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“One of Europe's Great Hotels”

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Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo
Ranked #4 of 87 Hotels in Taormina
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 26 September 2011

The setting alone might would make this hotel something special, with views over the Bay of Naxos to Mount Etna, but the accommodation and service undoubtedly place it amongst Europe's best. We stayed there on a package with Citalia and upgraded to a superior room, mainly for the veiw (described as "side sea view" but in reality much better than that). Our room was in the annexe, a recently refurbished villa across the street from the hotel entrance. Often you feel hard done-by if you are put in an annexe but not in this case. the room was simply breathtaking, having a double-height sitting-room with a tall window leading to a small balcony with views over the bay to Etna. The huge bed was on a mezzanine level and there were two beautiful bathrooms, one on each floor. The room also boasted something rare in even the best hotels - efficient air-conditioning which was quiet. The villa annexe has its own permanently-staffed reception desk and a small lounge with free coffee and soft drinks and computers offering free internet.

The restaurant and bar terrace overlook the bay and one morning the always excellent breakfast was enlivened by a minor eruption of Etna. Service is simply faultless - efficient and professional but also very friendly. The hotel has a second restaurant near the pool open at lunchtimes and drinks and snacks are available by the pool, which is not huge but is beautifully maintained and attentively-staffed.

A shuttle bus connects the Timeo with their other hotel Sant'Andrea down on the beach, from where you can often take complimentary excursions on a sailing yacht (which you need to book as they are popular).

Others have commented adversely on the price of food and drinks and it is true that this is probably one of the most expensive spots in what is a fairly expensive resort but the great things is that you have a choice - you can live the high-life in the hotel or you can walk five minutes down the road to dozens of bars, cafes and restaurants, especially in the maze of streets between Via Teatro Greco and the public gardens, which are half the price.

Room Tip: I'd certainly opt to stay in the annexe.
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  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank ianewestt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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535 - 541 of 889 reviews

Reviewed 24 September 2011

We stayed here in May this year. We had such a lovely 3 days. The weather was great as you would expect - but what made the holiday was the location of the hotel. It was right next to the main tourist site - the old amphi theatre with views of the Etna and the sea.
The hotel room we had, was lovely. it was clean comfortable and overlooked the sea - what a view.
The restaurant was great - we ate outside for every meal. The menu was great and varied. Lots of fish as you might expect - often with pasta. The wine list was very extensive but also very pricey! If you are looking for a real treat and want to push the boat out - I can recommend the timeo!

Room Tip: you want a room at the front of the hotel overlooking the bay
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  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled with friends
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1  Thank jules196350
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 September 2011

It is unlikely that any review can adequately convey the magnificence of this experience. From the moment you enter the gates to the second you leave you are treated to an experience that is sure to be special--even for the experienced traveler. Finding the hotel (if you are driving on your own) is a bit challenging but is certainly "part of the experience!"

The decor is magnificent--old world charm impeccably maintained--and the public and private areas are spotless. (There were some stains on the carpet in our room and some marks on the walls--not terribly important!) Expressing the staff as "incredibly accommodating" is an understatement! Every single person goes out of their way to:

1. Make you feel at home
2. Learn your name from the minute you arrive
3. Do everything and anything you want--and even things you do not know you want but they know you SHOULD want!

The housekeeping was impeccable--they folded our clothing on a daily basis, responded graciously to all requests and made certain that the room was perfect all the time!

The breakfasts (included in the price) was excellent. You can have it delivered to the room (no extra charge) or you can eat on the balcony overlooking the sea! (There are NO bee problems as indicated by another reviewer on this website.) Nothing is extra and they are most helpful and accommodating! (There is that word again!)

The pool staff--like all others on the property--are professional, kind and know just when to be there and when to leave you alone! They learned our name on Day 1 and made us feel welcome every day thereafter.

The Concierge/Front Desk personnel were great! They made all of our dinner reservations--each one was better than the next! Of course, one would probably have to try really hard to find BAD meal in Taormina! Lunch at the hotel (pool restaurant) was great!

We enjoyed having drinks before dinner on the terrace (similar locale to the breakfast area) and, as in much of Sicily, drinks were accompanied by enough food to qualify as a light dinner! The drinks are pricey but not unexpected.

The ONLY negative I can say about the hotel (save for the carpet and walls) was that our room HVAC must have been pulling from a place where people were smoking! It was not a terrible problem and we never said anything but it was noticeable.

There are not enough positive explicatives to describe this hotel! It is the PERFECT place to enjoy a fantastic city! Its location--walking distance from the main street--is great and the staff is, arguably, the best trained and most pleasant, professional that we have encountered in all of our travels!

It is not cheap but you get what you pay for!

molto buona!

Room Tip: Cannot imagine that there is ANY bad room!
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  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank CMSCLS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 September 2011

My husband and I went to Taormina for my 40th birthday. It's probably not necessary to mention but Taormina is absolutely gorgeous!
We stayed at The Grand Hotel Timeo for most of our trip and it was incredible. The service is first rate and the hotel is unbelieveably beautiful. Additionally, the view from the hotel is of the Mt. Etna, which was quite active at the time. This made for an incredible view from the hotel and our room, in particular.
We will definitely stay here if we return to Taormina!

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank nychuman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 September 2011

The Grand Hotel Timeo was fantastic in almost every way.

The service was truly incomparable. Deferential, sweet, helpful and polite, all the staff from room service to the poolside waiters went out of their way to make you feel at home and pampered.

The building and grounds are stunning to the point of idyllic - backing onto a Greek theatre and spilling down into perfect scented gardens with trees and fruit populating every spare inch. Wow.

The restaurant was incredible - great food, service and views over the bay make it a perfect evening.

The room (double superior sea view in the separate villa) was gorgeous duplex. The only comment would be that the sheets and bed could have been more comfortable and the bathrooms need updating slightly. However, the space is great and the luxury was evident almost everywhere.

Breakfast is amazing - and included in the room price. Fresh, tasty and beautifully served in the room if you like.

I did not experience any issues getting to teh beach. Arriving at the pool pick-up area, the taxis got full quickly so the hotel ordered another immediately and paid for it for us.

You will feel thoroughly spoiled, pampered and refreshed after a weekend here. Yes, it is expensive but you feel like you're in a world class old Italian hotel.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank LondonNsC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 September 2011

We had a wonderful stay- everything about this hotel was amazing. The room was beautiful and spacious..the breakfast was delicious..staff were always happy to help and made us feel very welcome. Evening meal at the hotel was also very good...although pricey. Hotel is in a great location to explore the town- and hotel provide a minibus regularly down to the beach. For once this is a 5 star hotel that really does deliver.

  • Stayed: June 2011
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Thank FoodieWeasels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 September 2011

Spent a week's holiday at the Grand Hotel Timeo and have mixed views on the place. First the good points. The hotel itself is spectacular, lovely building and grounds and is set on top of the mountain with a stunning view over the sea. Its location also can't be beat, it is within 5 minutes walk of Taormina village which has great restaurants and shops. The main thoroughfare is very lively and great to walk through in the evenings - a fantastic mix of restaurants, upmarket shops, ice cream parlours, souvenir stores and lots of people! The room (deluxe double sea view) we stayed in was very nice, well finished with small terrace space in front of the rooms, free wi-fi, but very small with little storage space. Not an issue for us but I know some people are quite keen on room size. The staff are also very nice (but totally inefficient - more of this later). Food was generally of a decent standard but nothing special. I would definitely recommend having dinner once at their restaurant for the view/setting but would then eat out every other time as there is a rich choice of great food in town.

The bad points: We all recognise that when you go to the Caribbean or Italy, you have to adjust to "local time" and expect slower service. However, there comes a point when you really do want to be seated, you do want to place your order, you do want the coffee you ordered 45 mins ago, you would like your food before the end of the decade and you would like to pay your bill so that you can get to the pool/beach before sunset! Your polite requests will be met with sympathetic smiles and apologies so the problem is not the attitude of the staff and I can only surmise that management are dropping the ball big time on training or watching over the effectiveness of operations. This was true whether you were at the Hotel Timeo or its sister hotel the Villa Sant’Andrea (BTW, I noticed that the manager at the Andrea was happily enjoying a lunch with a guest while the table next door was getting annoyed with the waiter as their order had been messed up - he didn't do anything to help resolve or smooth the situation!). This is true whether you were requesting towels, taking breakfast, lunch, dinner or evening drinks. I was bemused one evening when we were having after dinner drinks and the poor couple next to us resorted to standing up and waving their arms in the air like the old Arsenal back four screaming for offside. I thought this has to get the waiter's attention but no, they continued to amiably wander around, talking to each other and avoid serving people! For a 5 star establishment like this, it is simply not acceptable to be this far off the pace and is why I have given it a 3 rating. Other gripes to be aware of - the pool area is very small and if you do not operate at full German efficiency, you will find there are no spaces left by the poolside by 10 am. We didn't mind as we preferred the beach, however therein lies another problem. There are only two shuttle cars to take you to the beach and these were regularly oversubscribed meaning you had to wait another 30 mins for the cars to return and do a 2nd journey. My advice is to take the 10 minute walk to the town's cable car and for 2euro, it will drop you right by the beach - we actually preferred this as it was more fun to walk through town every day.
So in summary, I have given it a 3 rating as it is undoubtedly a beautiful hotel in a great setting, and is definitely worth visiting. But at these prices, its competition should be the great hotels of the world like the Datai, the Mandarin Orientals, Little Palm etc and it is NOWHERE near these when it comes to service- shame as this could have been a great hotel.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank MagVoyager
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Orient-Express_Italy, Direttore generale at Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo, responded to this reviewResponded 6 September 2011

Dear Guest,
we wish to thank you for taking the time to write your first review on Trip Advisor after your stay at the Grand Hotel Timeo.
We do not want to comment your thoughts about the Italian and Caribbean service.
We took great consideration of your other comments regarding the service at both the Hotel Timeo and Villa Sant'Andrea, in order to improve the quality standards especially in our F&B outlets.
We are very sorry that you did not fully enjoy your stay and that you did not mention to anybody of our executive teams your disappointment during your sojourn; we are sure that we would have been able to resolve most issues directly on the spot.
We thank you once again and remain at your complete disposal for any further details personally at Info@hoteltimeo.net.

Luca Finardi
General Manager & Area Manager Sicily

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo

Address: Via Teatro Greco 59, 98039, Taormina, Sicily, Italy
Phone Number:
Region: Italy > Sicily > Province of Messina > Taormina
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Taormina
#4 Luxury Hotel in Taormina
Price Range: £292 - £1,249 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo 5*
Number of rooms: 70
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set high in the rocky hills on the East coast of the island, with Mount Etna as a backdrop, Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo has always been one of the favourite destinations of both Hollywood’s and Europe’s most prominent stars; from Sofia Loren to Audrey Hepburn, from Marcello Mastroianni to Liz Taylor. Adjacent to the Greek Theatre, the hotel was first built in 1873 and is surrounded by a six-acre park and magnificent gardens where the panoramic pool is located. Widely considered to be the most luxurious hotel in Taormina, it boasts 70 splendid rooms and suites, each decorated in a fresh Sicilian style that blends modern innovation with local artisan traditions. This historical hotel is well known for its “Literary Terrace” which has always been a preferred meeting spot for illustrious guests thanks to its breathtaking panorama. Dining facilities include the Restaurant with an enchanting view of Mount Etna combined with typical Sicilian and Mediterranean cuisine. The Pool Restaurant offers brick-oven pizza, a salad buffet and freshly caught fish, it is the perfect place for a light lunch or a snack. The wellness centre offers signature treatments made from local flowers and fruit essences. A fitness centre and a panoramic swimming-pool are also available Guests can benefit of the complimentary shuttle to the private beach at sister property Belmond Villa Sant'Andrea, in Taormina Mare, boasting new exclusive cabanas, as well as the daily mini-cruise by private boat to explore the beauties of the coast (available during summer). The Smile Club with an English-speaking supervisor is available at sister property Belmond Villa Sant'Andrea to entertain the younger guests with lots of fun and exciting activities. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Nh Hotels Taormina
Grand Hotel Taormina
Grand Hotel Timeo
Timeo Hotel Sicily
Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo Taormina, Sicily

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