This is a beautiful hotel. Immaculately clean and well appointed. But 'luxury' is about customer service as much as appearances. We got off to a very bad start. First we noticed the air con control was only for show. It would not move from 23C (73F) so when we reported it as a fault, the response was defensive. The owner was saying basically "the computer says 'no'" and that we could not have it "15 or 16 or something". We are from the frozen north so sleeping in 73 is uncomfortable, so how about 68? "no" "it's the computer". Eventually he relented slightly and set it to 22 (71F) and said that was the lowest it would go (that darned computer again!). Never been in a hotel with that issue. Even in cheap motels. What's the point in having a control panel if you can't control it? A glorified on/off button.
We arrived late afternoon, and wanted a bath before we went out for the evening, but the 'hot' water at its hottest was just about warm enough for a shower, and the flow rate would mean a bath would take an age to fill. Back to reception. Nice young chap went out to speak to the 'computer says no' owner who did not appear concerned but speaks animatedly. Young chap says he will go in the roof and check. You can guess the response - "it's fine - that's the way it is". Which was a lie because the next day (all day), and the following morning the hot water was HOT. Again, never had this problem anywhere.
And then there are the rules, which others have commented on. No food in your rooms. No washing any clothes or ironing in the room. No items of your own in the mini bar. I've been in scores of (luxury) hotels, and not one has stated these rules. They may not like it, because you are not spending money on their room or laundry services, but they have never been rude enough to express it, like in Cavalieri.
The overall impression was that of Fawlty Towers. Pretensions of being a luxury hotel, with an irritable defensive attitude to the customers, and a focus on appearances, rather than customer satisfaction. Instead of dealing with our problems with an "Oh dear, let's see what we can do to sort things out" approach, it was "Problem? there's no problem - you are the problem". I was waiting for Basil to say we couldn't share the room unless we could prove we were married, because "it's the law in Sicily".
Bed was firm. No coffee-making facilities (now I know why). Breakfast was good - otherwise a score of 1
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Hotel Palazzo Cavalieri, at the edge of the ancient city center, is a case in point; this old aristocratic residence belongs to a family of architects and designers, who've turned its 19th-century halls and rooms into a charmingly eclectic, thoroughly contemporary boutique hotel. The location, on Via Malta, is just to the mainland side of the bridge to Ortygia, which is the original ancient Greek settlement. This means easy access by day and a measure of peace by night. As does the hotel itself - these old walls shut out the noise, sealing guests in to a fantasy of noble life. It's not a period piece, though; along with the well-preserved original architecture you'll find all manner of contemporary touches, rooms featuring brand-new bath fixtures, beds and electronics and furnished with mid-century design classics. With few rooms it's perhaps a bit bigger than it feels - from within the rooms you'd be hard pressed not to imagine you're the old house's sole resident. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Cavalieri Hotel Syracuse
- Hotel Palazzo Cavalieri Sicily/Syracuse, Italy