The hotel write ups you are reading can often be misleading but hopefully I can put things in a good context.... I personally have traveled all over the world and have been to Italy 5 times but this is only my second visit to Sicily, of which I have experienced the whole Island and stayed at many hotels during the last visit. After painstakingly reading reviews I settled on this hotel for this trip. Unfortunately its location almost appears to be in an old war zone that hasn't quite been revitalized yet. The location is truly out of the way, that is it is not in walking distance of anything... really. They mention a shuttle that goes into town but that is only somewhat convenient if you are on their schedule, which has the last shuttle coming back from town at 7:30pm, that means dinner is only available for you at the hotel restaurant. The restaurant wasn't too bad, but you will pay an average of 23 euro for a meal, with out wine.
The rooms; I had reserved an “Executive” room which would give me the beach view according to their hotel information. Unfortunately my room, and I believe all the rooms, do not have a beach view! This is mainly due to the design of the hotel which has the restaurant and conference center part of the hotel in the front blocking much of the view for the 2nd story. Also, along the beach there are commercial properties in which the locals have to go through in order to go to the beach... these facilities guarantee you will not see any beach area from any part of the hotel. I need to comment on these commercial areas here.... they were all sporting plenty of graffiti and did not appear to be kept up at all... it added to the war zone effect. Back to the "Executive" room, it was very small, and the "King" size bed was 2 twins pushed together. The bed was harder than any firm bed I have ever experienced. My colleague had a standard room and it was exactly the same as my "Executive" room, he also had serious mosquito problems, (carriers of the Swine Flu and West Nile virus), and from the looks of the smashed remnants on the walls I would say previous visitors had the same problem. They told me all of the "King" beds were the same, of which they showed me another room, which was indeed the same. I was disappointed enough to try and check out of the hotel and go uptown to the Excelsior hotel, which is a much better hotel experience, but they would not allow me to check out unless I was willing to forfeit my payment for the week!
That is where my extreme disappointment comes into play... I asked two times to be released without leaving behind $$$ but all they knew was I prepaid to get a good rate and they couldn't charge back my credit card. I have never experience a situation as hard headed as this was... normally a provider of credit card services (someone who can accept a credit card) also has the ability to charge back on your card. I will never quite understand why they did not try to accommodate my release other than just not wanting to lose the business, but I'm hoping that that is just what this write up will do.... their web information is misleading and their attitude is worse.
Also, the wireless internet they advertise is very very expensive... I purchased the 24 hour package ... it was 18 euro or $24.00, and the 24 hour had to be consecutive hours.
Just go in town... Excelsior, The Liberty, or the Uno would be better bets for you and your experience of Catania will be enhanced.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The four-star NH Catania Parco degli Aragonesi hotel is conveniently located just ten minutes from the Catania Fontanarossa Airport, with a private beach along some of the most beautiful coastline of the oriental Sicilian seaside at La Playa. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Nh Parco Degli Aragonesi Hotel Catania
- Nh Hotels Catania
- Nh Hotel Catania
- NH Catania Parco Degli Aragonesi Sicily