Gagliardi Boutique Hotel

Noto, Sicily, Italy Book from Book from £196 per night

Elegant luxury and authentic Sicilian charm combine at this small hotel with hard-to-beat rooftop views of ethereal Noto
Black marble floor tiles, white painted shutters, lofty ceilings and gilded tables… the Gagliardi Hotel is exquisite. Housed in an 18th-century palazzo in the heart of UNESCO-listed Noto, just two steps from the Cathedral of St Agata and the Church of St Chiara, this is a spoiling springboard for discovering southern Sicily. It’s also a space to appreciate the best of Sicilian art and design – every room features changing contemporary exhibitions, mixing with antiques from the owner’s personal collection. Admire the local ceramics, sleep beneath ancient beamed ceilings, wake to breakfasts in an orange blossom-scented inner courtyard. Best of all, the romantic rooftop terrace has huge panoramas of the Duomo and Baroque city skyline; settle in with an afternoon margarita and tasty appetiser. Linger until you see the sun go down.

There’s a sense of timelessness and beauty at the Gagliardi, but what makes this hotel so special is the manager’s outstanding hospitality. Don’t be surprised if you hear arias from the kitchen; Giuseppe’s staff are warm, attentive, professional… and happy!

Highs

  • Unesco-listed Noto is our favourite of Sicily's stunning Baroque hill towns: ornate honey-coloured churches, sleepy cobbled lanes, superb restaurants and cake shops
  • The hotel’s romantic rooftop terrace-bar features breathtaking 360-degree views of Noto
  • Gagliardi’s friendly staff give a warm welcome and are always happy to help
  • Rooms have a captivating mix of modern and vintage decoration - and a focus on local art
  • Served in a leafy courtyard, the delicious breakfasts include the best crema pasticcera

Lows

  • No hotel restaurant, but who needs one when you’re surrounded by great eateries?
  • Noto’s streets are narrow so parking is not easy (staff can advise)
  • Some rooms are not completely sound-proof: we could hear faint, muffled sounds from the rooftop terrace in ours, but nothing to lose sleep over
  • Although WiFi is free throughout, it wasn’t super speedy during our stay

Best time to go

The heat is searing in July and August. We recommend May when the wild flowers are spectacular, but autumn is perhaps the best time of all: Noto is far less crowded and the sea still warm enough for swimming. Beautiful November days with almost summer temperatures are not unknown.

Our top tips

For local hand-painted ceramics, pop into to Caristia Sebastiano on the main thoroughfare (Corso Emmanuele, 99). This is where the hotel sources many of their beautiful ceramics, including the ‘teste di moro’ (traditional head-shaped vases) in the rooms and the courtyard. They make authentic Sicilian souvenirs.

Great for...

City Style
Family
Honeymoon
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 10
  • Breakfast only; restaurants nearby
  • All ages 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
Room:

Rooms

All 10 rooms are stylish and sophisticated, combining the best of old and modern Sicily. Crystal chandeliers and traditional Sicilian ceramics are offset by contemporary artwork - each room features pictures or paintings by a different local artist every season. Black marble bathrooms are high spec, with luxury fittings and heated floors; TVs, elegant and unobtrusive, have 4K resolution (and you can’t get better than that).

If you can splash out, do - the suites are of regal proportions, 2 with large balconies, one with a private terrace. Suite Santa Chiara, named after the church that its balcony faces, is particularly special. The sitting room overlooks the courtyard garden, while its white walls, simple 18th-century terracotta floor tiles and white-painted beams provide the perfect foil for a gloriously ornate wardrobe. All rooms are peaceful, but Santa Chiara is the only room with a separate entrance.

The Junior Suite (San Nicolo) might just be our favourite - it faces the cathedral of San Nicolò and the Palazzo Ducezio. The view of these Baroque masterpieces, illuminated at night, is magical. Romantics will love the black-marble Jacuzzi bath.

Smaller but perfectly formed are the Classic and Superior rooms, which face Via Silvio Spaventa and Via Ducezio. Overlooking the courtyard, the Deluxe room is generously sized and benefits from large walk-in hanging space.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Central heating
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Safe box
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • TV
  • WiFi

Eating

Soothing music accompanies breakfast, served in the palm-treed inner garden. The buffet is high quality: homemade jams, delicious traditional bread, local cheeses and charcuterie, and several types of pastry (including the best crema pasticcera). Fruits are seasonal, juice freshly squeezed, coffee all you’d hope for.

The 360-degree views from the hotel’s rooftop terrace are spectacular; so are the sunsets. Lounge on suave outdoor sofas and order cocktails, mocktails and appetisers from the bar (open May-October).

There’s no restaurant at the hotel but you can eat very well in Noto's restaurants. For lunches and dinners, the hotel recommends restaurants Dammuso, Manna Noto, and Marpessa. We also loved the elegant Vicari restaurant. You’re around the corner from the famous Caffé Sicilia; don’t miss the lemon granita!

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Rebuilt from scratch after the 1693 earthquake, the ethereal World Heritage town of Noto is one of the Baroque gems of Sicily. Much of it is visible from the hotel’s roof terrace
  • Don't miss the (pedestrianised) thoroughfare of Corso Vittorio Emanuele. Marvel at one beautiful building after another; stray from the beaten path and climb the steps towards Crocifisso
  • Day trip to Ragusa, another Renaissance marvel, or glorious Modica, city of chocolate
  • Fall in love with the coves and beaches (Calamosche, Eloro) of the Vendicari Nature Reserve, a less touristified Camargue. The marshes teem with herons, spoonbills and flamingos
  • Explore the narrow streets of the island of Ortigia, the poetic “white pearl of Syracuse”, connected to the mainland by 3 bridges, the oldest of which is Umbertino
  • Discover Noto’s baroque churches and palazzi on a 2-hour private tour – the hotel can organise

Kids

Not an obvious venue for families, but children are warmly welcomed. There are baby cots, extra beds, connecting rooms, and exceptionally friendly staff.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

For small families, the Superior Double/Twin, Deluxe Double, Junior Suite and Suite can all fit a baby cot or rollaway bed; the Superior Double can fit a baby cot. The Suite with Private Terrace has a double sofabed in its living room, for 1-2 extra guests.

Babysitting:

Price on request

Distances:

  • Airport: 1 hour's drive (Catania)
  • Shop: 2 mins' walk
Kid Friendly:

Location

Hotel Gagliardi is in the heart of Noto, in southern Sicily.

By Air:
Most fly into Catania (86km away); Comiso is a bit closer but served by less airlines (57km away). If you're touring the whole of Sicily, you might fly into Palermo (320km away), which is a 3-hour drive away.

From the Airport
Transfers can be arranged or you can hire a car. Staff will help you park locally.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com.

More on getting to Sicily and getting around

Airports:

  • Comiso 57.0 km CIY
  • Catania 86.0 km CTA

Other:

  • Beach 7.8 km
  • Shops 0.2 km
  • Restaurant 0.2 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 4 independent reviews from i-escape guests

9/10
Room
8/10
Food
10/10
Service
9/10
Value
9/10
Overall

Charming ladies at reception, very helpful and professional. Lovely roof top view.

8/10,

What a charming lovely little hotel. Everybody was just so accommodating, nothing was too much trouble. Tricky to get to in the centre but well worth the effort. The room was amazing, the rooftop bar delightful and the location in Noto just 1 minute from the historic centre.

10/10,

Gorgeous hotel. We loved our room, the breakfast terrace and most of all the roof terrace overlooking the cathedral. The staff were very kind and helpful.

9/10,

This is an exceptional hotel. The rooms are beautifully designed and the decor is very tasteful. Lots of thought has gone into the smaller details. The staff were extremely nice and helpful; nothing was too much trouble. They also spoke very good English. The location is ideal. Very close to the cathedral (lots of weddings to watch!) as well as the bars and restaurants. The rooftop bar is open each evening at 7:30 and has the best views in Noto. A pretty place to sit with a glass of wine and watch the sun go down. I would recommend this hotel!

10/10,

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