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“Don't go with Thomson!”

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Grand Hotel Miramare
Ranked #27 of 87 Hotels in Taormina
Certificate of Excellence
bath
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Don't go with Thomson!”
Reviewed 3 December 2008

My friend & myself (2 young at heart grannies) booked this hotel through Thomson holidays and paid £210 supplement each for a superior room sleeping up to 3 with seaview & balcony. When we arrived we were offered a low level room, very dark due to the large palm tree outside, which you could just glimpse the sea if you stood to one side. We asked for the level of room we had paid a hefty supplement for & were eventually shown to a higher room with tiny balcony just room for 2 plastic chairs, & very small, no room even for a rollaway bed, let alone a proper one. To cut a long story short, the manager refused a larger room without the payment of any extra 35 euros a night, & theThompson rep was useless, saying they didn,t like him looking at the rooms!!!! No wonder they have a problem. While we were there several other people had similar problems, but the outstanding factor was that they were all women travelling together - 2 girls had been put in the notorious 605 room next to the lift, & were told the hotel was full, even though it obviously wasn,t. We wrote to Thomson to ask for our supplement to be returned as we had not received the accommodation paid for, but after a delay of over 2 months they wrote back to say the Hotel said they had given us a room with a balcony so they wouldn,t pay it. Their attitude was that they would take the Hotel's word against their customers, even though we pointed out that there seemed to be a problem with their attitude to women travelling together. We enjoyed our holiday tremendously, & the posiition, views & food were all great - it was such a shame that the management here have an arrogant & grasping attitude, that is tolerated by Thomson. Go by all means, but not through Thomson & if your women on your own be prepared for hassle!

  • Stayed September 2008, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank glamgranBath
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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London
Level 5 Contributor
52 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 September 2008

Bell Air deal for 10 day stay, Miramare a fatanstic hotel with very good views, air conditioning, breakfasts and cleanlines. Amazing pool so clean and quiet but one terrible Italian family spoiled it at weekends - we think they were friends of the owners???They should know better and not let them make all that noise by the pool side.

  • Liked — Location and quiet
  • Disliked — noisey family by the pool
  • Stayed September 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank Lola006
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sawbridgeworth
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 September 2008

We have just returned from 7 days in Taormina. I booked directly with the Grand Hotel Miramare some 6 months earlier and all was confirmed and the price agreed dependent upon receipt of a Fax for the deposit information. This I duly sent. My telephone supplier confirmed transmission. Some 3 weeks prior to departure I contacted the hotel reception who said that, as they had not heard from me, they had cancelled the reservation. Despite having all my contact details the hotel never tried to contact me. I should have taken this as a sign! However, I managed to get a Superior Double room for 6 nights and had to find another establishment for the extra (first) night. We stayed at the “Villa Carlotta”. How I wish we had stayed there for the entire time.

The hotel was generally clean and well presented. The staff were reasonably helpful. The one thing that can be said about the room was that the view was great and the balcony of a good size. Despite having requested and agreed a double room we were given a twin room that could not be changed for the duration. Moreover the single beds were little, if anything, over 2 foot 6 inches wide. As the floor was laminate, sitting up in bed caused the bed to slide away across the room.

We pre-booked a dinner reservation some 2 weeks before arrival and requested a table at the edge of the outside balcony affording the best view. When we turned up on the day at the allotted time we were shown to table that gave little or no view. When I tried to explain my booking I was told firmly that all of the “view” tables were reserved!

The dinner menu consisted of a set menu and an A le carte section. The set menu is fine for half board but very expensive on its own and much more expensive than the experience warrants. We both had a self-service hors-d’oeuvre from the fixed menu followed by the fish of the day (sea bass) and a bottle of wine at the lower price end of the list (€19). We had no other course or dessert but the bill was €90.

I have seen reviews that praise the breakfast. I cannot be so kind. We tended to arrive for breakfast an hour or more before the termination time. The eggs and bacon were always just warm. On one occasion the daily fruit salad bowl was empty. When we requested a top-up we were told coldly that it had all gone and we should select an apple or peach. The cups were dirty on more than one occasion.

My wife suffered insect bites nightly in bed. It is possible it could have been mosquitoes, referred to in earlier reports. On the other hand there may have been an alternative cause.

Overall our stay was not a disaster and we accepted the deficiencies with grace. However, no way can this hotel justify a 4 Star rating. At best 3 stars would be fair. It is on a par with a Holiday Inn Express or Quality Inn with a magnificent view. It is certainly very expensive for what it has to offer and I would not recommend it to anyone else.

  • Liked — The view
  • Disliked — Asked for Double and got Twin!
Stayed September 2008, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Travelle234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brighton
Level 5 Contributor
39 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 125 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 September 2008

In May I booked and paid for a break at the Hotel Sirius via a travel agent. However, just weeks before departure I was telephoned to say the Sirius had double booked and there was no room for me. I was quite annoyed as I had spent time researching a hotel to stay in and had paid in full at the time of booking. Anyway, the agent booked me into the Hotel Grand Miramare with a sea view balcony and assured me it was a slightly better grade hotel. I researched the Miramare on Tripadvisor before accepting the change.
I requested that I was not located in a room adjacent to the lift having read Tripadvisor and was given room 506 with a fantastic sea view balcony. The room was clean and comfortable and the air con excellent and welcome as temperatures in September were reaching 35c.
There was some noise as some of the fifth floor is located below the bar/restaurant/breakfast room area. I was woken at 2am one day by staff clip-clopping across the ceiling, moving furniture and sweeping. When breakfast starts you can hear people above so you will usually be woken by about 8am. However, most of the time noise was not a problem.
The beds were comfortable and the mini bar well stocked. There is a tv which has some English news channels available, but nothing else if you are interested, and there are English newspapers available in reception and books to borrow. Italian plumbing is rarely efficient and the bathroom in my room was no exception. The shower would leak through the bottom of the bath making the tiled floor wet. There was a drain in the centre of the floor to allow the water to drain away but the floor was slippery so beware. I do not know if this happens in other rooms.
The hotel was very pleasant, with a lovely breakfast room offering indoor and balcony seating. The breakfast was excellent: bacon, scrambled eggs, fried tomatoes, bread, rolls, cereal, cheeses, salami, yoghurt, fresh fruit, juices and look out for the freshly squeezed Sicillian orange juice which is in a jug, not in the chiller machines. The staff were attentive.
The pool area is also lovely and peaceful. I could always get a lounger, choose one with an umbrella if you are adverse to the odd ant dropping on you from the little trees located on one side of the pool. The bar area is also very pleasant and cool and the snacks ie salad and bruschetta very good. You can even have tea/wine or a beer brought to your lounger. Lovely.
When I was there, it was quiet with most people being English/Irish and over 35. We would sit around the pool in peace reading books and taking a gentle dip. I didn't enter into chatting with other visitors as I wanted to enjoy my own space, but everyone is polite and respectful. The pool is one metre deep at the shallow end and three metres at the deep end. There were some English "mature" visitors who were non-swimmers but who could take a dip at the shallow end and enjoy the water without being intimidated by swimmers ploughing up and down the pool. The pool is down a large number of steps but they wind through gardens and you can meander up them and there are opportunities to stop for a breather. There are some seats about half way up. However, if you have knee/hip or mobility problems it may be too much to tackle.
I didn't try the hotel restaurant but often pianist would be tinkling in the evening making it a pleasant experience to sit on the balcony with a glass of wine. One tip, make sure you wear long trousers/sarong and a long sleeved shirt on hot/calm nights on the balcony as there are mosquitos which leave nasty angry bites....and check your room is lear of them before lights out.
The hotel is perfectly located next to the little bus stop where most trips depart and it is a only a few minutes stroll to the main street. Taormina is very touristy and at the weekend it is packed with Italians taking their evening strolls and the restaurants are packed, but the buzz is great if you don't mind crowds and pushchairs. These large crowds disappeared in the week in September.
Prices in Taormina seem to be higher than other similar sized Italian towns/cities I have visited and are probably on a par with Florence and Rome. On average for a starter, main course and a litre of house wine and water, expect to pay £55 Euros for two. If you have a large appetite it could prove quite expensive to eat out twice a day. I ate a hearty breakfast and the had a cannoli or ice cream for lunch as it was too hot to eat in the day and then enjoyed an evening meal. On one occasion I stopped at a wine bar and two of us ordered two glasses of red wine each which came to 25 Euros in total for a low end priced wine.
You must take a trip to the summit of Etna which is an experience not to be missed. There are many tour operators around, but I took a Etna by sunset trip with jeep travel with SAT tours, costing 72 Euros. It was amazing, but take a coat with a hood, possibly gloves, long trousers and sturdy shoes. It seems weird packing them with summer clothes, but once you get to the top you will be more than grateful. It was so windy on the summit it was quite frightening and some people had trouble standing upright. You also get pelted with tiny, sharp stones and grit so the long trousers and hood are vital. I had to kneel down to stay upright at some point but to see red hot lava is amazing.
Also take a trip on the cable car (3 Euros 50 cents return)to the beach and when you get to the bottom, follow the signs to the Isola Bella and walk to the part of the beach which is free to use. The water is refreshing and enjoy a snorkel to see the fish around the island. Another tip, you must take beach/aqua shoes to swim in as I, and other swimmers, cut their feet on the tiny barnacles and shells on the ledges under the water. For those that burn easily, take a rash/tee shirt to swim in as the sun is extremely strong and there is no shade.

  • Liked — The tranquil pool
  • Disliked — Mosquitos on a hot, calm night
  • Stayed September 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Pressgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aberdeen
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 9 September 2008

I have just returned from 2 weeks holiday in Taormina staying at the Hotel Miramare and would have to say that the majority of reviews about the hotel are about right. The hotel was in a good location for the town just a 10 minute walk on the flat and opposite the bus station great for trips! The 192 steps down to the pool were not a problem but the 192 steps up were quite taxing for an unfit 50 year old!

We were on B&B and only ate once in the restaurant as it was quite a limited menu and to get a table on the lovely outdoor balcony you had to book in advance otherwise you ate inside pretty much on your own. Breakfast was very limited, scrambled egg, bacon and tomato every day and cold meats and cheese and pastries, depends on what you like but I felt that there could have been more variety. Choice of food at the pool was extremely limited and expensive for what are essentially snacks and if you plan to be at the pool most days this can be a problem and expensive.

We did have a problem when a bag which I had been using for my dirty clothing disappeared off the top off my case after a week and when I immediately quieried what had happened to it, thinking perhaps it had been mistakenly taken either to the laundry or for a bag of rubbish I hit a blank wall. The reception said they would ask the maid but later that day no one seemed to know about my request so it was once more written down and the next day I was told the maid hadn't seen it. Despite further questioning the staff were just not interested and I had to accept that I wouldn't see the clothes again. Havng read other reviews it appears that they are not good handling problems / complaints.

We didn't find the balcony or 'water works' the problem that others did and the room whilst not large was adequate for our needs. the weather was great and we really enjoyed our stay in Taormina but am not sure i would return to this hotel

Helpful?
1 Thank Amelia55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
london
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 September 2008

Booked with Expedia the hotel Sirius but when I rang the hotel to inquire about a sea view with balconey they informed me that they had double booked and we were going to the Miramare for two days then back to them.This was unaceptable so after e-mailing Expedia Michael from the Northern Irland office got us an upgrade superior room with a balconey and a superb sea view for the eight days in the Miramare well done Michael and Expedia.The people on the reception were very helpful and spoke good English,the room was lovely and clean and was replenished with clean towels every day,we only eat breakfast there which was fine [forget the tea you are in Italy] The swimming pool was good with a great attendent who provided towels but be warned it is 186 steps down from the hotel so dont forget anything from your room as it is a steep climb back up.The hotel provides a shuttle service to 2 beaches which are stony and we went to Naxos beach which is sandy and great for swimming.Eating out try the Nino Trattoria just down the road from the hotel,Cambero Rosso pass the first arch and it is down on the left and down from the cable car on the beach to the left another great retsaurant[forgot the name] all these had great food and a warm welcome.Forget high heels just flip flops and trainers,enjoy.

  • Liked — the location and the room with balconey and view
  • Disliked — some of the staff at breakfast
  • Stayed September 2008, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank LondonTennisfan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leeds
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 August 2008

We have just returned from a two week stay at the Miramare - it was a fantastic hotel based on our experience. The location is perfect, 5 mins walk from the centre of Taormina and also ideal for excursions as it is a minute away from the bus station. However, it was extremely peaceful with delightful views. We'd recommend getting a room on the top floor with sea view and balcony - ours had a stunning view and on most days we could even see across to the Italian mainland (don't be put off by one rather unsightly building in the vicinity!!!). All the staff were extremely polite and friendly without being over the top. The pool attendant is a very friendly character and will no doubt tell you, if you are a pale Englishman like me, that your arms look like mozzarella! If you ask for a parasol/umbrella he will shrug his shoulders and say that it's not going to rain today (but he will still get you one anyway).

We went on four excursions, beware if you book with the same well-known travel company as us that they do not actually offer the trips to Palermo/Monreale and Agrigento even though they advertise them in their welcome booklet and on their excursion website. However, you can easily book these in the resort, we'd recommend SAT tours (office on Corsa Umberto). The Teatro Greco in Taormina itself was great, with stunning views of Etna.

The pool area was spacious, with plenty of free sunbeds and towels. There was a relaxing atmosphere and a nice snack bar (bruschetta, salads, pasta etc). The room was very comfortable, with good air conditioning, which we needed, and clean. Food was great, but you might want to pop into Taormina for a pizza or an evening meal occasionally for a bit of variety if you are staying half-board for longer than a week.

Overall, a fantastic holiday in a fantastic resort. We'd definitely return.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — N/A
  • Stayed July 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank JakeandMay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Grand Hotel Miramare

Property: Grand Hotel Miramare
Address: Via Guardiola Vecchia 27, 98039, Taormina, Sicily, Italy
Region: Italy > Sicily > Province of Messina > Taormina
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#20 Luxury Hotel in Taormina
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Grand Hotel Miramare 4*
Number of rooms: 68
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Grand Hotel Miramare is located only 400 meters from the centre of Taormina, just a short walk away from the funicular and the Greek theatre. The hotel, an old villa, is set within a verdent park and offers a spectacular view of the Messina Straight and Calabria. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grand Hotel Taormina
Grand Hotel Miramare Taormina, Sicily

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