Projects

Baia Taormina Grand Palace Hotel - Taormina (ME)

Baia Taormina Grand Palace Hotel

Sober and elegant luxury reign in a Mediterranean style hotel suspended between the sky and the sea.
Author
Santino Limonta
Photos
Luciano Busani
Interior Designer
Francesco Triolo
Surfaces
EMILCERAMICA
Year of completion
2009

The stretch of coastline between Messina and the plain of Catania in eastern Sicily is dotted with rugged cliffs, picturesque inlets and splendid beaches. After rounding Cape Sant’Alessio and shortly before arriving at Letojanni, the visitor encounters the Baia Taormina Grand Palace Hotels & Spa perched on a steep limestone slope that descends from the heights of Forza d’Agrò down to the sea. The stepwise layout of the hotel’s architecture, the large arches, the pergolas, the local stone claddings, the decorative artisan hand-worked terracotta pavers and the dominant colours of ochre and brick red in an infinite range of tones are all factors that help to integrate it pleasantly into the natural landscape. Inside the complex, guests can enjoy pleasant walks along the network of paths, made all the more relaxing by the large green spaces dominated by palms, carobs, bougainvilleas, hibiscus, begonias and bushes of Mediterranean scrub. There are two main buildings. The Baia Taormina Classic, built in 1999, has 60 identically furnished rooms with wrought iron beds and classic Sicilian arte povera furniture. The Standard and De Luxe bedrooms differ in that one has a small balcony and the other has a terrace. In the new Grand Palace wing, opened in 2008, the 35 brightly-lit Executive rooms and the 24 comfortable Junior Suites (all provided with panoramic solarium terraces with breathtaking views over the Bay of Taormina) stand out for the abundant use of technology and the contemporary style furnishings. The style is again inspired by that of local tradition, in many cases superimposed over other cultures (over the centuries Sicily was conquered by Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Byzantines, Normans and others). This is clearly evident in elements such as the chest engraved with Sicilian style decorations, the writing desk, the ceramic Saracens’ heads on the terraces, the horsemen figures on the cushions, the painting featuring Saracen motifs and edicts by the various rulers who held power in Sicily. The Baia Taormina Grand Palace Hotels & Spa offers a wide range of hospitality services. A 300-seat reception hall and a 250-seat conference hall are available for special events and meetings. Alongside, the main Solemoro restaurant serves typical Sicilian dishes in a panoramic dining room or on the large adjacent terrace. A fresh-water and a salt-water swimming pool with adjacent bar and restaurant are located on two floors in the lower section of the complex, conveniently accessible by lift or on foot from the internal pathways. From here a subway and a stairway lead to the quiet private sand and gravel beach. The splendidly appointed Wellness Centre features a gym, whirlpool bath, sauna, massage and other services. Great importance was given to the choice of ceramic floor and wall tiles used in almost all the interior and exterior spaces. After careful consideration, the architects opted for collections from Emilceramica and its Ergon brand (a total of around 12,000 square metres) with characteristics capable of integrating with and enhancing the Mediterranean mood that dominates throughout the entire hotel complex. These include Prairie Stone, which has the colour and touch of natural stone; Antica Preda Modenese, a modern ceramic tile that maintains the subtle and exclusive appeal of simple terracotta floors; Saxa, a hard glazed porcelain tile whose surfaces reproduce the typical appearance of slate and multicoloured exfoliated sandstone; and Marrakech, the colours of raw material, of spices of the souq and oriental wall stuccoes in a line of ceramic stone with delicate vein effects and amber sheen reminiscent of Moorish opulence.

Tiles
Emilceramica: Marrakech, Praire Stone, Antica Preda Modenese and Saxa. Ergon: Alabastro collection.
Type
porcelain stoneware
Sizes
49x49 - 30x60 - 32,5x32,5 -
Colours
Terra Rossa, Bruno Corteccia, Rosso Zenzero and Sabbia
Technical characteristics
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): 0,2%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): GA
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): PEI 5
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): conforme
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): conforme
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): ≥ 42 N/mm2
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R9
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): conforme
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): conforme
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): conforme
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