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“Utterly disappointing ! Real nightmare!”
Review of Caparena Hotel

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Caparena Hotel
Ranked #65 of 87 Hotels in Taormina
Reviewed 25 August 2012

To start, it is by no means a four star hotel. The rooms are ancient!! cheap ceramic tiles, bathroom with towels, some of them threadbare, water coming from the ancient shower cold....
We had made a reservation of a sea view room THREE months in advance, only to get there and find we were on the first floor, with a view to the roof of some building, PLUS the railway track! They said we were facing the sea..(yes, in the direction of the sea, but no sea view) Finally after raising up my tone, and after I had been assured there were no more rooms, "by miracle" they found a room for us on the second floor. This was a hint of what was to come...The hotel privileges friends, outsiders that are not even staying in the hotel..On the beach, same system, you will never get front row umbrella because that is for their "friends" , at night, they invite you to dance in the beach bar..The only thing you do is to spend money on drinks, BUT they don't let you sit at the bar, because EVERYTHING is reserved to friends coming from God knows were...I had paid for 2 rooms for 10 days, and I didn't have the right to sit at the bar....Too much!!
Breakfast leaves much to be desired: no natural juices, no fruit salad (and you are in Sicily) Pastry must be supermarket bought...I forgot to say that the beach staff is the rudest I have seen in years...One of them came at 6pm (best time on the beach) and he closed my umbrella, and put my things and clothes on the sand, because he had to leave...a real nightmare!!

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank Cristina L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GHG_Taormina, Direttore at Caparena Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 4 September 2012

Dear Mrs Cristina,
thank you for your kind review.
We regret that your stay at the Hotel Caparena has been unplesant, but we hope you have appreciated our efforts to change immediately your room even if in a high season period.
We hope to welcome you again in Taormina in one of our properties.
Best regards,
The Management

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Reviewed 27 July 2012

The hotel is beach front in Taormina Mare, rather than Taormina itself. The beach is stone and shingle rather than sand, but is nevertheless a lovely beach with beautiful clear waters. Don't be mistaken thinking you can walk to Taormina itself - you can't really due to the busy main road rather than the distance, but the hotel run a free shuttle bus several times a day. For me it provides a perfect combination of being close to Taormina to explore the shops, restaurants and bars, but being based on the beach, provides a traditional beach holiday too. Its location is far less cramped and claustrophobic than the private beaches belonding to the hotels in Taormina itself.

The hotel itself is a little worn now and could do with some refurbishment, it is maybe 3 rather than 4 stars. That said, there is nothing wrong with the place, the rooms are pleasant, clean and with good bathrooms, the breakfast and dinners were excellent whilst we were there (on HB), although the service is typically sciliian (by this I mean they serve you in their time, not yours). But providing you're not in a rush and can slow down to their standards, this doesn't really cause a problem.

We went mid July so everything was open: both restaurants, and the pool and beach bars. The setting of the beach restaurant is really good for dinner. Also the paths and the gardens are lit up at night with candles, which adds to the atmosphere. The train line runs between the hotel building itseld and the restaurant & beach. You do hear the trains during the day, but it didn't bother us. They seem to stop in the evening and overnight, so you aren't disturbed.

I would say the hotel is more for couples rather than families. It doesn't have childrens facilities and the sea goes deep very quickly.

The only particular negative for us was the cost of drinks and snacks at the hotel. However you can easily stroll up to Letojanni and get supplies from one of the local shops instead.

It's worth going if you can get a decent price on the place (we found it fairly significantly cheaper than staying in Taormina itself), and the beach front setting was the selling feature for us. Make sure you go and explore Sciliy whilst you are there. Its a beautiful island with amazing history, and you Mt Etna is unmissable.

Room Tip: Ask for a sea view, and a higher floor.
  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank digglerjen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 June 2012

Have just returned from a 7 night Thomson holiday to this hotel, which is no way in Taormina as advertised. It is stuck on the busy road more near to Lettojani.
The hotel staff especially the ones at the beach bar are so far up themselves it was very hard to get served or even get noticed by them, I don't think they liked children being there at all.
The hotel didn't really want us there as they had a "Planet Nissan" contingency in and only seemed to be interested in them.
The beach area is very clean and modern sunbeds are plentiful, but the sea is freezing and very deep within a couple of metres.
Our eleven year old Daughter had no one to play with all week and as for a kids club, nobody mentioned this at all.
As the hotel is trying to be a 4 star, the food was weird. On a night if you don't like fish or veal and other things like that, there is only Pizza to eat. These Pizzas were very nice and I defy anybody to finfish one as they are so large. But these were not served every night and our Daughter was nearly in tears when she saw the poncey alternatives like Octopus or squid. However we managed to get her a plate of Macaroni Pasta after a bit of persuasion.
Don't go to this hotel expecting a free drink with your Dinner, as a bottle of water is 4 euros.
You can easily walk to Lettojani to a few shops but don't go between 12.00 and 17.00 as it's siesta time. The bus is only 80 cents one way and stops outside the hotel every hour.
66cl bottles of beer are only 1.50 in these stores where as a 33cl bottle in the hotel is 4 euro. Water at the hotel is 2 euro for 500ml and 1.50 for 2 litres at the supermarkets.
This hotel would be ok for an older couple with lots of money who just like to relax at the pool.
The Ladies on reception are friendly, if you want to know anything ask them.

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled with family
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3  Thank darlo100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GHG_Taormina, Direttore at Caparena Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 9 October 2012

Dear Mr Darlo,
thank you for your positive feedback about our excellent Pizza and our female staff.
The hotel is located in Taormina Mare and not in Letojanni at 2 km far from away. Neither in the Thomson catalogue or in the hotel web site is mentioned a kids club as it's a service that actually do not exist but that we would like to offer and realize it for the next season. Families and children are gladly welcome at Caparena as we have a children pool, a magnificent garden, a private safe pebbles beach and on request, a children menu and baby sitting service.
We hope to welcome again in our property for you next vacation.
Best regards,
The Management

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Reviewed 14 May 2012

My husband and I have just returned from a 7 night holiday in Taormina Sicily staying at this hotel, lovely setting but disappointed on a couple of issues.

The hotel is quite old fashioned in its furnishings with dried flower arrangements everywhere, a few fresh flowers would really make the difference but otherwise it was clean.

I will list the good and the bad points of this hotel.

The Good

The setting is lovely, well maintained gardens. Good sized balcony with shutters.

Breakfast is a good continental mixture of cereals, cold meats, cheese, pastries, yoghurts, boiled eggs, scrambled eggs, bacon and fresh juice, choices of different coffees made to order.

A good free shuttle bus service into Taormina itself.

Free WIFI albeit only in the reception area.

The main Beach Restaurant has a lovely setting and yes you have to go through a little tunnel (as I think other reviews have complained about this) to get there but we both felt this was quite nice and in the evenings they light candles and it looks lovely. I should imagine as the season gets underway eating outside facing the ocean would be quite something.

Lots of choice for evening meals at the Restaurant but at times I did find the food quite bland, their pizzas though are very good.

Nice sized swimming pool with plenty of sun beds.


The Bad

We had no hot water for the majority of our time there, we were moved to another room but still no hot water, this was a problem lots of guests were experiencing we could hear the complaints, not too sure why but for a 4 star hotel not good enough.

For the whole of the working week there was work taking place on the beach which was extremely noisy and stopped us from using the beach, this work started most mornings at between 7.20 am and 8.00 and carried on for the majority of the day with a break for lunch. They were moving sand from one of the beach to the other with two diggers, the dust was also not pleasant.

No bars were open during our stay and the only place you could get any refreshments during the day was at the beach restaurant, we did have room service one day consisting of tea and coffee. I was very disappointed as I had read on their web site that the bars were open from May to September, you could not even get soft drinks around the pool area so most guests were going backwards and forwards to their rooms for cold water etc.

The Hotel has a spa and gym but a charge of 10 Euros is chargeable per day to use the same, a bit steep I felt.

Only plastic glasses were provided in the rooms for your mini bar use.

The staff could be a bit more friendly, the waiters especially.

The train may worry some people as it does run along the coast so if you have a sea view you are going to see trains every day quite regularly but to be honest after listening to the noise on the beach all week the train was the least of our worries.


Taormina is a lovely town and definitely worth visiting lovely gardens, great Amphitheater with stunning views of Etna.

Would definitely recommend doing the Mount Etna trip but be prepared and take a hat and some gloves, you can hire warm jackets for Euros 2 which is very good value.

We had a great holiday but we were disappointed with the Caparena Hotel.

Sorry Caparena but I think you need to start looking after your guests a little better.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank PenelJersey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 May 2012

The hotel was spotless, and the room was very nice with wood shutters to the ocean. In April, there was nothing opened, and the breakfast had fruit, hard boiled eggs, cold cuts, cheese, and juice. I asked for a capuccino every morning. The sand is not a white sand, and the pool is a covered pool outside. There was a shuttle that ran often during the day. I walked to the next town north along the beach. Nice spa with fresh tea, water and fruit offered downstairs. This time of the year, the restaurant was not opened except for dinner.

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled solo
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4  Thank roseanne124
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 October 2011

This hotel is fairly outdated but its clean. The employees at the front desk are rude and useless. They have no hurry or desire to take care of the guest. Housekeeping is great and friendly!! It was nice to be in a hotel in Italy that offers a large selection of american tv channels. All in all it was just average.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Kris M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 October 2011

I travelled with my sister to the Caparena for the first week of October and we were basically looking to get away from it all. I was a bit nervous after we had booked as we had the half board (what if the food was awful and we had to eat there every night?), I was worried about the train going through the grounds and I also had concerns about having to get the shuttle up to Taormina and not having the freedom to walk (the road has no pavements). If you read the other reviews on here, these are probably the things that will worry you too. Well - DON'T WORRY!

The food here is really excellent. Breakfasts are buffet style - ham and eggs, fresh bread, lots of pastries, fruit, cereal, yoghurts, fresh coffee (the lattes are the best) and some kind of strawberry tart that seemed an odd breakfast choice but once sampled had to be consumed every day. Dinner was in the beach restaurant literally overlooking the sea - an amazing setting. A choice every day of about 15 - 20 mains (or pizza) and starters and then a set puddings list. We had one disappointing evening of food and I think that was more because we'd had a fight! The waiting staff are LOVELY and if you try and speak italian (we were terrible but we tried!) they seem to really appreciate it. Every night you get a little taster when you arrive - deep fried olives, rosemary bread, an amuse bouche I suppose, as well as a huge bread basket, half a glass of prosecco and a bottle of water - this and the 3 courses are all included in your half board - great value. I guess if you are used to Michelin starred dining you might not find the food up to scratch but I expect a lot from restaurant dining and I was really impressed. Wine is extra - house white was 8 Euros a glass. You also have the option of pizza as your main course and I would recommend you have at least one whilst you're here, they're top notch. We had some fantastic tender lamb, succulent beef in a lentil crust, parma ham and melon salad, octopus salad - a real variety and very tasty. Lunch is not included in half board but the beach bar caters to every need - £4 for a huge cheese and ham toasted sandwich and £1.30ish for a bottle of water. Ok maybe it's a bit pricey - hardly expensive though! - but if you want to save money then others made sandwiches at breakfast and ate them at lunch and if you go into Taormina you can get a big 2 litre bottle of water for 3 Euros and take that to the beach instead. I was a bit worried about the lunch costs after reading others' reviews on here but even with those you'll barely spend £6 a day.

The rooms here are not all mod cons 5 star and if you want that you will be disappointed. I'm extremely particular about hotel rooms and I hate anything dated or old or mothbally. These rooms had an air of faded glamour that totally fitted with the wonderful resort. REALLY CLEAN which was important, very comfortable, a TV, mini bar, air con and our balcony looked out towards the sea. Ok so they weren't all glass and chrome but that didn't matter at all. We were actually quite close to the train track and this was something I was worried about but it never woke us once even though I am a very light sleeper and had taken lots of earplugs (I never used them). In fact, I thought the train was lovely! There are high hedges either side of the track so you hardly notice it on the ground and the trains that go through look kind of old school so it adds to the atmosphere. Plus you just have to walk up the beach to Letijana (I think that's what it's called) and you can jump on a train to Messina and from there to Palermo and other cities - convenient! The only thing I would say with the rooms is go for the second floor. We were initially shown a room right at the end on the first floor and just didn't like it - I'd paid for a sea view and wanted a sea view but you could only really see the roof of the beach bar and the garden. Some people I'm sure would say I was being silly but I asked to change rooms and the reception staff happily swapped us round with no bad feeling at all. The second room they showed us was spot on.

The private beach here is heaven. The beach bar area is all white decking and comfy chairs and there are plenty of sun loungers. They give you free towels (each day) with your free beach pass and there are lifeguards who keep an eye on swimmers and get rid of any unwanted beach hawkers. There are toilets and changing rooms in the beach area and the 'tunnel' you go through to get from the hotel to the beach is about 5 paces long! I thought it would be an actual tunnel, kind of damp and nasty, but it was a really nice little arch really - romantic! The sea is great for swimming and the views from the beach are just lovely.

There's also a pool which is free and also has lifeguards and lots of sunloungers. It opened at 9am and shut at 5pm but I think that's because we were there low season. The one thing that was an added extra we didn't foresee was that you have to pay for the gym - 10 euro a day. Steep if you're a daily gym user. However, the rest of the trip was such good value for us that it didn't matter in the end. We got a discount pass - 6 sessions for 50 euro. We had pre-dinner cocktails every night in one of the bars (every cocktail comes with about 4 different types of snacks!), wine when we wanted it with dinner and lunch at the beach bar when we felt hungry enough for it and we barely spent £100 each the entire week (on top of the cost of the holiday). The free shuttle to Taormina is really useful and there are also trips you can do from the hotel to Mount Etna and Palermo. There's free wireless in the hotel reception but not in the rooms - I thought this would annoy me as I am a freelancer and needed to work each day but there are lots of really comfy sofas in reception and you can get a coffee from the bar whilst you work.

To sum this hotel up, it makes you feel really really well looked after. The service is fantastic, the staff are really helpful, the hotel has everything you could possibly need for a relaxing, pampered beach holiday, the gym and spa are excellent, the food is top notch and the rooms are very comfortable and clean. I cannot recommend this place enough - they make you feel like royalty. I don't think I have ever returned from a holiday feeling so thoroughly chilled out and ready to hit real life again. THANK YOU CAPARENA!

Room Tip: Avoid the first floor
  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled with friends
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11  Thank A P
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
#20 On the Beach Hotel in Taormina
#35 Luxury Hotel in Taormina
Price Range: £119 - £228 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Caparena Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 88
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Caparena Hotel Taormina, Sicily

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