When I heard I was going to check out the Rocco Forte Verdura Golf & Spa Resort on the South coast of Sicily, the first question that arose was ‘me and golf’?
Me and spa – now that was more like it!
However, I have to say I was proved wrong as I had a thoroughly interesting, enjoyable and entertaining afternoon having a golf lesson. There are two 18 hole championship courses (as well as a 9 hole) with sea views along the 1.8km private coastline.
I would have still been there now, however, if I had tried everything on the extensive spa menu, although I did try the four thalassotherapy pools. These are divine and it was impossible not to relax in the soothing waters surrounded by far-reaching views, citrus trees and swallows flying overhead. There is a holistic approach to health and wellbeing if you want to take it a step further. Vita Health programmes combine the latest medical techniques, with natural therapies and can be tailor-made for your stay.
To give an idea of size it takes 6 minutes to drive to reception from the main entrance. It is like a little village. So many places to explore, activities for all the family (water-sports, boat trips, tennis, football, gym, yoga, pilates) and peaceful spots to spend some time, on the beach, by a pool on a veranda or courtyard. If you fancy, grab a bike (pick up and drop where you please) and cycle around at your leisure. Otherwise, go by golf buggy or take a stroll to your chosen spot. If you do want to explore further afield there is lots to see and do in the area. There is always help at hand for any questions.
Lastly, a word about food. It is superb. A choice of four restaurants (and there are also five bars), all in exquisite settings with outdoor terraces and views over the sea or hills. Much of the produce is grown at Verdura and you can taste the Sicilian sunshine! I loved the herb garden. I participated in a cookery lesson and picked up many tips. The chef was full of fun and teased me endlessly when I tried to toss the pan too vigorously losing some of my ingredients onto the floor. He made it look so easy!
The chefs have oodles of passion and they use the abundant natural produce of the island which is in particular, olive oil, oranges, lemons, eggplants, freshly caught fish and of course tomatoes. To wash it down there is a fine selection of Sicilian wines.
The rooms and suites all offer uninterrupted sea views and are, as you would expect, elegant and very comfortable and well spaced-out. Overall I would say it is a great place to relax, unwind and be pampered as there is an overall sense of peace, the service is great and oh yes, fabulous for golf – and as it turns out you don’t have to be especially interested in golf to enjoy Verdura.