The best place to stay in the Siracusa area is on Ortigia. The island has far more character and charm than “mainland” Siracusa. However, the countryside near Siracusa is an increasingly popular zone for villa rentals, which are a great way to enjoy this region, especially if you are traveling with kids or other couples. The feverish restoration work on historic buildings all over Ortigia has also resulted in a surfeit of short-term holiday lets and B&Bs with lots of character.
Choose your hotel carefully in Palermo. Safe, central locations are an important consideration in this town. Luckily, even the ritziest hotels in Palermo will cost you about 50% less than the same standard of accommodations in Rome or Florence.
And don't forget that, as in the rest of Italy, short-term rentals can be an excellent choice in all parts of Sicily. All of the multi-national websites have a good number of options, and they're a particularly cost-effective options for families and large groups.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.