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“Chill out!”
Review of Caparena Hotel

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Caparena Hotel
Ranked #56 of 87 Hotels in Taormina
Reviewed 27 August 2011

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?
Not really.
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!

Room Tip: Adjoining rooms are available, perfect for families with kids too big for M&D's room
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  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
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3  Thank Oldmanjez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 13 August 2011

We enjoyed our stay in this hotel very much, all the staff were lovely and very friendly. We payed 80euros extra for a week to have a sea view suite which was light and very comfortable with a lovely balcony.

Ideally located on the beach free sun beds and a free bus service up to the town, we never had a problem booking seats on the bus and there were late busses available. There is also a local bus service outside the hotel for around 2 euros takes you along the cast line allowing you to visit all the beautiful beaches and towns. There is also a small Sicilian fishing beach resort just a short walk from the hotel ideal for a meal or some drinks out.

The food in the hotel was very good we especially enjoyed the breakfast. Be prepared for dinner to last around two hours (thats just the italian way!) but they provide three courses of you choice, plenty of bread to feel you up and a glass of bubbly in included. If you fancy a change from the al carte menu they offer pizza (you have to ask) which i have to say is the best pizza i have ever tasted! you wont go hungry! if you fancy a change from dinner in the hotel they will happily swap you dinner for lunch. The dinner menu can be confusing but they are more than happy to explain if you just ask!

The hotel was very clean and the pool area delightful and always quite. The beach can get crowded at the weekend as locals come to stay but during the week you practically have the beach to yourself

There is a train line that runs along the coast so if you want to stay on the coast you can't avoid it. Trains rarely go past, we couldn't hear them from our room and it didn't bother us in the slightest. I can't understand the bad reviews would fully recommend it.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Mykalgem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 July 2011

All appearances of this hotel are not what they seem. The pictures of the swimming pool and rooms are not a true representation. The hotel staff in general are friendly. However this friendliness comes at the expense of a quality service in our experience. They seriously lack urgency to respond to the simplest of tasks, such as a plug for a bath which after several requests still took 2 days to arrive. The hotel staff were incapable of catering to our needs. Disappointingly we feel our experience would not have been so poor had we been italian. this is a point we make with caution but is overwhelmingly true. The hotel management are without the professionalism expected of in a hotel that is 'renowned and respected.' The The hotel advertises it has excellent gym facilities but be prepared to pay £10 per day to use a very limited gym. The quality of service in the hotel restaurant and bar diminish and lower by the day. Finally the extortionate rates for 'delivered breakfast' that appeared on our room bills at the end of our stay were preposterous and not right. On discussion of any extra charges that seemed unjustified or wrong to us, the management responded with dismissive and improper language. Not pleased with our stay.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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3  Thank pt08r3s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 June 2011

We stayed at the Caparena Wellness Hotel for 4 nights at the start of June as part of our honeymoon. We booked a double comfort seaview room and we were not disappointed! The seaview was fantastic and our room was very comfortable. I think that the hotel has recently undergone a refurbishment as it was all very clean and modern looking. There is a safe in the wardrobe and there is no charge for using same.

We arrived around 10pm (after Citalia had given our driver the wrong time for pick up from the airport!!) and our bags were taken up to our room. I think it took about 45 mins to 1 hr from Catania airport. We were delighted to see a bottle of Asti in an ice bucket waiting for us. The only strange thing I noted was the linen hand towels in the bathroom as opposed to the usual fluffy ones! There was also a mini bar in our room which was adequate. I did think the room was missing a comfy chair or sofa.

Breakfast was the usual standard. I have to say that I did miss some proper orange juice, but there was lovely red and white freshly squeezed grapefruit juice on offer. There were plently of bread, hams, cheeses and cereals on offer. There was also some bacon and scrabbled eggs if you fancied that. Tea and strong italian coffee is served at your table. The other thing I did miss was fresh fruit. There was only a choice of pears, apples or kiwis and no fruit salad or fresh melon etc.

The pool area is nice and the pool seems to be covered at night. It opens at 9am to around 6pm. There were no problems with us getting sunbeds as it was not overly busy when we were there.

The beach area is first class, plenty of lovely sunbeds and umbrellas. It seems to be all brand spanking new. The beach bar is located there also and we only had one drink and lunch at it one day. It was fine but not too sure about the plastic cups and cutlery for a 4* hotel!

The Beach Restaurant really is an experience. We were half board so enjoyed our dinner there every night. We were treated to a glass of Asti on arrival complimentary. We just loved this! The staff were very attentive and the food was first class. If you are half board, you get an allocation of 32 Euros towards your meal. We did go over this a couple of nights as were had all 4 courses. Be warned however that the pasta dishes are very filling! The mains of steak and veal etc did not usually come with a massive side order, just some veg or potatoes on the plate.There was something different on offer every night. We enjoyed our dinner and the wine was also very tasty.

There is a little shuttle bus from the hotel which takes you in to Taormina and it is a pretty town. You can get a timetable at reception and it's free of charge. Be sure to go an visit the Greek Ampatheatre and go for a trip in the Cable Car down to the Harbour (about 3 Euros return). We didn't have much time to see anything else, but we would like to return.

All in all we enjoyed the first 4 nights of our honeymoon, but we must warn you that a train track runs behind the hotel (between the hotel and the beach). We have to say that it did not really annoy us as we had read other reviews and knew what the expect. It did however annoy us on the first night when a digger arrived on the track at 1.45am.....thankfully it didn't go on for too long to disturb our sleep! We would love to return to this hotel for a longer trip in the future. The staff are all very friendly and speak good English.

Room Tip: Try and book a seaview room!
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  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank alicat789
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 May 2011

This was not worth the money at all. Rooms are small, beds are uncomfortable, the staff was extremley unfriendly, the beach is not nice to stay on, the hotel is completley isolated and you will needto use a car service to go anywhere (even to get a cup of tea which the hotel is making great advantage of by charging 4 euro for a bottle of water).
The hotel mentions it has SPA, fitness room and a pool but of course it doesn't mention there is a fee to use ANY of the facilities and it is 10 EUR each (and is on a one time basis use).

Stayed: April 2011, travelled on business
1  Thank annabit6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 April 2011

My girlfriend and I were looking for a good 4 star hotel in Taormina for a 2 night stay, where we could relax and recharge our batteries before tackling Etna and spending a few days in Sircausa. We booked Caparena in a rush as we had left things rather late, however with the promise of a fully equipped gym, spa, indoor pool, private beach, internet access and great looking pictures on their website we thought we didn't need to investigate this much further so we booked.
To say that we are disappointed is an understatement. The hotel is definitely not 4 stars. The rooms are outdated and provide one luxury which is Sky TV. Aside from that no iron, kettle and a poor bathroom. There is no internet access in the rooms, just in the lobby. The shuttle buses run only until 9:15 in the evening, so if you wish to stay out later you need to either drive or get a cab. The staff are rude and vastly uninformed. Had breakfast this morning and the food was simply terrible which is quite an achievement as the food we've eaten in Italy until now has been absolutely fantastic. Finally, the gym and pool are both additional extras. The website states that the gym is fully equipped with the latest cardio technology...they have 6 machines, with the treadmil out of service. To be charged an additional 10 Euros PER ENTRY PER GUEST is unbelievable.
We are both extremely disappointed with the hotel and would not recommend this to our friends.
There are many other hotels to choose from in Taormina....we just wish we had researched longer!

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank UomoTigre79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 November 2010

me and my husband booked this hotel for our honeymoon and to tel the truth didnt enjoy it as much i thought i would.
the noise was hurrendous with a train line right outside our room starting from 6am in the morning going on to late evening. There was a lack of atmosphere in the hotel eg, no entertainment, no bars open, extremely quiet.
i think this hotel would more suit a more older couple as we are only early 20s and we expected more!
although we could not fault the food there. it was amazing!!!

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank loznaylor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Caparena Hotel

Address: Via Nazionale 189, 98039, Taormina, Sicily, Italy
Region: Italy > Sicily > Province of Messina > Taormina
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#9 Spa Hotel in Taormina
#16 On the Beach Hotel in Taormina
#32 Luxury Hotel in Taormina
Price Range: £106 - £218 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Caparena Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 88
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Also Known As:
Caparena Hotel Taormina, Sicily

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