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San Domenico Palace Hotel
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Reviews (1,360)
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All reviewsformer monasteryprincipe ceramicentral courtyardstar michelin restaurantbeautiful hotellinen sheetsclassic roompublic roomssea viewbreakfast buffetluxury hotelcommon areasshower curtainthe main streetjunior suitebars and restaurantsmount etna
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Reviewed 8 May 2008

Stayed at the San Domenico for a week during the (extremely hot) summer of 2006 and found it to be a charming luxury hotel with terrific customer service. Yes, the structure looks "worn" - it is a several hundred-year-old monastery after all - but that only adds to the charm and uniqueness of the property.

Rooms are big and comfortable, and the air conditioning was great during the hot summer. Public areas are beautiful, with a lovely garden and comfortable pool area. The morning buffet was wonderful, with a great selection of freshly-prepared foods. Sitting outdoors on the bougainvillea-draped terrace with your breakfast while gazing out over the sea is a great treat.

The limo service from the airport is well worth it, and the concierge is wonderful - they arranged to have my lost luggage picked up when it arrived at the Catania airport four days after I did. The concierge also selected a terrific driver for a day tour of the Sicilian countryside, and during our outing he took us to a friend's restaurant where we had the most amazing lunch with homemade wine, cheese, olive oil, etc.

Had a massage - not so great. The "spa" is really just a refurbished guest room. Would not recommend it, unless you are desperately in need of a rubdown.

Definitely worth the money.

  • Stayed: June 2006, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank rickh710
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 April 2008

We stayed for several nights in early April this year. We found a beautiful hotel which was located in the town of Taormina and close to everything. No need to taxi to dinner! The property is extremely well maintained. There are three courtyards within the walls of this former Domenican Monastery.The gardens outside and inside are beautiful.....probaby the most beautiful of any hotel we have stayed in...and all in flower now. From the garden you can see snow covered Mt. Etna in the distance, which is breathtaking. The pool is adjacent to the gardens down a few steps. Our room was in the "new" section so the rooms are little bit bigger. We had a view of the Sea from our room and balcony. The maid servce was seamless and the room spotless and well equiped. The hotel's food was excellent although expensive. The staff were friendly and we were particularily impressed with Caterina's help at the Concierge desk We will be back.

  • Stayed: April 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank wrldtrav
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 April 2008

Had a family wedding reception here a few years ago. The hotel is great-ish! The food was great, staff were great, and there's a real feeling of quality and 5-star-ness about the place. It's an ancient monastery, and my caused my Dad to try his hand at chanting Latin hymns while walking down the corridors, much to our embarrassment.

I must say that some (but only some) aspects of the hotel are a little bit 4-star, but it's very historic, a beautiful place, a beautiful location, but somehow reminds me of what living in an English stately home might have been like. It's definitely NOT a second rate hotel. It's big, it's old, it's dramatic, and it's quality.

Oh yeah, it's expensive too, and full of Euro and American millionaires tanning themselves. But then Italy's best resorts are always very expensive, so I'd consider the price as normal for Italy. My room was 250 euro, which is the usual entry level price for a 5 star. Prices go up to 2000 depending. The pool is lovely, the view is beautiful, the gardens are great, our rooms are a little small, but definitely luxury.

The town of Taormina is fantastic, absolutely, and this hotel is in a fantastic location. I've been all over the world, but Taormina is one of my favourite places so far. Vibrant, old world, busy, beautiful, bring your Fendi glasses, and your Gucci bag. Restaurant prices are very, very reasonable in Taormina, and they have those attractive types of restaurants that are very hard to pass without going in, because of the beautiful scents, and the vibrancy of the crowd. You want to be part of it!

I would recommend this place for anyone, although, I am surprised at the few rare negative comments and photos. The food was great, but don't eat at the hotel, though, because you should get out and explore the town.

  • Stayed: August 2004
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3  Thank emmetor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 February 2008

Our first trip to this hotel last year had been terrific. Glad to say our second trip confirmed our first impressions. This is an excellent hotel in a wonderful place. The greeting is warm; the service is excellent in the bars and restaurants; the location is outstanding. Heartily recommend it.

  • Stayed: February 2008
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1  Thank dinninwi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 February 2008

We had a lovely week here last May. This is a rather old fashioned elegant and refined hotel; it is quiet and rather sedate - not suitable for children or for families with lively teenagers as there would be nothing in the hotel to keep them occupied.
Its charms are not those of a typical 5 star hotel, as frankly it falls down in several areas, but rather more to do with its incomparable setting and views, the wonderfully courteous service, its understated but exclusive atmosphere and the very welcome peaceful oasis it offers from the bustling centre of Taormina , which is absolutely heaving with tourists, day and night.
Breakfast is taken on a beautiful bougainvillea clad terrace with stupendous views over Taormina and the bay. The choice of food was wide and the quality excellent. We had dinner every night except one in Principe Cerami, the hotel's small speciality restaurant, where both food and service were superb. This was the highlight of the trip for us. We could not recommend Giuseppe and his staff more highly. On the Sunday evening when they were closed, we ate in the hotel's other restaurant which was mediocre.
The pool area was pleasant and quiet but rather small, very tired and not what one would expect of a 5 star hotel. Food available near the pool looked very expensive and ordinary so we had lunch out daily at various good, reasonably priced restaurants recommended by the helpful concierge.
I agree with a previous reviewer about the rather offhand reception manager with glasses on the tip of his nose but most staff were absolutely charming.
Our deluxe room had a fairly large balcony with sunloungers and wonderful views. The room was charming and prettily appointed but rather small and tired for the very high rates that the hotel charges.
Despite my areas of criticism, we enjoyed our stay at the Palazzo San Domenico very much because of its delightful atmosphere. food and service and would recommend it without hesitation to likeminded travellers.

  • Stayed: May 2007, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Arabella1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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