Behind closed doors: Hotel Ravesi, Salina

If you look up heaven in the dictionary I’m certain you’ll find a picture of SJ at Hotel Ravesi.

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The first time I heard of Salina was when I visited my mum’s best friend in Lipari, an hour's hydrofoil trip from Sicily. After two days of 'fixing' my already perfectly acceptable tan, we took the hydrofoil a further 20 minutes north to the smaller island. If Lipari is the heart of Sicily then Salina is the soul.

A further (mildly hair-raising) half-an-hour bus ride up and over the top of Salina we found ourselves on the doorstep of Hotel Ravesi in Malfa.

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Easily one of the most beautiful places I've ever been privileged enough to stay at in my life, Hotel Ravesi is honeymoon and bucket list material rolled into one. Unpretentious and charming, the immaculate grounds span down the side of its unrivalled perch. The 14 rooms are interspersed around the property between manicured lawns, sun loungers, lush gardens and various nooks to soak up the sunshine and serenity.

The piece de resistance is an infinity pool that looks out over the Tyrrhenian Sea below. Surrounded by more sun loungers and the most perfect, giant, palm tree you've ever seen, it's hard to imagine a better place to get your vitamin D (and sea) fix.

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Directly behind the infinity pool is the picturesque cave-like bar complete with its own cellar and original wine-making facilities, naturally. An adjoining room with a central table plays host to the breakfast and aperitivo spreads. Finally, a covered terrace offers the ideal place for all-day dining or drinks, with the option of a poolside seat or table in the neighbouring raised garden in the evening.

Our room, while nothing overly fancy, is spacious, spotlessly clean and tastefully decorated in a neutral palate, with tiles and wooden furnishings. The sea view alone is worth paying for, with the large open window directly overlooking the palm tree, infinity pool and sparkling sea below. On the first (and top) floor, our shared terrace landing has two sets of tables and chairs in case you'd like a more private place to enjoy the vista.

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One of those places you have no desire to leave, we spent the day sun baking with frequent dips in the hotel’s stunning saltwater pool. A long, leisurely rosé lunch with a huge shared fresh tuna salad, was followed by three plates piled high with homemade aperitivo and, you guessed it, more rosé. With an extensive cocktail list, great song choices for background music and candlelit ambience, it's hard to imagine a more perfect place to watch the sun dip behind the sea. When the pitch black sky was in stark contrast with the bright blue infinity pool, we were forced to retreat to our room by a group of loud Italians with no spacial awareness.

Breakfast was an enjoyable affair, with fresh juices, fruit, scrambled eggs, cheese, cold cuts, cereals, pastries and cake - most of which are made in the adjacent kitchen.

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Accommodation includes the delicious and generous breakfast and aperitivo, meaning the only additional costs you're likely to face are lunch and drinks. And, with a sea view room at €165 during August, it's likely to be the best money you'll ever spend. A small price to pay to experience a preview of what heaven must be like.

Find out more at Hotel Ravesi

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