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“As good as it gets.”

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San Domenico Palace Hotel
Ranked #12 of 87 Hotels in Taormina
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 28 October 2013

My wife and I stayed here in June to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. The day we arrived was the final day of the Taormina film festival and so the reception area was manic with film people, all a bit hooray if you asked me! We wondered what we had let ourselves in for but by the next day they had all gone, bar for a few stragglers.
The view from our room was exceptional, for the occasion we couldn't have wished for anything better. The room itself was was typical of one being in such an old historical building, not lavish but functional, well kept and clean.
The buffet breakfast on the terrace was something to look forward to each day, it is like being on a filmset, the food was good too.
On our anniversary and to our surprise the hotel management delivered a bottle of Prosecco to our room at lunchtime, a very nice thought indeed. We felt the hotel staff could not do enough for you whether in the bar, the pool or the restaurant and the reception desk were always helpful.
The location of the hotel was about as good as it gets, more than enough restaurants to choose from and all very capable. The shops on the main street were excellent and the whole place had a great buzz about it.
I wouldn't hesitate in recommending the hotel to anyone, indeed we may return there next year for a few days.

Room Tip: South facing, sea view with private balcony.
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  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank MickeyGHipsta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 28 October 2013

After a week of small, modest accommodations in the little hill towns of Sicily, our stay at the San Domenico was a welcome respite of luxury and comfort. It was with some regret that we booked there, because we had loved the Grand Hotel Timeo when we were last in Taormina, but there was no room available during our stay in October due to a conference. The San Domenico was an excellent alternative. We had a lovely ocean-facing room with a terrace, which they call an "executive room, sea view." It was large and attractively furnished (not modern, but suitably period Sicilian) and the bath very nice. Breakfast on the hotel’s outdoor terrace (only partially shaded, be aware if the sun is hot) was quite special, with zillions of choices at the buffet. The hotel is located one street below the main street in town, Corso Umberto, with all the shops, churches, library, etc., very close, and the Greek Theater is about a ten or fifteen minute easy walk. The only negative about the location is that, unlike the Grand Hotel Timeo, you cannot see Mt. Aetna from the rooms, only the open ocean. This is the reason I took one star away from "Location." The extraordinary thing about Taormina's position is the combination of the ocean, Mt. Aetna, and in the evening, the twinkling lights along the coast. We had this view when we stayed at Timeo a dozen years ago, and that is what makes it both more desirable and much more expensive than the San Domenico. The San Domenico is very pretty, with a beautiful garden inner courtyard/cloister, and away from the hustle and bustle of Corso Umberto, the main street.

Other than breakfast, I cannot speak about the restaurant. We tried to have lunch there, but the only spot was an indoor room that was boiling hot and facing mostly just trees. It would have been lovely to be on the terrace, but they would only serve us drinks and snacks there, and we wanted a real lunch. Since our stay was so short, we wanted to maximize our time in front of one of the world's great views, so we had lunch at Granducca, on Corso Umberto, and dinner on the Timeo's spectacular terrace. Both are highly recommended.

A warning to those driving by car to Taormina; finding this hotel, as well as the Grand Hotel Timeo, requires nerves of steel, rapt attention to the occasional sign, and a good dose of luck. We actually stumbled on it when we were just about to turn around, go down the hill, and try again--no easy feat on those narrow, winding roads. Once you do find the San Domenico, they whisk your car away, and you breathe a sigh of relief to be off the roads and in their very serene compound.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Acadia777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sacrestia, Responsabile relazioni con la clientela at San Domenico Palace Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 31 October 2013

Dear Guest,

we would like to thank you for taking the time to give us your feedback regarding your stay at the San Domencio Palace, we were honoured to have you as our guests.
Due to a different position we inform you that , our guest can see Mount Etna and the sea from our Mediterranean garden.
We hope to have the pleasure of seeing you again at the San Domenico PAlace and we will share your nice comment with the entire team.
Best regards
Luisa Cacopardo
Assistant Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 October 2013

We were well received at the san Domenico. The location is stunning and the gardens a delight.
the staff were unfailingly helpful and organised our various outings very well indeed.
Our room was immaculate and well supplied. The sea view perfect.
Breakfast was very good indeed. we did not eat dinner in the restaurant(s) as we were seduced by the abundance of local establishments all of which provided excellent dining.
I would certainly recommend the San Domenico to anyone planning a stay in Taormina.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank GerryMal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sacrestia, Responsabile relazioni con la clientela at San Domenico Palace Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 30 October 2013

Dear Guest,
Let us thank you for having taken the time to write about your last stay at the San Domenico Palace Hotel.
We were very happy to learn that you spent some pleasant moments with us and that you had appreciated your sea view. We have remitted your nice comments to the entire team of the San Domenico.
Thank you again and best regards.
Luisa Cacopardo
Assistant Manager

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Reviewed 28 October 2013

Stayed at the San Domenico Palace for a weekend break. The property is a 15th century monastery with breathtaking views. We had a seaview room which was very spacious and clean. Spend some time exploring the property - both inside and the amazing gardens. We will definitely be returning.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Stefan B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sacrestia, Responsabile relazioni con la clientela at San Domenico Palace Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 31 October 2013

Dear Guest,
fisrt of all, thank you so much for your positive comments on our hotel. Your description regarding the cleaness of the room and the stunning view that guests can experience from our terraces and Mediterranean garden.
Sincerely
Luisa Cacopardo
Assistant Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 October 2013

My stay at the San Domenico in October 2013 was terrible!! No doorman you have to call via a phone. The lady answered was very rude. After 10 minute wait finally someone to get our luggage. When we approach the reception desk the same person was very rude asked for reservation. We are a member of the Leading Hotels and thus requested maybe an upgrade we had a junior suite which was $980.00 a night. No upgrade and same lady taking care of us attended another guest and left us alone for 10 mintues again until someone else checked us in. The Junior Suite was horrible, after walking for a while we were on the first floor and no body was ever to be seen in any part of the Hotel during the day. My travel agent recommended this as she was Italian and did not want us to go to the Grand Timeo being owned by Orient Express. Big mistake. I usually choose my stays with Leading Hotel of the World and over the years I have tried dozens of them. The San Domenico is by all measures the worse of all the ones I have tried. On the plus side, the location is ok and the only nice thing was the garden. They are so snobbish they do not permit anyone on the property unless you are staying there. The service is bad and rooms are crumbling down. The bathroom was smelly and the Internet being a member was free , but we had to constantly beg for new passwords, as they only gave you four hours at a time. In order to impress guests they have simply added an oversize TV - that would turn on every time you entered the room to show some annoying video about how great the hotel was. The overall experience was terrible. And no hair service or spa. One room with one masseuse Overall, I would never stay here again...

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Vivi D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 October 2013

This is an amazingly beautiful historic hotel in an amazingly beautiful and scenic location. The location, the building, the antique furnishings and the overall atmosphere take you to another era.

As much as this is its forte, so is it its failing. The hotel needs more luxury, more sumptuous soft furnishings, it needs thick carpets or rugs placed over the beautiful solid wood floorings, upgraded more luxurious bathrooms, more technology, softer bedsheets not rigid and starched, more homeliness and more fussy cleaning.

The service is courteous and breakfast a feast. And having its own parking in Taormina is worth its weight in gold!

In short I would not hesitate to recommend this hotel but dear management, please beef up on the little everyday luxuries in your rooms and clean them more meticulously and your hotel will truly be unbeatable!

  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank issibni
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 October 2013

There are plusses and minuses here, but will give it an excellent rating for the overall experience.
First of all--the view. Beautiful to look our the window or stand on the balcony and see the blue water and gardens. Room was comfortable, but somewhat dated as is the rest of the hotel. Best breakfast of our trip. The courtyard is perfect for an evening glass of wine and the bar service there was very good.
Minuses. Woman at front desk was not helpful or friendly. Wifi terrible.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank 100db
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about San Domenico Palace Hotel

Address: Piazza San Domenico 5, 98039, Taormina, Sicily, Italy
Region: Italy > Sicily > Province of Messina > Taormina
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#11 Luxury Hotel in Taormina
Price Range: £28 - £142 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — San Domenico Palace Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 108
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This place is temporarily closed for renovation. Opening date to be announced soon. A LUXURY 5-STAR HOTEL ON THE EAST COAST OF SICILY The San Domenico Palace Hotel sits in a truly magnificent setting that has attracted people from ancient times. A luxury 5-star hotel in an ancient Dominican monastery, it has views over Mount Etna and Taormina Bay on the east coast of Sicily not far from Messina. Countless famous writers, artists and composers, came here to savour this unique spot at the very tip of Italy. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Palazzo San Domenico Taormina
Palazzo San Domenico Hotel Taormina
San Domenico Palace Hotel Taormina, Sicily

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