Hotel Gutkowski

Siracusa, Sicily, Italy Book from Book from £68 per night

Mediterranean blues meet modern minimalism at this great-value hotel in Ortigia, with its glorious views of the Ionian sea
Fishermen and craftsmen have admired the views from these 2 buildings on the promenade in Ortigia since the 18th Century. Today, the houses have been refashioned into a 26-room seafront hotel, with sunny terraces, flower-filled balconies and minimalist interiors. The blue-shuttered newer building also houses a cosy lounge area, a breakfast room and an outstanding restaurant on its ground floor. But the star quality remains throughout: that wonderful sea view.

This once hidden gem has become a real word-of-mouth hit (you will need to book ahead) for its laid-back charm, simple elegance and seafront location. Sip fresh orange juice on the rooftop terraces and bask in the sun to the sound of the waves, then head out and wander the ancient alleys and twisting streets of Ortigia - the island heart of Siracusa in southeast Sicily. The town is a UNESCO World Heritage site, thanks to its impressive Greek and Roman ruins, and there's plenty to see, architecturally and archaeologically. The surrounding area is beautiful too, with fortified hilltop towns and some of Italy's best beaches along the Ionian Sea.

Highs

  • Everything about it is great value. The low prices coupled with its relaxed charm make it ideal for flash-packers or those on a budget; there are a few triple rooms so it suits friends and families, too
  • The location - throw back the shutters and taste that salty sea air!
  • We liked the light and elegant design touches, the cheerful ambiance and the general warmth of this lovely small hotel
  • Taking breakfast on either terrace is a delight, as is enjoying a sundowner glass of wine
  • The food at Gutkowskino, the hotel's restaurant, is outstanding, some of the best we had in Sicily. It's popular though so make sure you pre-book

Lows

  • There's a small road right in front of the hotel so it can be noisy with cars and scooters during the day (but only occasionally)
  • Service can be quite relaxed - staff prefer to leave you to your own devices
  • The minimal design makes the rooms a little too sparse for some
  • The area behind the hotel is not considered the nicest in Siracusa, but we thought it had character

Best time to go

Spring and autumn are the best seasons for visiting Sicily - in July and August it can be terribly hot and terribly busy. It's warm enough to swim in the sea until the beginning of November.

Our top tips

The street market around the corner from the hotel is a great place to soak up a bit of local flavour.

Great for...

Beach
Cheap & Chic
Family
Honeymoon
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 26
  • Restaurant (closed Sundays)
  • All ages welcome
  • Closed: 7 Jan 2019 - 28 Feb 2019
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
Room:

Rooms

The rooms are spread across the 2 buildings that make up the hotel, and each is a little different in décor and style. Expect minimalist Mediterranean-meets-Zen decor: white walls, white linens, wooden furniture and tiled or parquet floors. Rooms in the newer building have antique little wooden desks and chairs, metal industrial-style beds, metal lockers, lots of funky lampshades with exposed wiring.

Some may feel the decor is too minimal, but with views like this you don't need much room decoration. The windows are the thing: long, sheer curtains and blue shutters frame azure sky and turquoise sea in several rooms, while others look out over the town or the internal courtyard.

There are 4 categories: Basic, Classic, Sea View and Plus, most of which can be doubles or twins. A higher tariff gets you more space, a better view and a private balcony, and the Plus Rooms have a desk and bookshelves, too. Three of the Plus rooms are triples, with an additional single bed, and there's one Family Room (a Plus) with a double bed and 2 single beds.

Bathrooms are chic, with wood-surround baths or showers, slate floors, white tiles, fluffy towels and a similarly modern, minimalist approach.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Central heating
  • Cots Available
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Safe box
  • Satellite TV
  • WiFi

Eating

Breakfast, served in the breakfast room adjacent to reception (you can take it up to one of the sunny roof terraces in summer), is delicious and typically Sicilian: local, seasonal and organic, and takes the shape of fresh fruit, homemade cookies, yoghurt, pastries and cheese. Tea, coffee and fresh orange juice are on offer.

The restaurant, Gutkowskino, serves a daily changing menu of fresh, Italian fare for dinner only. We thought the food was phenomenal, and we loved the buzzy bistro-style atmosphere. The menu is fish-heavy and makes the most of local produce. We feasted on the most succulent squid with Sambuca and orange, grilled mackerel crostini, seafood linguine and homemade pasta with wild fennel. It was all divine. Make sure you book a table, it’s very popular. Note that it's closed on Sundays.

For eating out, there are some superb restaurants and trattorias in Ortigia, including Don Camillo (where you'll find some particularly good seafood and a comprehensive wine list) and low-key, laid-back Taberna Sveva (Piazza Federico di Svevia). Literally round the corner is Antica Locanda, which has great unpretentious Sicilian fare including seafood (and English menus). The hotel recommends La Gazza Ladra as the best on the island with a daily changing menu.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Organic produce
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
Eating:
Activity: Piazza Duomo

Activities

  • Wander around Ortigia and take in its ancient cathedral, fortress and narrow alleys, before relaxing in a piazza café with a cappuccino
  • Stroll along Ortigia's charmingly crumbling lungomare (sea walls), which come to a head at the 13th-century Castello Maniace
  • Go shopping: buy traditional food and wine at Ortigia's market, treat yourself to soaps and perfumes at the Antiche Siracuse in Piazza Archimede, taste Sicilian cakes and pastries at Artale, and admire beautiful pottery at Circo Fortuna
  • Drive down the coast and explore some of Sicily's best beaches. The closest, Fontane Bianche, is a 15-minute drive from Siracusa; Lido di Noto is about 1 hour away, and Isola dei Correnti is right at the southeastern tip of Sicily with windswept views of Malta
  • Visit the vast archaeological park on Siracusa's 'mainland' (15 minutes' walk), containing the remains of the ancient Greek and Roman cities (theatres, quarries etc); time it right and you can see an ancient play staged in the Greek theatre (May-June)
  • Take a boat trip around the harbour or up the Ciane river in a gozzo (traditional sailing boat)
  • The hotel can arrange guided trips to natural beauty spots, including the Pantalica Gorge, the valley of the Anapo river, and the Vendicari Nature Reserve. They can organise Italian lessons, too

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Boat trips
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Language courses
  • Museums / galleries
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Private guided tours
  • Sailing
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Theatre
  • Wine tasting

Kids

Children are welcome and incur no extra cost if they share their parents' bed. Note that the hotel doesn't have extra beds, but there are triple rooms and baby cots available.

Best for:

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

Family friendly accommodation:

There's a Family Room (in the Plus category, no.27), which has a double bed and 2 single beds. Three other Plus Rooms have a double and a single bed. In the blue building you can take 2 Basic rooms (no. 1&2) together, there's an additional door which will create a family suite.

Baby equipment:

  • Baby cots are available for a small charge, see Rates

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Kids Activities nearby:

  • This area of Sicily has some great beaches for children of all ages
  • The nearby archaeology museum and sights will appeal to children covering the Roman and Greek periods at school
  • Older kids will like the Archimedes Museum
  • Younger kids will enjoy the Puppet Theatre in the Jewish area

Distances:

  • Airport: 1 hour
  • Doctor: 10 minutes
  • Shops: 5 minutes
Kid Friendly:

Location

Hotel Gutkowski is set on the waterfront in Ortigia, the historic peninsula of Siracusa, in southeast Sicily.

By Air:
Catania (60km away) is the closest airport, but if you're touring the whole of Sicily you might fly into Comiso (114km away) or Palermo (300km away).

From the Airport
From Catania it's around an hour south by road to Siracusa, mostly on a motorway (the A18). The hotel can arrange a transfer.

There is also a train, which takes 1.5 hours, and an intercity bus which takes a little less, but you'll probably want a hire car for your stay (see below).

By Car:
If you want to hire a car see our car rental recommendations.

If you're driving from southern mainland Italy, take the regular ferry from Villa San Giovanni to Messina (every 20 minutes; sailing time of 20 minutes) and then follow the A18 motorway south to Catania (155km / 1.5 hours) and on to Siracusa (60km/1 hour).

You will need to unload and then park in a municipal car park nearby - reception staff will advise where.

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

Airports:

  • Catania Fontanarossa 60.0 km CTA
  • Comiso 114.0 km CIY

Other:

  • Beach 10.0 km
  • Shops 0.2 km
  • Restaurant 0.1 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 16 independent reviews from i-escape guests

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

Hotel is away from the main tourist area (plus point) and facing the sea (plus point). It's a 5 minute stroll to the central square with a variety of restaurants. Rooms are "factory chic" and simple but clean. Breakfast is standard continental - pastries, bread, cheese,fruit. There is an adjoining restaurant that serves a limited menu in the evening. That said - Linguine with anchovies and fennel plus a glass of red wine made a great supper (open until 11). Parking is available directly outside the hotel but it's street parking and limited (we visited in October so it must be very difficult in the summer). Tip - avoid bringing a car if you can. Staff were great if laid back, basically letting you get on with your holiday.

8/10,

Loved the simplicity and straightforwardness. Thought the meal we had in the restaurant was the best we had in Sicily and loved the breakfast. The only slight disappointment was the busy road between the hotel and the sea, and the lack of a balcony / terrace to sit on. But thought it was great.

10/10,

The restaurant was amazing, the food is excellent. However breakfast not so good and one morning we arrived 5 minutes late and we were not allowed to grab a coffee and croissant.

8/10,

We enjoyed our stay. A pretty hotel in a gorgeous spot by the sea. A short walk to Piazza Duomo and all over Ortigia. The room was cute, comfortable and unfussy to a fault. Sadly no drawers to unpack into, but totally charming and would recommend.

9/10,

If you can get a room with sea view it is the best deal and location in town. Lovely hotel and very fair price. Restaurant was just amazing.

10/10,

Good location, close to the market. The staff were very friendly. We had a sea view room initially which was quite noisy from the road. We preferred the second room we were given on the back.

9/10,

Excellent area and location, but the bathroom was extremely small.

7/10,

We loved our stay at Hotel Gutkowski and hope to return when next in Syracuse. We had a sea view, which was beautiful to wake up to. The room was bright, fresh and perfect for a stay. We were greeted with smiles and given all the advice needed to enjoy the city - we even took advantage of their bikes. The breakfast was also perfect - fresh and lots to choose from. We'll be back.

10/10,

We had a sea view corner room filled with light in the next building. Furnishing is minimalistic - we liked it. The location is perfect for exploring Ortygia. The staff were very pleasant and helpful even bringing a tea tray
round in the wind and rain. Good general tourist information and restaurant suggestions. Breakfast excellent. Thank you. A very enjoyable stay.

10/10,

Lovely boutique hotel in a fantastic location. The free bikes were an added bonus to explore Ortigia

8/10,

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