72 Hours at the Therasia Resort - Vulcano, Italy
Having spent nearly as much hours as on a middle-haul flight (2-3 hours) with getting from Palermo to Vulcano (3,5 hours by train and boat from Milazzo or 5 hours by direct ferry from Palermo Harbour), it is indeed not that easy to arrive at the Therasia Resort - but therefore you arrive at a unknown sanctuary hidden at a secret spot on the Mediterranean. Unwinding the one-hour boat drive by hydrofoil we were already welcomed by Laura from the Therasia Resort. Our luggage was stored and the shuttle bus took us straigt to the resort where the check-in has been done. After a welcome drink at the breath-taking bar we were picked up by the blonde lady from the reception who was very kind during our stay. She showed us around and accompanied us to the room.
We got a nice Classic Room overlooking the gardens on the second floor (in central Europe it would be the first floor). Regarding the Garden View rooms. Although I do not know if they vary in size but we experienced that the rooms on the second floor have huge terraces with lounge chairs and views of the garden, while the rooms on the first floor don't have any views but also a nice terrace. On the third floor there are also Garden view rooms with just a balcony and two chairs (no loungers), but they might have a view of the vulcano which the other rooms don't have. In general the room was quite comfortable with a good working air condition, good beds, free minibar (stocked with sparkling and still water as well as an extensive selection of lemonades - all items in the minibar are not branded). The bathroom was cozy with a walk-in shower (Thanks to the hotel, I do not like shower-tub-combos!), a perfect shower head with good pressure, toilet, bidet and single vanity with enough towels and hotel-branded toiletries which smelled pretty good - however I was proud on my last catch: we stayed at Villa Igiea (perfect for a combination with a stay in Palermo) before and got lots of Molton Brown! Regarding our terrace we had a very spacious one and enjoyed some good bottles of champagne while the sun is kissing the sea next to the Aeolian Islands!
After we have experienced the room we went for lunch at the Grill Restaurant above the pool. There I had - completely unexpected - the best pizza since my stay in Napoli two years ago! Wanting to jump in the massive and never ending infinity pool at Therasia Resort we decided to skip desert and it was a perfect decision. Although finding a lounge chair was not that easy, there was always a free one anywhere. Unfortunately the pool boys are only handing out the towels and there are no complimentary refreshments served - this would be a lovely touch! Beside the heated pool (Yes heated!! I am writing about a truly wonderful hotel ;-) ) there is also a beach with sea access (not a sandy one but rocky and therefore the water is light blue and truly clear!) and more lounge chairs along the staies down to the sea.
At the Therasia Resort there are three restaurants: the Archipelago for half board, the Grusoni Restaurant (Grill Restaurant) with Pizza oven and the one-michelin starred Restaurant for the discerning travelers. We dined two times at the main restaurant (Archipelago) and one time at the Grill Restaurant. We have made very different experiences at Archipelago restaurant: On the first evening, the Grusoni restaurant was closed and therefore Archipelago was crowded and staff were working hard - waiting times were usual. On the second evening we were one of the only guests at Archipelago and experienced a perfect service. However the service at Grusoni restaurant was perfect - welcoming and funny. We felt that the hotel takes also large groups which can harm the atmosphere in an inconvenient way. One day the pool was full of a french group being very loud. They also had lunch at Grusoni restaurant which had the consequence that all hotel guests need to have lunch at Archipelago. We waited 30 minutes for simple spaghetti with tomatoes and they forgot to serve the bread but chagred the cover.
All in all we felt very welcomed throughout our stay. The staff members are all friendly and willing to help. The shuttle bus goes nearly every hour and they can bring you everywhere you need to go. There is even a shuttle service at 10pm meaning you can have dinner in town, which we would not recommend as the hotel's prices at the restaurants and bars are all affordable. Rooms starting at 200 euros per night for two persons including breakfast, it is a much cheaper option then the other upscale seaside properties of Italy (eg Il Pellicano, Santa Caterina Amalfi or Splendido Portofino) - and we can highly recommend it as it is a real hideaway with en excellent value for money!
For every traveler wanting to go to the unbelievable wonderful Aeolian Islands and staying there, I have one concern: One day I encountered a couple that was complaining about the missing channel in their language during our stay and they really got upset, so I asked myself do I really go to such a truly remote destination to watch my home series? Not in our case (we didn't use the TV throughout our 3-night stay) - the scenery is unique in Europe and the hotel has lots of activities so I ask you to do the same! Don't come here if you plan to spend all day watching foreign television channels - this is not the Ritz Carlton. Indeed I never expected the archipelago to be that amazing so grab your sunhat, Ray Ban or Prada glasses, a bottle of cooled Laurent Perrier and get a private boat to dive into the Med on Spiagga Bianca in Liapri - that's La Dolce Vita!
During our stay I really felt a bit like at Il Pellicano: the view, the beach and sea access, the designed and fresh uniforms, the room layout - BUT the Therasia has got unique views of Lipari and the most wonderful sunsets you can have in Italy.
From my point of view, the Therasia Resort could easily become an upscale property and I feel they are doing everything to get on the international luxury radar! Well done, we congratulate and are looking forward to return next year!
Our stay was super relaxing and as we were travelling for four weeks it was a perfect geatway in between the city trips! We also felt that the staff did not know about us - there was no extra special treamtent so our above written has not been influenced. The Therasia Resort invited us and we were guests of the resort.