This is by no means average, it is a few great aspects and a few bad ones. The main attraction for this hotel is that it is very close to the beach, and **some** of the rooms have a beautiful sea view. The negative aspects are access to the rest of Taormina and the tiny bathrooms.
The hotel is located along a road that follows the coast. Beautiful scenery, but no sidewalk and very limited and awkward options for parking. You can easily walk to a couple of beaches that are right across the road.
Normally this should be a great place for strolls, but strangely enough, outside the old town core, Taormina turns out to be not very pedestrian-friendly. There are stairways that cut through the many switchbacks in the roads, but the pedestrian walkways are often in disrepair and sometimes closed.
A big minus for the hotel is that you also have to walk -- along a busy road with no shoulder or sidewalk -- to the cable car that takes you to the center of Taormina and the central bus station, where you would typically arrive from the airport.
You can also walk to the city, but it is either back alleys or along several winding roads with no shoulders or sidewalk. If you plan to stay out late, check the cable car schedule, or be ready to take a cab or walk about 40 minutes to 1 hour.
The sea views are gorgeous, but make sure you get a room with a view. The rooms on the other side of the building are facing a steep hillside. I have seen less depressing views out of airport motels facing the parking lot.
In my experience, the room was clean and kept that way by a very conscientious and generally friendly staff.
My biggest complaint is about the bathrooms. I concur with another review, this was possibly the smallest shower I have seen to date. The bathroom had a sink, a bidet, a toilet, and a shower, all in the space of an American powder room.
What is more annoying about this ridiculously tiny bathroom, is that there was plenty of unused space in the room. Tripadvisor should come up with a rating system for these unnecessarily tiny European bathrooms.
The furniture and the air conditioning were probably from the time the hotel was built (1970's), but that is ok, they were in good working order, including a rotary phone (make sure you show it to your kids, this is probably their only chance to see one).
The staff was friendly, respectful and knowledgeable. Fairly standard but nice breakfast buffet. Good, complimentary wifi.
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- Also Known As:
- Isola Bella Hotel
- Isola Bella Taormina
- Hotel Isola Bella Taormina, Sicily