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“Great location, nice service, but fell short of expectations”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Hotel Villa Ducale

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Hotel Villa Ducale
Ranked #1 of 88 Hotels in Taormina
Certificate of Excellence
nfs001
Level Contributor
20 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Great location, nice service, but fell short of expectations”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 October 2010

We chose this hotel because of its Taormina top rating on Trip Advisor, and because of its many glowing reviews we had very high expectations. We were staying in one of the hotel's "De Luxe" Suites.

The hotel is placed high above the centre of Taormina, very close to the city borders. Its main facilities - reception, restaurant/bar terrace, some rooms - offer stunning views towards the south, at the bay of Taormina and Naxos,Taormina, surrounding areas and Mount Etna. We were disappointed to find out that the hotel's suites are in a building on the other side of the road, facing north at the sea towards the Italian mainland (Calabria) and therefore not offering Etna views.

The hotel's staff is very friendly and helpful. The food at the restaurant was of mixed quality - some of the pasta dishes were very good, but the gratinated mussels were a disappointment (5 small mussels, baked too long). I was also surprised to find that the hotel is charging Euro 10 per day for parking. Our suite itself was comfortable if somewhat dark due to its northernly aspect. it offered all necessary amenities and a very nice bathroom (with Jacussi shower), however there are a few barking dogs in the neighbourhood making themselves heard early morning.

Overall this is a decent hotel with post-card views (but not from its suites), however I am afraid it did not live up to our expectations which admittedly had been sky-high based on its Trip Advisor feedback. I would come back, but only for a room with Etna views.

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank nfs001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VillaDucale, Owner at Hotel Villa Ducale, responded to this review, 3 October 2010
Dear friend,
first of all a big thank you for taking your time to write a good review about your stay at Villa Ducale. Your non totally satisfactory stay is the classic exception which makes me feel that Villa Ducale is not a place for everybody and not always a gusts gets the full sense and philosophy of a stay in a special and different place like ours.
The main building sea view is so incredibly beautiful that could make the mainland and Messina straight Ionian sea view as a minor view but this is your opinion; as other guests who stayed in the same room of you said, this view is incredibly beautiful. If Mount Etna view is so important, we always advise to specify it when booking your stay.
I apologize for the fact you did not like the stuffed mussels, we offer a simple home made mamma's cooking which is highly appreciated but have no top level like Michelin star restaurants in town which on the other hand charge you 3/4 times more. In any case most people like our food, but still I apologize for the inconvenience.
Regarding your room, you find it dark, well at the end of september the sun is not shining as much as in the summer; you know normally in Sicily the light and the sun is so strong that sicilian houses have small windows.... but lighting into the room is definetely not an issue at Villa Ducale.
Parking fee expensive ? You are asked to pay ten euros to have a VALET PARKING 24 hours at your disposal: they park your car inside and get your car ready to go out with a 5 minutes call in advance, in my opinion 10 euros is a very reasonable fare but you clients are all time advised they can easily park in the street for free and it is very safe.Barking dogs ? It might happen once in a while, it is very rare and it is not under the hotel control, but our windows are dbl glazed and in case of rare noise you can shut the door and put on the air conditioning.....
So no problem you did not like Villa Ducale, but say you would maybe come back, but I think you have been a bit too severe with us when you say we are a just decent hotel.
Hope to see you soon, we will be certainly able to do much better, I am sure.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
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Fairfax Station
Level Contributor
104 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 October 2010

Incredible views are the first thing to notice. But the hotel behind the views is simply perfect. They have thought of everything. Every corner of the hotel has been attended to. Heres an example. We wanted to go the beach for the day. They gave us two beach bags, with the hotel name embroider on the outside and beach towels in the inside.
The breakfast on the terrace is one of the best we had in all of Italy.

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Wil_from_Va
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Georgia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 September 2010

We have traveled throughout Italy staying in some of the premier hotels. There is no place where the staff was more accommodating than the staff at Villa Ducale. They treat you like you are family. From check in, to breakfast, taking care of your car - whatever your need - you are taken care of with amazing attentiveness. The food was some of the best we had on our entire trip. The breakfast is amazing. Sra. Quartucci should be most proud of her staff! Each and every one is as nice as the next! They are well trained and very professional.

We ran into a couple we met at Villa Ducale in Positano (many miles away). What did we talk about? The fabulous staff! Their spirit was still with us. Thank you, all.

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
4 Thank lulugypsy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 September 2010

We stayed at Hotel Villa Ducale from September 1 to September 10 2010. This was a trip that I undertook rather nervously,with my 75 year old mother and my 14 year old daughter-my first trip abroad ever without my husband. The staff took charge of a harried middle aged woman and three generations of her family quietly and unobtrusively. The first thing that we saw on entering the hotel was the breathtaking view of two beautiful bays at the foot of Mount Etna. Everything about Taormina and beyond,places to visit,where to eat was explained over a glass of the delectable Sicilian lemonade and nibbles. Our bags were taken to our room and we were made comfortable before we even realised it! It was all done so smoothly and efficiently. Breakfast was the most delicious spread of an endless variety of Sicilian food,a voyage of discovery to suit every taste. I don't usually like getting up for breakfast,but Signora Francesca and Signora Santina's cooking made me get up like a shot, and almost run to the terrace where it was served. My idea of heaven will always be the view from the terrace,the amazing food and the staff who made us feel as though we were staying with family. Signor Paolo,Signor Antonio,Signor Luca,Signorina Alessia,Signora Ceccina,Signor Dilan ,Signor Sagar and Signor Rosario we cannot thank you enough. My mother who is delicate and not very mobile was looked after like the staff's own grandmother. We just have one suggestion,it is by no means a complaint and this relates to the room we were given on the last day. It is a beautiful room decorated with Sicilian handicrafts. If it could be soundproofed,it would be ideal. This is the only reason we have given four stars for sleep quality. The hotel runs a shuttle service into town at regular intervals which is free. They also have transport down to the beaches. They book any excursions ,whether you want to sightsee privately or by means of a group excursion everything is arranged almost before you finish telling the staff where you want to go! To cut a long story short,we were thoroughly spoilt and it was very hard adjusting to life back in London. We are going back again next year!!!!!!

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank TiamoSicilia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ottershaw, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
35 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 September 2010

The views from the terrace are truly wonderful. The hotel is a bit out of the centre, but we found that a plus. The walk down via the stepped path is fine if you are fit, and if you aren't then there is the hotel shuttle (free) and the public bus (50 cents per ride).
The hotel staff are warm and welcoming, and all seem determined to make sure you feel at home. The breakfast may be one of the best I have had in my years of travels. Certainly so if you factor in the view you get from the terrace where it is served.
I was under the impression before going that there eas nofood other than breakfast and the aperitif snacks, but we were pleasantly surprised to find a full menu available at all hours. The special treat was the "meals by order" whereby you tell them what you fancy in the morning, and get a custom bought and prepared meal in the evening. Not fancy, but delicious - just like you would expect from a rustic Italian momma (I hope you are OK with that description, Maria).
As others have said, the sister hotel has a small pool and a pretty garden with loungers. It is also nearer the centre, so it makes a nice break for a cool-down and a snack when out and about.
Taormina itself is very touristy, but go down there early and it's not too bad. An early start also means you can take in the greek theatre before it gets too hot.

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Porky-Borky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Welsh Borders, UK
Level Contributor
216 reviews
99 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 272 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 September 2010

All the positive reviews about Villa Ducale are on the mark. We stayed for 4 nights and enjoyed everything within the hotel itself, particularly the outstanding staff in all departments, the sumptuous breakfasts, a lunch and two evening meals. I wish they had told us about Villa Carlotta and its pool. because that's something we would have appreciated. The hotel is high up, right on the city limits, on the fairly busy road from Taormina to Castelmonte, to which we walked. Taormina itself is a tatty tourist town, crowded and beset with touts of all sorts. Some people will find that charming; we didn't. The Greek Theatre is well worth the visit. We took the shuttle to the beach, which was also crowded and charmless. Driving in the area is quite stressfull until you get to know it.
I would love to take Villa Ducale with me to some of the more relaxed locations Ihave visited.

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Witshub
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VillaDucale, Owner at Hotel Villa Ducale, responded to this review, 23 September 2010
Dear friend,
it was so nice to hear the very many beautiful words regarding your stay at Villa Ducale last August, you made all of us feel so proud.
I am sorry to know that however you did not find Taormina a beautiful place. Taormina is certainly of of the most beautiful places in Italy and Europe, it is full of history, tradition, wonderful beaches, best Italian shopping, great food and bars. We also have absolutely of one world most outstanding view - over 150 km. of Mediterranean sea and the valley of Mount Etna and the volcano itself, (best sight is of course from Villa Ducale romms and terrace) all this made Taormina so popular and famous all over the world.
And in spite of the Economical crisis that encountered all the Tourism, Sicily and Taormina are having significant increases of presences. Unfortunately you picked the hottest and most crowded week of the year, while most discerning travellers normally come either in April-May-June or September-October-November when the weather is perfect, mild and warm with little rainy days and Taormina is yes full but not packed by daily visitors like in August. Please give us another try come in October and November, find low rates and ... sicilian paradise !!!
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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
327 reviews
301 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 491 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 September 2010

Stayed in June 2009 for three nights. As all the other reviews state the views are stupendous, the staff fantastic, the breakfasts delicious and the rooms so comfortable. We loved the position of the hotel away from all the tourists in town. We enjoyed the walk to and from town both during the day and at night after dinner in town. Also, the walk up to Castelmona is worth doing first thing in the morning when the village is quiet. After sightseeing during the morning we would go to their sister hotel, the Villa Carlotta for lunch and to sit round its lovely pool. There was the added advantage that we could sign our bills back to the Villa Ducale. The Villa Carlotta has the advantage of a pool on-site but does not have the incredible views. We would certainly recommend and return to Villa Ducale.

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank heb999
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

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): £££
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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