The sister of the extremely popular Grand Hotel Timeo, Villa Sant’ Andrea is a haven for those wanting to be right on the beach but having the fun and buzz of Taormina just a short hop up the hill.

Bedrooms are wonderfully fresh with off-white walls, linens and furnishings in soft colours to contrast with that blue blue sea. Marble bathrooms (complete with bottles of Penhaligons) are vast and the Sicilian ceramics (such as the brightly coloured coffee mugs at breakfast) and the beautiful wall hangings throughout the hotel add a charming Sicilian touch to one of our favourite hotel chains in Italy.

The position really is unbeatable. The beach is straight out of a Dolce & Gabbana commercial. Part of it is strictly reserved for Sant’Andrea guests, and is where your midday spritz will be delivered to your sun bed along with a lemon granita and plate of fresh watermelon. The hotel has access to thousands of magazines and newspapers with its new e reader service, children are whisked off by nannies to the ‘smile club’ and all you need to mull over is whether to have spaghetti alle vongole or a grilled branzino, caught that morning for lunch. The beach itself buzzes with the bronzed and the beautiful as fishing boats bob in and out of the bay.

If you can bear to escape, the cities of Syracuse and Catania are nearby as are the wineries on the slopes of Etna that have along the years gained a reputation for producing some of the finest wines in Italy.