I liked the labyrinthine layout of the grounds. Most of all, I liked the warm vibe of the place. I felt welcome. The Borgo is run by the Coletta family: all of whom are excellent hosts and are extremely helpful. They are from the area so nobody knows the lay of the land better than they do. When language becomes a bottleneck, Tonino's wife, Sandra, comes to the rescue and saves the day. She speaks English, French, and Italian.
If you need space and light, then ask them not to put you up in The Melograno ‘bungalow’. It was clean, but it was just too small, dark, and cramped for me. I asked to move to another apartment, but they were apparently booked full. Thus, I did not stay as long as I would have liked. Also, if you are looking forward to a vacation without a car, then the Borgo San Francesco is not for you. You absolutely need a car, scooter, or motorcycle here. It would not be impossible to get around via bicycle here, but even if you are in great shape, you will be drenched with sweat after the ride up the hill from Gioiosa Marea.
The restaurant is a winner. Unfortunately, it was open only Saturday and Sunday during my stay there. I know that if the restaurant had been open every day, I would have eaten there every day. I would not have used the kitchen in the room even once. The space is very comfortable and homey. The food is excellent; the menu consisting mainly of local specialties. It is well-prepared, well-presented, and the service is friendly and competent (even in English).
Their wines are pretty good in terms of price / performance. However, they could enhance the Sicilian experience offering some higher-end Sicilian wines, of which there are plenty.
Altogether, the price/performance is very good. I have already recommended the Borgo to my friends and family.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The 4-star Borgo San Francesco is a newly restored charming residence with a cluster of little villas (once farm houses) and private patios and gardens that have an exclusive feel to them. There is also a pool conveniently situated where the sun always shines and a charming restaurant with floor to ceiling windows that greatly enhance the eating experience during the summer. Our restaurant is committed to making sure you experience the full plethora of Sicilian foods and wine, serving above all, country- style local dishes. We specialize in the essence of traditional, local cuisine using only the freshest products sometimes grown only a few km from the Borgo. While being immersed in this enveloping atmosphere, one is also in close proximity to the charming seaside town of Gioiosa Marea (only 4 km away, of mostly straight roads) and can conveniently visit other areas of Sicily while using our Borgo as a base for planning trips, as well as a calm, serene place to return to. There is also a common room with a fireplace, a reading area with many books and maps on the area and the island on whole and internet point. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Borgo San Francesco Sicily/Gioiosa Marea, Italy