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“Beautiful but quite unpractical...”

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Porta del Tocco Design Suites
Ranked #34 of 88 Hotels in Taormina
Certificate of Excellence
Paris, France
Level Contributor
52 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Beautiful but quite unpractical...”
Reviewed 12 May 2013

I have very mixed feelings about this small luxury place.
Location is absolutely excellent just off the Corso Umberto which is the main shopping pedestrian street in Taormina from one city gate to another which is very practical when you have a car so you can park at Porta Catania public parking (it will cost you around 15.00 euros for 24 hours) and then come to the hotel by foot (5 minutes).

We had booked a room with a spa bath but being used to travel in the US, I thought we would have both a spa bath AND a classic shower...My mistake. Everything is decorated in white and blue ceramic which is nice but have a kinf of cold feeling to it, a bit unpersonal. The bathroom is super design and looks beautiful at first but ends up being rather unpractical in my opinion.
Trying to shower normally in the spa bath resulted in putting water absolutely everywhere, bath was extremely slippery, you have nothing to put your things on and you don't really know where to hang your towels once wet. If you leave your belongings near the sink, it will get wet either when you shower or either when you turn the water off.
Room is on the small side but the bathroom being separated by glass walls, it gives the impression of a bigger place than what it actually is. You cannot open windows or even open the big white curtain as the big floor to ceiling window of your room is directly on the litttle street and people are passing by and exploring all sorts of little streets in Taormina...
Another thing quite useless and unpractical are the bedside cubes which are too far from the bed sides so if you put your book, phone, watch, whatever, you cannot reach them from the bed, what's the point? LOL
Lots of nice and luxury amenities such as Hermes little soap and beauty kit.
Room key was a magnetic card so we were a bit surprised when we were asked to leave the card at reception everytime we left the place, errr, usually these kind of keys are made so they are "anonymous" so we didn't really get why we had to leave it everytime.

I am surprised to read from another reviewer that this place has agreements with a beach club and another hotel so you can use their pool because it has not been mentioned to us though it sounds important ;-)

I absolutely loved the breakfast, in my opinion, the BEST BREAKFAST in 12 days in Sicily! The only place where fruit juices were really good, nice glasses, jams, cakes, delicious coffee, we loved breakfast especially because you can take it outside, on a quiet little terrace. That felt really luxurious ;-)

All in all a nice little place for a romantic weekend getaway but I insist on the fact that the bathroom is gorgeous for a catalogue, but unpractical in real life.

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Ramblingdoll
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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158 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (12)
Date | Rating
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English first
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
48 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 May 2013 via mobile

As good as the best reviews suggest. Very friendly, helpful service. The room was very smart, and surprisingly quiet, as we were only a flight of steps from Corso Umberto, right at Porta Catania. The tiny balcony, of room 105 giving a view of Mt Etna. The breakfasts beautifully presented and delicious.

Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank OzziePete313
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Denver, colorado
Level Contributor
40 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 May 2013

Highly recommend this small hotel. Service is outstanding. The small hotel has agreements with a beach club and another hotel for use of their pool. We used this service to get to the beach and had a relaxing afternoon in the sun.
Breakfast was sweet and savory- homemade cake each day. Delicious.
Owner was friendly, welcoming and service oriented.
Rooms are tiny but well equipped.

Restaurants we liked: il Duomo and Nicoldi.

Room Tip: Ask for an upstairs corner room.
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank travel5612
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
210 reviews
136 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 171 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 February 2013

The hotel is hosted in a converted house at the very beginning of corso umberto (side of porta catania), so that you have a setting in a very typical location (up a few steps), in a small square in between other historical houses, but the rooms are all very modern. Moreover, what is very good of this hotel is that they only have 5 rooms for now, so the service is very personal and you are really taken care of.

We had one of the rooms facing the yard at the back, it was a lovely, modernly decorated room; the bed is probably one of the most comfortable I have ever slept in. In the morning they serve breakfast, with home made cakes - you may want to make it within the 10,30 end time!

The only thing I didn't particularly like was a sort of constant background noise that seemed to come from the aircon engines that are located in the backyard.

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
2 Thank silviaaroundtheworld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Malta
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 February 2013

Our experience at this hotel was simply outstanding! Upon entering the hotel's lobby, we were greeted with a warm smile and a very friendly 'buona sera' together with the scent of strawberries in the air. The hotel owners proved to be so kind and warm to us throughout our stay and they really tried their best to help us out in the best way possible. Getting in touch with the hotel prior to our stay might have made it easier to find reasonably priced excursions.

The modern decor all throughout the hotel is crisp and inviting. Although the hotel has only 7 rooms and the lobby does become the breakfast dining room, the rooms are spacious and really comfortable. We had the most spectacular of views of the snow-capped Etna and waking up to such magnificient views was truly breathtaking. Breakfast has that luxurious homemade feel to it and being personally served the warm beverages was a sweet touch as opposed to making your own coffee in the morning. Cleanliness, style and luxury is clearly at the top of the owners' agenda.

Some might find Taormina too quiet for them as many hotels and restaurants were closed during this season. However, if getting away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life is what you are after, then Taormina's tranquility and serenity in early February coupled with our experience at the hotel was simply what the doctor ordered for us to unwind for a couple of days.

On a separate note, our room did have a kettle and also cups and saucers but we didn't have any coffee or teabags in the room. This being said, there's a small supermarket just outside the hotel (which we came across during our final ours in Taormina) so you could buy some coffee and make some in your room.

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank JohnPaul V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 January 2013

Located right by Corso Umberto (the place you'll want to be in Taormina), and close to many wonderful restaurants, Hotel Porta del Tocco is a great stay for a very reasonable price. It only has 7 rooms and thus the service and attention to detail in the bedrooms are second to none. It is one of the new breeds of Boutique designer B&Bs, with elegant rooms, gorgeous bathrooms and bright, well-designed common areas.

It's run by a lovely family, who take genuine pleasure in their job and the people who stay there. Breakfast was superb, the best I've had during my 9-day trip around Sicily (and 7 different hotels), with fresh fruit, juices (despite it being January), cakes, breads and even a really nice omelet. Ah, a nice little touch: toiletries are by Hermes! Also worth mentioning is the really nice mattress, guaranteeing two wonderful consecutive nights.

If you are coming to Taormina by car, an extra bonus is it's location right by Porta Catania and it's huge car park, so there's not long to walk with your bags, and the car is secure and in the shade.

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Tania C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Valletta, Malta
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 6 November 2012

So we wanted to take a break, a relaxed atmosphere, some good food and wanted to stay strolling around Via Corso Umberto and drive around from Taormina to different places in Sicily...

Based in Porta del Tocco, a family-run hotel with its fantastic location 1-minute away from Porta Catania but away enough not to have your windows on the main street, protected from the noise, we were able to enjoy a memorable holiday.

We drove up from the airport in Catania to a parking which is just 150 meters away from the hotel and we walked to the hotel, to find Gabriella (La mamma) :) just outside the hotel and she noticed that we were looking for the hotel and welcomed us to the reception were we also met Anna, one of her daughters.

The decor of the hotel reception and the rooms is so fresh, modern yet so warm and welcoming. Room 101, although it has no views, is a gem ;-) Breakfast in the morning is finger-licking, especially the cakes that Mamma Gabriella prepares and sometimes her daughters (sry, forgot the other name) too (try the almond cake with Pistaccios or with Limoncello)...

Every morning we used to bounce off our plan of the day with whoever was at reception, Cinzia was fantastic at suggesting and fine-tuning our plans. Their tips made all the difference... we saved time and visited some really nice places during the day, then on our return, they would also suggest restaurants or Trattorias serving divine food..

To top it all up, Salvatore (the father) ensured that we tasted the best 'Kannoli' that one can find in Sicily... Yummieeee.... he's a really nice chap too taking so much care of all hotel guests!

That's what I call a 5+ star service in a small yet Great hotel!

Tanti saluti amici
M & K

Room Tip: Room 101 is a very nice room on the ground floor with a Jacuzzi... rom 106 (I think) has a nice view...
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  • Stayed October 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Marco V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Porta del Tocco Design Suites

Property: Porta del Tocco Design Suites
Address: Salita Ibrahim, 98039, Taormina, Sicily, Italy
Region: Italy > Sicily > Province of Messina > Taormina
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Room Service Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Taormina
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Porta del Tocco Design Suites 3*
Number of rooms: 7
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Porta Del Tocco Design Suites Taormina, Sicily

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