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“Historic Delight!”

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San Domenico Palace Hotel
Ranked #11 of 88 Hotels in Taormina
Certificate of Excellence
Bishops Stortford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Historic Delight!”
Reviewed 27 August 2014

Perfect location in wonderful town of Taormina, yet in an oasis of calm: it offers the best of both worlds with the hustle and bustle of the town contrasted with its own monastic serenity. How amazing to be able to stay in a former Monastery ( a beautiful building), steeped in history and delightful artefacts throughout the hotel. It has managed to retain the original monastic features without acceding to too many modern-day facilities. We would recommend a Junior suite which are larger rooms with a terrace stunning views of the sea and towns below. The former Cloisters houses a wonderful garden bar (though the drinks are expensive as in the rest of the hotel). The pool is on the small side and not ideal for younger children and there are beautifully manicured gardens. The food is fabulous with great choices for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The staff throughout the hotel are extremely pleasant and helpful, particularly the reception and dining room teams. We thoroughly enjoyed our week of historic bliss and indulgence!!

Room Tip: Junior Suite
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Danny D
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 review, 2 September 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for writing this extraordinary review of San Domenico Palace . Your remarks are wonderful we really appreciate them. It ‘s pleasant to know that you like the accommodation ,the restaurant menu.
We truly believe that our staff brings an excellent service and we feel proud of this.
Thank you again for your great remarks and for recommend San Domenico Palace.

Luisa Cacopardo
Assistant Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (233)
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English first
London, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
205 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 August 2014

what do you look for in a Hotel in the most touristy place in Sicily?
Well I imagine you would say local atmosphere and comfort. You want to feel immersed in the local culture, traditions, aesthetics. Likewise, I want to feel comfortably and warmly served (especially given the price tag).
Did I find the above at San Domenico?
Well... San Domenico is a beautiful building with lots of potential to become a splendid hotel. The central patio, some of the hidden "chiostro" and the garden overlooking Taormina's gulf are simply breathtaking. The atmosphere as a whole, however, is outdated (to say the least). While sitting on the terrace, sipping a simply overpriced negroni, I was surrounded by old couples (speechless), Russian men speaking on Skype, and a young man karaoking away in front of an electric piano. I am not sure the monks who chose such a wonderful stop would approve the mix (none the less the choice of music). The great potential of the location and the natural allure of the monastery would benefit from an upgrade of the style and management.
If you think the beach in Toarmina is too crowded in August don't hope to find much privacy in the undersized pool at the hotel. You can be lucky thou, and witness the grace of a rich 50 years old french woman topless.
There are many buildings of charme in Sicily. The fact that one of them is placed in the centre of Taormina should not make it by default a luxury hotel.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Alisandru
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 review, 28 August 2014
Dear Guest,
Following the review forwarded to Trip Advisor regarding your holiday spent at the San Domenico Palace, we have read carefully your remarks about the presumed lack of services which seemed disappointing and we did take good note for the future.

Best Sicilian regards,

Luisa Cacopardo
Assistant MAnager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paris, France
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 August 2014 via mobile

We were welcomed by the chief doorman as we arrived: the car was instantly taken away to the garage and our bags reappeared in our room just as we got there. The reception was both hospitable and dignified but without pretense. The réception clerk accompanied us all the way to the room with explanations both patient and practical. The room was a spontaneous upgrade to deluxe from superior with a fabulous view. The air conditioning had been preset by the maid to ensure a comfortable arrival after a hot road trip. The bed linen was of incredible quality with an embroidered day cushion, the bed cover being fully sheeted for perfect hygiene and conform to luxury standard. The splendid view is precipitous over the coast toward Messina and Guardino Naxos. The hotel interior is a veritable museum ranging from the 15th century convent wing and cloister to the early 20th century "new" wing featuring innumerable works of art and period furniture. The atmosphere of a Dominican monastery has been fully preserved in the older sections. The restaurants still do table side flambé service by candlelight. The garden is historic with tall healthy palms, prolific violet and orange bougainvilleas and hibiscus of numerous colours. The staff are experienced and comfortable with their roles and neither stuffy nor servile. Every guest is politely greeted everywhere and by everyone from the manager to the gardener. This has the effect of calming any unseemly exuberance of the guests who seem to delight in the role of honoured visitors, except the children who are visibly delighted by the Silician spoiling they receive from the kindly maitre d'hotel at breakfast and the patient pool staff. In all a delight for everyone who relishes the old world elegance of an exceptional institution. We will return for Christmas. The sniping critics can go elsewhere to their bling bling chain luxury hotels. We don't wish to hear their harsh voices in the salons of the San Domenico!

Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank DeepestOntario
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 review, 26 August 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for taking the time to write such a lovely review. We are delighted to know how much you enjoyed staying with us
I truly appreciate it, your comments are extremely valuable for the whole team and represent a great support in order to excel on what we care the most: our guests’ satisfaction. Offering hospitality quality, cleanliness and a pleasant atmosphere are our daily priorities and we really appreciate reading that we matched your expectations.

Best Sicilian regards
Luisa Cacopardo
Assistant Manager
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Lisbon, Portugal
Level Contributor
54 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 August 2014

...was enough the recognize the quality of this hotel. First of all the location, it is perfect, nested in the cliff of Taormina you get extraordinary views from most of the rooms, the gardens and the restaurants. Additionally you are very near Taormina Center (3 minute walk to the main street). We ate at the 2 michelin stars restaurant, which was in gastronomic terms below our expectation, but due to the already mention views was able to compensate. The pool is one of the week spots of the Hotel, being a little crampy and small, taking into consideration the number of rooms. The inward patio with drinks and live music was very, very nice. Paid wi-fi in the room is a downside. Overall very good experience and recomended.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank NunoVaz
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 review, 26 August 2014
Dear Guest,
Thank you for taking time to share your thoughts on your recent stay at the San Domenico Palace. It’s good to know that you enjoyed hotel location, views and cloister. Our goal is to provide out guest with the experience that exceed their expectations and I am sorry that you encounter few 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. However it’s good to know that this experience did not negatively influenced your stay
Thank you again!

Sincerely
Luisa Cacopardo
Assistant Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
28 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 August 2014 via mobile

Just spent a week at the San Domenico Palace. Reception staff were lovely, very helpful and courteous. Our room was lovely and big with a comfortable bed. The bathroom however was quite small and needed updating. The first morning there was a horrible sewage type smell when I turned the taps on. The shower curtain was very old and really the bathroom was not the standard of a five star hotel. We also had one of the noisiest air con units I've ever had the misfortune to endure! The hotel is in a great position with wonderful views of the sea and Mt Etna. The gardens are stunning It's an oasis of peace and tranquility. The breakfast is lovely and the staff were very nice and accommodating. Poolside.... Nice pool, but very slow service from inattentive staff. In the week that we were there they came around with free granita drinks once. With the prices they charge perhaps they could do this more? Would be a nice touch. We ended up taking drinks from our room as we got frustrated trying to catch a waiters eye. When you get to the pool you wait for up to 10 minutes for someone to appear with towels, once I asked for one extra towel and the guy gave me such a look that I found myself apologising! All in all this is a lovely hotel, we enjoyed our stay, it just needs some surgery in parts to bring if up to a five star.

Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Paul C
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 review, 21 August 2014
Dear Guest,
Thank you so much for your nice comments regarding your stay with us at the San Domenico Palace we really appreciate them. We are glad to ear that you spent same unforgettable moment with us further more that you had enjoyed our buffet breakfast and garden. Nevertheless, we have read carefully your remarks about your bad experience by the pool. I will take care of your precious suggestion regarding the granite service ( we will improve it) and I will find out regarding the services.

Thank you again and best Sicilian regards.
Luisa Cacopardo
Assistant Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Porth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
52 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 August 2014

Reception ..Perfect, most obliging, helpful, very informative Well done All
Pool Great no problem relaxing staff very helpful
Breakfast. Superb Staff Welcoming Obliging and very helpful
Bar as you would expect in a 5 star hotel
ROOMS Our expectation of a 5 star hotel was totally dashed when there was only 1 hard backed table chair to sit on and we had to take turns to sit down. We are now sitting in a bar so that we can both sit down and enjoy Sicilian sunshine without having to pay high charges and we get free wifi which is very good. I would expect wifi freely available throughout the hotel My husband and I both had to pay 9 euros each for wifi on our individual appliances for 24 hours and this was only available in the lobby. We are in the 21st century and it should be freely available at this supposed standard of hotel
The bathroom is outdated .I do not like a shower but dislike it even more when I have to get in a bath to have one .
T V system very slow needs to drag itself into 21st century and 5 star levels
But please note service has been good and location is outstanding

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Ruthviner
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 review, 20 August 2014
Dear Guest,
I would like to thank you for your review about your stay at the San Domencio Palace,and for the special mention regarding our pool attendant, breakfast staff and bar services, They will be very happy to know it. .We believe all our guests need to be treated to the little things that make a difference. Regarding the wi-fi , you can use it free in the following area: bars, restaurants, swimming pool, common area and of course lobby. I am very sorry for the misunderstanding.
Reading the description of the room I think that you had a room in the Covent Area, it was an ex Monk Cell nice full of history but quite small and with a french balcony like Romeo and Juliet ones, therefore there was not enough space to fit two chair.
Please let me thank you again for sharing your impression with T.A.’s community.

Sincerely
Luisa Cacopardo
Assistant Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
sanctuary cove
Level Contributor
127 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 August 2014

This hotel lives up to its name. It is a palace. Everything about it, starting with the position with views to live for, is perfect. You are right in the midst of Taormina but you wouldn't know it. Spend the little extra and take a junior suite - they are in gorgeous positions and have terraces stretching out towards the sea .. perfect for the relax any time of the day or night. Dine al fresco at the MIchelin-starred Il Principe di Cerami - quite an amazing experience. Many chef's presents. Wonderful cocktails at the bar, and the pool is divine. Great views of Mt Etna. One of the loveliest addresses in Sicily.

Room Tip: The convent wing rooms are the old cells. Both wings are divine.
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
1 Thank jane s
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 review, 20 August 2014
Dear Jane S
Thank you so much for your amazing comments regarding your stay with us at the San Domenico Palace we really appreciate them. I would like to give you a small present … a poem wrote many years ago from a Nomad that had an inspiration in our garden:

“ Her garden of memory:
Here, in this sunny gardenshe rested under the shadows of it’s sheltering trees.
In this lovely garden, by the Ionian sea, she planted a tree for remembrance.
In this quiet garden, flowers bloom and in their blossoming tell a story of love all day long.
Into the quiet hours of the nightwith their fragrance, they tell of Her who loved them most.
The Nomad”

Best Sicilian Regards
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

Property: San Domenico Palace Hotel
Address: Piazza San Domenico 5, 98039, Taormina, Sicily, Italy
Phone Number:
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:
#9 Luxury Hotel in Taormina
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:5 star — San Domenico Palace Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 108
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
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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