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“Best view in Sicily”
Review of Hotel Villa Riis

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Hotel Villa Riis
Ranked #77 of 87 Hotels in Taormina
Reviewed 3 June 2012

Our trip was our second honeymoon and we wanted to make it romantic. We arrived in Taormina by car, after almost a week of driving around southern Sicily, many of them cliff roads. The road leading up to Taormina itself is narrow and very stressful, albeit incredibly breathtaking. So, when we arrived in Taormina without a set destination, we decided to book the first hotel where we could park our car, regardless of cost.

Hotel Villa Riis had just opened for the season, so it had several rooms to offer and, surprisingly, at fairly reasonable rates considering the locale and views. The proprietor was most gracious and welcoming. At one time the Riis would have been considered posh, but although a bit tired, we thoroughly enjoyed our room and our stay. The balcony had THE BEST view in Sicily, overlooking the sea and the hotel's private swimming pool, tennis courts and terraces below. It truly is magnificent!

The hotel is well situated, a bit off the main roads, but an easy (uphill) walk to the center of town and the historical sites. Breakfast was included and offered a bit more than the usual continental fare. The proprietor made our cappuccinos himself; very delicious.

I'd love to go back when the swimming pool is open. However, that would mean the busiest tourist season... and Taormina does get busy with tourists, even in early May. Nonetheless, I do hope to get back someday... and I would definitely stay at the Hotel Villa Riis again.

Room Tip: I'm not sure if all rooms have a seaview, but worth asking!
  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank TorontoOceanBaby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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70 - 76 of 273 reviews

Reviewed 30 January 2012

Hotel Villa Riis

My wife and I stayed here for a week in September 2011.
We've stayed in Taormina a couple of times before, at the San Domenico Palace, and wanted to be at that end of the town, but in a different hotel, something smaller, more friendly.
The Villa Riis seemed to fit the bill so we booked.

On arrival we were shown to our room and were immediately disappointed, the room had an unpleasant smell, the bathroom had a very small shower in one corner with a plastic curtain hanging on a rail but the curtain wouldn't stay closed, and when using the shower the curtain would stick to you preventing you from showering. There was a cupboard with a fridge in it and a safe, the safe wasn't fixed and it locked and unlocked with the room keys - very secure.

The following day after complaining we were given a different room,

After the air freshener had faded we realised this room smelled the same as the previous one, I complained again only to be told it wasn't their fault, it was the fault of the hotel next door, The Excelsior Palace, they had a drainage problem.
The shower in this room was just the same but held up with sticky tape, the sticky tape got wet and the rail dropped, soaking the floor. Incidentally these are their best rooms.

This hotel seems to be run completely with a staff of three. There is no restaurant and the 'breakfast room' is terrible. There is a domestic fridge with a carton of milk and two cartons of fruit juice. A domestic toaster with sliced bread (cling-filmed in two's) some yoghurts, a small quantity of tinned fruit, a few croissants and a few cereals and oh yes a coffee machine.
instead of washing dirty table cloths they were moved from table to table. Six of the seven days we were the only guests, only once was there any other guests, a party of four overnight. that way the dirty cloths would go unnoticed (they thought).


All over the hotel, public rooms, guest rooms and corridors were dark, and I mean dark, all the light fittings had one working bulb - one morning I came out of the bedroom and fell over a piece of furniture on the landing. I complained to the 'receptionist' whom I'm sure didn't believe me, she raced upstairs to check and said she would deal with it - she did, she replaced THE 9 watt bulb!!
The 'bar' is a piece of furniture with a few bottles, but never a member of staff anywhere to be seen.

I will be complaining to the Italian Tourist Board about this hotel.

Outside its desperately in need of maintenance, and a good clean-up. Four Star, you're kidding, I thought Hotel Stars were awarded on facilities, how did this place get any. I understand they have another hotel that has now been closed, how long before this one follows?

Room Tip: Choose one in a different hotel
  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank MFD001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 December 2011

My family, friends and I, a total of 11 people stayed at this hotel. It was our last hotel during our trip to Italy this past June. We stayed at two previous hotels, one in Sorrento and one in Rome and after Taormina we stayed in Palermo. All of which were great in their own way. Hotel Villa Riis, to us, was in great spot. It was a perfect start to each day and night in Toarmina. We didn't spend a ton of time at the hotel as we of course wanted to explore the area, but the hotel was always a joy during the time we were there. The pool out back was very nice and sadly I was only able to make use of it one of the days I was there, but that's because we spent most our time exploring the area. The service was great, everyone was nice and very accommodating. They were having trouble with their WiFi during our visit but were kind enough to let us use their computer when we needed it. Overall we were extremely comfortable in this hotel, and it was actually my favorite hotel of the trip. If I were to travel back to Taormina I'd be more than happy to stay at Hotel Villa Riis again. I miss Italy and most definitely miss my trip to Taormina! And tell Monika at the front desk Joe from Connecticut says hi, she couldn't have been any nicer!

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank Joe C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 October 2011

After a long tour of Sicily, Taormina and the Villa Riis was supposed to be our grand finale! Sadly nothing about this place was in the least bit grand. Having booked a room with a sea view, we were initially shown to our room on the ground floor with a stunning view of the car park. Our stay therefore began with a complaint! We were then transferred to a room with a sea view but a miserabale room it was: damp; drab; tired; tiny; and in urgent need of re-furbishment.

While we unpacked, our children went to play on the tennis court only to find a dead mouse at the entrance to the court, as well as a court covered in mould!

While we waited in reception, before exploring Taormina, imagine our surprise when we overheard the owner talking to his mates in a abusive and demeaning manner using thoroughly foul language about his manager. He plainly assumed we could not understand Italian, but sadly for him we are all fluent in the language. We were utterly shocked.

I am not at all surprised, but saddened, to read of other travellers' tales of unrefunded payments. This seems to be a regular occurance: we too suffered the same fate. Through oversight on out part, we paid twice for our stay. There after our requests for repayment were met with a string of pathetic excuses. Fortunately for us one payment was effected with a credit card so we eventually recovered one payment leaving the credit card company to take the matter further.

Our instinct tells us that it would be difficult to do worse in Taormina...one to avoid!!!

  • Stayed: April 2011
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5  Thank Hulot101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 October 2011

we spent three nights in Villa Riis and we are more than satisfied. Excellent location right in the centre of Taormina. Service was perfect, rooms clean, furniture a bit used. We will be back soon!

  • Stayed: October 2011
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1  Thank VVN_CZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 October 2011

We had booked the Hotel Bristol and were transferred to the Riis - we were at the end of the season and the hotel was mostly empty. Our room had a bad smell coming from the ventilation, the shower was impossibly small, the fitness room was in a state of total disrepair, there was garbage on the walkways outside... Staff was friendly but this hotel was in need of repair.

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled with family
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Thank Neuchatel_traveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 August 2011

not meant to stay here but once we saw the inside we were totally smitten and stayed 2 nights
forget the 4 stars we are traditionally used to speaking as a native of ireland and immerse yourself in a superb sicilian experience, the charm of this hotel rises up to greet you once inside, the staff are a breath of fresh air, extremely helpful and as its at the entrance of a pedestranised street the location of this hotel is excellent
the pool is below floor level with a glass lift to it!!! the breakfast is as one should expects in this wonderful climate and the views from the dining room spectacular
sit back and relax at the pool while gazing at the garden as it casscades over the cliff , on which the hotel is perched

Room Tip: most rooms have the balcony looking out over the sea but double check first!!!!
  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank ritlane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Villa Riis

Address: Via Pietro Rizzo 13 | Sicilia, 98039, Taormina, Sicily, Italy
Region: Italy > Sicily > Province of Messina > Taormina
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#23 Luxury Hotel in Taormina
Price Range: £150 - £288 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Villa Riis 4*
Number of rooms: 44
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Vill Riis is a 4 - star , Baroque style hotel in the real centre on Taormina, only 10 meters from the main avenue Corso Umberto. All rooms are facing the Golf of Taormina and the lovely, always green park and on the right one can enjoy the view of the Mount Etna. Clients can enjoy an amazing sunset on the hotel's terrace while taking a sip of the local wines and listening the relaxing music.During the hot days our clients can refresh themselves in the outdoor swimming pool or they can simply relax by the pool or in the pool-bar. For the lovers of active holidays there is a tennis court which is surrounded by the trees and so offers a refreshing shadow while one is playing. Hotel Villa Riis collaborates with the City of Taormina and the Taormina Art so we are always informed about what is going on in Taormina and we keep informed also our clients by apdating our web site each day. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riis Hotel Taormina
Hotel Villa Riis Taormina, Sicily

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