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1989Webb's review of Aeolian Islands, Therasia Resort , Isola Vulcano

★★★★★

“Sublime”

Written on: 15/06/2015 by 1989Webb (1 review written)

Well, where should I start! Have just returned from the most amazing week at this beautiful resort. The travel arrangements were all made for us by the agent and it was touch and go as to whether we would make the hydrofoil crossing as we were 40 minutes late leaving Gatwick but, although the travelling is tiring. It is so worth it when you arrive at the resort. The views across to the other islands are beautiful, especially during the amazing sunsets when the intensity of the pink is unbelievable. Everywhere in the resort is immaculate with an immense amount of attention to detail. The staff are wonderful and work incredibly hard and we started to feel sorry for some of them as they appeared to be at every food sitting every day (averaging a 70 hour week when they are contracted for 40 hours) but, despite this, every single member of staff is always smiling, greets you warmly and they are very attentive. The vast majority of staff speak very good English.

We were lucky to enjoy a meal in Cappero, the Michelin restaurant - no change out of 370 euro for tasting menu and beautiful bottle of wine but, the food is sublime. The Sommelier, Jed, is incredibly knowledgeable and clearly passionate over his well stocked cellar. On the nights when we ate in the main restaurant, Arcipelago, we still enjoyed some top notch wines after discussing with Jed the style of wines we like. There is also an A La Carte menu which is not overly expensive and does offer more meat options. All the food at the resort is sourced from local producers.

The drinks are expensive in the resort - G and T is 12 euros and a bottle of beer or glass of wine is 7 euros. Every evening you are served canapés if you go to the bar before dinner. The main menu in Arcipelago is fixed for the duration of your stay and I don't know if this changes during the season or not but there are 4 choices for appetiser, 1st and 2nd courses plus a daily specials menu which can be repetitive - the only meat on offer was beef and that was offered on at least 4 nights! The menu is very fish orientated and not much in the way of vegetables however, you cannot fault the quality of the food. The restaurant is also located overlooking the sea and the island of Lipari which is only 750m away and St night it is so pretty with the lights of the houses on the hillside twinkling away. The 3rd restaurant, Grusoni, is informal with a relaxed menu of salads, pizza, pasta etc. but, it does also have a grill menu with delicious fresh fish.

There is not a great deal to do at the resort which is fantastic if you just want to destress. The pool is not heated but is so refreshing after being in high 20's all day. There is a smaller pool with really powerful jacuzzi jets. The only complaint we had during our stay is that there weren't enough umbrellas for shade for the number of guests.

The rooms are basic and clean with cool tiled floors and decorated in Tuscan style. We had a garden facing room with a view of the Vulcano! Couple of minor niggles - no full length mirror and the worst hairdryer I have ever used! We also found the bed incredibly hard and ended up sleeping on top of the duvet with the sheet over the top of us but, still found the bed uncomfortable.

The spa is well equipped even though the pool is small, it is heated to a high temperature and there are lots of different jacuzzis in the pool and an ice cold plunge pool. There are 2 experience showers and a huge sauna and steam room. Both my husband and I had a 30 minute deep tissue back massage and we were in the same room together however, neither of us felt that the massages were particularly good especially as I made quite a point that I had terrible knots in my shoulder. Around the pool area are a number of sun loungers as well as water, tea/coffee making facilities and nibbles.

There is a regular shuttle bus into the small town of Vulcano where you will find the sulphur baths and two beaches. There are 3 small supermarkets and a small street of shops mostly selling tourist trinkets. There are 2 or 3 car/bike hire places but the best English speaking is Luigi's. You can also hire walking boots (5 euros) to climb up the Vulcano. We hired a version of a mini more (from Paolos as we fidnt know about Luigi's then) which was a bit of a death trap with no handbrake and a hole in the floor on the passenger side! However, we had enormous fun and the island is tiny - the best place is Cap Grillo which offers stunning views - if you are up there at lunchyime, take a picnic like we did. Don't bother with Gelso - complete waste of time going there! From yhe port you can take the hydrofoil to the other islands and this is also where you pick up the leisure cruisers - we enjoyed a day trip around Lipari and Salina with two stops in Salina - an hour for shopping - the shops are much nicer here than in Vulcano - the other stop is for lunch at one of the islands restaurants, and 3 stops for swimming in the sea - watch out for the jellyfish!

We were desperately sad to leave and had an early start with breakfast at 6.15 a.m, giving us one last chance to enjoy sunrise and the beautiful vista across the islands. We wish had stayed for 10 days instead of 7.

Many of the other guests are wealthy Italians but, there was a good mix of nationalities. During our stay, the captain of Roma football team came to stay - arriving by helicopter no less and we were also told that Lionel Messi was due to stay at some point too!

We can't wait to go back to this peaceful, idyllic slice of heaven.

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