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“A good choice”

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Hotel Villa Schuler
Ranked #7 of 88 Hotels in Taormina
Certificate of Excellence
Rome, Italy
Level Contributor
60 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“A good choice”
Reviewed 22 July 2012

We stayed at villa schuler for 3 nights and generally enjoyed our experience. The lady at the check in desk upon our arrival was very friendly and helpful and made us feel welcome straight away. The rooms are sizeable, bathroom was pretty new and the view from our room was breathtaking. The villa itself is beautiful and so is the garden. If there are some points that could be subject to improvement then i have to say that whilst the breakfast choice is great the waiting time is somewhat long. The first day we waited 35 minutes to get a cup of tea followed by the food we ordered. The next day whilst we did not quite wait that long it was still too long for us, so we decided not to take breakfast there anymore but go for a quick cafe and cornetto in a bar round the corner. The ladies at breakfast were friendly and i dont think paricularly slow either but maybe the concept is not working, at least not for someone who does not want to spend too much time at the breakfast table. The other thing that we felt was slightly unusual was when we came back from the beach in the evening amd asked for the key, it appeared that our room was being shown just at that moment to a potential furture guest. The gentleman who was at that time at reception was very apologetic and it seems also a bit embarrased he did not quite know what to say. We did not say anything at the beginning because there were quite a few people around so when we came back again to go out we told the lady at reception that we would have preferred if someone told us before entering our room with other people. The lady's answer was that this is a hotel and she is trying to sell the room. That we did not appreciate this answer at all, an apology would have been more appropriate, and we still think if this is the hotels practise they should advise their guests at check in.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank hase1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GerhardSchuler, Manager at Hotel Villa Schuler, responded to this review, 28 September 2012
Dear Guest,
thank you very much for sharing your generally good impression of our hotel and especially for your two comments on which I would like to focus on. The one about our breakfast service required some explanations, as well as the delicate one about showing your room to other clients during your momentaneous absence, which additionally requires my personal apology.

BREAKFAST SERVED A LA CARTE:
our breakfast served a la carte is something unique that is generally well-praised although through the years we admittedly registered also a couple of critics similar to you one. In those rare cases it’s not the quality, diversity or the quantities that have been criticised but the time it took to be served.

The normal procedure at our breakfast served à la carte is as follows: our guests choose the table on our breakfast terrace, the waitress/waiter comes up directly with the bread basked, including freshly baked croissants, marmelade, butter and jam and contemporarily asks for the drinks preferred by the guests (coffee or tea, cappuccino, orange juice, freshly pressed carrot juice, etc.). Before leaving the table she or he hands over the breakfast menue for the additional items orderable a la carte. After no more than 5 minutes (!) all drinks are usually served and on that occasion the additional order is taken as freshly prepared eggs, crepes, omelettes, cold meats, cheeses plates etc.

Although “35 minutes to get a cup of tea“ is quite improbable, even in peack time, we neverthenless take your statement seriouly and confirm we are working on ideas of how we can further improve our timings, especially for guests in a hurry and looking for an absolutely fast-break-fast.

Two things are for sure:
if clients inform our waiters to be in a hurry and that they just wish a simple fast-break-fast we know that they are served accordingly.
Then there is a second option all our clients are informed of at check-in: for clients with a really tight timing having booked an excursion or needing an early check-out, breakfast can be delivered really fast, anytime, even before 7.30, on the basis of a list taken before going to sleep on the previous evening. Next morning all items will be ready to be served within not even two minutes.

SHOWING A HOTEL ROOM TO OTHER CLIENTS:
Here I renew you my personal and most sincere apology. During your recent stay another hotel client, who was considering to extend his stay for two more nights, asked us before deciding to have a glimpse of the Superior Doble that was offered to him for the next morning. We were fully booked and no similar rooms were available, so I personally decided to show him the room during your absence. I knew that that afternoon the room was already made up by the chambermaids and the short look over the threshold in my presence lasted not even 10 seconds and was just to give the other client the chance to have a rough impression of it’s size. When I came back to the lobby, replaicing the room-key back in the keyboard and realising your unexpected irritation and disappointment I gave you my apologises, as you mentioned.

Till today I honestly thought that this discrete practice would be an accepted routine, but reading your comments I decided to go deeper into the matter writing to the legal office of our national italian Hotel Association headquaters.

The answer I received today confirms that you were right and that the mistake was on my side:
a hotel room reserved by a client during his stay becames legally his private residence and the hotelier and his staff have therefore the right to access to the room only to deliver routine hotel services or those requested by the client or if legally required to do so. I was therefore wrong assuming that a quick look over the threshold was an acceptable practise and today I renew you my most sincere apology.

Accordingly I immediately gave precise instructions to all our staff members never ever again to allow not even the shortest glimpse into a guest room unless we previously received the occupaying client‘s permission.

I learned that you never stop learning and your feed-back helped us to improve. Thank you.

Gerhard Schuler
manager
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St. Paul's Bay, Malta
Level Contributor
22 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 July 2012

All of the favorable views are spot on! My husband and I planned a last minute weekend trip from Syracuse and couldn’t have been happier with our choice of hotel. There are so many good-looking accommodations in this wonderful village I can’t imagine making a bad choice. The hotel is wonderfully positioned for just about anything you would want to do.

We stayed in a Superior Sea View room (#27) and were blown away by the views! The room was spacious as was the bathroom. About the only complaint I could make is the air conditioning unit didn’t get the room as cold as we typically like it but I wouldn’t take points away for that, it is simply a personal preference. The breakfast was included and there were many choices. We, however, had to pay for our parking but considering the state of parking in the area we were happy to do so.

I can see why Taormina is so popular; we loved it and can’t wait to return to Villa Schuler!

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank jakulin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alberta, Canada
Level Contributor
55 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 July 2012

My mother and I stayed in a superior seaview room at this hotel in June and absolutely loved it. The staff were among the kindest and most helpful we encountered on our trip of Italy and the the view from our room and breakfast area was so beautiful. The room was lovely and clean. The garden's were nice to sit and relax in and it is a pretty short walk (only one major set of stairs really) to the main shopping street and many historical sites. Taormina is a lovely town and we are so glad we made the decision to visit.

Room Tip: Superior sea view room
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  • Stayed June 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank albertagemini
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
167 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 July 2012

I made 2 last minute reservations for 2 sea view rooms. My friends had a side view but a nice size room, whereas we had a direct view but the small room was made smaller by the bath, also tiny. That said, it's very central in Taormina, has a pleasant garden, accommodating staff(shined my shoes!), and a wonderful breakfast. Free parking thrown in.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank michael f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GerhardSchuler, Manager at Hotel Villa Schuler, responded to this review, 8 September 2012
Dear Michael F.,

thank you for your kind review. Your comment about the described two different room-sizes gives me the occasion to be more specific than any online booking system can be.

We have two slightly different types of standard seaview rooms:

1) the ones located in our elevated ground floor and the ones located on or first floor are indeed larger and most of them offer the possibility of adding a 3rd bed.

2) the four standard doubles seaview located on our second floor are just doubles, so more panoramic but slightly smaller in size.

You were allocated a standard double seaview in 2.nd floor, the room your friends were allocated was actually our largest seaview double in our first floor having a slightly less panoramic view but actually having the same size of our larger Superior Doubles:
even so we sell this one as the less expensive standard doubles just because the bathtub is a traditional one and not a Jacuzzi.

To be even more specific, the indoor-sizes of our standard doubles with seaview range between a minimum of 16 and a maximum of 28 square meters.

Thank you also for your compliments on the privileged location of our hotel, on the garden, the breakfast and our staff. They do their job with love and passion and know how to keep traditions alive, which includes also the old style service of shining guest shoes.

Hoping to welcome you again one day
Gerhard Schuler
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leigh on Sea
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 July 2012

The hotel was exceptionally clean, very well situated for the type of holiday we were looking for. Every member of staff were friendly, helpful and happy - they were lovely. The room we had was light and airy, all our needs were catered for and had an excellent view. Breakfast was amazing - wonderful choice, and we didn't have to move from our chairs. Fantastic gardens to wander through, or just to sit in the shade. We would certainly return to Villa Schuler....in fact we can't wait.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank MonicaIB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mosta, Malta
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 July 2012

we stayed for two nights but i wish we spent more time there. The hotel has breathtaking views and an historic past dating to 1905.It is family run and the staff make you feel welcome and special. It is a pity that the star rating is 3 since i think it deserves more. Breakfast was served on the terrace overlooking the bay by a smiling angelic young lady , What a lovely way to start the day! The hotel also boasts a lovely garden and steps which actually lead to the main street of the town. It also has an in house garage which is invaluable as parking is a
nightmare in Taormina.We will definitely return and many thanks to the staff who made our stay memorable.

Room Tip: try to have a room with a balcony overlooking the bay
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank anna g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sao Paulo, SP
Level Contributor
373 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 243 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 July 2012

We spent a few days in the lovely town of Taromina and stayed in the Villa Schuler.

It is a true Italian villa (in an architectural sense), with a beautiful horto and a pond with carps and turtles. But it is actually a German Villa, from its name, to the German literature available everywhere in the building, to the staff, that provides a German service, i.e. very very efficient, clean and polite. Do not expect the typical Italian warmth here. The location is great, close enough to the busy streets in the upper side albeit silent. It is not by the beach (looks like few hotels are close to the beach).

The rooms are very smallish, ours had a great balcony that overlooked a greenish bay. Great view! However the bathroom was surprisingly small, and the shower resembled those you find in cruise ships cabins. Big guys, do mind that! Also, shades are not very efficient against the sunrise (that's why we understood our room was called Sunrise Suite).

The breakfast is a la carte, with plenty of options, that are brought fastly on demand.

I found the price particularly high (265 euro for a triple). That, along with the smallish bathroom, would subtract a star.

What made me subtract another star was, besides the lack of warmth (which I personally prize), to see that most reviews were commented by the hotel management. I believe this goes against TA's philosophy, I unerstand this is a place where people give candid feedback that are valuable to the turosts and to the turistc businesses (if they learn from it). I have learned in my professional life that feedback is something you do not talk back, you just listen to it (whether you agree or not) and try to learn something out of it, for your own improvement. Of course a malicious review should be rebuffed (and denounced), but addressing most reviews becomes something very intimitading. At least, I felt intimidated.

I quote Joseph Folkman (The Power of Feedback. 1st ed. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons Inc., 2006. Print.): "to find the greatest level of success in an organization, working with other people, a person should learn how to accept any kind of feedback, analyze it in the most positive manner possible, and use it to further impact future decision making" (you can also find that quote under the Feedback topic in the English Wikipedia).

Room Tip: The Sunrise Suite has also a motorized canopy in the balcony, a help in the hot summer!
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank truccolo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GerhardSchuler, Direttore at Hotel Villa Schuler, responded to this review, 17 July 2012
We are glad to hear that you appreciated the architecture, the garden, the views, our breakfast and our services. We also thank your for your suggestion to add a second obscuring curtain to the wall-to-wall sliding windows of our Sunrise Junior Suites. Your useful suggestion will help us to improve.

I’m surprised that you state that you were surprised by the small bathroom. You unfortunately forgot to report that both on our web site, where you booked us, as well as both in our offer emailed to you and as well as in our email confirmation to you the room description of the Sunrise Junior Suite always emphasized the “small bathroom” (we still have the files). Its size of 1,70 x 1,55 meters is effectively small compared to most of our bathrooms, but it is still above the minimum requirements for our hotel category.

Some of your statements reflect your quite subjective opinions, as what a “typical Italian warmth” should be.

Some other comments were rather amusing. Subtracting stars for each non English book found in our bookshelves might be a funny game, but I can reassure other readers that the literature available in our hotel totally reflects our clientele: 30% english, 25% german, 20% italian, and miscellaneous various others, which incidentally corresponds also to Taorminas stats.

As far as your uncomfortable feelings about our alleged german staff is concerned, I would like to specify that our multilingual staff is composed of: 1 austrian, 1 belgian, 2 german and 12 italian citizens.

One last thing: contrary to your supposition, TripAdvisor does indeed allow and even encourage the management or representatives of accommodations, restaurants or attractions to respond to reviews written about their property.

We always need to hear both sides of the story.

Gerhard Schuler
manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Villa Schuler

Property: Hotel Villa Schuler
Address: Piazzetta Bastione / Via Roma, 98039, Taormina, Sicily, Italy
Phone Number:
Region: Italy > Sicily > Province of Messina > Taormina
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Taormina
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Villa Schuler 3*
Number of rooms: 27
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Converted from a Sicilian mansion into a hotel in 1905, historic Villa Schuler is most probably the oldest owner run hotel in Sicily. Extensively refurbished in recent years emphasizing its original elegance, charm and atmosphere, the 4 Star Hotel is superbly situated high above the Ionian Sea, its unique position offers stupendous views of Mt. Etna and the Bay of Naxos. Centrally located just 2 minutes walk to traffic free "Corso Umberto" and 10 min. To the Greek-Roman theatre. Surrounded by its own extensive, subtropical, shady terraced botanic gardens. Other amenities include the elegant Orangery, the scenic Palm Terrace, a panoramic lift, the Rooftop Lounge&Terrace, free Wi-Fi, 24h bar and room service, valet parking and garages. Breakfast embracing Slow Food criteria is served "a la carte" in the breakfast room, in the Orangery, on the Palm Terrace overlooking the whole coastline or in your room. Courtesy mountain bikes. Shuttle-service to partner beaches. Tennis courts nearby. Eco-certified ISO 14001. Official cathegory: 4 STAR HOTEL ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Schuler Hotel Taormina
Hotel Villa Schuler Taormina, Sicily

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