Firstly, be prepared! Sicily - it is beautiful and contrasting in places, watch the programmes on it to avoid culture shock. For example, there are properties which haven't changed in a century. Like most things you get out what you put in! Be polite and learn a few words then the locals and staff will soon warm to you.
Secondly, it is a very cosmopolitan with visitors and residents from all over the world. This opinion is based on our two week family experience. Around 95% of the visitors and travellers are nice. It was a delight to have a chat with people like Danny Hauser and his wife who run the coach tours from Germany. Sicilians are also very polite, family orientated friendly people who love nothing more than to have a multilingual chat.
The problem as with many places? is a percentage of visitors are maybe not so nice and should not be given a passport to embarrass themselves and their Countries. Queue jumping the bus and overloading their plates like there's a war. The hotel needs to address this problem (maybe have a separate dinning room) as it spoils the nice atmosphere.
Staff are professional but appear quite guarded until they gain confidence that you are not going to abuse them and ruin their hotel. They all take a great an immense pride in their hotel and work well as a team.
They will go the extra mile - well about forty extra miles actually if you ask nicely. Our daughters irreplaceable cuddly toy dog "Dylan" went missing and had "escaped" mixed in the bedding to the capital city Catania the day before our departure. The Receptionist and Manager tracked him down but the laundry had closed!! The Manager somehow arranged for the laundry to be opened up at Saturday 7.30pm on a Bank Holiday weekend and for Dylan to make a speedy 20 mile trip - we guess on a motorbike! Phew!
Lillo and Alexander in the bar were professional, looked smart and always had a smile. They agreed without hesitation for my daughter to use the hotels grand piano to practice daily for her forthcoming exam.
Claudia is an interesting character who is very guarded with the English and is a little too busy at times, however, when my daughter went to Claudia just for an ice cream she returned also with a beer sent for her dad which went down well.
Restaurant service was good, all the waiters and waitresses were attentive and Lauro looked after us - we never waited long for a table or an extra bottle of wine. Nunzio offered to reserve us a table after a few days to save trying to find one at times. The house wine and food especially the seafood and meats were fine to excellent (no chips and baked beans!) but needed to be kept warmer, the carvery was good in the evening too.
Breakfasts are okay but would benefit from a fresh daily variety such as Spanish omelette or pancakes done to order on the hot plate with choices of toppings.
Guiseppe was doing the quieter entertainment & piano most evenings in October, everyone including the Romanian visitors loved the folk music and were all up.
There weren't many children there and not much going on, therefore a games room / games boards should be available for those guests / children that were there in the quieter times when the entertainment teams are not there and for bad weather. There was table tennis near the unheated pool, and the later was well maintained clean and sparkling! The indoor "spa" pool (coldish) and sauna etc should be included free of charge to merit a four star. The policy of requiring having to wearing swim hats is unnecessary with modern pool cleansing systems and made no sense apart from being a rip off.
The room and bathroom was really nice on level 5. There are some fantastic views from the hotel and great walks on the hills at the rear of the hotel which should be promoted! The motorway (goes all round the Sicilian coast) in the bottom is pretty noisy - the government needs to put low noise tarmac down in this location and acoustic barriers, maybe plant some Giant Redwood Trees! The hotel needs to be mindful of the sound proofing of the patio doors in the mean time.
Lifts etc. get you down to the pool or beach without too much difficulty.
The upper pool was nice with fantastic views. Service at the pool bar was intermittent with staff trying to be keep busy in two places at once rather than being stood doing nothing at times at the pool bar. Self service for drinks could be a better option? They should consider sending a couple of their staff to a four star hotel in Spain to compare and cherry pick their best points. There were no all inclusive snacks at the pool bar. Letojanni nearby is a quaint undeveloped and un-commercialised Sicilian sea front and would not certainly suit the those looking for amusement arcades and in your face things to do.
We usually travel 4T with Thomson. As one of the few all inclusive Italian hotels we found this to be clean, well presented and good value and we would consider returning to it again when we return to Italy.
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- Also Known As:
- Olimpo Hotel Letojanni
- Hotel Olimpo Sicily/Letojanni