This was not our usual holiday - previous escapades have involved road trips across Europe - Hungary/Slovenia have all come under the microscope with varying degrees of success.
This year however the better half was persuaded to get on a plane and revisit a destination previously travelled to 30 years ago.
Given party size & ages options were limited & the Caparena matched the requirement of inter-connecting rooms - the Ipanema down the road lost out due to positive feedback from the Co-Op travel staff.
Was it a wise choice? A definite yes.
Other reviews have commented adversely upon a number of things:
The train line - this was a major concern when booking but the key question is did the noise from the train affect our enjoyment of our stay?
Is it there?...yes.
Is it intrusive?.....not really.
Did it disturb sleep? ......once on day one.
Did it impact quality of holiday? Absolutely not.......in fact over the two weeks stay it became a game with the first to hear the train
Charges in the gym - whatever! This is not a HIlton or a Holiday Inn - yes it is a minor irritant but if 10 Euros is going to ruin our holiday go to Butlins instead. Equipment is top notch and you can understand why there is a charge
Service - in a two week stay there were probably two nights where slowness of service was noticeable - did it matter? Not really - one night there was only one cook on duty so 25 minutes between courses is understandable. Mildly irritating admittedly but is this a delay never before experienced in the history of restaurants?...I think not
Staff Attitude - like anywhere if you are aggressive, loud and exude impatience you are always going to get served last.....and you deserve it......chill out & go with the flow.
Food quality & variety - menu varied daily and sometimes during the day. As a Half-Board guest a cost limit on courses was set & works well. Average daily bill outside of HB was 50 Euros including light lunch for 3, bottled water and wine with the meal - we found this reasonable.
Cuisine is not traditionally Sicilian but then the hotel does not pretend to be this, rather use of local produce in an innovative way. As a fish-foodie I was not disappointed, Calamari, Octopus, Sea Bass & Bream all featured regularly - for those less enamored with fish the choice is more limited - as one of our party does not eat fish after two weeks the non-fish options were becoming a bit repetitive. However, whatever your preference there were no complaints on the quality front from our party.
As far as the desserts go the Cannolo is anything but little & a bit addictive - if you stay this is a must try.
There are a couple of gripes to be noted:
Disco evenings - music is an every evening occurrence and is generally not intrusive even when events are on. One night it became clear relatively early on there was to be some sort of event - unadvertised – which was using bigger speakers than your average stereo. As a relatively heavy sleeper the noise didn't bother me but there were complaints from those who couldn't sleep.
Gala Evening – we were not around when one of these was held – notices were less than clear that there was an additional charge for half board diners. The trick here is to swap tea/dinner for dinner/lunch and make use of the courtesy bus into Taormina and eat out.
It is a shame to spend a review kicking the negatives others have posted into touch but to end the whole family thoroughly enjoyed our stay – the food was great, the wine was eminently gluggable (try the Almerita Rose), the beach is a great place to sit in the evening (try the Lemon Granita), the staff did their best & rarely fell below a high standard.
Trying to work out when we can go back again!
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- Also Known As:
- Caparena Hotel Taormina, Sicily