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Boutique agritourism, superb food & wine, fantastically friendly staff - a real treat. Ray met the gardener and Annie never saw him again - OK because she NEVER wants to leave!
Set in the lovely south-east corner of Sicily, less than 10 minutes from Ispica and about 4km from the nearest beach, Torre Marabino is about half an hour from Modica, Noto and the Nature Reserve of Vendicari, and less than an hour's drive from Ragusa and Siracusa, so it is an ideal base for exploring. There are also some lovely lidos and wilder stretches of beach nearby.
The owners of Torre Marabino produce organic wine and olive oil and are commercial growers of organic fruit and vegetables. It is in a wonderful elevated position, with views over its lush gardens, the crops and rolling landscape, to the sea in the distance, and Ispica. This is undoubtedly a working farm, but is part of a new generation of agritourism, which, set apart from the farm, is a haven of peace and tranquillity.
Torre Marabino is boutique agritourism at its best. The sturdy Saracen tower dominates the landscape and its mellow stone gleams in the Sicilian sunshine. Inside, it feels immense and solid. In fact, with only 7 rooms-cum-mini apartments, it is intimate, homely and elegant. Original steep, shiny black stone steps wind up the inside of the tower to some rooms. A large sitting room is really comfortable and welcoming. The dining room is small and cosy. Soft greens, peaches, sunny yellows and terracotta compliment the manorial architecture and antique style wooden furnishings. It is very atmospheric.
We love all of this, but the three main elements, which attract us to Torre Marabino, are the fantastic staff, the truly amazing food and wine, and the fabulous gardens and pool.
The atmosphere and feeling of intimacy at Torre Marabino are due, in no small part, to the exceptional staff. It seems that the charming, smiling, Simona and Francesco have only concern - to look after their guests, to ensure a great stay. Attentive, but discreet, they cannot do enough for you. The Maitre D, Salvatore, is such a sweetie. He knows his food and wine, he loves his food and wine, and he will be determined that you have only the best gastronomic experience. His impeccable, but friendly service hits just the right note every time and he is amazing - we wanted to bring him home. Elena usually serves breakfast and she is incredible - utterly charming and genuinely interested in her guests, she is a lovely lady. Giovanni and Emigliano, the young chefs, should be locked in and never let out, lest they be stolen! So talented and creative that it is surprising, they produce dishes fit for serious food-lovers and we just want to keep both of them secret! Ignazio, the gardener, is so proud of his beautiful garden, made from scratch, and he is always delighted to show guests the marvellous fruits of his labours. Every single one of Torre Marabino's "Team " put their heart and soul into it and we, the Long Travel "Team " can really identify with that. Their passion is genuine and they are just naturally nice people (like us, I hear you say!!).
Growers of organic vines, olives, fruit and vegetables certainly know their food. Torre Marabino's well-known restaurant spills out onto lovely terraces, in summer, and it is absolutely top-notch for the service (Salvatore - bless him) and for the classy, fine food extraordinaire. Sicilian and Mediterranean specialities are transformed by Giovanni's creativity and diners are in for a gastronomic delight. The wine is superb, supremely drinkable and exceptionally good. Elena's breakfasts are to die for, amongst the best we've ever had. Home-baked pastries and delicious cakes, local delicacies, smoked ricotta, Torre Marabino's own jams and honeys and so much more, all served with a delicate touch and all non-fattening, of course(!!). You are in for a treat.
The tower stands in truly wonderful manicured lawns and lush gardens. Lofty palms, ancient olive trees and carobs, cactus gardens, topiary olive trees, neat hedges, the garden has structure and colour and is a paradise for garden-lovers. Ignazio has a right be proud of his creation - it is a real joy. The lovely pool, in a secret corner of the garden, is the perfect place to relax.
So, if you love your food and gardens, the boutique Torre Marabino, with so few rooms, is for you. In a relaxed, unhurried atmosphere, you will have fine dining, fine wines, supremely delicious breakfasts and attentive, smiling staff. We did not want to leave and we can't wait to go back.
ISPICA is in Sicily's south-east corner, which is famous for its outstanding Baroque architecture and fabulous beaches. The town's streets and squares are lined with fine palazzi and are home to several elegant churches, such as Santa Maria Maggiore, with its splendid collection of frescoes, and the Chiesà dell'Annunziata. However, Ispica is particularly well known for the 13km gorge, Cava d'Ispica, which contains a Neolithic burial site and cave dwellings from the Middle Ages. A path runs along the whole length of the gorge, although it is very overgrown, in places. It is an incredibly tranquil place to immerse oneself in Mother Nature's greenery.
Places of Interest:
Ispica Gorge, Scicli, Noto, Siracusa
Distance to Coast:
- 7 rooms, all en-suite
- All rooms have satellite television, hairdryers, wi-fi and safe and all rooms except Noto have kitchen corner
- Restaurant & bar
- Swimming pool late March to October, weather permitting
- Pool towels provided free of charge
- Use of bicycles free of charge
- The hotel has an arrangement with a lido beach in Santa Maria del Focallo, charge of €15-€20 per day, payable locally (usually available from May to September, weather permitting)
- Cookery courses (not July/August) and wine tours available (not September/October) can be pre-booked through Long Travel
- Very occasionally the property may host weddings
- Restaurant open to public by reservation only
- Half-board menu changes daily and always includes a choice of one meat dish and one fish dish. The hotel are happy to cater for vegetarians and those with special diets but please tell us in advance
With only 7 rooms-cum-mini apartments, guests feel very looked after and at home. Original steep, shiny black steps cling to the internal walls and wind up the inside of the tower to some rooms. Others are on the ground floor. Generally feeling very spacious, soft greens, peaches and sunny yellows compliment the manorial architecture and antique style wooden furnishings. Almost all have a kitchen corner, some inside a large cupboard, usually with 2 ring hob and equipped for limited self-catering.
1 Standard room
Carmen - on the first floor and ideal for two people. Lovely sea and countryside views. Shower room.
3 Superior rooms
Archimede - on the first floor, for a maximum of two adults and two children. Views over countryside. Very large room with kitchen corner and shower room. An armchair converts to an extra bed if required.
Don Pasquale - on the first floor and ideal for two people (cot possible but no extra beds). Sea and countryside views. Kitchen corner and shower room.
Don Paolo - on the first floor, for a maximum of three people. Views over countryside and the swimming pool. Kitchen corner and shower room. An armchair converts to an extra bed if required.
3 Suite rooms
Impronta - on the ground floor, ideal for a family of four people as a mini-apartment, the double bed is on a wooden mezzanine. Lovely sea and countryside views and direct access to the garden. Kitchen corner and shower room, table and chairs and two armchairs, which convert to extra beds if required.
Eureka - on the ground floor, ideal for a family of four people. Very large room with a view of the garden. Kitchen corner and very large shower room, table and chairs and two armchairs, which convert to extra beds if required.
Moscato della Torre - on the ground floor, an independent room near the pool, a very large mini-apartment ideal for up to 5 people. Kitchen corner and shower room, table and chairs and two armchairs, which convert to extra beds if required.
Stanley Stewart wrote for the Sunday Times: "Agriturismo is evolving in Sicily. The traditional elements - hospitality, gorgeous locations, local food - are still present, but in a more boutiquey atmosphere. Torre Marabino is in the southeast, three miles from the sea and not far from the Baroque towns of Ragusa, Noto and Modica. The owners produce organic fruit and ve, wine and olive oil, all of which form part of dinner - if you can tear yourself away from the pool."
"We loved this hotel. The staff were all so helpful and friendly. The first day we arrived far too late for lunch but were immediately asked if we had eaten and then were promptly served a delicious plate of food. The setting, pool and gardens were spacious and beautifully maintained. Our room was quiet and comfortable. The food was delicious with a different menu every night. There are lots of places to explore all within an hours drive some much closer. Beautiful beach within 10 minutes drive.The wine from the Marabino estate was excellent and it is well worth having a tour of the vineyard. We had a lovely holiday and will certainly return." Michael & Jane, London
"We had a warm welcome at Marabino and had one of the rooms with a sea view, nice bedroom and bathroom with plenty of space. For the evening meals Salvatore was charming, explained all the dishes to us and kept us laughing. The food was amazing with a different menu each night we were treated to some special dishes. We tried a different wine each night and ended up bringing some back with us. I would have a glass of their Moscato with the final dish and this was exceptional. Breakfast was also a delight with fresh baked tarts each morning which were mouth watering along with their own honeys and preserves." Andy & Wendy, Bakewell
“Service, helpfulness and food & drink are all first class, far more than you would expect for this kind of hotel”
Michael & Imogen, Dulwich
Michael & Imogen, Dulwich
"Torre Marabino was exceptional value for money - evening meals were fantastic." John & Pamela, Morpeth
"Just to let you know that we had a wonderful time at Torre Marabino. The staff were all endlessly welcoming and efficient, the room was great, the food was lovely and the hotel itself was everything you said it would be." Hedley & Marjo, Sturminster Newton
"Wow! What's not to like? Fabulous property in wonderful surroundings. Lovely, lovely people and excellent food." Colin & Vilma, Truro
TORRE MARABINO SICILY HOTEL
PRICES IN £'S PER PERSON, PER NIGHT, SHARING A DOUBLE ROOM, UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED
PRICES IN £'S PER PERSON, PER NIGHT, SHARING A DOUBLE ROOM, UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED
WE ARE CONFIDENT IN OUR PRICES. SHOULD YOU FIND THIS ACCOMMODATION CHEAPER ELSEWHERE, PLEASE COME BACK TO US. WE WILL ALWAYS DO OUR BEST TO BETTER ANY COMPARABLE QUOTE.
Easter Sunday (31/03/13), Christmas Day & Boxing Day are priced using August prices.
Pricing Information (Footer):
Half-board includes antipasti, primi and secondi only. Desserts and drinks, payable locally • 0-2 yrs free, cot €15 per night payable locally • Third bed prices: for 3-6 yrs 50% discount, for 7-14 yrs 30% discount, for 15+ yrs 10% discount • Fourth or fifth bed in Suite for 3-15 yrs 50% discount, 16+ yrs 30% discount • Cookery lessons €30 per person (min. of 4 people) payable locally • Wine tours €12 per person, payable locally • Nearby Lido beach €15-€20 per person per day, payable locally