Hotel Monaci delle Terre Nere is more than just a boutique hotel. When Trip Designers Penny and Ilona arrived, they knew immediately it was a special place.
We were welcomed in true Italian style. The manager of the property, Nino, was all smiles as he took us to the center of the estate—a Baroque villa more than 200 years old, transformed into a stunningly modern and intimate space. A large bar was cozied right up on the side of an antique palmento wine press, the two, though from times apart, complimented each other perfectly.
Here, we listened to Nino as he told us the story of the owner, Guido, a qualified sommelier. He and his partner Ada had a clear vision and put their hearts into realizing their dream. Their passion for nature, organic architecture and sustainable living is evident throughout the property. Fresh vegetables direct to your table, together with herbs from the garden, wine and olive oil from the hotel’s own orchards and vineyards, local Zafferana honey, homemade marmalade and home-baked bread for breakfast make it an experience you won’t soon forget. Nino, while talking, grabs a couple of mandarins from the tree and tosses them our way. Sweeter than candy, filled with Sicilian sun. We could not resist and took another.
“Let’s see the rooms!” We are zipping around in a golf cart, cruising past the vineyards and fruit orchards while getting a lesson in the passing flora and fauna. We stopped at a small house with a cute porch and walked in to find a room bathed in sunlight. The rays bounced off light wooden walls and through the large windows, you could see the vineyard spread out before you. Here, the rooms are all different, artistic yet with rustic elements like wooden beams or exposed black lava walls. The owners designed and curated all the interiors using their own collection of modern art and Italian designer furniture. Their unique taste and the attention to the detail put into every space makes this place so wholly original. Rooms are located throughout the entirety of the property, so staying there feels like having your own country-house—just with the best of modern amenities like your own sound system, air conditioning and wi-fi.
And did I mention the infinity pool? It overlooks the azure blue sea and bellies up to a stylish bar built into the stone-wall. We spent an afternoon here soaking up the sun and enjoying a glass of hand-selected Sicilian wines before our organic slow-food cooking class.
Time stops here. Warm hospitality and connection with nature makes this a unique place, which is close to impossible to leave.