As the glamorous side of Sicily is finally getting its due, places like Byssus Suites are in the ascendant. This lovely little luxury boutique hotel makes its home in the picturesque city of Siracusa, just down the coast from Catania, in a spot that’s convenient to the city center but just outside it — walking distance from the rail station in one direction and Ortigia, the island that makes up Siracusa’s historic old town, in the other.
The result is an experience that’s remarkably tranquil, and is emblematic of much of what’s distinctive about Italian boutique hospitality: classic architecture, meticulously preserved, serves as a backdrop for the sort of high-end ultra-modern design for which Italy is justifiably famous. Even the smallest suites span some 35 square meters, and many suites come with a private hammam, a balcony or terrace with a view, or both; the Executive suite, at 60 square meters, could pass for a Milanese furniture showroom.
Bikes are available for exploring the immediate area on two wheels, and there’s a “local advisor” on hand to help you make the most of your explorations. There’s also a restaurant, by no means a guarantee in an 11-suite hotel; Onda Bleu serves modern Sicilian fare with a particular emphasis on seafood.