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“Possibly the best small hotel in Europe”
Review of Hotel Villa Ducale

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Hotel Villa Ducale
Ranked #1 of 87 Hotels in Taormina
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 20 August 2009

The street leading up to this hotel is narrow & twisting as it winds towards the top of the mountain. The entrance to Villa Ducale is discreet but once inside the ambience created by the service & the surroundings are unsurpassed. The personal greeting & the welcoming glass of wine & snacks served on the panoramic terrace were wonderful after a long, hot drive from Palermo! Breakfast served on the terrace surely covered every possible epicurean choice. The rooms & balconies were spacious & well appointed but it was the friendly personal service provided by everyone working in this establishment that puts Villa Ducale into the realms of one of the best boutique hotels in the world.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Fintona
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 20 August 2009

My fiance and I spent a week at Villa Ducale in August, along with her sister and her boyfriend. We all had the most amazing time. From the minute we arrived until the time we sadly departed, the staff at the Ducale made us feel like family. This isn't your typical luxury hotel experience, it's much much better. I could go on and on about the stunning views of Mt. Etna and the Sicilian coastline from the Villa's terrace, but I'll let the photos take care of that. What really blew us all away was the staff... Paolo, Antonio, Luca and Alessia, as well as the others who we unfortunately didn't get their names. It's the people at the Ducale that make this place so special. We've stayed at some of the most luxurious hotels around the world, but the Ducale stands out because of its staff and the experiences they make possible. They will take care of virtually any request, while still providing enough space as to not make you feel "crowded".

For the first time ever, we were truly sad to leave a hotel. Not just because we were disappointed that this amazing vacation was over, but we knew we would actually miss wishing Antonio "bon giornio" as we made our way to the delicious breakfast every morning, or "bona sera" to Luca as we headed out to dinner for the night.

The only minor issue we encountered was the A/C unit in our room (No. 10) didn't seem to work nearly as well as in the room next to ours. And, in the Sicilian heat of August, we felt it. That single minor issue, however, didn't tarnish an overall excellent experience.

As we promised Antonio on our departure, we will definitely be back.

The Drago's
Orange County, Calif.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank RoccoInOC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 August 2009

We spent a week of our honeymoon at Villa Ducale and had a brilliant time. We arrived after a very hairy drive, hot and flustered and very relieved. Before we had even opened the car door, we had been greeted with a friendly smile. Our bags were whisked away, and the car parked (free parking on the road) for us. We were taken straight to the outdoor dining area with stunning views with an ice cold bear and wine, and left to relax. Once we caught our breath, we were taken to our gorgeous room with the same stunning views. The breakfast was brilliant and plentiful.

The staff were the friendliest I have ever met and couldn't help us enough, happily giving us all the information we needed and making any reservations we wanted. The only 2 drawbacks were the lack of a swimming pool (however the jacuzzi, the sea and the sister hotel's pool made up for it) and the lack of a bath.

My husband and I loved Villa Ducale and would certainly go back again.

.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Lorbug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 August 2009

It's difficult to put it any better than previous glowing reviews, but the stand out thing about Villa Ducale is that the staff really do care and go all out to make your stay a memorable one. It's a very informal setting and you get to feel more like a personal guest than a customer - so if you're somebody who prefers the anonymity that comes with staying in bigger hotels, Villa Ducale may not be for you! We stayed here for two weeks on honeymoon in a superior double room with a dual-aspect terrace and fantastic views over the bay and Mt. Etna. We loved the additional touches like the evening buffet and free room service. In the interests of balance, it's only fair to point out two slight negatives. Firstly, there is no pool (only a jacuzzi). Apparently there are plans to change this and in the meantime guests have the use of the pool at sister hotel Villa Carlotta. Secondly, we also found that the aircon struggled to cope with the sweltering heat in mid-July.

Overall, these are only minor gripes and we would have no hesitation at all in recommending Villa Ducale.

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank MC1978
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 August 2009

I stayed here for 2 nights in June and selected the hotel largely based on the glowing reviews it received on TripAdvisor. After staying there, I wonder if I was in the same hotel as everyone who loved it so much. The room was gaudy with uncomfortable bed and sofa and was reached by crossing over a noisy, dusty and unattractive street on which there seemed to be constant construction. The uninviting courtyard contained a similarly uninviting plastic hot tub. The air conditioning was broken, making for a sweltering and unrestful night, and no compensation for the evening's sweating was given by the hotel. Our view was only so-so and we were far away from the lovely gardens in the center of town.
I did not enjoy my stay here and would not recommend this hotel for value, atmosphere or service.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled with friends
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7  Thank seattleitalophile
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VillaDucale, G.M. & Owner at Hotel Villa Ducale, responded to this reviewResponded 16 August 2009

Dear Tripadvisor users, from our records and from the description of our hotel made by these people, we believe that this review ....is a little strange ....
in any case we think that the best reply has been provided by the majority of great reviews published on tripadvisor regarding our hotel.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 August 2009

Villa Ducale was marvellous. Great place to stay. Away from the frenzy of Taormina but close enough. Clean, spacious, lovely rooms with excellent views. Staff went out of thier way to make our stay comfortable. Breakfast was excellent. NOT like ordinary hotels...very personal and dedicated service. Definitely worth it!

Stayed: August 2009, travelled as a couple
4  Thank Tibo77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 August 2009

We came to the hotel Villa Ducale for the first week of our honeymoon. It was even more wonderful than we had hoped (and we had read all the rave reviews on tripadvisor). The setting - looking down onto Taormina - was perfectly restful, away from the hubbub of the busy town, which can be reached by the free shuttle from the hotel. The hotel is charmingly decorated, and our suite was gorgeous, with a private terrace and jacuzzi bath. The food in the hotel was brilliant - from the incredible breakfast spread, to the nibbles at cocktail hour, to be enjoyed while looking out onto the stunning views of Etna from the terrace. The hotel arranged for a delicious meal of fresh fish from the market to be served on our balcony one evening, which we watched as the sun set - a more romantic setting would be difficult to imagine. The best feature of this hotel, however, has to be the exceptional service, the best that we have ever experienced. Alessia, Antonio, Luca and Paolo are so welcoming and helpful, and give the impression that they really care about the experience that the guests are having. We are so pleased that we chose the hotel for our honeymoon, and we will certainly return.

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank JEPAL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Villa Ducale

Address: via Leonardo da Vinci 60, 98039, Taormina, Sicily, Italy
Phone Number:
Region: Italy > Sicily > Province of Messina > Taormina
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Taormina
Price Range: £98 - £369 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Villa Ducale 4*
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Taormina Hotel Villa Ducale is small luxury boutique hotel perched in an elevated position above the centre of Taormina km 1,3) commanding a unique outstanding view over the Mediterranean sea and Mount Etna.Our hotel,member of HIP hotels, is incredibly pretty, with flowers and colours adorning every angle, and a view to die for.Every bedroom is individually designed with the highest attention to detail, furnished with great taste in a mix of Sicilian traditional and Italian design contemporary style, each has its own private panoramic terrace or balcony.The hotel is able to offer a variety of personalised services, such as cooking lessons, wine tasting and tailor made meals, special romantic candle-lit dinners which can be arranged easily with the super friendly staff.Eleven Double rooms and six suites with full aminities and free wi-fi connection.Free shuttle to center and the beach. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ducale Hotel Taormina
Hotel Villa Ducale Taormina, Sicily

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