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“Close to perfection”

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Belmond Villa Sant'Andrea
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Mazzaro
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 15 August 2011

When we booked this hotel appeared to be simply marvellous, based on all reviews we had read at that time. But, just as we left for Sicily we read the latest two reviews and those made us slightly worried. Well, those worries vanished completely when we arrived. Wonderful and warm welcome at reception and personal tour of the facilities, including a simply stunning room, made us feel at home after just 15 mins. With smiles on our faces we sat down for a late lunch at the terrace bar and from thereon, a week just went by with us enjoying ourselves completely. This hotel does not have the conservative luxury feel about it if you compare it to the Timeo hotel up in Taormina, but for us, this was fine. The Sant'Andrea has more of a sea side villa style to it. Being located right on the beach was more what we were looking for than a luxury hotel up in the town. But we recommend popping up to the Timeo for a pre-dinner drink at the terrace with views over Etna.

In our opinion, the Sant'Andrea has some fine tuning to do before it can be regarded as a 5 star luxury hotel. For example, if you order a pizza and a sandwich at the terrace restaurant, you can get your food with 15 minutes in between as, according to the explanation given, the two kitchens are completely separate (pizza oven and kitchen apparently) and no communication exists between the pizza oven staff and the kitchen staff... We also thought that paying a EUR cover charge pp when sitting down at the Sant'Andrea's lunch restaurant, being also a hotel guest, was a bit steep.

But to conclude, we would go back to the Sant'Andrea without hesitation and can highly recommend this establishment.

Room Tip: Best terraces appeared to be furthest from the reception area on the third floor but amazing balconi...
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  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Pettele
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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373 - 379 of 565 reviews

Reviewed 31 July 2011

Make sure when booking you request a room in the main building. We had booked a junior suite, upon arrival we were shown to our room in the old building at the back of the hotel. I complained immediately to reception and the useless girl informed me they were fully booked for the entire week. I asked to speak to the manager, who appeared after 20mins.

The manager informed me they could move us on the 3rd day of our stay to the main building, which I said was fine.

We returned from dinner to a room that was hot as the AC had broken down whilst we were out. Could not sleep that night as was too hot, slept for 2 hrs total.

In the morning I complained and as the reception are useless I asked to spk to the general manager who came after an hour. He accompanied me to the room and rudely told me that the temperature in the room was comfortable in his opinion. I reminded him the idea of AC climate control is so people can adjust it to their comfort. Anyway after some argument he put us in a room in the main building... Surprise surprise they were not fully booked.

The new room was great and large (junior suite) with large balcony over the water.

Swimming pool is great. Restaurant is average, beach is ok but difficult to walk on due to large rocks, and one day could not swim due to jelly fish.

Any way to get anything done in this hotel takes a long time as staff are rude and plain stupid. Ask to spk to manager if you have any problems and persist as they lie about being fully booked as I heard from 2otherparties at the hotel.

  • Stayed: July 2011
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1  Thank Kenno12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Orient-Express_Italy, Direttore generale at Belmond Villa Sant'Andrea, responded to this reviewResponded 4 August 2011

Dear Guest,
Thank you for sharing your feedback on your stay at the Villa Sant’Andrea.
We are really sorry to hear that you suffered some inconveniences during your stay with us. We can guarantee that the aim of the whole staff is to be helpful and to do whatever is possible to make our guests happy, as you can read from the other comments we have received so far. We regret to notice that the words used in the review sound a bit over the line.

The booking was made for a Junior Suite Superior which is a beautiful accommodation with two bathrooms and sea view, located in our annex, a part of the Villa which has been renovated last winter. Once available, we complimentary upgraded the reservation to a Junior Suite Deluxe although the very high occupancy of this period of the season.

We thank you once again for your comment and we can ensure we will do our best to improve our service.

We remain at your complete disposal for any further information.

Giovanni Nastasi
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 July 2011

The Villa Sant'Andrea is a stunning property located directly on the Taormina beach. Having stayed at numerous Orient-Express properties, I expect nothing less than perfection. The grounds, pool, beach, and rooms are lovely. As typical of the OE brand, the infinity pool is an institution. The water is perfectly heated and it offers stunning views of the Mediterranean.

The newly renovated rooms are charming and luxurious. When making a reservation, make sure that you ask for a room up to OE standards- you will be disappointed if you are placed in an un-renovated room.

This hotel was recently taken over by the OE brand and unfortunately it shows. The service is spotty, and the staff has not yet been trained up to my expectations. All meal service is very slow and a lot of mix-ups happen. I'm crossing my fingers that these issues are fixed in the coming months. Even with our disappointment in the service, I will be back next year to enjoy the location and facilities.

Perhaps I’ve become a little spoiled after experiencing the best hotels in the OE brand…

Room Tip: Ask for a newly renovated room
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  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank pink0925
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 June 2011

I've procrastinated and been reluctant to tell all other Trip Advisor travellers, that this is just the most superb, unique, charming, and remarkable hotel I have stayed in all my many years of travelling. I simply did not want this delightful place to be even more popular and be more difficult to book! It justly deserves its Number 1 position, being a magical haven with the most outstanding staff who were always smiling, and made so much effort to ensure our stay there was as perfect as you always wanted a holiday to be.
From the enthusiastic welcome, after 11 p.m., by Angela and the receptionists, to maids, waiters and the pianist - they were absolutely charming. Every dinner was heavenly, with outstanding dishes, stunning desserts and wonderful Sicilian wines - superior to some two Michelin starred restaurants in London I have visited in the past year! Breakfasts and al fresco lunches on the terrace were just glorious: relaxing in beautiful gardens overlooking the little bay, eating superb food. This is the only hotel I have ever wanted to revisit - I just didn't want to leave - it is exceptional!
The concierge organized two tours in chauffeur driven cars which were brilliant - the first to Syracuse, where we saw the fish market, at the end of which was an amazing cheese shop. The driver knew the family and as a result we were given wonderful bruschetta, warm thrice baked ricotta, olives from their own trees and much more. The driver showed us the major historical features of the town as well as this wonderful cheese shop! The drive to Etna was also fascinating and both trips are unforgettable due to the two drivers and their knowledge of their island.

Room Tip: Suite 350 had two terraces and stunning views.
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  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled with friends
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2  Thank ScottishSamantha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 June 2011

I visited Sicily in June this year with two friends and had the great pleasure of staying at the Villa Sant'Andrea. It was quite something. We all had the most magnificent rooms with spectacular views over the bay. All the rooms were different but all had balconies and facilities to die for......including, in two of them, two (!!!) bathrooms. The staff were the most welcoming I have ever experienced....from the moment we arrived until the moment we left....nothing was too much trouble for them. The breakfasts were lovely...especially to have them out on the terrace overlooking the sea. The evening meals were delicious too. The delightful little pool and private beach were welcome additions. Although this hotel was not in Taormina, the easy stroll and short cable car ride up to the town could not have been simpler. It was nice to have the peace and tranquillity of the sea lapping the shore and yet have such easy access to a lively little town. I would thoroughly recommend this hotel and hope to go back very soon.

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled with friends
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1  Thank pammie7348
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 June 2011

It was my fisrt time in Sicily, and I was so glad that my stay began from the Villa Sant'Andrea! It's amazing when your morning starts from the splendid sunrise, continues with the great brekfast just a few steps from the sea, followed by the boat trip, and so on and so on...
Amazing hotel and amazing hotel staff! I fely myself like at home.
Taking this opportunity, I would like to say a special "thank you" to Monica and Giuseppe (FO staff) for their help!
Best regards from St. Petersburg, Russia!

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled solo
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4  Thank SergioNero
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 June 2011

Firstly, if you are looking to visit Taormina, stay here. Do not be put off by the cable ride into Taormina town. The cars are 250 yards away, travek every 15 minutes and take 3 minutes top to bottom. Takes you right into town, don;t bother to take a taxi, takes 15 minutes to get to the same place.

Sadly we missed this hotel initally, as we searxhed 'Taormina' and found another 'hotel' Villa Carlotta, see separate review. We moved to Saint'Andrea 2 days in and what a great decsion. Beautiful location, lovely attentive satff, great food, excellent service.

Staying here made our holiday. Hoghly recommended. It's a shame Trip Advisor do not include in their list of top hotels for Taormina as being 3 minutes in a cable car it should qualify. We wish it had as we would have 2 more days there!

Room Tip: Go for a room in the main building, sea view.
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  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank WFN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Belmond Villa Sant'Andrea

Address: Via Nazionale 137, 98039 Mazzaro, Taormina, Sicily, Italy
Phone Number:
Region: Italy > Sicily > Province of Messina > Taormina > Mazzaro
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Mazzaro
Price Range: £357 - £1,615 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Belmond Villa Sant'Andrea 5*
Number of rooms: 68
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
With an exclusive location on the Bay of Mazzarò, considered one of the most beautiful in all of Italy, the elegant Belmond Villa Sant'Andrea nestles on its own private beach with new luxurious cabanas, facing the dazzling aquamarine sea. Built by an aristocratic family in 1830, surrounded by lush, subtropical gardens, the hotel retains all the charm of a private residence, enriched by paintings and antiques. The décor of the 64 rooms and suites reflects the nautical character and marine location of the hotel, with ample use of local stone and Sicilian materials and fabrics, creating a light, relaxed and serene atmosphere. The Oliviero Restaurant, on a panoramic terrace overlooking the gorgeous sea, is known for its fish and seafood specialties and traditional Mediterranean cuisine. The Bar, located on the outdoor terrace, is the perfect place to enjoy a drink, a snack or a light lunch by the beach. A Beach Bar and a Pool Bar in the new pool area are also available for a refreshing drink after a swim. Guests can benefit of the complimentary shuttle to the centre of Taormina, as well as the daily mini-cruise by private boat to explore the beauties of the coast (available during summer). The wellness centre offers a range of exclusive treatments for the ultimate of relax, while the fitness centre is fully equipped with the latest technology. The Smile Club with an English-speaking supervisor is available to entertain the younger guests with lots of fun and exciting activities. Guests at Belmond Villa Sant'Andrea can enjoy all the facilities of Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo, its sister property located in the centre of Taormina next to the Greek Theatre. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Villa Sant`Andrea By Orient-Express Hotel Mazzaro
Hotel Sant Andrea
Sant Andrea Hotel Taormina
Sant'andrea Villa
Belmond Villa Sant'Andrea Taormina, Sicily - Mazzaro

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