Are you heading to Sicily but are feeling overwhelmed by figuring out where to stay? Syracuse is a vibrant port city located in the South-East corner of the island. Its strategic location has made it a melting point of different cultures, religions, and cuisines. Knowing where to stay and what to do to make the most of your time here is half the battle. The smart traveler plans ahead, so use this guide on where to stay in Syracuse and Noto as a sign. Start planning your next adventure.
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The Best Hotels in Syracuse and Noto at a Glance
- 5-Star Art Deco Majesty: Grand Hotel Des Etrangers
- A Historical Hotel With Style: Hotel Roma
- An Apartment with Baroque Flair: Maestranza72
- Modern Brilliance in Noto: Q92
- A Boutique Gem in Noto: Aria Rooms
Check out our guide on The Top Things to To Do in Sicily
Why Stay in Syracuse?
Founded on the island of Ortiga, located close to the mainland, at its height, Syracuse once rivaled Athens as the most powerful city in the Greek world.
First settled by the Corinthians in 733 BC, Syracuse has a long and illustrious history. Its position controlling access to the straights of Messina and its two harbors (military and merchant) allowed Syracuse to flourish.
Home to the great scientist and mathematician Archimedes, Syracuse fell into the hands of the Romans in 212 BC. The city went into an age of decline that was further compounded in 1693 AD when the city was leveled by an earthquake, resulting in the center being rebuilt in the baroque style we see today.
From Greeks to Romans, Carthaginians, and Byzantian forces, all at some point, have attacked the city due to its strategic importance. WWII was no different. The Allied and German airforces heavily bombed Syracuse in 1943, resulting in a rapid, uncontrolled, and soulless city rebuilding after the war.
Because of this, my number one suggestion is to stay on the island of Ortygia, which still holds its original charm and wonder. Alternatively, you can head to one of the numerous Baroque towns that stretch along the coast, including Noto, Ragusa, and Modica.
- Ortigia: For culture vultures, history buffs, and lovers of markets and sun-worshipers.
- Noto: For Baroque architecture lovers, White Lotus fans and couples
Where to Stay in Ortigia and Why
The name Ortigia comes from the ancient word for quail because of its birdlike shape. Here, you’ll find the best of Syracuse, from its beautiful 7th-Century Temple of Apollo to the spectacular Duomo, once the Doric temple of Athena. Inside you’ll find a masterpiece of the enigmatic master Caravaggio, depicting the burial of the local patron saint, Saint Lucy.
You’ll find narrow streets lined with restaurants, boutique shops, and breathtaking coastal views. It’s the perfect Sicilian adventure for those who love history, culture, and a little bit of nature.
The Best 5-Star Hotel in Ortigia
Set in a restored 19th-century palace, the Grand Hotel des Etrangers is a grand dame among Syracusa’s hotels. Located in the center of the island, the Grand Hotel offers old-world charm with modern-day amenities. The rooms are stylishly decorated., many with balconies offering stunning sea views.
The in-house Clou Restaurant offers Sicilian Cuisine with a modern twist making the Grand Hotel a perfect destination for special occasions.
The Best 4-Star Hotel in Ortigia
Opened in 1880, Hotel Roma sits in the heart of Ortigia, overlooking Piazza Minerva and yards from the baroque splendor of the Duomo. The Hotel Roma borrows from Arab architecture with hidden courtyards providing a welcome retreat from the maddening crowd outside.
With a range of different room choices, including family rooms, there is something for every traveler here.
The Best 4-Star Hotel in Ortigia
I mean, look at that courtyard! Sometimes when I see a courtyard like this as the main picture, I’m worried that they are hiding something by not showing the inside. That’s not the case here (click through to see all the images). This spectacular apartment is a wonderful spot for couples or families. Recently renovated to the highest quality.
There are a number of apartments, all sumptuously decorated, across the Rome Bufardeci Palace (dating back to 1760) and the elegant Baroque Bonanno Palace (dating from the early 1700s). The apartments welcome kids and our four-legged friends. Personally, I prefer apartments to hotels when traveling, and it doesn’t get any better than this.
Where to Stay in Noto and Why
A UNESCO World Heritage site, often referred to as il giardino di pietra (the garden of stone), Noto is renowned for its baroque splendor. Featured in Italian movie classics like ‘L’Avventura’ with Monica Vitti and more recently in HBO’s smash hit ‘The White Lotus’, Noto has been popular with daytrippers ever since the birth of modern tourism.
Like most towns swamped by day-trippers, sometimes the best way to experience the real aspect of the area is to outstay them. Whilst they shuffle back to Syracuse of Taormina, you’ll get ready for dinner in a much quieter city. From here, you can easily explore the rest of the baroque towns in the area. Be sure to check out Ragusa and Modica to really get a feel for the region.
The Best Hotel in Noto
€€€| 4 Star | Brand New Opening | Landmark Views
The Q92 is a newcomer to Noto, having opened in 2021. It has quickly become the hottest destination in the city. With beautifully designed rooms, seamlessly blending antique architecture with modern chic has resulted in one of the best-looking hotels in Sicily.
The shaded garden terrace, with uninterrupted views of the cathedral, is a perfect place to start each day. Rooms in high season start from a very reasonable €250. With everything from twin rooms to family suites, there is something to cater to every traveler here.
The Best Boutique Hotel in Noto
€€€| 4 Star | Fantastic Terrace | Plunge Pool
The Aria Room is undoubtedly one of Noto’s most beautiful boutique hotels. With its stunning multi-platformed terrace, with unrivaled city views, and the smell of citrus constantly in the air, there are few places better to enjoy an early evening aperitivo and watch as the late evening glow illuminates the architectural wonders of the city.
The rooms are tastefully decorated. The plunge pool is perfect for cooling off, and for those arriving by car, there is free parking out front. Something that can be a nightmare to find in Noto. Although kids are welcome, this site is definitely geared more toward adults, so is perfect for couples looking for a quiet oasis in the city.