I worked in Rome this week and have one more week to go. As I’ve been a few times, I decided to plan a weekend trip outside the city. I narrowed my options to Sofia, Bucharest, or somewhere within Italy. Sofia was the frontrunner (especially with warm weather this weekend) until the flight time was strangely rescheduled to 2pm, a little too early to depart on a Friday. It then seemed like Bucharest would be country #71 for me as well as my weekend selection…until colleagues in the Rome office adamantly suggested Siracusa in Sicily instead given the unusually warm November weather so far this month. They all seemed to agree that Siracusa/Ortigia was one of their favorite places within Sicily. Forecasts for today were just shy of 80 degrees Fahrenheit while Sunday was showing to be in the upper 70s. Sold! I booked a boutique hotel on Hotels.com using TopCashBack (9% discount currently) and couldn’t be happier with the selection.

Here’s what I woke up to this morning…from my room at the Musciara Siracusa Resort…

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The hotel is quite pricey during prime travel season with rates of EUR 200 – 450 per night. However, in the current off-season I was able to snag a sea-view room for only $300 total for both nights (plus I’ll get almost $30 back via TopCashBack). The hotel is family owned and run and the staff couldn’t be nicer. Last night they provided excellent dinner recommendations on the island of Ortigia (about a 15 minute walk from the hotel) and then invited me to join them at a local bar after. There’s also friendly family dog Buddy…

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All rooms include breakfast and complimentary chairs and umbrellas at the hotel’s private beach (the only hotel in Siracusa with direct beach access and chaise lounges / umbrellas).

Breakfast is only until 10, but I decided to sleep in a little past then. However, the family was happy to provide a great seaside breakfast even after 10…

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Look at those scissors for the grapes, fresh squeezed OJ, homemade bread, quiche, and assorted deli meats.

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Buddy joined me for breakfast…

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Well, the forecasters actually got it right, it was beautiful today! I didn’t even pack sandals for this trip, as I was not intending to swim in Italy during the second week of November. It was fantastic though and the water is still warm from the summer.

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Today was a beach day, but Siracusa (Syracuse) has a ton of Greek, Roman, and Baroque monuments and archeological sites which I’ll be visiting tomorrow.

With a semi-late breakfast, I wasn’t hungry until around 3pm and the hotel chef had left by that time. No worries though, Laura (the manager) had her brother whip me up some homemade pasta with Tuna!

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…and then there’s the quaint interior of the 11 room hotel built only three years ago.

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I certainly love my chain properties, but sometimes it’s definitely nice to stay a little more local. Full trip report in the next few weeks…

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Joey November 9, 2013 - 11:31 am

So awesome to see you blog about a family-run local boutique hotel versus the usual Hyatt/Starwood chains!

adam November 9, 2013 - 11:35 am

@Joey – Staying at one is quite a nice change as well. Really enjoying it. Though, if it was summer prime season and the rates were Euro 400 (500 USD) per night, I’d probably be using my hotel points at an SPG property…

Shannon November 9, 2013 - 12:01 pm

Your blog is officially one of favs now. But you have to start show your face and stop teasing your fans 🙂 I am also so envious as NY is in low 40’s and this morning indeed very cold.

adam November 9, 2013 - 12:02 pm

@Shannon – Great! Glad to have you!!! Hah, you’ll have to come to the next Point Me to the Plane meet-up to meet in person. Just waiting on verification of a potential date this month.

JustSaying November 9, 2013 - 2:15 pm

70 and sunny in San Francisco today………..

NYBanker November 9, 2013 - 2:20 pm

Nice post.

Brooke November 9, 2013 - 2:39 pm

I bet your girlfriend wishes she was there with you…

The Westin Roma Goes to the Apple Store for Me… - Point Me To The Plane November 12, 2013 - 3:35 pm

[…] Apple Store shopping. Last Friday, I checked out of the Westin Excelsior Rome in a hurry (see This is What I Woke Up to this Morning…Great Weekend Trip) and somehow left behind the headphones for my iPhone in the room. I emailed the hotel immediately […]


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