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“Marlene Dietrich could have been lounging on the terrace”

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Bel Soggiorno Hotel
Ranked #22 of 88 Hotels in Taormina
Certificate of Excellence
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
469 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 169 helpful votes
“Marlene Dietrich could have been lounging on the terrace”
Reviewed 19 January 2009

This is a hotel in the grand old style of early 20th Century resorts. Our room had french doors that opened onto a semi-private area with lounge chairs overlooking the sea. Set on the edge of the hills that lead from the ocean up to the town of Taormina, practically every room of the hotel overlooks the sea, including the breakfast solarium. We stayed here for two nights, including New Year's Eve. We ended up being very happy that we were just a short walk outside of town, rather than in one of the many hotels in the center of town, which I imagine must be fairly loud. The staff at Bel Soggiorno were very friendly and helpful in making recommendations for driving to areas outside of Taormina proper (including up to Etna).

  • Liked — The views
  • Disliked — Lots of stairs down to our room
  • Stayed January 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank slsnyc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Provence
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 October 2008

The Hotel Bel Soggiorno provided one of the highlights of our four weeks in Sicily: a friendly, welcoming, English speaking reception, a gorgeous buffet breakfast, fantastic views and a lovely location. Bel Soggiorno is on the approach road to Taormina (from the beaches below) and situated just behind a bus stop. We had a car and parked either in the driveway or just above. I have a walking handicap (and am "older") and although the steepish drive was a bit tricky, it was well worth the effort to stay in this "grand old hotel". Our room was a triple: our adult daughter had her own loft above our room with bed, sofa and writing desk-very spacious. Our accomodations included writing desk, wardrobe, nighttables and lamps, TV, air conditioning, and a well done, immaculate bathroom. Outside our french doors a terrace with table and chairs/sun bed and umbrella for our leisure use--all this overlooking the magnificent sea below! Nearby the huge dining room/bar and salon provided quiet corners where we could use the internet, write post cards, or just enjoy a drink and curl up with a book. The breakfast buffet was laid out along one wall (I vote this Sicily's best breakfast!) but all the guests found their way to the conservatory or the terrace to enjoy their meal.
I would not call the guest rooms vastly commodious nor luxurious, but somehow this hotel reminded me of Ernest Hemingway, if you can get the picture. I would go back in a heartbeat.
If you don't have a car but you are a hearty walker, the walk up into Taormina is manageable (and the taxi ride isn't very expensive, either).
So let me repeat: this is okay for older travelers, accepts pets (we had our 5 kg. Bolognese with us) and can be managed by some handicapped travelers, though it is NOT wheelchair friendly. There is no lift in the hotel.
DO put this hotel on your list if you like what you read. Earlier traveler's rave reviews sent us to the Bel Soggiorno, and I am grateful to all who reviewed this enchanting hotel.

  • Liked — The feeling of being pampered by the staff, the views!
  • Disliked — The steps.
  • Stayed September 2008, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank maisonrosegoult
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
gosport
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 October 2008

Wearrived in rain with sheet and forked lightening on september 14th having stopped off at naples the warm the room was welcoming (no 28) clean and with plenty of room the rain putting a dampener on the beginning of the holiday......but oh that veiw on the following morning when we opened the shutters to see etna in sunshine with a whisp of smoke we also over looked garni naxos.
company good and the staff very helpful breakfast on the terrace plenty of choice and all good quality
evenings spent on terrace around round table with new freinds and then one spot of red on etna that spread over the next 2o minutes to a lava flow mid sunday we awoke to snow on etna first of the year
Bar faciltiys some what lacking altough having gone to reception to get assistance always promptly delivered to where you wanted the drinks
Both bus service and train (to messina ) both easy and clean and good value
very good cheap lunch time eating in town The sunshine bar by the messina gate to avoid the wunder bar in plazza aprile good walking to castlemols and lipojanni all in all 10 out of 10 would recommend but must be active as both sets of steps to town could be challeging top tip if it looks like rain reception has ready supply of umbrellas really good 14 days
down side thompsons rep
jim & clare oswell Gosport

  • Liked — situation
  • Disliked — bar facilitys
  • Stayed September 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank ozman13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hampshire
Level Contributor
56 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 September 2008

A smallish hotel, in the same family for a hundred years, the Bel Soggiorno provides a great antidote to large chain or tourist hotels. It was built in 1908 and extended in the 1920s and although it has been modernised it still feels very traditional and maybe even a bit old-fashioned. There are some books in the salon, many of which bear stamps showing they were provided many years ago by Boots "for the public service" or by the German Navy for their personnel, who were presumably billeted there in the 1940s. There are also some more modern paperbacks, but the old books are a fascinating historical relic and some are even a good read.

Most of the rooms have their own terraces, and guests staying in rooms 10 to 16 are able to use their terrace for breakfast (if dry!) -- the others eat theirs in a lovely, bright conservatory. Some of the rooms have a mezzanine floor with additional seating which can also be used as extra sleeping accommodation.

Breakfast is the only meal served. It is a buffet, offering (when we were there) fresh melon, tinned fruit, cheese, sausage, cereals and pastries, plus some lovely home-made cakes. We were a bit disappointed that the fruit juice is not freshly prepared. Tea (English breakfast!) or coffee are served; you help yourself to the rest. In the evenings, there is no bar, but there is a table in the salon with bottles arrayed on it and the staff on the reception desk will serve you a drink if you ask. We thought this was a rather cumbersome arrangement; an honesty system would have been more convenient.

Our room was very clean and the bedding was changed every few days; the towels every day. The complaints from some about poor pressure in the shower certainly didn't apply to our room. There are sea views from all rooms and views of Etna from some. The terraces really are an excellent feature, and there are also extensive, well-planned and well-maintained gardens where you can walk or sit. There is some noise from the road when you're outside, but we didn't find it too intrusive.

Others have commented on the walk up to town. We thought it was not too bad. You have to walk about 50 yards along a busy road, which can be a bit scary when two coaches are trying to pass each other as there's no footpath. But then you turn off the road and go up some steps, from the top of which it's a level walk into town, through the park if you wish. The whole takes about ten minutes. It's not for the very old or infirm, but anyone with a reasonable level of fitness should not find it a problem. On the other hand, the walk down to the beach is quite long and steep in places (we can't comment on the walk back up, as we took the funicular).

We found the staff a bit off-hand, except the breakfast waiter, who was very friendly and attentive. But the take-it-or-leave-it approach seemed to be a trait shared by many Sicilians, and was not peculiar to the Hotel.

All in all, we really enjoyed our stay at the Bel Soggiorno and would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a traditional hotel with a quiet location and who is fit enough to manage the walk into town.

  • Liked — The old-world atmosphere and the fantastic views.
  • Disliked — No bar and some less than welcoming staff.
  • Stayed September 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank steveandsally
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Scotland
1 review
Reviewed 15 September 2008

We recently stayed at this hotel and can say that we thoroughly enjoyed our holiday. We had a lovely big room with views to etna which had 2 terraces which was an unexpected bonus. The room was basic but very clean(+tidied and fresh towels provided each day) we found the staff to be incredibly friendly and welcoming.(Particuarly the owner and breakfast staff) The breakfasts were nice with a large variety to suit everyone with the most lovely view down to the sea. The only negatives were it was a bit of a trek uphill to the centre, no tea/coffee making facilities in room and a weak shower, other than that it was great and we would return.

  • Liked — nice room and very laid back and friendly staff
  • Disliked — no pool
  • Stayed August 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank suz-scotand
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
49 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 August 2008

As we were going up to Taormina on the bus and we drove past the hotel it got a little worrying when the bus continued quite a bit further to the bus stop which is just outside the centre of town.

The hotel is in a beautiful location however it is not the most convenient. It is about a 15minute walk (uphill) into town and means that you probably wouldn't just pop in and out of town.

While it is possible to walk down to the beach from the hotel it's not advisable. Walking down is ok but in the heat it can make your legs quite weak. Climbing up is not advised! We tried it and, although young and fit, it was exhausting!

The beaches are ok but rocky which I wasn't expecting.

The hotel is ok, it could be absolutely amazing but it needs a lot of updating. The rooms are very sparsely furnished and our iron bed head squeaked with every small movement that in the end we had to remove it from the rest of the bed.

The shower was weak but hot and there was an enormous toilet which I wasn't too keen on.

We had a little balcony which was lovely but there are some rooms on the ground floor who are served breakfast on their terraces whereas we had to go down to the main dining room.

The breakfast was very nice with big slices of watermelon and the rest of the continental breakfast spread.

The large communal salon is wonderful and there is the possibilty to have an evening drink but it isn't clear how the bar is meant to work. It looks like a 'help yourself' but actually we ended up going to the reception and asking for them to serve us (which is what I think we were meant to do!).

I think the hotel is expensive for what you get but you're obviously paying for the fact that you are staying in Taormina. (It was the cheapest hotel that we could find that had last minute availability).

There was free internet in the salon but no fridge in the room.

It was a pleasant hotel with lots of potential but not the most central.

  • Stayed August 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank THH-2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 July 2008

The Bel Soggiorno has a wonderful setting overlooking the sea and Mt. Etna, with gorgeous cascading gardens lovingly tended. The staff are welcoming, attentive and helpful. You get a real feel for Sicily in the furnishings, the pictures and the banter between the staff. Most of the rooms are individually designed and accommodate from one to five persons. The new balconies added this year add even more charm to an already perfect bulding -- and they look like they've been there forever, rather than newly built. Further proof that the owner is not only proud of his beautiful hotel but also careful that all enhancements fit into the surroundings. The Bel Soggiorno attracts visitors from all over the world and it's wonderful to watch the faces of the guests when they first step out onto the terraces and behold the spectacular view. This is a warm friendly family hotel, a quiet romantic getaway or a relaxing haven -- whatever you want. One word of warning though: If you don't want a hug with your breakfast, go elsewhere.

Stayed July 2008
Helpful?
2 Thank Taorminatart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Bel Soggiorno Hotel

Property: Bel Soggiorno Hotel
Address: Via Luigi Pirandello 60, 98039, Taormina, Sicily, Italy
Region: Italy > Sicily > Province of Messina > Taormina
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #22 of 88 Hotels in Taormina
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Bel Soggiorno Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 25
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Also Known As:
Bel Soggiorno Taormina
Hotel Bel Soggiorno
Bel Soggiorno Hotel Taormina, Sicily

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