Experience of hospitality, elegance and pure beauty
Historical residence on Etna consecrated as a hotel
cult of hospitality of the Pennisi family
Shalai was founded in May 2009, halfway between the mountain and the sea. In Sicilian, Shalai means to enjoy, to have fun. The mansion was built in the early 1800s, and it used to be a stately residence in which the noble family also administered local public affairs. The owners built it so that the living quarters could be directly linked with the working areas. The vision and skills of the architects Lucia Papa and Paola Mariotto brought this boutique hotel to life, with a touch of contemporary design. Despite the apparent grandeur of the mansion, set in the heart of the town of Linguaglossa, on the slopes of Mount Etna, Shalai is a quiet and welcoming place, with a distinctively intimate feel. It’s the ideal place to lose yourself in the scents, quietness and charm of its spaces.
Contemporary design in an aristocratic mansion
Design hotel on Mount Etna
Shalai combines two noble essences, on the one hand the welcoming warmth of an old stately mansion, and on the other the authentic and dynamic designs that give the spaces a contemporary touch. These two elements are highlighted by the designers’ architectural choices and by their use of light, to bring out details that might otherwise go unnoticed. Harmonious spaces, captivating details, palatial staircases and intimate, elegant rooms. Shalai’s spaces are like a universe, every object is designed to fit in with the ensemble. Even the design of the two rooms that host the Michelin star restaurant follows this vision; the walls are decorated with a selection of valuable works of contemporary art. The only sounds that can be heard in the quiet indoor garden are those of birds chirping, the ballroom on the first floor is flooded with light, and the wellness centre's services will complete the relaxing picture that is drawn by the hotel’s spaces.
The roots of hospitality
The Pennisi family
The Pennisi are a large and tight-knit family that has worked together for more than fifty years to write beautiful pages on the subject of gastronomy, excellence, selection and quality of ingredients, and the art of hospitality. The head of the family is Saro Pennisi, a flamboyant butcher from Linguaglossa who, with the support of his family, wife, sisters, children and grandchildren, has managed through the decades to create beautiful things and to convey a strong sense of belonging to the new generations, as well as a passion for locally grown products and a knack for hospitality.
A warm welcome
Meet Luciano Pennisi
Luciano Pennisi is one of the five owners of Shalai, and the 'spokesperson' of the family. In a natural and spontaneous way, Luciano Pennisi has managed to instil into every action, choice, service and project the authenticity of the family’s spirit, always focusing on the guests, both in the boutique hotel and in the restaurants, Shalai and Dai Pennisi – Macelleria con cucina (in English: The Pennisi’s: Butcher Shop with Kitchen).
At the heart of hospitality
Meet the Shalai team
Excellence above all! This is the motto that unites all the professionals that make up the Shalai team today. From the waiting and kitchen staff in the restaurant, to the professionals working in the boutique hotel and the wellness centre, everyone focuses on providing a well-rounded hospitality.