Hilton Portorosa, the only five star leisure and conference hotel in the north east region of the legendary island of Sicily, opened its doors yesterday, becoming the second Hilton hotel in Sicily and the second Hilton Worldwide Resort in Italy. The spectacularly located nine-storey new hotel is framed by a private sandy beach on one side and Sicily’s premier tourist port, the Portorosa Marina, on the other. The 263-room hotel boasts one of the largest conference facilities in Sicily.
Welcoming the new addition to the Hilton family, President for Hilton Hotels Europe, Mr Wolfgang M. Neumann said, “This is an important hotel for us. Hilton Portorosa provides yet another exciting stop in a growing network of 11 Hilton family of brand hotels in this country and it signals our second Hilton in Sicily, a destination that is fast becoming the newest getaway for seasoned travellers to Europe.”
Hotel General Manager, Luigi Sorge, adds that Sicilian hospitality combined with the power of the Hilton brand will attract new travellers to the corner of the island. “This is the real Sicily. The hotel’s proximity to Mount Etna, the Aeolian Islands, the Sanctuary, the Greek Theatre of Tindari and Taormina makes it a destination where culture and work can go hand in hand with fun and relaxation. Portorosa is an ideal alternative for the Riviera and the Amalfi coast.”
Rates start from €215 per room per night inclusive of Hilton Breakfast and can be booked on Hilton.com.
Built for the conference market
The hotel has been purposely built for the conference and leisure market and has one of the largest and most modern Conference Centres in Southern Italy, with almost 2000 sqm of meeting space that can accommodate up to 1,200 delegates over two floors.
The largest function room, the 843 sqm Sala Maestrale, has seating capacity for 900 and can be divided into three independent soundproof meeting rooms. The room is complemented by a large foyer with a bar, reception area and cloakroom which are suitable for exhibitions, coffee breaks and banquets. An additional four meeting rooms, anchored around a full service business centre, are located on the ground floor of the hotel.
All 263 rooms feature contemporary, designer-led interiors bursting with natural sunlight from the floor to ceiling double windows and offering sizeable terraces. Almost all rooms have vistas over the port or the sea and each has a satellite TV, high-speed internet connection, mini-bar, and safety deposit box.
Facilities include a private beach with powdery white sand, a spa with a line-up of wellness treatments and personal pampering programs, an indoor heated pool and an outdoor pool with sweeping views over the Gulf. There are also four shops, a private mooring for 12 boats, a shuttle service to Catania airport and Barcelona railway station, parking for 450 cars and a reserved area for buses and coaches.
Three full-service restaurants offering a diversity of flavours and ambience include Re Ruggero, a ground floor outlet serving international specialities, Marina, which dishes up authentic Sicilian fare adjacent to the pool, and the rooftop La Perla, positioned for functions and providing spectacular views of the Tindari promontory and the Aeolian Islands. The Lobby Bar offers light snacks and cool drinks while the Beach Bar is flanked by the Tyrrhenian Sea.
Hilton Portorosa Sicily is situated near two major Sicilian roads and is connected to the Catania Fontanarossa international airport by a helicopter service in 18 minutes and accessible by private yacht directly from Portorosa Marina, the number one tourist port.
The hotel is situated in the Gulf of Patti, in Furnari, an 800-year old historic town set between the Tyrrhenian Sea and Nebrodi Mountain. The exact origin of Funari is hotly debated. Legend has it that King Ruggero II D’Altavilla donated the hilly town to farmer Antonio Furnari in 1120 AD as a reward for the kindness given to the Sovereign’s much-loved greyhound following a hunting accident. The Municipal coat of arms, which depicts a greyhound in a red field, supports this legend. According to other accounts, the origins of Furnari date back to 1300, when Filippo Furnari moved to Sicily from Genoa. In exchange for services to Emperor Frederick II, Funari was bestowed the title of Baron and given 1,300 hectares of land. Funari built a castle on the site, giving rise to a feudal town managed and governed by his family for the next four centuries.
In 1691, the land, which had since transformed into a dukedom, was sold to Antonio dei Principi Marziani. In 1813 feudalism was abolished and the small town became known as the “Municipality of Furnari”. Today the area boasts a large number of sites of historical and archaeological importance, as well as churches and monuments.