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“Great location - good hotel”

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Parc Hotel Ariston & Palazzo Santa Caterina
Ranked #21 of 88 Hotels in Taormina
Certificate of Excellence
Newcastle
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Great location - good hotel”
Reviewed 24 September 2007

We had two weeks here from 6th September.

We would give this hotel a mark of 3.5. It is not as bad as some of the earlier reviews. Granted, it is not a 4 star hotel as it claims, but it is a good 3 star.

The good points:-

- The room we had was a reasonable size, it was very clean and our bathroom was very large.
- We paid extra for the sea view and balcony and the views were superb
- The public areas such as the bar, reception, gardens and swimming pool were all nice and well maintained
- bar prices and mini bar were good value considering general taormina prices
- excellent location, 10 minute walk to the central corso umberto and 1 minute to the bus station which we used several times for trips and days out.

The bad points:-

- some staff were a bit surly and slow, especially around the bar.
- Food wasnt great. It was by no means bad, but compared to some of the restaurants in Taormina it was inferior.
- The room has a feel of being a bit dated. The carpet looked pretty old, could have done with a lick of paint etc.
- the balcony was tiny

Overall a good experience, we would go there again but the key for the Ariston is that it has a superb location. If we had the choice in future we would go b&b - the breakfast was fine.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Food not quite up to standard
  • Stayed September 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Gullit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Cork, Ireland
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 September 2007

Not the most relaxing of holidays but this was purely down to some of hotel staff. If you are not put off by the odd rude staff member (some were very nice) and some difficulty in getting served drinks (sometimes up to a 20-30 min wait) then the hotel is great.

Cons - some rude and very slow staff
- not all rooms have balconys. The ones without balconys do have a sliding door out to an area you can stand on, but it's only a foot wide so you can't sit out there. We were very disappointed at this and we were facing a cliff wall. They did offer to switch us to a room with a balcony and/or sea view but at a fee. However they do have a wonderful terrace overlooking the sea with plenty of seating.
Pros - clean rooms
- excellent food and plenty of it
- very good location
- good pool
- dinner outside on the terrace one night during the week (assuming half or full board)

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Room
  • Stayed September 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank mars0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hampshire
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 August 2007

Stayed in the Ariston week 4-11 Aug. This is by no means a 4 star hotel, more like a 3, but it is fairly comfortable. The buffet style breakfast and dinners have plenty of choices and were generally nice (although we were half board, we only had 3 dinners in the hotel and preffered to eat out locally). If you were staying longer than a week or did eat in every night at the hotel I would imagine the menu being a bit 'samey' and would get a little boring. But overall all the food wasn't bad.
The rooms were of adequate size and cleaned daily. The only problem you will experiance is that the walls between rooms are all paper thin and you can hear any loud conversations from adjoining rooms (word for word !) We asked to change rooms and were accommodated in a better room (with quieter neighbours!).
The hotel pool is very good (although no shallow end),2.4m deep, but has a step entry. There are a numder of terraces around the hotel providing free loungers and parasols.
The best part of the hotel is the location. You will only be a 5 min walk from the cable cars and to the towns brilliant high street. The bus station is only 100m from the hotel and the bus service and prices were very good.
Beach wise - get the local half hourly bus to Gardini Naxos, the beaches there are better than those at the bottom of Taormina (access gained by cable car).
We visited Etna (expensive to get to the top but a must and worth it),and the nearby cliff top village of Catstomolina (quaint and beautiful).
We spent hours people watching and looking at the shops on Taormina high street (Corso Umberta) - eating fantastic ice cream and sorbets.
Also visit the Greek Theatre in Taormina, it is breathtaking - get tickets for a show if you can, there seemed to be something on there every night.
Overall, Sicily and in particulat Taormina & Ariston appeared expensive, but the location was brilliant.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Paper thin walls between rooms
  • Stayed August 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank honeymoon387
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Knutsford, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 August 2007

Like some of the other recent reviews, I had to come on here and give my opinion of the Ariston, having read a couple of bad reviews and feeling a bit nervous before I went. We went for a week, returning on 4th August and absolutely loved Taormina and the Ariston. We wanted a quiet week to relax and unwind and that's exactly what we got. We paid extra for a balcony but got a room on the back (I suspect because we asked for a quiet room so we were a distance from the piano bar and also we booked quite late). Consequently, although we had a balcony, we didn't really have any view, other than a rock but it was fine. If i went again I'd pay for a sea view because the scenery is absolutely stunning from the hotel. Our room was quite small but very well equipped, plenty of storage space, satellite TV, mini bar, kettle etc.[and everything worked!] Room was also very clean and the bathroom looked like it had been quite recently refurbished and was also great. The food was good, varied and plentiful and there were some great Etna-produced wines on the wine list. The staff were friendly and helpful and there was some sort of musical entertainment on in the bar area every night (pianist / Sicilian string quartet) which was lovely if you didn't want to head into town. In fact I really don't have any complaints, other than perhaps the pool area is probably a bit small for the number of residents so get down there reasonably early for a lounger. Taormina itself was lovely and only a few minutes walk away and with the bus station and the cable car so close, the Ariston is in a superb location. I highly recommend this hotel and if I ever get the chance to go back to Taormina (which I hope I do) I will definitely stay at the Ariston.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Lots of steps (but also lots of lifts to compensate)
  • Stayed August 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank whiteysj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 July 2007

Just got back - and like a few on this site, I'm scratching my head a little to see why the place has had such a slating on this site.

The bottom line is this: It's a resort hotel. From personal experience I know that the star rating for a resort v a typical chain hotel bear very little in common. In my opinion, the Hotel Ariston is worth its rating in a resort hotel context.

The good stuff.

- Fantastic views
- Clean, well equipped rooms
- Ample breakfasts, at all times
- Great pool area - with a very deep pool
- And the best? Very close proximity to Taormina itself

Not so good stuff

- Rooms facing the cliff seem pokey
- Some room equipment a bit erratic (had to leave the door open on the cabinet housing the minibar for it to get cold)
- Possibly short on staff at busy times

I would say if your budget does stretch to it, get a room facing the sea. We were initially shown a back room. Not overly impressed and (for an additional fee) ended up in the annex with an excellent room and view. - Was worth it.

On the whole - I was more than happy with the hotel and its facilities.

Taormina itself is an excellent place to explore with a myriad of streets leading off the Corso Umberto.

Particular favorites:
- Maffei's - Restaurant with an 'inside garden' and possibly the best fillet steak I've had in my Italian travels
- The Concept Bar - on the Corso Umberto - great, high, outside terrace.

  • Liked — Great view and balcony
  • Disliked — Faulty minibar
  • Stayed July 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Tsergent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leicester
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 July 2007

2 days before travelling and I looked at the reviews for this Hotel. My heart sank - it sounded dreadful. However on arrival I was suprised. Where was this dank hotel with unhelpful staff and poor food then? Was there another Ariston? I really dont understand some people. On booking we were told if we wanted a room with balcony it would be £240 more a week and as the hotel is built into a cliff the rooms at the back face that. So on arrival we understood that - why would you want to spend long in your room anyway? Get out and enjoy the fresh air.You can do a lot more with the £240.
The rooms were reasonable size, well equipped with free air con, deposit box, tea making facility, minibar with prices that dont rip you off, hairdryer and 4 piece bathroom. The decor was good and the advantage of a room at the back is that it stayed cool even on the hottest day. The food was excellent, huge choice and long meal times - 3 hours for breakfast and dinner giving lots of flexibilty. The pool area was lovely - towels provided free every day and plenty of sunbeds on tiers overlooking the bay.
There were a couple of downsides - hey isnt there everywhere. The pool drinks service was slow, but they didnt mind you taking your own. The staff were very pleasant but maybe not as friendly as say in Greece. This we found was indicative of the whole of Sicily though. As long as you understand the situation with the rooms then you wont have any problems here. We loved it and would recommend it. Dont take much notice of the other reviews, judge for yourself. I am used to good standards and this matched them. I can only think that some of the people reviewing this are exceptionally fussy and go looking for bad points wherever they stay.

  • Liked — Position and quality
  • Disliked — Pool service
  • Stayed July 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank LeicesterBigNick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bergen, Norway
Level Contributor
73 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 July 2007

My wife and I toured in a group for one week around Sicily studying ancient greek and roman history. Thereafter we stayed one week for relaxation in Taormina at he Ariston Hotel. The hotel is very well situated with a fenomenal ocean view and the premises were well maintained and clean.

We were however, dissapointed that the rooms at the 4th flor did not have a real balcony, just 20cm. We also noticed that the furniture were worn and extremely dirty, not according to 4 star. The lift made a low, but irritating knocking noice in the building everytime it was used. We complained that the air condition did not work properly, but it was said that it was because of the heat (+40 C), and that it was a general problem. This was not true as other guests told that they had fully operating AC. The nights became a mare, and we had to rise up during the night to take cold showers.

We had booked half board, and the first night the hotel arranged outside buffet. The food was excellent with a very wide range of choices, especially vegetables in all kind of arrangements.

The days afterwards, the buffet contained almost the same variety of vegetables, but very few choices on warm courses, and we got somewhat tired of the same food every night. The hotel information offered that we could swap the dinner with lunch, we just had to inform the reception one day before. We did so, but got as an unpolite answer that if there was allready to many guests who had made the swap, the receptionist would not accept our swap. It turned out that we were the first for the next day and we were debited Euro 15 each to order in the lunch grill restaurant. It is a fair arrangement, but why this lection from the receptionist when the hotel offers the swap ?

I think the receptionist had a bad day, because later on he was very friendly, so were the rest of the staff of the whole hotel.

The pool area was not big, but guests who wanted to stay there, got a place. The pool was 2,4m deep all over, no place for kids !

As a total evaluation, the hotel should have all possibilities to become no. 1 choice for me next time I am visiting Taormina, but then I have to be assured that the furniture has been changed and that the AC is operating, and I will surely ask for a room not higher than 3 flor.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Dirty and worn furniture
  • Stayed July 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank KnutPG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Parc Hotel Ariston & Palazzo Santa Caterina

Property: Parc Hotel Ariston & Palazzo Santa Caterina
Address: Via Bagnoli Croce 1, 98039, Taormina, Sicily, Italy
Region: Italy > Sicily > Province of Messina > Taormina
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#15 Luxury Hotel in Taormina
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Parc Hotel Ariston & Palazzo Santa Caterina 4*
Number of rooms: 146
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Parc Hotel Ariston And Palazzo Santa Caterina
Parc Hotel Taormina
Hotel Ariston Taormina
Ariston Hotel Taormina
Parc Hotel Ariston & Palazzo Santa Caterina Taormina, Sicily

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