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“Amazing views of the valley of the temples.”
Review of Hotel Villa Athena

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Hotel Villa Athena
Ranked #1 of 23 Hotels in Agrigento
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 18 May 2012 via mobile

This place is difficult to find by car as are most places in Sicily due to lack of signage. My little rental even got hit from behind during my journey to this hotel. The front desk staff was average friendly. I asked if I could upgrade to a room with a better view and they showed me the suite which had an incredible balcony overlooking the temples an hotel pool. There was also a jacuzzi tub in the room. I had to pay an extra $200 for the night ($450 total) for upgrade but figured what the hell. I figured I deserved it after getting hit on the way there. The parking and wifi were free. Didn't eat in the restaurant for dinner because of all the bad reviews. They sent up fruit which filled me up. I did really enjoy breakfast there though. Waiter was very friendly.

  • Stayed: May 2012
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Thank xrayeyes7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 16 May 2012

We had arranged a three night visit to the Hotel Villa Athena. On arrival we were confronted with a surly receptionist. What seems to have upset him was my request to see the room before we had our luggage taken up there. I was given the impression that it really wasn’t necessary as they were full and even if the room wasn’t suitable I would have to accept it anyway. This is not the reaction one would expect from a five star hotel to a perfectly legitimate request. We had just spent seven days at the exceptional Hotel Villa Ducale in Taormina and I would recommend the reception staff here go and spend some time at this hotel to learn how to welcome and greet their guests.
When we eventually got into our room I decided to have a drink from the mini bar but unfortunately there was no gin and tonic. No spirits were in fact available from the mini bar in the room which I would suggest is not normal for a five star hotel. When I ordered the drink from the bar downstairs I was horrified to be charged €15.
On the first night we decided to have dinner in the hotel’s restaurant as there was no viable alternative without going into the town of Agrigento. The menu looks quite good at first glance, but you have to pay around €20 for a starter and as much again for a main course. Wines start around €35 but we had to pay €43 as the cheaper bottle was unavailable. We waited some time for the food to arrive and when it did my wife’s starter was luke warm and had to be sent back for reheating. No bread was offered until requested. Portions were very modest and the scallops consisted of three very small pieces of fish on a tiny bed of mashed potato. My wife does not have a large appetite but even she had to remark on how small the portions were. The restaurant had no ambiance whatsoever and suffered from a bad acoustics problem. There were about thirty people in the room and the sound made by the other guests was so loud that you couldn’t hear what was being said by the person sitting on the other side of the table. My wife had a pasta dish with sea urchins and was told by the waiter that the pasta was penne. It turned out to be linguine. To be fair my own dishes were delicious, if a little on the small side. Most of the waiters conveyed an air of superiority over their customers although our own waiter was pleasant enough and offered us a complementary plate of homemade biscuits at the end of our meal. The bill was €120 for a couple of two course meals including a modest wine that you could have bought in the supermarket for €5. The whole meal was seriously overpriced. The next morning the problems continued with the breakfast. We ordered a hot meal and the eggs were overcooked and the food seemed to be floating in the water used to cook the eggs. We decided to avoid the restaurant on the next evening and made our own arrangements for dinner, but on the third night we had little alternative but to try the hotel again as the hotel is some way out in the wilds and you cannot get to the restaurants of Agrigento without a hair-raising drive with all the problems of parking your car. As it happened the meal was a massive improvement on the previous occasion. The waiter was charming and helpful with interpreting the menu and explained the ingredients of each dish in great detail. He even gave my wife the recipe for one of the dishes that she particularly liked. Portions were much more generous this time. We decided against the €43 bottle of wine and plumbed for a couple of glasses at €8 each. We had a really great evening and this was mainly due to our friendly waiter.
Regarding the facilities, there is a nice pool in the garden but unfortunately there was the constant sound of rock music being played through the loudspeaker system so we couldn’t stay out there for very long before having to go back to our room for some peace and quiet. How could anyone think (in of all places a world heritage park containing some of the planet’s finest ancient buildings), that constant piped pop music would be a good idea!
There are, though, some more positives. Some people who have been to this hotel are unhappy with the attitude of the staff, but apart from a few isolated cases we found them mostly to be friendly and helpful.
The location is really the main reason for visiting this hotel. Most of the rooms have wonderful views of the Temple of Concordia which are particularly impressive at night when floodlit. Added to which our room was quite large, cool and well appointed with a nice individual sun terrace. The bathroom was of good proportions and there was an excellent shower.
However, there is no way this establishment really deserves a five star rating. They may have a case for having a four stars and I think this is the crux of the problem – in a nutshell the hotel is rather pretentious, thinks it is better than it actually is, and the restaurant and bar are hopelessly too expensive.

Room Tip: Try to get a room with a view of the temple with a sun terrace
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  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank jcbm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 May 2012 via mobile

We had the most glorious room at the Villa Athena where we stayed for 2 nights. Our huge terrace had a direct view of the Temple of Concordia and also the hotel pool and lovely garden. The breakfast was very good. The only regret was having dinner there the first night. The food was just OK but very expensive and the room very loud.

  • Stayed: May 2012
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1  Thank CAgirl92270
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 May 2012

We wish to thank the wonderful staff of Villa Athena in Agrigento for making our stay a very special one. The beauty of our room overlooking the Temples was only surpassed by the discreet and outstanding service. On our first night we had dinner at “Il Granaio di Ibla” and we enjoyed a great “risotto al cedro” seating by the window in a very elegant restaurant. Overall, we highly recommend Villa Athena and its restaurant “Il Granaio di Ibla” to travellers wanting to explore this nice part of Sicily.

Room Tip: Rooms with view of the Valley of Temples
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Si_viaggiare05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 May 2012

the hotel Athena has a wonderful position overlooking the valley of the temples but the restaurant is a disgrace and i would advise travellers not to use it.Tthe staff were totally indifferent to our party and one could say downright rude. the prices were outrageous and the portions pathetic the cheapest wine was 40 Euros a bottle and i saw the identical bottle selling at a local supermarket for 6 Euros a complete rip off.0ur bill was over 220 eorus for one course only and we came out still hungry.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled with friends
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3  Thank michael s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 May 2012

Stayed just for one night at this wonderfull hotel, with the most beautiful view towards the Valley of the Temple, large superior room, beautifully decorated, great beds,spotless clean,free parking, great breafast- the best we had during our 10 days stay in Sicily, they could offer also some fresh vegetables.Nice garden with lots of birds singing in the morning, staff polite and efficient but nobody smiles. Great lobby with lots of books. If visiting the Valley of the temples best walk to the nearest entrace (Hardcastle and Concordia) because their parking place is more than 1,5 km far from the actual entrance .Highly recommended, would return anytime.

Room Tip: ground floor rooms have a balcony and direct access to the garden, 2nd floor rooms have a better vie...
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with friends
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3  Thank Michaela12G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 April 2012

Visited in December of 2011. Staff was attentive, room was very nice with a great view off the patio of the Temple of Concord (which was nicely lit at night). Food was excellent too.

Stayed: December 2011, travelled solo
2  Thank K_S_685
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Villa Athena

Address: Via Passeggiata Archeologica 33, 92100, Agrigento, Sicily, Italy
Phone Number:
Region: Italy > Sicily > Province of Agrigento > Agrigento
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Agrigento
#1 Romantic Hotel in Agrigento
#1 Spa Hotel in Agrigento
#1 Luxury Hotel in Agrigento
#1 Business Hotel in Agrigento
Price Range: £89 - £464 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Hotel Villa Athena 5*
Number of rooms: 27
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Villa Athena re-opened in July 2009 after an extensive and authentic restoration which lasted one year. The entire villa underwent a massive renovation to meet international luxury standards. The hotel features 27 large comfortable rooms and suites, most of them facing the enchanting Tempio della Concordia. A traditional cuisine-based restaurant Il granaio di Ibla, a Lounge bar, an outdoor swimming-pool and a gorgeous park complete the outstanding services of this new luxury property. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Athena Hotel Agrigento
Hotel Villa Athena Agrigento, Sicily

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