The result is the elegant Hotel Lùme, a 6-bedroom oasis nestling among 2,500 years of architecture and boasting breathtaking views over the Mediterranean. The emphasis here is on simple sophistication – homely elegance married with hotel-level service, each room lovingly curated and furnished according to local influences.
Behind its unassuming façade is a cool, bright, airy space decorated in calming earth tones, exposed stonework, pops of Byzantine colour and an aching attention to detail. Most guests gravitate towards the roof terrace to begin the day with a breakfast of coffee roasted near Mount Etna, homemade granola, cake and assorted charcuterie. But an evening Prosecco and aperitivo as the sun dips below the Med and burnishes the terracotta blanket of nearby rooftops is not to be missed either.
- Location – the tiny island of Ortigia (the historic, UNESCO-listed heart of Siracusa) is packed with cosy trattorias, boutiques and architectural eye candy
- Design – modern and contemporary, with flourishes sympathetic to the locale
- The big roof terrace - furnished with sunloungers, sofas and tables; breakfast and aperitivi are served here in warmer months
- Value for money – especially given the generous room sizes, location, service and design
- Well being – the resident masseuse specialises in massages and Ayurvedic treatments
- Although the Med is just a stone’s throw away, there are only a few beaches and they tend to be shingle and pebbles, so sun worshippers will need a car if they’re looking for golden sands
- The B&B prides itself on romance and sophistication, so is not so suitable for young families
- No restaurant - but that frees you up to explore Ortigia's amazing eateries
- No pool
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique B&B
- 5 rooms + 1 apartment
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Spa Treatments
- Beach Nearby
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Car not necessary
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
Each of the six elegant rooms has been designed around a particular theme. My personal favourite, La Quinta is inspired by a winter garden and comes with wood, exposed stone, leather seating and colourful prints; it boasts a huge terrace for sunbathing and a small plant-filled internal courtyard.
Bright and airy La Prima, where I stayed, boasts the charm of a Sicilian home with its vaulted ceiling and twin balconies overlooking the via Larga. The art on the wall and furnishings throughout are totally unique and work so well - you can tell the owners come from a design background with a Parisian flare. The enormous bathroom has a central bath, twin washbasins and a huge walk-in shower.
La Seconda, softer in tone, has a separate living room (with optional third bed) and a luxurious bathroom with statement marble basin, cavernous bath and rainfall shower. La Terzina is the smallest room and the quietest, set well back from the street, and has honey hues, linen and glass, and a four-poster bed. La Quarta, on the second floor, is based on the cabin of the captain’s daughter on an imaginary ship, and comes with two balconies.
Top floor L'Attico is a self-contained apartment filled with bold, contemporary pieces and fittings, and has its own kitchen and dining area plus the best views over the town. You can even request your own chef-catered dinner!
All rooms come with 180cm beds (both La Seconda and La Quinta can be configured as twin rooms on request), complimentary minibars (soft drinks only), televisions, WiFi, excellent Bluetooth speakers, kettles and safes.
- In room treatments available
- Safe box
Served on the roof terrace, breakfast at the Lùme is a traditional continental affair but with an artisanal twist. As well as a really delicious homemade granola, you get pastries filled with local sheep’s milk ricotta, homemade banana breads and jams (plum and mango on our visit), crema di mandalore (almond cream), pandoro cake and charcuterie from nearby Palazzolo Acreide.
Ortigia itself is awash with top-flight eateries. Highly recommended is lunch at the Fratelli Burgio, a trendy deli serving meat and cheese boards, fish platters and sandwiches stuffed with marinated vegetables. Alternatively, the locals favour Antica Giudecca for its outsized arancini balls filled with ragu, spinach or aubergine. You can also order savoury pies and pizza.
For dinner, try Dave Sicilian Taste, which serves lots of tasty-looking seafood and pasta dishes in a lovely candlelit setting. Or for excellent pizza, Bianco Pepe has tables outside in a hidden square overlooking a church. I enjoyed really good value local fare at Dada Bistro, which overlooks another church.
Vegans should head to Moon for some courgette noodles tossed with cherry tomatoes and cashew cream followed by the epic passionfruit tiramisu.
- Coffee / tea making
- Restaurants nearby
- Vegetarian options
- All roads lead from the imposing Baroque splendour of the Piazza Duomo. From here, it’s a short walk to the Temple of Apollo and the Piazza Archimede with its Diana fountain. The Museo Archimede e Leonardo is dedicated to the famous mathematician
- Leave room for souvenirs. Great shops include Cool de Sac (funky jewellery, leather bags), Circo Fortuna for arts and crafts and Olive – a haven for oil and wine lovers
- No visit to Ortigia is complete without a wander around the market, open every day from 7am-1pm (except Sundays). Grab some bread, prosciutto and cheese and take off to the waterfront to watch the world go by
- For a glorious swim, try a boat trip which will take you out to the nearby caves and grottos for a splash in the cool aquamarine waters
- Or simply swim off from the steps into the Med at the bottom of the road from Lume. Temporary bars and sunlounger areas are erected here in summer
- Just ask the in-house masseuse for personalised treatments
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Boat trips
- Historical sites
- Shopping / markets
- Well being
While all ages are welcome at Lume, it's not really suitable for kids. The vibe is romantic and there are lots of delicate furnishings and steep steps. That said, baby cots and extra beds are available.
Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)
Family friendly accommodation:
Families of three can book La Seconda or La Quinta, both of which can take an extra bed. Families of four or larger would have to book two rooms.
- Airport: 70 minutes
- Hospital: 10 minutes
- Shops: 2 minutes
Lùme is found in the heart of UNESCO-listed Ortigia, which is a just a short walk across the bridge from Siracusa, on Sicily's south-eastern coast.
Siracusa is around 60km away from Catania airport.
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 taxi transport provided you give three days' notice.
If you want to hire a car see our car rental recommendations. The hotel can provide very limited spaces in nearby private parking - daily rate, book in advance. Be aware that Ortigia is a controlled driving zone in summer and you’ll get a fine if you simply drive into the town - it's recommended that you don't park on the island itself.
There is a railway station in Siracusa (about a 15-minute walk from hotel) with direct links to Catania (about an hour) and further up the coast to Taormina.
Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.
- Catania Airport 66.0 km CTA
- Beach 0.2 km
- Shops 0.1 km
- Restaurant 0.1 km