“Second class service. in a three star hotel”
We stayed at the Fiesta Hotel Athenee Palace between 27th July and 3rd August 2010. Our party consisted of four. Me and my partner, and our two children, both 11 years old. We went via a package holiday, which was all inclusive.
We were due to stay in the Hotel Fiesta Garden Beach which is the sister hotel next door. However, when boarding the transfer coach from the airport we were told of the change to the Hotel Athenee. Since we were told this would be an upgrade we decided to take the offer, which was a mistake.
The Fiesta Hotel Athenee Palace lies about 60km east from the airport, the nearest town being Cefalu. The hotel complex comprises of the Athenee Palace and Garden Beach hotels and a number of “bungalows” belonging to the Garden Beach hotel. The bungalows, looked more like small holiday chalets to me. The complex in situated between the main highway/railway line, and the beach.
The grounds themselves are very nice, with lots of plants; tress etc, The paths etc are not well lit in the evenings however so care needs to be taken.
The Athenee Palace building is 3 stories high with the basement being taken up by the restaurant, shop etc. The rooms are average for a three star hotel. A large double bed, which gave us both back ache, and only one pillow each. Our children shared our room. One was made to sleep on the sofa, while the other was given a camp bed that was too small for her. We complained, and a small change was made to the camp bed. The sofa was so hard; our other daughter had trouble sleeping. The only good thing about the room was being on the top floor we had a nice sea view.
The complex has three pools. The seating arrangements around the pool are very cramped, and you need to get on well with the people around you. It should also be noted that one pool is unusable for about four hours a day, as the animation team plays loud music, that sounds more like construction work is taking place. If you are taking ecstasy, then this “music” might be OK, but for most of us who are not, it is very unpleasant.
Unlike any other hotel we have stayed in, you also need to play €2.50 every time you want a clean beach tail. This is for cleaning. So, if you want a clean beach towel everyday (and most people do), then this is an additional €10 for four people every day.
Meals were taken in the dining room, which has tables outside. The dining room itself had about as much charm a factory canteen, and so nosy in the evenings, it is difficult to hold a conversation. Sitting outside is better, although not great.
The quality of food is just about adequate for a three star hotel. There is not a great selection, and the considering Italian food is my favourite cuisine, I did not find what they offered was very good at all.
However, while both lunch and dinner are just about passable, this cannot be said about breakfast. Here you need to take a plastic tray as used in two star Parisian tourist hotels, and try to find something edible.
It is obvious that this hotel runs strict cost controls, and this very apparent at breakfast. You cannot get proper fruit juice, only very watered down squash, ham which is too disgusting to eat, and cheese that has less taste than the average bar of soap.
However, the worst thing about this hotel is the poor service. There is no waiter service in the bar, something that any 4 star hotels I have been too has. If you are all inclusive, your drinks are served in plastic glasses at all times, including in the evenings, and you have to ask for it in glass before they serve you. In the dining room, the wine is not opened at the table, but brought to you already opened. This plus the fact that the red wine is very cold I find very strange!!! Another thing is, while the waiters seem friendly to the Italian guests, they seem almost hostile to foreign ones.
By any stretch of the imagination, this is not a 4 star hotel. In fact, I have been in 3 star establishments that have offered better level of service. It is a shame. Sicily is a lovely island, and this hotel is in a nice setting. It is just spoilt by bad food, lousy service, and staff that just don’t care very much. Do yourself a favour and find somewhere else to stay, You deserve better than this shabby establishment.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC