We found this hotel to be a lovely building in a lovely area with a nice size room but the hotel was lacking in soul. We enjoy the peace and the quiet but we would have liked a little atmosphere.
The rooms were not particularly clean. The beds are nicely made and the towels are changed daily but the carpets were grubby on arrival along with the thick dust behind furniture that we cleaned ourselves.
The balcony suite is spoiled by the fact that the amazing view across the mountains is totally blocked off when seated by the 4 ft solid wall. Not sure this warranted the extra cost and would suggest a standard room. No loungers on the balcony.
Our room was north facing towards the sea. There was a dog barking nearby most of the day and most of the night. A room at the back would have been better. We asked to move but despite there only being 2 cars in the car park and 2 couples at dinner we were told they were full?!! We were not convinced.
No pool and no loungers on the patio. No useful facilities other than the spa. The bottom line is it is simply a base and a bed for the night with broken sleep.
The atmosphere is the killer though - totally sterile and evening meals felt like we were sat in the morgue. Better at breakfast sat outside which was very nice. No bar person and the bar was dead every night. No evening entertainment. None of this really mattered to us as we were there on a walking holiday but this is a review to help others.
Evening meals are hit and miss - great some nights, terrible on others - one main course was inedible. Breakfast is pretty basic and the same every day. Cereal, ham and cheese, pears and pineapple, bread and tarts. Ok for a few days.
The town nearby is in a beautiful position and well worth exploring but if you are only English speaking the best advice we could give is to research the area beforehand and decide where you want to go. Do not rely on the hotel staff to help out with this. There are some good english speaking girls but the general theme appears to be not to tell you anything unless you ask and when you ask to give misinformation or just smile sweetly at you and say `yes yes`. Very amusing but not much help. Buy a good map in advance there is nothing of much value at the hotel - take a satnav and allow plenty of time for the roads as 2nd gear is the norm.
ETNA is about 40 miles away and will take a good 2 hours to reach the south side chairlifts.
Enjoyed the spa but there are no changing rooms.
Distance from the north coast is about 10 miles but due to the slow roads this takes about 30 - 40 minutes - if reception tell you its 10 - 20 minutes dont believe it !
Reception informed us there was nowhere else to eat other than on the coast. We found this not to be be true and found a great little restaurant on a working farm just around the corner. Out of the hotel road turn right away from town and there is a right turn about half a mile, 300 yards up the track and the house directly infront is the place to try. The grand-daughter speaks good english and we paid 60 euro for two for more food than we could eat including steak.
Recommend the area, recommend Sicily. Would like to recommend the hotel but cant, its just missing the point in so many ways and has no soul. Go with an open mind and be prepared to clean the room yourself on arrival.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- 4 Star Hotel, Restaurant, Spa, Fitness Room, Lounge Bar and panoramic terrace in an astonishing location right in front of the Eolian islands, at 900 meters above seal level. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Federico II Montalbano Elicona, Sicily