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“A Disappointing 4-star Hotel”

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Excelsior Palace Hotel
Ranked #25 of 88 Hotels in Taormina
Certificate of Excellence
Ilkley, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“A Disappointing 4-star Hotel”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 May 2011

We stayed at this hotel for 7 days, via Citalia Travel. Although the hotel is in a very convenient position, on entering it was obvious that the hotel had seen better days, with worn and threadbare carpets in the reception area and some public rooms. On being shown our alloted room we found the bedroom decor to be totally depressing, with sparse furnishings, dirty looking carpet and dusty furniture, and a distinctly unpleasant smell, which we think was coming from the kitchens below.
The bathroom was rather antiquated, with well worn fittings, and not overly clean. The main drainage port situated in the middle of the bathroom floor was blocked with debris, and had not been cleaned out for some time( who knows what unhealthy contents lurked within)! Minimum toiletries were provided, and consisted only of liquid soap, shower cap and small sewing kit. No shampoo, body lotion, conditioner, face cloths, or box of tissues were provided (which would be quite usual in a 4 -star rated hotel).
Breakfast was the same every morning with cheap cereals, tinned fruit, and no fresh fruit juices. There was an attempt to provide a cooked option, consisting of overcooked bacon and scrambled egg which did not look very appetising.
When we expressed a desire to find an alternative hotel we were informed that we would have to forfeit 3 days accommodation costs, plus the full cost of the accommodation in the alternative hotel !
Eventually, we had to pay another 210 Euros for a somewhat better room, which had a more pleasant feel to it.
The Pool area could have been very pleasant had they bothered to give it a thorough clean prior to the opening of the holiday season, with many of the sun loungers suffering from the effects of bird droppings that had not been removed.
Having paid for half board accommodation, we can say that the evening meals were good, if not exciting, but in order to get a full choice of the self -served buffet, and sweets, you had to be sure of being early into the dining room, as if you came in later there was a good chance that much of the food would have already been consumed, and we saw no evidence of staff replenishing those foods.
We are well aware that this hotel is old, and dates back to the early twentieth century, and that an effort has been made to retain some of its old world charm, but there is no excuse for not keeping up to required modern standards of decor and cleanliness.
On the whole the staff were good, and full marks to the barman, who was very friendly and efficient, however, it did prove to be quite disappointing, as we were expecting a somewhat better holiday experience.

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
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Helpful?
5 Thank MOLARBOY528758
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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596 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (147)
Date | Rating
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English first
Bath, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
31 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 May 2011

We travelled with a coach tour group through Riviera Travel and were not disappointed. The hotel is in an excellent location at the top end of the main Taormina street, so ideally placed for local restaurants and shops. There is also a small supermarket within 50 yds of the hotel - handy for bottled water and other small items. Our room was large and elegantly furnished with a modern, spotless en-suite bathroom. Most of the rooms have a spectacular view over the valley and bay towards Mt Etna but if you like peace and quiet, ask for a room at the far end of the hotel as some of the rooms are right over the busy highway just below - this could be a problem for some if you like to sleep with the windows open. Hotel food was very good and typically Italian. There was a wide choice at breakfast including hot bacon and very good scrambled eggs. In the evenings, the choice was also good with an excellent veg/fish anti-pasti buffet where you could help yourself. This was followed by three more courses including a wide variety of desserts. The hotel grounds are truly beautiful and has a swimming pool with stunning views over the sea - however, if you have difficulty with steps (there are quite a few!) you may find it difficult climbing back up to the hotel. Staff were friendly and helpful and spoke excellent English. Taormina itself is a tad expensive with lots of upmarket and designer shops, but there are also plenty of places to buy your souvenirs/gifts, especially down towards the Greek amphitheater. DO GO TO the amphitheatre - an unmissable archaological treat. Overall, a wonderful holiday in a very good hotel.

Room Tip: Ask for a room away from the highway below.
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  • Stayed May 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Northwoodlass
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 April 2011

I used to unload coaches at a so called "4 star" hotel on the Isle of Wight - a hotel that catered for the very tight-fisted 60 plus crowd. This is the Italian version of that same hotel. The difference here of course is that in Italy (and especially in Taormina) you pay 5 star prices so the inevitable result is: well, disappointment all-round. If you havn't stayed in a hotel since the 1980's and you like brown wall paper, confused bathrooms and general uncleanliness, then this is the hotel for you. It's one saving grace is a well-run front office who seemed very attentive and cheerful. If you're looking for a decent place to stay though in Taormina, keep looking.

Room Tip: go to another hotel
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  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank OPJ101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Shanklin I.O.W Portsmouth
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 April 2011

After our wonderful stay in Rome, then the overpriced hotel in Palermo, came the biggest diappointment of our trip to Italy, The Excelsior Palace Hotel. Placed at the most beautiful location in what was once called the most beautiful town in Italy, Taormina. The hotel has seen better days about 30 years ago when I assume the last refurbishment took place. The rooms were grim, the huge bed was terribly uncomfortable, the decor was the most depressing I've seen in years.All the light switches where of a dirty brown, the TVs were about 30 years old too and then there was only one bedside table.There was no working airconditioning, you had to open the windows and the noise was horrendous coming from the motorway below. No mosquito nets either, I wonder how people cope in the summer months? The breakfast was ok, 9.30 the latest, the coffee was actually very good, but the waiters never greeted or welcomed you as they were busy clearing the tables before 9.30 for the evening meal. No fresh fruit salad only tinned fruit and the buffet run out of stuff pretty soon. All in all a far too expensive hotel for what you get. And in Taormina itself, everything is totally overpriced, especially the restaurants.

Room Tip: Don't go there.
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  • Stayed March 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank banky52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ormond Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
177 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 October 2010

Since there is little to no parking in Taormina, this hotel had the perfect location. It is walking distance to the parking garage and steps from Porta Catania - the main entrance to the city. The accommodations were excellent and the hotel was elegant. The personnel at the hotel were very attentive and helpful and were more than willing to provide directions and advice. The rooms were well decorated and very comfortable. The grounds were outstanding and park-like. The hotel had views of Mt. Etna and the surrounding areas.

  • Stayed October 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank PJBLTB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Freehold, New Jersey
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 October 2010

We checked in to the hotel on October 7th. It was in the 70's and quite humid. when I went to turn on the AC it didn't work so I called the desk only to be told they shut it down in September but I could have a fan. We had to sleep with the windows open because the room smelled dank. Well there is alot of noise as the hotel faces the autostrada and in spite of it being down below you could hear every truck especially late a night, The mattresses were hard and the bathroom while being modern had a shower that flowed like a drip. Breakfast was good and the staff were helpful. Would I stay there again? Definitely NOT!

  • Stayed October 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank minddoc47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
chester
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 October 2010

Taormina in Sicily is a wonderful place to stay this was our second visit. Previously we had stayed at the Hotel Villa Dio Douro and thought we would upgrade on this vacation to the Excelsior Palace hotel. It cost another £600 so we thought we would be getting a 'little more'. Unfortunately we got a lot less. This hotel is graded as 4 star but in reality it is only 3 star and in the food department only 2 star. The biggest problem was that the air conditioning was inoperative and the reception staff would not give an adequate answer to why it was off. This made sleeping very awkward as you couldn't open the windows for fear of being bitten alive by the mosquitos so you either ended up with the sheets as a makeshift mosquito net or put up with the bites and the humidity. A fan was provided but only after asking along with a mosquito zapper but the damage had already been done. Along with this irritant the bathroom (for a 4 star hotel) was entirely inadequate, small, badly painted with streaks of paints running down the tiled walls, chipped tiles and a very grubby shower curtain which showed signs of former mosquitos which had been squished on it! The bedroom (again only upto 3 star) although larger than most Italian bedrooms showed signs of a desperate refurbishment, chipped and dirty furnishings, light fittings loose, grubby arms to chairs etc. The food was definitely not upto 4 star standard it was extremely basic and very repetitive so although we had payed for half board we ended up eating out more often than not an extra expense not needed. Breakfast was the usual cold meats/cheese etc and the only hot dish was bacon & scrambled egg (every morning) which wasn't replaced very quickly once it had been depleted. The staff were friendly though but didn't give us our wake up call on the day of our trip as organised the night before. The bar/lounge area was very pleasant although the drinks were rather expensive nearly 20 Euros for two G and T's (but you did get nuts and nibbles with them). It is in a magnificent setting though but I do believe that the Excelsior Palace is relying on this a tad too much to draw in the customers. Faded grandeur I can put up with if all the other important details that go to making a holiday memorable are also there but in this hotel they were evident in their lacking. Faded granduer sorry more like fading away into obscurity very quickly. If you are visting Taormina either go to the Villa Dio Douro or Jim Kerrs place the Villa D'Angelo or the two new 5 stars the Hotel El Jebel (had a very memorable meal there and was shown round the rooms (fabulous) by the head concierge and the brand new Hotel Metropole. I cannot see the Excelsior being there in another 5 years unless it has a major refurbishment, it's been left behind.

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank bobtail103
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Excelsior Palace Hotel

Property: Excelsior Palace Hotel
Address: Via Toselli 8, 98039, Taormina, Sicily, Italy
Phone Number:
Region: Italy > Sicily > Province of Messina > Taormina
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#17 Luxury Hotel in Taormina
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Excelsior Palace Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 88
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Excelsior Palace Hotel even to day after more then one hundred years its building is considered one of the most appreciated hotel structure in Taormina.Its architecture draw its origin from a context cultural and natural,Greek,Roman and Medieval.The Excelsior Palace Hotel looks over one of the most beautiful wiew of the world:Etna and the Bay of Naxos, the Greek Theatre, and the immense space of the Jonian Sea. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Excelsior Palace Taormina
Hotel Excelsior Palace
Excelsior Palace Hotel Taormina, Sicily

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