Verdura Resort is a Mediterranean paradise on Sicily’s south coast. Part of the Rocco Forte hotel group, Verdura is situated in 230 hectares of stunning Sicilian coastline and countryside, and home to two breathtaking golf courses, spa and wellness centre as well as a number of fantastic restaurants. Bicycles are dotted all over the resort and you can simply hop on and hop off at your leisure taking in the sights -such a great idea!
Accommodation at Verdura Resort is nothing short of luxurious. The resort boasts over 200 rooms and suites along with 20 new private villas. The attention to detail in the room design and furnishings was impeccable, creating a sense of comfort and indulgence whilst in keeping with Sicilian tradition.
The centerpiece to the resort is a 4,000 square metre Sicilian Spa set in an open air courtyard with the tranquil surroundings of the orange and olive trees. Complete with 4 outdoor thalassotherapy pools, a relaxation area, infrared and Finnish saunas, indoor pool, and a fully equipped technogym and fitness studio. The Spa is the perfect way to spend a couple of hours relaxing after a round.
Onto the golf now and Verdura boasts a 45-hole golfing complex comprising of two 18 hole courses, plus a stunning 9 hole par three course. All designed by well renowned and respected American architect - Kyle Phillips, known for other top courses such as Kingsbarns, The Grove and Yas Links to name but a few. The professional game arrived at Verdura in 2012, where it staged the Sicilian Open and a composite course of holes on both the East and West course were used. Thorbjorn Olesen would end up winning the event and claiming his maiden European Tour victory.
Unfortunately in 2018, severe storms smashed through Verdura resort and a breach flooded 14 holes across both courses: 7 on the East and 7 on the West. This required Kyle Phillips to return and redesign the course. This included a full remodelling of a number of holes on the East course along with rerouting and saving some of the original holes too.
Verdura East course
The East course is arguably the better course of the two, having been voted number 1 course in Italy 2022 by Golf World. The Par 73, 7,396 yard championship course is just fantastic. After coming back in 2018, Phillips redesigned the course to deal with any new potential flooding dangers, along with adding new elements to the course to enhance the playing experience and the result is outstanding. The course offers stunning views from the very first hole. You can see the influences Phillips has brought in from traditional links golf and the beautifully manicured fairways offer contrast with the natural surroundings. The tee boxes flow directly into the fairways and create a very natural feel to the course and is something quite unique. The Mediterranean sea can also be seen from pretty much every shot you will take on the course and further enhances the feeling of being immersed in nature. The greens are typically large and very undulating, and well protected with run off areas and greenside bunkers.
A few standout holes would be, the Par 4 sixth hole that has coastline all down the right hand side along with a body of water on the left and a ravine flowing in front of the green, with greenside bunkers too. Selecting the right club and accuracy is the order of the day on the sixth hole. Then there is the short coastal par 3 thirteenth hole, playing only 120 yards from the back tee. A relatively easy hole on paper, but being on the coastline and hearing the waves crashing against the shore and the salty ocean taste in the air coupled adds some extra drama to the hole - not forgetting the stunning views it offers also. This hole will make you think, especially if the wind gets up, which it often does at Verdura!
Verdura West course
The West course is slightly shorter than the East and is Par 70, 7160 yard course off the back tees, and although rated just behind the East course in Golf World’s rankings, it has a very strong case for being ahead of the East. Phillips has really done a fantastic job creating two incredible courses.
The West course starts off with three lengthy par 4 holes before the first of five par 3’s appear. Taking you away from the coastline for the front 9 and unlike the East course you have dedicated tee boxes on every hole. The course is just building you up for the dramatic back 9 which really comes into its own from the 13th hole, with stunning views and incredible holes. The 13th itself is a fabulous par 4 that takes you away from the clubhouse and you are immediately greeted with a derelict house behind the green and views that are just insane. You then turn and come back to the clubhouse where the 14th stands. Water hugs the right hand side and just behind the green is the clubhouse creating a fantastic backdrop. 15 through 17 are fantastic holes in their own right, but really holes 17 and 18 steal the show and set up for a grandstand finish. 17 is a tough par 3 that hugs the coastline and demands pinpoint accuracy off the tee, especially if wind is coming off the sea, you have to hit over the water and hope the wind is kind to you. 18 is a brilliant final par 4 hole that will create the very best drama. Again water all down the left hand side and well placed bunkers on the right, you need accuracy off the tee, and would you risk it over the edge of the coastline? The clubhouse sits high behind the 18th green and creates a great spot for a post round drink to watch fellow golfers battle the elements.
Both courses are amazing in their own right and it would be tough to pick a favourite, however the 6 hole stretch on the West course is just phenomenal! You also have a brilliant short course in the middle of the resort too, that is a great addition and will test anyone’s short game. No two days are the same at Verdura and the wind and the weather can change with the drop of the hat. All of this makes Verdura the crown jewel in the Mediterranean.
Lastly, The dining options at Verdura Resort were equally impressive. From gourmet fine dining to casual Mediterranean cuisine, the resort's restaurants offered a diverse and delicious culinary experience. The use of fresh, locally sourced ingredients elevated each dish, and the attentive service added to the overall dining pleasure. If you have the time you should also try the Culinary school, an absolutely magical experience cooking traditional Sicilian dishes in the beautiful scenery using the freshest ingredients and being taught by some of the very best chefs.
Verdura Resort is a true gem that offers an unparalleled combination of luxury, natural beauty, and world-class amenities. Whether you're seeking a relaxing getaway, an active golfing holiday, or simply a taste of Sicilian hospitality, this resort has it all. A truly 5 star experience.