Therasia Resort Sea & Spa
What We Love
- The Jetsetter rate includes breakfast, sparkling wine on arrival, spa access, transfers to/from the port of Vulcano and free soft drinks from the minibar
- Postcard-worthy view of Lipari and its faraglioni (freestanding rock formations off the coast), with the other Aeolian islands in the distance
- Privacy: The resort is on a promontory away from everything else
- The romantic terrace is perfectly positioned to take in stunning sunsets
What To Know
- Vulcano is known for its sulfuric mudbaths, which emit a strong aroma that hits as soon as the ferry pulls in. The resort is far enough away not to smell it, but be warned
- It’s very popular with families when kids are out of school
- Some of the rooms (and especially the bathrooms) are small
- The property is seasonal and closes on September 30; we've secured Flash sale rates from May 10 through July 1, 2014
- Free WiFi
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
Smoldering volcanoes, bubbling mud baths and black sand beaches make up the seven Aeolian Islands off the coast of Sicily. Vulcano, the least developed of them, is home to Therasia Resort Sea & Spa, a secluded spot on a private promontory with a palm tree–lined terrace and infinity pool. Light, bright and breezy, the low-rise buildings are whitewashed and have vaulted ceilings, archways and wrought iron railings. The interiors make the most of local materials including Sicilian terra-cotta, cedar and molten rock from Mount Etna, and colorful modern art pieces dot the walls.
Bed and Bath
The 97 guestrooms continue the all-white vibe with white floor tiles, bedspreads and furniture. Subtle splashes of color feature in the bright majolica headboards in some rooms; wrought iron four-posters take center stage in the others. All rooms have a shaded balcony or terrace. The bathrooms are on the small side but all have impressive sinks cut from black lava rock (some of the marble and tiling could do with a refresh).
The hotel is proud of its gourmet restaurant, Il Cappero, but its menu is a tad complicated and unsuccessful. On the other hand, the simpler dishes at the other two restaurants shine, particularly lunch at the poolside outdoor restaurant. Grilled local swordfish, tuna and calamari, as well as the linguine with sea urchin and the pizzas are all delicious. So are the cocktails, particularly an Aperol spritz on the large white stone terrace at sunset. If you’re not chartering the hotel’s crewed motorboats, you’re at the pool with the stunning Lipari/faraglioni view, swimming in the sea (there’s ladder access from the rocks below the pool) or at the spa having a volcanic black sand scrub.
In the Area
Vulcano is the southernmost island of the Aeolians, but daytripping to the other islands is an easy 30- to 90-minute ferry ride. Glamorous Panarea, a prime setting for models, actresses and European royals arriving by yacht, comes alive at night when the nightclub at the Hotel Raya starts up, but by day the main town has plenty of chic shops (such as Raya’s separate boutique) and infinitely charming lanes of whitewashed houses to stroll. Stromboli, home of the famous constantly erupting volcano, is best seen from a boat at night, when torrents of molten lava can flow down the side; at the very least, you’ll see puffs of red smoke. Salina is home to vineyards that produce the sweet wine Malvasia, and fields of capers. Head to the village of Lingua to sample the island’s best granita in a rainbow of flavors at Da Alfredo.
How to Get There
Stayed here when on a trip to the islands. Bad weather stopped us going to Stromboli but the resort and town were sufficient compensation for us. Lovely village and people. The cacti ere impressive and the boat traffic varied.
Stayed for a few nights on a VJV tour. Lovely location. Paid extra for sea view and it was worth the supplement. However, the bathroom had a "bad drains" smell. Now being charitable, this could be down to the fact that we were on a volcanic island with sulphur smells all around. But I think it was the drains - and the mosquitoes loved it and we were both badly bitten during our stay. Dinner was included on the first evening and clearly we were on the "tour-group special". Group food mass catering and not terribly good with very limited choice and though the a la carte menu looked better, the prices were a bit high for us. Breakfast in the morning was brilliant however.
The Therasia Resort Hotel is beautifully situated on Isola Vulcano within Italy's Aeolian Island archipelago and from the dining room there are some beautiful views across the sea to the other islands. The weather was perfect when we were there, and azure blue sea and clear skies made this an idyllic holiday retreat, albeit that getting to and from the island can be a bit of a challenge. The accommodation and hotel facilities were generally very good and MOST of the staff were very helpful and friendly (more about the exception in a moment!). We had slight concerns beforehand that the smell created by volcanic activity might spoil things, but actually, at the hotel you are too far away from any of the volcanic fumeroles to be affected. In the port however, there are a few quite whiffy areas, so chose an upwind restaurant if eating in the port (unless you like the smell of rotten eggs!).
We were slightly disappointed in the repetitive evening menu in the main dining room (Arcipelago Restaurant): although there were some 'seafood specials' added to the menu, the basic menu did not vary during our stay, and it was easy to become tired of it. Understandably, given Vulcano's proximity to Sicily, the hotel was keen to promote Sicilian food, but we were surprised that in a supposedly 5* resort, there was a total lack (in the main dining room) of any international cuisine, or even for that matter, Italian food from outside the region. The Sicilian food that was served was of a good quality, but a greater variety would have been appreciated.
Breakfasts were outstanding. The food was varied and plentiful, although on occasions some things ran out and were not replenished unless you made a point of seeking out staff and asking. (e.g. the orange juice).
Drinks are expensive and unless you are on an all-inclusive deal, the temptation to go in search of more varied food and drink at a reasonable price is very strong, and as a result, we ate in the port area on a number of nights. The complimentary shuttle service was efficient (although a change in timetable on one day wasn't properly advertized).
The one thing that very nearly spoilt an otherwise pleasant stay here, was the attitude of ONE of the sommeliers in the dining room. One of the sommeliers was very good and very friendly, the other was possibly auditioning for a role in Fawlty Towers. He was unspeakably rude, inattentive, and unprofessional, and to this day, we have no idea what we did to upset him (as he seemed to single us out for this childish and unacceptable treatment). Not only did he seem to get upset that we wanted our wine with our meal (how terribly unreasonable of us!), but clearly didn't approve of OUR choice of wine (that was on the first day) and on subsequent days, he strutted around the dining room as if he was God's gift to to the sommelier trade and demonstrated incredible skill in avoiding serving us. On one occasion when we did manage to ask him for service, he went away from us muttering in Italian under his breath, and perhaps it is just as well that my Italian is not good enough to understand what he was saying because his attitude was unmistakably hostile . We never did get our wine, and only the very helpful intervention of the other sommelier prevented us from complaining directly to the resort manager about this pathetically inadequate excuse for a man. It certainly left a bitter taste in the mouth for a few days whenever we saw his scowling face in the dining room.
The grounds were neat and tidy, although I did feel that a 5 star hotel could have made more effort with their 'gardens'. The main pool and various plunge pools were lovely and access to the sea for sea-swimming was also good. There were plenty of sun-loungers either around the pool or in more secluded parts of the grounds if that's what you prefer.
So overall, we had a good holiday at the Therasia Resort, but it certainly isn't worth the 5 star rating and it could certainly do a lot better if it tried. Would we return? Probably not: there are hotels that provide better levels of service where the cuisine is more varied and drinks aren't overpriced.
The sort of hotel that when you see pictures in advance you cannot wait to get to - in reality it does not live up to the promise. It took ages to be allocated our rooms, everyone had to be individually shown by a man who unlocked the door for you as if you were incapable of doing it yourself.
My room looked wonderful - huge - but when I drew back the curtains to the patio the staff were having their break sat on the patio wall smoking cigarettes. Next door were screaming children. The shower had no door to the cubical so I flooded the floor.
Then dinner - 10 euros for an undrinkable glass of wine. (Back home you can buy 2 bottles of better stuff for that price). The food was a joke. Starters that were at most 2 bites. The main courses were just as small. Hardly worth the wait - our table was booked for 8 pm and by 9.30 we were still waiting to eat. If you had the fish - cod - that was all there was on the plate, a lump of fish about 2 by 3 inches, no vegetables or potatoes or anything else. One waiter refused to tell us what the desserts were and then when we did find out they lost the orders and had to come around and ask again. All the waiters were very rude and one pushed a man in our group to get past him, no 'excuse me please,' or anything.
Breakfast was better, however they ask if you would like tea or coffee but then don't bring it.
When I got back to my room after 'dinner' luckily the screaming children were asleep, however overhead had a plumbing problem, with constant running water. By 5 am I had had enough, packed my case and phoned reception to see if it was an empty room overhead with a leaking valve from the shower or something as I did not think that if there were people in the room that they could sleep through all the noise either. Unfortunately the chap on reception did not speak English well enough to understand. I spoke with someone else about 7.30 am and was told I could change rooms.
The second room on the other side of the complex was smaller - but the shower was much better and had a door! However, there was a crying baby this side. Why do hotels not house all the people with children in one area?
In either room the only sockets my adapters would work to charge my camera was if I unplugged the TV.
In the end I was only too pleased to leave this place. Nice location - yes. Relaxing - no.
A luxury ‘all-in’ resort; this is the place you would never stay in unless, as we did, it was part of a tour itinerary. There are lovely views from the property out to sea and especially to Stromboli though that is 40km distant. The place was huge - all very generous spaces and in tip-top condition. The dining room was well laid out and the food was very good. Breakfast was unbelievable; the only things I could think of that were missing were porridge and kedgeree and this is Italy and not Scotland! There was everything; the honeys alone numbered eight on a table of jams and conserve varieties that numbered over thirty. When did you last have mulberry jam at breakfast, or any mealtime for that matter? Eggs in every incarnation e.g. coddled or poached. Pork belly as well as bacon. A real luxury experience. Beautiful grounds - they even grow their own salad items