For one of the most dashing country hotels south of Rome, push on all the way down to eastern Sicily and the lower slopes of Mount Etna, where you’ll find Zash, tucked away among orange and lemon groves just south of the coastal town of Riposto.
If the setting is bucolic and the name evokes one of nature’s gentler sounds, the hotel is an archetype of contemporary urban sophistication. Zash unfolds within an old country house and its adjacent winery and cellars, all masterfully renovated, and out into ample gardens.
In the main building are two swanky, two-bedroom suites with site-specific, flawlessly white design interiors. They feature high vaulted ceilings, wooden flooring, a lava stone fireplace in the larger of the two, and huge windows framing stunning vistas of the volcano on one side and blue sea on the other. The cellars house three rooms, each enclosed in its own immaculate shell, detached from the bare lava-stone walls of the original structure. And two more stunning rooms – one with privatespa facilities – are contained in a garden annexe, glass-fronted so that the lawns and citrus trees are part of the décor.
Zash has its own restaurant inside the ancient winery, where the concept is slow, local and simple to enhance the finest flavours of Sicilian cuisine. And a lounge bar serves cocktails and dispenses wines from an impressive list which favours the best producers of the Etnawine region but also extends beyond national borders. Outdoor facilities include the garden for relaxation, and a jogging track and fitness area in the citrus orchard. Coming soon, a pool and spa centre. Fine beaches are only 2 km away. Whatever else you might need, Zashcan help provide: service here is as befits such classy hospitality.