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“A Mixed Experience”

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Sant Alphio Garden Hotel & Spa
Ranked #7 of 38 Hotels in Giardini Naxos
Reviewed 11 October 2013

As others have reported, this place gives the paying customer a very mixed experience. We were allocated a reasonable room next to the lift. We could hear the lift from the bathroom, but not from our room.The room was a good size with a decent bathroom and a small balcony. (Although the architect should be shot as the single light bulb in the bathroom only lit the hand basin, and not the shower).
The walls are paper thin. One night the man next door snored all night and kept me awake for half the night.
The hotel specialised in "Do Not" signs. Do Not wear shorts in the dining room, Do Not take food from the dining room, Do Not enter the hotel without a shirt on, Do Not enjoy yourself. (OK, I made the last one up).
The Dining room was like a Hangar for a super-jumbo. It was huge. This place is given over to rather a lot of Coach parties. At either 7.30 or 8.00 hundreds of coach trippers descend in to the dining room.
The food was Good. Whilst more Sicilian options would be good, each meal that we had was good. Getting the food was a different matter as the waiters were massively over worked. They tried really hard, but there were not enough of them. The wine list was extensive, but over priced for wines that were one third as much in the local supermarket.
The worst aspect was the arrangement for lifts. The hotel has two blocks. One block has two lifts. The other block has only one lift, and that lift only takes 5 people. Tough luck if you are on the top floor and in a queue of 50 people after a couple of coaches have arrived. You wait for ages for the one lift. A very stupid and mean bit of hotel design!!

As to the very mean habit of charging extra for everything, such as towels, wi-fi and so on, that policy was very annoying. Another sign of a cheap hotel??

Room Tip: Ask for a sea view, or a view of Taormina. The higher floors give the best views.
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank ancientobserver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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212 - 218 of 537 reviews

Reviewed 9 October 2013

We had seen some of the previous comments about this hotel and were a little concerned. However, we were pleasantly surprised and enjoyed our four day stay here.

We were part of a Riviera Travel tour. We found the welcome very warming, reception was efficient and helpful and the staff throughout the hotel were very pleasant and curteous.

We had paid extra for a sea view room and although you could just see the sea this was a little disappointing. However, we had a large balcony with a view of Etna as well. The room was very good, large and bright and everything worked. The beds were a little hard. There was a large bathroom and an excellent shower. The room was some way from reception and the dining room but we were glad of the walk after the excellent breakfasts and dinners we had.

We had requested vegetarian meals but this message doesn't seem to have got down to the hotel. However, the hotel jumped into action and the owner produced menus for us for the next three dinners. The food was excellent and of good quality. The only problem was that there was too much of it. A great selection of good local wines at about 18 euro each. Bottled water (large) was 2.5 euro each.

There is a large outside pool and another inside with a spa area. We may have been lucky but we could find little fault with this hotel and we would certainly come back if in Sicily again.

There is only a short walk to the stoney beach where the hotel provides loungers and umbrellas at a charge and a short walk into the town area where there are many restaurants. There is a small supermarket only 200 yards away where you can get most basics.

We were impressed with this hotel and a big improvement on the hotel we stayed in at the beginning of the tour.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Chris R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 October 2013

I was really worried about this hotel from the TA reviews but I didn't need to be. The hotel is really pretty with roman staues around a small pool that we didn't swim in as our days here were full of trips and the wether was cloudy. Our room was clean and comfortable although my bed was a bit hard and I could feel the mattress springs. Everything in our rooms worked although you had to wait for a while for hot water to come through in the shower. I thought that the food was good and 4 courses was too much for me. We had a single choice starter eg quiche, followed by a choice of soup or pasta, followed by a choice of a fish or meat dish, followed by a set dessert eg icecream. On the last night we had a baked alaska in the shape of a vlocano with fire coming out. It looked good and tatsted good. The wine at meal times was priced at about 20 euros a bottle. I tried and liked the lambrusco. Breakfast was the usual buffet spread and there were lovely chocolate croissants and pain au raisin pastries. You could walk from the hotel towards the beach but then along the road to a few touristy shops. There wasn't much there though. The best place to shop was Taormina - walk right through the main street to the end (Porto Catania) then turn right and go up the hill slightly to a supermarket where we got reasonably priced drinks and food to take home (Grappa was only 5 euros a bottle). We also had good food in a restaurant called Moldovia where we had some lovely and very tasty pizzas.
We had a fantastic tour guide, Rosario, on our Riviera Travel tour and he made the holiday fantastico!

Room Tip: All rooms should be OK as the hotel has 2 very fast lifts.
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with friends
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3  Thank LesleyBTadley_Hants
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 October 2013

We stayed at this quite large hotel as part of a tour group. The hotel has sea or mountain views. It is within an acceptable distance to Taormina and Aetna. There is also an archaeological site nearby (still being excavated).
Our room was very small and the furnishings basic. It is mainly for this reason a 4* seems unjustified. We would have liked to use the internet but, with a charge of £3 per hour, decided against it.
We had a breakfast and dinner package. Breakfast was adequate. Unfortunately, coffee could be likened to dishwater. Luckily, dinner, although not brilliant, made up for the standard of the breakfast. It was very tasty and pleasingly arranged on the plate.
Staff could do with more training in making guests feel welcome and maybe, just maybe, even appreciated.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank gemtravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 October 2013

After arriving at the hotel we had to walk a very large distance to our room. After seeing the room and the ash tray on the table (!),we decided we couldn't stay in a room that reeked of tobacco for the next 11days After complaining that other people on the tour had much better rooms, we were given the room allocated to our coach driver. At least this room was closer to the facilities. (Beware room 109. It is extremely small, never sees the sun and has very little view or balcony). It was noisy -being situated next to the kitchens and the delivery area. The next day we were shown 3 more rooms 2 of which were in the same remote area as the first room. One was damp with the paint work crumbling and they were both too far away. We were told that we would have to pay extra for another small room on another floor. After being upset for 5 days we decided to stay put in the coach drivers room. At first we were told we would have to pay extra to stay in that room. We tried our tour company in the UK and the local agent to get a better room -but to no avail. We were told that we should be grateful for the room we had because the hotel wouldn't charge us anymore.- I should think not! The hotel itself was in need of repair the walls outside were cracked and the concrete was coming away in more places than you could count. The picture on line must have been taken when the place was new. It's not like that now. The majority of the staff on reception are in urgent need of training in how to treat guests properly and make people feel welcome. After all we pay their wages.
Please note that the indoor pool, the beach and the gymnasium cost extra!
However there were some very good waiters working in the dining room who helped to make our stay more bearable. If only the hotel owner had kept up with the maintenance... I'm sure that it was a lovely hotel once ( as in the online photo) . As you can tell we will not be back. It should be 1 star not 4.

Room Tip: you need to pay more for a better sized room with a reasonably sized balcony with a view. Rooms on t...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank 603Susan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 October 2013

Just a nice hotel, clean, food average, not enough Italian food on menu though. Paid extra for room with a view, wasn't worth it, but was moved after complaining. The shower in the first room was so small my large husband couldn't even shut the door...Good pool area. Dining room staff so overworked and every move watched, so serious not relaxed or friendly, until the last night??? Felt sorry for them. Breakfast coffee horrible, tip make your own pot of tea each morning with FOUR breakfast tea teabags and you may get a good cuppa.....

Room Tip: 404 shower to small, tiny side balcony, 416 lovely room with view of sea and Etna..
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank JuneHampshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 September 2013

Above 3 star average, but lacking in parts. Very good pool area and gardens. A short walk to the beach where the hotel has its own section and a little longer walk into Giardini Naxos where the is a big selection of restaurants. The hotel looks bright and clean both inside and outside. We paid extra for a view of both the sea and Mt Etna- which we thought was worth it. This is a fairly big hotel with a very big, bright dining room. We had to choose from the limited menu the evening before and with different tour groups the hotel tries to provide different menus and at different times. This all leads to chaos and dinner always took two hours or more. The ordering of drinks at the table was a shambles--even the staff could not read the maître d's and a quarter of drinks were sent back as wrong. No fresh veg or fruit at any time. Breakfast also weak. Some of our party decided to eat out.

Room Tip: Try for an Etna view.
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Stampman26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sant Alphio Garden Hotel & Spa

Address: Marina di Recanati, 98030 Giardini Naxos, Sicily, Italy
Region: Italy > Sicily > Province of Messina > Giardini Naxos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Giardini Naxos
#4 Luxury Hotel in Giardini Naxos
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Giardini Naxos
Price Range: £76 - £215 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Sant Alphio Garden Hotel & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 45
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Sant Alphio Garden Hotel & Spa is located in the heart of Giardini Naxos, close to the most fascinating destinations of the island. A few steps from the sea, the hotel is located in the east coast of the Ionian Sea, in a picturesque setting and evocative, from which you can enjoy a unique view. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sant Alphio Garden Hotel Giardini Naxos
Sant Alphio Garden Hotel And Spa
Hotel Sant Alphio Garden
Sant Alphio Garden Hotel & Spa Sicily/Giardini Naxos

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