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“Historic gem needing 21st century upgrade”

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San Domenico Palace Hotel
Ranked #13 of 87 Hotels in Taormina
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 14 June 2014

We stayed here at the beginning of June 2014 as part of a Sicily Tauck Tour. The corridors, courtyard and gardens are beautiful. We thank the bar staff for looking after us in the courtyard and allowing us to eat our pizza from the nearby shop, for lunch, in the courtyard.
We had a room with a terrace that overlooked the bay. This was beautiful, it was a pity that it was difficult to use the bathroom. It was very small with a shower in the bath, and with no floor drain it was necessary to keep the thick fabric shower curtain in the bath for a shower. This would collect bacteria and fungus and so is not very hygienic.
To maintain balance, I grabbed the shower pole, however, it detached from the shower head and I struggled to put it back together again. There were no other safety poles to grab.
Also, to get the toilet to flush properly, you had to make sure your thumb was in exactly the right place on the flushing button.
We had a "farewell dinner" in the main dining room, which suffers from the fact that the kitchen is a very long way away, near the breakfast dinning room location.
We had an inclusive Wi-Fi package from Tauck, however the service kept dropping in and out, so we gave up!!!!
We had to be ready promptly for our daily tours and this would have been much easier if all of the above flowed smoothly.
We also had a thin door to the next room.
Thank you to the hotel for giving us a late check out, it was much appreciated before our 3 days of flying back to Australia.

Room Tip: Level two with a terrace
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank wandering59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Luisa C, Responsabile relazioni pubbliche at San Domenico Palace Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 19 June 2014

Dear Wandering,

Thank you for taking time to share your thoughts on your recent stay with us. It’s good to know that you enjoyed our large corridors, ancient cloister and gardens.Our goal is to provide out guest with the experience that exceed their expectations and I am sorry that you encounter some challenges during your time here. Please know that we always welcome our guest’s feedback during their stay as it gives us a chance to turn things around as well as improve our services.
Sincerely
Luisa Cacopardo
Assistant Manager

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529 - 535 of 1,356 reviews

Reviewed 13 June 2014

We chose the San Domenico as our honeymoon hotel owing to its history and outside spaces. We stayed for a week at the beginning of June 2014. The outside spaces really are spectacular; the gardens are extremely well kept and the swimming pool and surrounding area is spotless and the staff brilliant down there.

However; there are areas for improvement. Firstly the WIFI which I know people have commented on; this needs to be free everywhere considering the price you pay. We had a sea view deluxe room and at 561 euros a night I think is overpriced. The balcony had a nice view but the sunbeds up there need a cushion like the ones by the pool and the room (particulary the bathroom) needs alot of updating. The bathroom toiletries are only molten brown and the smell often was not pleasant. Even though we brough our own mosquito plug ins we got bitten alot which was unusual as we had slaready been in Sicily 10 days before this and not had one.

The staff definitely need a few tips on customer service and cracking a smile occasionally. The only staff that were not rude in this way were the cleaners, the evening bar staff in the first courtyard and one of the male reception staff (wish I had taken his name). All the others you had to consistently repeat what you were asking, with a scowling face all the time you were asking and then incorrect or incoherent information given. After a few attempts at using them I gave up and used our previous hotel (El Jebel) for assistance.

We ate at the michelin star restaurant, for one night and the service was good there. Food was nice but overpriced. There are cheaper and just as good places to eat in the town.

Overall was OK but we would not return; in favour of better rooms and better value elsewhere in the town. Overall gardens are wonderful; shame you can't just visit these!

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank chilli35
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Luisa C, Responsabile relazioni pubbliche at San Domenico Palace Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 19 June 2014

Dear Guest,

Thank you so much for taking the time to give us your feedback on your recent stay at the San Domenico. Comments like yours go a long way in helping us to understand what we're doing right, as well as opportunities for improvement. Thank you again and best regards.
Luisa Cacopardo
Assistant Manager

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Reviewed 12 June 2014

This hotel is in a old monastery and has lots of interesting works of art throughout. The location is very close to the main shopping street and several restaurants. Concerning the rooms, they are not very comfortable with only one chair. If it is very hot, the air conditioning does not work very well at all and if you open the windows, at certain times of the year, mosquitoes will come in. The breakfast is excellent with a very large selection and a lovely dining venue on a terrace overlooking the ocean.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Jerry B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Luisa C, Responsabile relazioni pubbliche at San Domenico Palace Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 17 June 2014

Dear Guest,
let us thank you for your feedback wrote on Trip Advisor. Positive and negative comments are very important for us because they let us known something more of our hotel. Regarding the size of the room, I can understand from you description that you was staying in the ex monk cell, and as you known our hotel was an old convent of the beginning of the XIV century.
Therefore I will look forward to welcome you back at the San Domenico to show you the other room category.
Thank you again and best regards.

Luisa Cacopardo
Assistant Manager

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Reviewed 8 June 2014 via mobile

The hotel is beautiful and well situated. The gardens are particularly lovely. Our room was large with a nice seating area and 2 bathrooms (fab!). My only complaint about the room was the musty smell and as the hotel recommended not to open the windows due to Mosquitos then there was very little to be done about it. Breakfast was plentiful and good quality - especially the orange juice which was the nicest I've tasted. The staff at breakfast service could perhaps be a little more attentive and friendlier but overall I would recommend a stay here.

Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank dandyKnaresborough
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Luisa C, Responsabile relazioni pubbliche at San Domenico Palace Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 12 June 2014

Dear Guest,
Thank you so much for your review. I am happy to know that your stay turned out to be a pleasant experience and you enjoyed rooms and hotel location and of course the ornage juice made with fresh Sicilian orange. I apologize for the smell but it’s good to know that this incident did not negatively influence your stay!
We will be looking forward to welcome you back on your next trip to Taormina for your fisrt Anniversary.
Sincerely!
Luisa Cacopardo
Assistant Manager

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Reviewed 7 June 2014

Okay, so this is our third stay here so we obviously love it. The whole experience is wonderful from the beauty of the hotel and its grounds to the staff and the food. The hotel is in the perfect location in Taormina, near the Porto Catania and a short distance from the Corso. Breakfast on the terrace overlooking the sea is fabulous. I agree with previous reviewers about the wifi - it should be free everywhere in the hotel but our experience with most hotels, particularly the big ones is that they charge for internet access.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Helen W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Luisa C, Responsabile relazioni pubbliche at San Domenico Palace Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 12 June 2014

Dear Helen W,
thank you so much for your nice comments, it’s always a pleasure for us to ear that you enjoy your stay with us.
I will forward your compliments at the entire staff.
Thank you again and best Sicilian regards!
Luisa Cacopardo
Assistant Manager

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Reviewed 6 June 2014

This converted monastery sitting cliff side over the sea in Taomina is very beautiful but ultimately disappointing. Our room was nicely appointed but a bit tired. It had a nice little balcony overlooking the spectacular bay, and a good sized marble bathroom with a strong shower. Internet was so weak as to be non-existent, even in the lobby. A door to the room adjacent to ours was paper thin and consequently we heard very word of an admittedly loud conversation next door. Our main complaint was an unpleasant odor, originating from the plumbing, which pervaded the room. The management blamed it on the old sewage system of the town, and no real resolution was offered. Similarly, we experienced poor service at the reception desk - with the sole exception of Tiziana, who was attentive, and effective. For example, we asked to buy stamps and were told the desk had none. When shortly thereafter we asked Tiziana for stamps, she was able to respond satisfactorily. Lastly, a complimentary dinner in the restaurant included in our stay. A reservation was made for us and we were on time. First, we were ignored in the bar area that serves as an anteroom to the restaurant, and when we were seated, the Maître D did not recognize the names of drinks we selected from the house cocktail list. We were the last table seated that evening, and the staff was so obviously eager to close for the night that they had to be reminded to bring our main course. Once it came, the entire staff stood at close range watching us, almost literally tapping their feet with impatience for us to be done. Abysmal. We did receive some consideration on our final bill after a talk with management but frankly, for a supposed 5 star hotel, it was way too little & too late.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Gabpt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Luisa C, Responsabile relazioni pubbliche at San Domenico Palace Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 11 June 2014

Dear Guest,

let us thank you for your feedback and nice comments you had written on Tiziana. Positive and negative comments are very important for us because they let us known something more of our hotel. We are very sorry that your experience with us did not matched your expectation and you disliked our services. I can assure you that this is not the standard at the San Domenico Palace Hotel, therefore the issues have been addressed and corrective actions have been taken.

Sincerely
Luisa Cacopardo

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Reviewed 4 June 2014

Had a great 7 day's holiday last week. Upgraded to a sea view when we arrived, which was a lovely surprise. Great views, beautiful gardens, all very tranquil. Breakfast is superb! We travel a lot..and the selection here was probably the best we have had.
Only criticism is that the Wi Fi is available in the lobby only and takes an age to get on and falls out all the time. For a 5 * hotel, this is woeful. 5 * travellers expect this to be free and available in all areas in 2014! The hotel even had a sign up stating it was out of action for a whole day.

Room Tip: Sea view and balcony are the best rooms. All rooms are quite small
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank diggler62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Luisa C, Responsabile relazioni pubbliche at San Domenico Palace Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 11 June 2014

Dear Guest,
Thank you so much for your review. I am happy to know that your stay turned out to be a pleasant experience and you enjoyed our upgrade in a sea view room. I apologize for the wi-fi but it’s good to know that this incident did not negatively influence your stay!
We will be looking forward to welcome you back ate the San Domenico on your next trip to Taormina
Sincerely!
Luisa Cacopardo
Assistant Manager

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 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:
#2 Best Value Hotel in Taormina
#12 Luxury Hotel in Taormina
Price Range: £54 - £72 (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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