Palazzo Marletta Hotel

Catania, Sicily, Italy
Book from Book from £145 per night

A boutique oasis in the heart of bustling Catania that’s every bit as grand as its Baroque surroundings

Approaching the unassuming entrance to the Palazzo Marletta Luxury House Hotel, there’s little evidence of the splendour and history that lies within. This former home of 18th-century Italian nobility has been lovingly restored into a boutique sanctuary with seven rooms in central Catania. Inside, it manages to respect its historical origins – the hand-painted majolica floors, frescoed ceilings, intricate stucco work – while offering 21st-century luxury and next-level service.

This is a haven for culture vultures, history buffs and romantic weekenders, keen to sample the sights, sounds and smells of olde-worlde Sicily. The views over the Piazza Duomo are jaw-dropping, and a short stroll will take you to the magnificent cathedral of Saint Agatha, a host of museums, the world-famous fish market, a plethora of Baroque churches, the majestic Castello Ursino and the truly eye-popping Teatro Massimo Bellini – catch an opera if you can.

Catania, a World Heritage Site, is an often overlooked part of Sicily, where travellers eschew the city in favour of the beaches and rural retreats. They’re missing out – be sure not to make the same mistake.

Highs

  • Location, location, location. Whether its majestic views, superb restaurants, high-end shopping or Roman amphitheatres, everything is within walking distance
  • Despite being in the middle of a noisy city, the air-conditioned and soundproofed rooms provide a welcome retreat from the hustle and bustle outside
  • Excellent service - everything from yacht rental to personal shoppers and image consultants is available on request
  • Lots of original features that hint at the building's former grandeur - some stuccos and decorations date back to the late 18th Century
  • Excellent breakfasts with typical Sicilian treats, including local cheeses, pastries and cakes

Lows

  • Not suitable for families. Babies are welcome but 3+ years are not encouraged
  • There are no twin rooms and no baths
  • Because it's an old building, the lift only goes to the first floor - most of the lower-grade rooms are further up on the second and third floors so you'll need to take the stairs
  • Parking at the hotel is tricky, but staff can point you to nearby paid parking - book well in advance

Best time to go

December to May is ideal for getting out and about as it's generally cool, sunny and pleasant. May to September can be hot and sticky so not always ideal for sightseeing. October is when the rain sets in, and November is notoriously humid.

Our top tips

This is a perfect spot for a 1- or 2-night stay to bookend a longer trip in Sicily. Catania was a revelation for us - tons of atmosphere, amazing restaurants, buzzing nightlife and endless crumbling baroque mansions. The famous fish market (just round the corner from Palazzo Marletta) was pure theatre - old Sicilian fishermen shouting for business while somehow managing to smoke whole cigarettes without using their hands. I was impressed - quite a skill!

Great for...

City Style
Romantic
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 7 rooms
  • Breakfast + walk to restaurants
  • Only children aged 1-3 years allowed
  • 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
  • Laundry service
Room:

Rooms

There are seven rooms in total, each individually decorated – some in the Baroque style, others more minimalist. Libria (the entry-level) is the most contemporary, a sleek chic room in pale greys, looking onto an inner court. Profumia, Celestia and Idillia (Superior Doubles) are lovely mid-range options, with smart, pared-back design and high, pitched ceilings in the first two. Celestia has its own private outdoor terrace seating area at the back, overlooking rooftops.

But if you want Duomo views, splash out on a Deluxe room, which all come with private balconies. Crisma is big and beautiful, with its dark wood detailing, gorgeous original ceiling and marble flooring. Agrumia and Angelia are the most extravagant. We stayed in the latter and adored the high ceilings, chandeliers and bright gold colour scheme - completely over the top and brilliant!

All rooms are soundproofed and air-conditioned and have private shower bathrooms. Features include smart TVs (satellite channels) with Logitech keyboards for browsing the internet, WiFi, minibars and safes. The Deluxe rooms are on the first floor, accessible via the lift; all Superior/Standard rooms are on the upper floors and require steps.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Hairdryer
  • Phone
  • Safe box
  • Satellite TV
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

Breakfast is sweet, naughty and delicious. It includes a Continental-style buffet of cold cuts and cheeses from the Nebrodi Mountains, plus freshly-squeezed orange juice and eggs cooked any way. Traditional Sicilian delicacies like granita (a semi-frozen dessert), arancini and cassata (a fruity sponge cake) are also on offer. If staying in a Deluxe room, all this can be served in the comfort of your room; guests in other rooms dine in the communal area.

For other meals, the best fare is to be found in the surrounding streets and alleyways. Via Santa Filomena is crammed with bars and restaurants – we found it really buzzy and packed with locals every night of the week. You might spot horse meat on some menus (it's a local speciality), but seafood features strongly too - Catania is known for its fish market.

Fine diners should head for the Etnea Roof Bar and Restaurant (try the octopus and thyme-seared squid) with its romantic views over the city. The ever-busy U Fucularu is famed for the best sea bass in town, Lognina on the portside comes highly recommended for its seafood and sea views, while Pasticceria Savia is renowned for arancini and gelato – locals have it to go and head over the road to the Bellini Garden to snack.

Features include:

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

Activities

  • Catania has heaps of attractions to keep you busy for a long weekend – the fish market, Basilica della Collegiata, the Roman Theatre, the Cathedral Sant’Agata, the Via Etnea, to name but a very few. The best way to see them all is via a Baroque tour or an architecture tour
  • If you want to venture further afield, try a wine tour. The hotel offers a trip to the Terra Costantino winery where you can explore the vineyards and sample the produce
  • Alternatively, squeeze in a day at the sea with a trip to the upmarket Lido de Palme beside the sandy Playa di Catania beach, where you can lounge by the ornate pool with a cocktail or three
  • Catania is a student town and so boasts a broad selection of hip nightlife bars, though if you fancy living La Vida Loca, a taxi to glamorous Mercati Generali outside the city is more than worth the fare
  • Siracusa and Taormina are easy day trips from Catania, both 1 hour by train

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Nightlife
  • Shopping / markets
  • Wine tasting

Kids

Only children aged 1-3 years allowed. Baby cots are available in the Superior Double and Deluxe Double rooms. There are no extra beds but children aged 2-3 can share their parents' bed free of charge.

Kid Friendly:

Location

Palazzo Marletta Luxury House Hotel is in the centre of Catania, on the east coast of Sicily. It's a 20-minute drive from the airport.

By Air:
Catania Fontanarossa (6.2km away) is the nearest airport. If you're touring the whole of Sicily you might fly into Comiso (90km away) or Palermo (210km away).

From the Airport
It's an easy drive from Catania airport to the hotel. If you're planning to stay in Catania then you won't need a car, and the hotel can arrange a private transfer. There's also an airport bus that stops at Piazza Borsellino - a 5-minute walk (450m) from the hotel.

By Car:
If you want to explore the wider area then it makes sense to have a car. See our car rental recommendations. The hotel has private valet parking or there's street parking and public car parks nearby (all extra cost).

By Train:
Catania Centrale railway station is a 15-minute walk away (or a couple of minutes in a taxi).

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

Airports:

  • Catania 6.2 km CTA
  • Comiso 90.0 km CIY

Other:

  • Beach 2.0 km
  • Shops 0.2 km
  • Restaurant 0.1 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 2 independent reviews from i-escape guests

10/10
Room
10/10
Service
10/10
Value
10/10
Overall

This hotel is outstanding and really deserves a proper review. It is a beautifully renovated palazzo, right in the middle of Catania with stunning bedrooms and views of the Duomo. There are many beautiful hotels, but what makes this one so special is the attention to detail and service: flip flops not rubbish hotel slippers, a glass of prosecco on arrival, toothpaste in the bathroom, lovely towels, proper high quality coat hangers, a selection of drinks, fruit and biscuits to take at any time of day - I could go on! We plan to go back, this hotel is very special indeed.

10/10,

A really lovely place to stay, our room had a balcony overlooking the duomo just big enough for a table and chairs to share a bottle of wine or enjoy a cappuccino in the morning. The room had everything we needed. The staff were charming and so helpful (including making the aforementioned cappuccino) and restaurant recommendations by Renato were top notch as was the tour he arranged for us around the local coastal towns.

10/10,

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