We spent a few days in the lovely town of Taromina and stayed in the Villa Schuler.
It is a true Italian villa (in an architectural sense), with a beautiful horto and a pond with carps and turtles. But it is actually a German Villa, from its name, to the German literature available everywhere in the building, to the staff, that provides a German service, i.e. very very efficient, clean and polite. Do not expect the typical Italian warmth here. The location is great, close enough to the busy streets in the upper side albeit silent. It is not by the beach (looks like few hotels are close to the beach).
The rooms are very smallish, ours had a great balcony that overlooked a greenish bay. Great view! However the bathroom was surprisingly small, and the shower resembled those you find in cruise ships cabins. Big guys, do mind that! Also, shades are not very efficient against the sunrise (that's why we understood our room was called Sunrise Suite).
The breakfast is a la carte, with plenty of options, that are brought fastly on demand.
I found the price particularly high (265 euro for a triple). That, along with the smallish bathroom, would subtract a star.
What made me subtract another star was, besides the lack of warmth (which I personally prize), to see that most reviews were commented by the hotel management. I believe this goes against TA's philosophy, I unerstand this is a place where people give candid feedback that are valuable to the turosts and to the turistc businesses (if they learn from it). I have learned in my professional life that feedback is something you do not talk back, you just listen to it (whether you agree or not) and try to learn something out of it, for your own improvement. Of course a malicious review should be rebuffed (and denounced), but addressing most reviews becomes something very intimitading. At least, I felt intimidated.
I quote Joseph Folkman (The Power of Feedback. 1st ed. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons Inc., 2006. Print.): "to find the greatest level of success in an organization, working with other people, a person should learn how to accept any kind of feedback, analyze it in the most positive manner possible, and use it to further impact future decision making" (you can also find that quote under the Feedback topic in the English Wikipedia).
The Sunrise Suite has also a motorized canopy in the balcony, a help in the hot summer!
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
17 July 2012
We are glad to hear that you appreciated the architecture, the garden, the views, our breakfast and our services. We also thank your for your suggestion to add a second obscuring curtain to the wall-to-wall sliding windows of our Sunrise Junior Suites. Your useful suggestion will help us to improve.
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I’m surprised that you state that you were surprised by the small bathroom. You unfortunately forgot to report that both on our web site, where you booked us, as well as both in our offer emailed to you and as well as in our email confirmation to you the room description of the Sunrise Junior Suite always emphasized the “small bathroom” (we still have the files). Its size of 1,70 x 1,55 meters is effectively small compared to most of our bathrooms, but it is still above the minimum requirements for our hotel category.
Some of your statements reflect your quite subjective opinions, as what a “typical Italian warmth” should be.
Some other comments were rather amusing. Subtracting stars for each non English book found in our bookshelves might be a funny game, but I can reassure other readers that the literature available in our hotel totally reflects our clientele: 30% english, 25% german, 20% italian, and miscellaneous various others, which incidentally corresponds also to Taorminas stats.
As far as your uncomfortable feelings about our alleged german staff is concerned, I would like to specify that our multilingual staff is composed of: 1 austrian, 1 belgian, 2 german and 12 italian citizens.
One last thing: contrary to your supposition, TripAdvisor does indeed allow and even encourage the management or representatives of accommodations, restaurants or attractions to respond to reviews written about their property.
We always need to hear both sides of the story.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC