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“Muddleheaded service”

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San Domenico Palace Hotel
Ranked #12 of 87 Hotels in Taormina
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 20 October 2010

The most spacious hotel we ever been to. In fact it is an old monastery with broad long corridors and cells as rooms. Situated in the center of Taormina with a large garden and a nice swimmingpool area. Our room was very pleasant facing the town and the sea and with a big terrace. The rooms are very expensive and therefore we have high requirements on staff and service. Unfortunately, with the exemption of the breakfast terrace staff, they were rather arrogant and gave priority to serve colleagues rather than guests. We stayed for 3 days and informed four different managers that the minibar was not functioning. It did not help. In order to get chilled water bottles we ended up buying those in town. Not worthy a 5 star hotel.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank FredrikHenry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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707 - 713 of 1,324 reviews

Reviewed 9 October 2010

My stay at the San Domenico in October 2010 was terrible. I usually choose my stays on the "Leading Hotel of the World" website (www.lhw.com) 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 good and the building is very interesting (beautiful garden!). But that's pretty much it. The service is bad and rooms are crumbling down. I was staying in room 380 - the phone was not working, you had to wait for 5 minutes to get some hot water, the bathroom was smelly and the Internet was down. 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 that of an Italian pensione, but at over 400US$ per night. Overall, I would never stay here again...

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled on business
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5  Thank Italian_in_Boston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 October 2010

I was very happy to choose this hotel since I was not sure what to expect reading the very different reviews
The hotel it is very nice,very good location,friendly and helpfull staff
The breakfast was very nice only yoou have to wait some time to arrive different items on a nice terace overlooking the sea
We recived a nice room with sea view
The hotel it is realy charming surrounding with a garden full of flowers,nice restaurants and peoples
very nice experience

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank mm1118
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 September 2010

We arrived knoing that a sea view was not available.we were not however warned that our room had no view and indeed the aspect was over a rear yard with scaffolding.we requested an alternative room but were told this was not possible without a supplement.We offered to pay a supplement but were told there were no rooms available.Breakfast was disappointing with a lack of choice in fresh fruit or choice of eggs.Drinks and food around the bar were expensive and of average quality.The gym was poorly equipped.Service was generally good and the hotel had a nice ambience.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled with friends
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1  Thank wints3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 August 2010

My title says it all. This is a beautiful, unpretentious, slightly but elegantly dated, luxury hotel. The staff are without exception delightful and helpful. The rooms (at least those in which we stayed) had excellent sea views with large balcony/verandas. Breakfast was excellent. The location (remember this is a centrally located Taormina hotel) was ideal. The atmosphere was one of calm, friendly elegance. The cloisters - where one could sit for hours with a book or drink or friends or all together - date from the monastic periods of this hotel. The paintings, mostly religious in theme (unsurprisingly), were surprisingly interesting (take the opportunity to see the non-religious paintings in the dining room which, for some unexplained reason, seem to feature licentious old men with resistant young women). The pool is small but perfectly adequate. The fitness centre is small and not so adequate. The price is steep (but if one tends to eat and drink outside the hotel, it is perfectly acceptable for the luxury that is provided). Definitely the hotel to stay at in Taormina.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled with family
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1  Thank GvKl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 August 2010

My husband and I stayed with our 2yr old daughter for 2 nights.
Taormina was very busy due to the Italian holidaymakers and tourists. The hotel had full occupancy as well.
We had a lovely time and we were very very happy to have chosen this magnificent hotel. It has so much to offer:
Friendly and courteous staff, wonderful view, peace and quiet, grandeur.
We booked a double room with no seaview and we were given a beautiful room with newly laid carpets. We had a separate room where our daughter could sleep in the cot and a small terrace. It was more than we expected! We had the view of a lovely garden from the windows.
The location is excellent as it is only a few meters away from the main pedestrian area, however, it is still quiet and secluded.
We loved having our breakfast at the terrace with the beautiful view of the sea.
We even enjoyed walking around the hotel both inside and outside.
Simply beautiful!
We did not dine at any of the hotel restaurant due to our little daughter. There were many restaurants along Corso Umberto and had no problems eating there.
I highly recomemnd this hotel!

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled with family
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2  Thank AandMMalta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 July 2010

My wife and I first visited the San Domenico in 2005 to celebrate our silver wedding anniversary and we were delighted to have chosen the hotel to celebrate a very special time in our lives. We pushed the boat out and stayed for 14 nights. During our visit, there was a broad spectrum of guests and nationalities with age groups ranging from small children to an aging rock star.

We decided to push the boat out again this year for our 30th. anniversary. However, the boat was a bit heavier this time so we could only afford nine days at the hotel as four grand and upwards was and still is an issue for us. As before, there was a mixture of age groups and nationalities amongst the guests at the hotel.

As one of the reviewers has recently indicated, the site is a former monastery (although I am not sure what a monk gig is). The hotel, cloisters and gardens have almost a serene feel but whether this is due to the site’s former life, I am not sure. The old monastery has views overlooking Mount Etna whereas the “new” building, which was built in the 19th. century, has views over the sea. We stayed in the new building on the third floor and had no complaints about our room which was light and airy and had a huge balcony overlooking the Mediterranean. Our king size bed, including the bed sheets, were very comfortable and although our sheets were not made of Egyptian cotton by Pratesi or had some alleged issue with a low thread count, for mere mortals, there was no problem.

I can confirm that the doors leading onto the balcony had peeling paint and there were one or two items of furniture in the room that were a bit tired looking. The bathroom was not ultra modern but was acceptable with good water flow from the taps and shower. If the number of supplied towels is an issue for you, I can confirm we each had one bath towel, two hand towels (one thick and one thin) and one bidet towel. We also had a single wash hand basin but how many wash hand basins do you need?

For fellow reviewers who look for a large pool, I think you would be disappointed by the size of the hotel’s pool as space for such an amenity is quite limited. I could not comment on the style of other guests swim wear due to my good manners and being brought up not to speak a bad word about my elders.

The probable reason as to why some of the imposing rooms are “spookily empty” is that Taormina has a wide range of excellent restaurants. We always eat out every night but this was no reflection on the hotel, it is just that we like to get out and about and try the local restaurants. Breakfast at the hotel was first class with a wide range of delicacies so I am somewhat surprised to see a complaint about the Monday night buffet. However, as we did not eat in the hotel at night, any further comment from me about the buffet is not valid.

The only point of issue during our visit in 2005 was a few of our fellow guests at breakfast were very loud in their opinions and the only way it would have been possible for us and the rest of the hotel’s guests to have avoided their conversations would have required us to have had our breakfast in Palermo. This year, breakfast was more peaceful but for a few days of our holiday, our neighbours in one the adjoining rooms were very loud. Due to raised voices, conversations could be heard and loud music pervaded both our room and the 3rd. floor corridor. We were even treated to sounds of what comes naturally to consenting adults. Thankfully, this lasted only a matter of seconds so the event was over in a flash. We were considering about asking for a change of room at one point but, fortunately, our neighbours left the hotel and peace and tranquillity returned.

There were some uncorroborated complaints about room service from other guests but as room service does not interest us, this was not an issue. In my opinion, standards are of a high level at the San Domenico but if you want an ultra modern hotel, this is not the hotel for you.

We found the staff at the hotel to be very friendly and helpful. Personally, I have always found that if you treat hotel staff i.e. fellow human beings, in the same way as you would wish them to treat you, there is rarely a problem. We have also travelled extensively in Europe and North America and do not accept poor standards. This review may be at variance with some recent reviews but in the traditions of Trip Advisor, it is all a matter of opinion.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank doognlol
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
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:
#11 Luxury Hotel in Taormina
Price Range: £275 - £686 (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):
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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