Ortensia

SICILY

Giarre

  • 8 Sleeps
  • 4  Bedrooms
  • 4  Bathrooms
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About the Villa

A stylish, contemporary, architect-designed villa with pool and views to take the breath away.

Arrival at Ortensia is a feast for the senses: fragrant floral gardens fill the air with heady Mediterranean scents, the cobalt Ionian Sea sparkles down below and the vibrant green slopes of Mount Etna combine with the transparent turquoise of the pool and the pure white façade of the villa to create an eye-catching, kaleidoscopic palette of colours.

"Marvelous property, very attentive owners. Very professional house staff. My guests were delighted." Sandra Hatch, US, May 2019




Ortensia in the press:
Hello!, December 2018

Internet Connections Explained

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All The Thinking Traveller's villas have some kind of Internet facility and, where possible, we try to ensure that this is an ADSL broadband Wi-Fi connection.

However, some rural areas and those far from the main towns and cities have not yet been connected to the high-speed broadband network. Therefore, in some of our villas we offer an alternative type of connection (specified in the amenities table of each individual villa page). 

Please note that although we work very hard to provide reliable internet service at our villas, these services are potentially erratic and can fail due to network failures completely out of our control. We regret that we cannot accept responsibility for loss of connection due to such network failures.

Here is some information about the most common connection types:

ADSL Broadband

This is by far the fastest and most reliable connection type available and uses traditional copper wires. In the UK, ADSL is most commonly referred to as broadband. It is suitable for most surfing requirements. Generally an ADSL line is only available within two miles of a telephone exchange, so in rural or more remote areas it usually not available.

An ADSL Internet connection in a villa can then be distributed using a Wi-Fi router, allowing a wireless connection with one or more device, or by a cable, which can be plugged into most laptops.

NB If a fast, constant and reliable Internet connection is vital for you (i.e. you expect to be working a lot during your holiday), please specify this to your Villa Specialist. It may be better to rent a villa with an ADSL broadband connection.


3G WiFi Internet routers

In some of our villas, 3G Wi-Fi Internet connections are provided by a small router unit that uses the 3G mobile network, similar to that used by many mobile phones. The unit receives the signal and retransmits it wirelessly making it possible for a few devices to connect at the same time. 3G Wi-Fi units work best in the immediate area around them (i.e. they won’t create a Wi-Fi environment throughout the entire villa) and so the best connection will be within close range of the unit, usually in the same room.

The signal may be affected by weather conditions (i.e. strong winds or storms), and the overall strength depends entirely on the service provider's presence in the area. We cannot accept responsibility for slow or absent signals.

Please note that 3G Wi-Fi is provided for basic Internet browsing and checking of email only. Guests are requested not to download large files such as movies or make Skype video calls, as most units have a maximum monthly data usage of 10Gb.

NB If a fast, constant and reliable Internet connection is vital for you (i.e. you expect to be working a lot during your holiday), please specify this to your Villa Specialist. It may be better to rent a villa with a normal ADSL connection. 

 

Mobile Broadband Internet Dongles/Keys

Dongles, or Internet keys, can be slotted into a USB port on your computer and use a data SIM card to connect to a 3G or other data network, normally supplied by mobile phone networks. At the villas where this is provided, clients are usually requested to buy their own data SIM card and top up as they go (details of where and how to purchase one are provided in the House Guide you will receive before departure).

The signal may be affected by weather conditions (i.e. strong winds or storms), and the overall strength depends entirely on the service provider's presence in the area. We cannot accept responsibility for slow or absent signals.

NB If a fast, constant and reliable Internet connection is vital for you (i.e. you expect to be working a lot during your holiday), please specify this to your Villa Specialist. It may be better to rent a villa with a normal ADSL conection. 


WiMAX / Satellite connections

WiMAX and satellite Internet connections have performance levels similar to cabled ADSL hi-speed Internet connections. Wi-Fi access within the property is provided by a special modem-router. WiMAX and Satellite connections are present in our villas when there is no normal cabled broadband infrastructure in the area (still quite common in more remote areas). These kind of connections may be affected by atmospheric conditions, however, so we cannot guarantee that the signal will be as constant as cabled connections. The connection speed of this type connection in our Ionian Island villas is a little slower and comes with a limit of Mbs, so guests are requested not to download large files, stream films or use Skype to make calls.


Connecting to the Internet abroad using your smartphone or tablet (roaming)

As of June 2017, there are no roaming charges for EU citizens (with an EU provider) travelling within the EU. 

If you are travelling from outside the EU and wish to use your smartphone or tablet while on holiday, here are a few tips for cutting down on foreign data-roaming charges:

The first thing to do is to check with your provider to see if there are any special deals available (there's usually something on offer). You should also make sure your phone is unlocked (you can ask your operator to do this) if you wish to buy a foreign SIM card while you're away.

If there are no suitable deals available from your operator (and your phone/tablet has been unlocked), we recommend you buy a local prepaid data SIM card (details of where and how can be found in your House Guide). It might also be useful to bring a cheap handset, put your UK SIM into the cheap handset and the local data SIM into your smartphone, so that any data you access will be charged at the local rate. If you do buy a local SIM, most smart phones can then be used to provide a Wi-Fi hotspot, providing data access for up to five devices, including smartphones, tablets and laptops.

Finally, when abroad, switch off 3G, switch off ‘data roaming’ on iPhones or switch the priority to Wi-Fi rather than 3G on Symbian devices, thus avoiding charges when your phone attempts to access emails.

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Amenities

  • Accommodates (max)  8
  • Bedrooms  4
  • Double beds  3
  • Flexible doubles/twins  1
  • Bathrooms  4
  • ... of which en suite  4
  • Daily maid service ¹
  • Cook 
  • Breakfast preparation ²
  • Pool (LxW in metres)  12x6
  • Air conditioning ³
  • Heating 
  • Safe 
  • Washing machine 
  • Dishwasher 
  • Microwave oven 
  • Satellite TV 
  • DVD player 
  • Satellite Wi-Fi Internet [i] 
  • Organic vegetable garden 
  • Barbecue 
  • Private Parking 
  • Shopping service 
  • Sea views 
  • Exclusive beach club access 
  • The Thinking Traveller local support 24/7 
= yes/present = optional/on request
¹ 4 hours per day from Monday to Saturday
² the maid will lay the table and clear up afterwards, from about 8:30am to 10:00am Monday to Saturday (excluding Bank Holidays). Guests should provide their own breakfast ingredients
³ fan coil cooling units throughout
Sky Package
guests staying at Ortensia have privileged, reduced-rate access to Belmond Villa Sant'Andrea's exclusive lido on the beach at Mazzarò

 

Inside: Ortensia’s light-filled interiors are a study in cubic elegance, where tall slender windows alternate with banks of glass sliding doors, and where lofty ceilings and pure white-painted walls combine to create a welcoming, light-filled atmosphere. All of this serves as the perfect backdrop for an intriguing mix of contemporary and traditional furnishings, modern artworks, antique ornaments and Sicilian ceramics. The main entrance takes one into the ground floor, which is a cleverly designed open-plan space that flows around a central stairwell. To the left is the generously proportioned living area whose wall of floor-to-ceiling glass sliding doors hint at the architect's brief: bring the views inside and provide seamless access to the outdoor areas. Continuing our loop from the living area, heading past more sliding glass doors leading to the pool area, one soon comes to the indoor dining room. From here it is but a few paces to the large, superbly equipped kitchen which looks out towards Taormina. The central staircase leads from the living area to the first floor, where there are four spacious bedrooms, three doubles and one double-twin. The two bedrooms at the front come with sea views, a shared balcony and en-suite bathrooms with shower. The two at the side also boast sea views, but have the added bonuses of walk-in wardrobes and en-suite bathrooms with both shower and tub. The staircase continues from the first floor landing up to the second floor, home to a panoramic sitting room with large glass doors accessing a fully furnished wrap-around terrace offering magnificent 360-degree views of the sea, Taormina, the Ionian coastline and Mount Etna.

Outside: two sides of Ortensia are given over to manicured emerald lawns bordered by flower beds, well-trained creepers, fruit trees (including banana trees) and an organic vegetable garden. One of these areas, accessed from the kitchen and dining area, provides the ideal spot for al fresco dining with Mount Etna for company. The second, reached via large glass doors between the living and dining areas, is home to the tempting pool, in which you can swim to and fro between Etna and the deep blue sea. The two most panoramic spots, however, are the large east-facing balcony off the living area, which offers views the coastline and the sea down below, and the roof-top terrace, whose 360-degree vistas take in a vast swathe of Sicily's Ionian Riviera, the Ionian Sea, Taormina, and Mount Etna. Both are comfortably furnished for lounging in the sun, reading, sipping on an aperitif or simply chatting in good company.

 

Think About

The large citrus estate surrounding Ortensia is home to another of our villas, Camelia, which is located around 120m below. Owned by members of the same family, the villas share part of the access road but each enjoys total privacy. If you're travelling in a large group or with another family, why not take both of them?

Ortensia's position on the lower flanks of Mount Etna affords it refreshing breezes in the hot summer months and excellent views of the sea and Mount Etna all year round. Depending on the direction of the wind, and by dint of the property's elevated position, traffic noise may occasionally be audible in certain areas of the grounds, though not from inside.

Guests staying at Ortensia have privileged, reduced-rate access to Belmond Villa Sant'Andrea's exclusive lido on the beach at Mazzarò.
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