umbria/Australia) had stayed at Cas'almare last year and returned for a longer stay this year. We now know why. It's a beautiful setting and a beautiful restoration.

10/10, , September 2015

Wow. This place is absolutely in the top 5 places I have ever stayed. It was beyond expectations in every sense. Definitely will be back.

10/10, , September 2015

We loved all of it. The owners and staff are wonderful and have a great sense of style.

10/10, , October 2014

I liked the relaxed vibe in the hotel. It was fully booked while we were there, but we usually felt like the only guests. Breakfast is good, and the food in the restaurant at both lunch time and in the evening was excellent. <br>I've already recommended it to friends and I'd have no hesitation staying there again. The roads on the island are quiet and easily navigable by bicycle. Although the hotel is outside the town, it doesn't take long to cycle in - and the other points on the island can be reached easily by bike. There are plenty of restaurants in Favignana - although none quite come up to the standard of the restaurant in the hotel, which is excellent.

10/10, , September 2014

We had Room no 4. Beautiful view. Wonderful bed and good bathroom. The cement on the ceiling felt like dandruff every day on part of the room but they said they would fix it the moment we left. Outstanding food. They have a real chef there and their pasta is some of the best we've had in Sicily. The hotel has such a beautiful setting it is hard not to have a top notch meal there. Amazing way to watch the sunset, enjoy their food and a bottle of wine. The staff were terrific - attentive, there at all hours, extremely helpful and very friendly. Overall value was superb - we simply loved our stay at cas'almare. Liked the location (best on island), proximity to town (not too close but close enough to bike/walk), food (we at four-five times at the hotel during our stay), ability to bike around the island. <br>Disliked: the hotel had bikes that we liked but they were in avg condition at best. But from what we saw on the island that was typical. <br>Wish they had a swimming pool. The "beach" there is largely unswimable. Bike to Cala Rossa for a place to swim. Definitely get a day trip boat around the island to explore all the beaches. Definitely bike to beaches when staying at the hotel. Definitely eat at La Bottela, Sotto Sale and Quello Che Ce Ce. Definitely do a day trip to Marettimo, take a hike and then have lunch at Trattoria Il Veliero.

10/10, , June 2014

{{ review.rating }}/10, {{ review.firstName }}Anonymous{{ review.countryName ? ', '+ review.countryName : '' }},

Rates for Cas'almare