When I make a reservation at a hotel that is as highly rated and raved about as the Villa Carlotta, I get a little nervous about being let down when I finally arrive. I can say that I was not disappointed! This hotel proved to be an amazing place for my partner and myself during our stay in Taormina from June 12-June 17. We had been coming from the more hectic pace of Rome the previous week, and were pleased that the Villa Carlotta offered us much more in the way of relaxation and tranquility.
We flew in to the Catania airport and took the Etna bus line to the main bus terminal in Taormina, which was within walking distance to the hotel. We were greeted very warmly by the staff and taken to the main terrace for a welcome drink and snack. Holy panorama, Batman! The view from up there (ocean, volcano, and Taormina) was amazing. Since I wanted to do some watercolor painting during this trip, I ended up returning to the terrace every morning to capture the scenery.
The room was ready shortly after the welcome drink (they use this time to transcribe your passport information). We had splurged on an ocean-view room, which was totally worth it. We had a great view on the top floor. There was a European king bed, coffee/tea making facilities, Sky TV, a safe and closet, and a sitting area. The bathroom was huge and had some of the nicer toiletries I've seen in hotels (including some super-soft slippers). A lot of the decor in the hotel looked like it was hand-selected and probably differed from room to room. The room was kept well-cleaned during our stay. The only complaint we had was that our room was located directly under the kitchen used to make breakfast, so unfortunately it was a little loud in the mornings. But it wasn't a big problem.
Speaking of breakfast, that was one of my favorite things about this trip. Breakfast at Villa Carlotta was AMAZING. Pastries, cereals, breads, extremely fresh fruits, meats, cheeses, juices, and there seemed to be different variations from day to day. Almond milk was even offered. I mentioned in a previous review that I'm not a foodie, but beyond my usual cereal-and-milk routine I did venture to try the fruits and pastries. And they were quite awesome. The staff at breakfast were friendly and quick to bring coffees and drinks. And I have to extend my personal thanks to them, as they accommodated some of the space needs I had in order to set up my watercolor painting supplies.
The grounds around the hotel were well-kept and I spent some time in the swimming pool, which was refreshing on a hot day. There are lots of lounge chairs located in and out of the sun.
The hotel offers a few options regarding beach access. Since we were splurging on this trip, we took advantage of the free shuttle down to the Lido Stockholm beach, which is a private beach that costs 10 EUR per day/person. It's one of the few sandy beaches in the area was extremely quiet on the weekdays. We spent a lot of time just sleeping on the lounge chairs there and listening to the ocean. Well worth the cost, in our opinion!
We had booked the cooking class as part of our hotel package, and we highly recommend this for other couples. Angelo, from Licchio's restaurant, took us to a market to buy meat/vegetables, and then guided us, with one of this chefs, through the process of cooking fish dishes and other Sicilian specialties. This was followed by a leisurely lunch (pretty much by ourselves) chatting with the chef and drinking wine. Depending on what food interests you, you can cater the dishes to better suite your tastes.
The location of the hotel is great--you can get to the main drag in Taormina with just a 10-15 minute walk. Be aware that Taormina in general does require a lot of walking, and much of it involves stairs.
Pros: Friendly staff, amazing views, spacious and comfortable and clean hotel room, cooking class, diverse and fresh breakfast, great relaxation options
Cons: Wifi signal a little weak, but for us that was VERY minor.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Villa Carlotta is an aristocratic 1860 Sicilian villa converted into a luxury boutique hotel in the centre of Taormina at 5/7 minutes walk to the historical pedestrian area of town. Our hotel, member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World group, is located in a panoramic and tranquil part of Taormina, overlooking the Ionian sea, lush mediterranean gardens, Italy’s mainland coast and on one side Mount Etna, Europe’s highest and most interesting active volcano.You can feel an informal and elegant atmosphere all around the hotel which has been decorated individually by celebrated Italian interior designers making it an idyllic place, ideal for honeymooners or for those looking for romance, relax and good Sicilian food. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Carlotta Hotel Taormina
- Hotel Villa Carlotta Taormina, Sicily