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“luxurious and one of it's kind” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Castello di San Marco Charming Hotel & SPA

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Castello di San Marco Charming Hotel & SPA
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Calatabiano
Certificate of Excellence
London
1 review
“luxurious and one of it's kind”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 September 2010

I had such a lovely time here, and felt it was a top quality location.

The food in the restaurant is second to none, especially if you eat fish. The restaurant service is attentive and timely, and I found all of the staff very friendly. I also enjoyed the appertif outside garden.

I would definitely return to this hotel, especially for antoher Romantic break.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank LondonKaleyb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
castelloxxx, Direttore at Castello di San Marco Charming Hotel & SPA, responded to this review, 25 September 2010
Dear Guest,
we are so glad that you have apreciated us especially our restaurant that is considered our top service.
Italy is famous for the food so I'ts absolutely a must for us to continue that tradition of quality and taste.

Hoper to guest you again at Castello.

best regards from me and my proud staff
D. Murabito
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656 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (31)
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English first
Cambridge, UK
Level Contributor
42 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 August 2010

A very good hotel, but not quite making the Excellent rating. I summarise my experience as:

Location: Very good. Close proximity to the beach, a great pool, easy to get into Naxos for excellent food, easy to drive into Taormina (which is great to visit but I wouldn't want to stay there - much too hectic). Easy drive to Etna. All round a good location, which means your are close enough to places you want to visit.

Service: Excellent. Very difficult to fault the service. Everybody was friendly. The maids and cleaning staff always made the effort to say hello, the hotel management was helpful and effiicient. When we did have reason to raise an issue with them the management handled it extremely well. The resturant staff were superb - the head waiter in the evening was faultless.

Food: The breakfast was good. The dinner was superb - excellent food, wine and service. It was very difficult to fault anything in the restaurant. It's an expensive experience, but good quality and worth it for a few nights during our stay.

General Cleanliness and Room: The hotel is well kept and the room was very well maintained - no problems at all with cleanliness. The air conditioning worked well and the room (in our case a suite) was a very pleasant retreat at the end of the day.

Noise: The only issue I had with the hotel during my 8 days was noise late in the evening. I am pretty sensitive to this so its a big issue with me. The hotel is a big venue for weddings, dinner parties etc. On one night a kids sing along started at 11:30pm right outside our room, complete with amplified music and microphone. One of the hotel staff was apparently trying to entertain the kids of dinner guests who were elsewhere. It wasn't good, but to be fair it stopped after a couple of guests complained. The attitude of the hotel management was excellent in responding to the situation. On another occasion, a (very posh) wedding came with music that was a little distrurbing up to midnight. On the last night music from somewhere down the road kept us up until after midnight. It wasn't bad, but for 3 nights out of 8 our sleep was disturbed from 11:30 to a worst case of 12:30. The extent to which this causes a problem depends on where your room us - ours was fairly near the front so may have been worse.

Value for Money: Our room was expensive. I didn't like the fact that we had to pay 15 euros extra to use the private beach - that felt a bit money-grabbing to me. The restuarant was expensive, but good, so just about value for money. On the whole, just about value for money.


On the whole we had a great stay at this hotel. The extensive grounds gives a feeling of space and class and the professional approach of the staff was excellent.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank topblue99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
castelloxxx, Direttore at Castello di San Marco Charming Hotel & SPA, responded to this review, 25 September 2010
Dear Guest,

we are so glad to receive that kind of detailed rewievs that make us more sensible and precise to the things apreciated and the improvable ones.
We preserve the guests relax thats why that evening we sort the problem in less that 60 second, I know you remeber that.
anyway i want tank you about the time you have dedicated to write your impression. we will make treasure of it.

Hope to guest you again at Castello.

Best regards and kiss me Cambridge that is one of the pretty british town I have in my hearth.

Best regards
Daniele Murabito
GM
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Norway
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 July 2010

We arrived at the hotel the 2nd of June 2010, and our overall impression was that the castle was not very well taken care of. The garden was not very fit, and there were lots of dead flies and dirt in all of the 3 rooms we had booked. As we were supposed to stay at their most expensive suite for a week, and also celebrate our wedding in Taormina, I guess that our expectations were higher.

It was early season, maybe thats the reason? I dont know.

At my (our) wedding day (the 4th of June), in the afternoon, we were having champagne in the bar at Castello San Marco waiting for going out for the wedding dinner. Suddenly a bartender came over and told me that I had to go and change and take of my wedding dress. I thought he was kidding.

In a while, the banquet manager, came and told me straight out that they had another wedding at the hotel, and it was exlcusive, so I had to go to my room and wear something else. I tried to say that we only were in the bar for a couple of hours, and that we would leave the hotel for dinner, but he could not accept that. He required me to go and take of that wedding dress right now! He said over and over again that it was his hotel, that he had a big wedding that had the priority, and that we had to do as he said. I tried to explain that this was our wedding and special day as well, but he kept answering that I could not stay at the hotel wearing my wedding dress.

He sure knew from our earlier emails that we were getting married that day, and that we would be at the hotel. He could have told us three weeks before that he had a double booking, and that there was an exclusive wedding that would make it impossible for me to wear any sort of wedding dress at Castello San Marco. (something unheard of in any part of the world, or what?).

We had to pack all our things and check out of the hotel that very evening. Our kids were frightened by the loud discussions and we were really worried that we would get into more trouble if we arrived back after dinner and the other bride saw us returning. Before we left, the banquet manager confirmed that the hotel would keep the deposit that we already had paid, and charge us for the restaurant extras and the bar bills that we had consumed during our stay. No other expenses or room nights would be charged. (We had booked 7 nights and left after 2)

We paid our bills and left.

Short summary: I was ordered by the Castello San Marco to go to my room and get out of my wedding dress, then I was told that other non-hotel but dinner guests are more important than us, my family and friends were all upset, I was shouted at and we had to pack our things and move - on my very wedding day. After being assured twice - with witnesses - that we would not be charged for anything more than we had paid for when we left, I am now charged 3,460.00 Euro to my credit card.

I have tried to contact the hotel by email three times after we got back home, but they just dont reply to my requests. They have kept my money with no excuse or explanation.

I just cant recommend anyone to stay here, as I would not trust them in any way.

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
16 Thank Marina1973
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
castelloxxx, Proprietario at Castello di San Marco Charming Hotel & SPA, responded to this review, 6 August 2010
We totally disagree with the review above. we are available to anyone who wanted to know further information about this sad story. Unfortunately the rules of tripadvisor don't allow us to describe the real situation in a public way, we just leave to your imagination how serious are our reason of disgreement . We are a professional and charming hotel and our first target is your satisfaction, your smile, your joy, nothing else.
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London
Level Contributor
68 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 July 2010

Wow! a beautiful hotel in a lovely park with a fantastic pool and a great restaurant.

Wow! outstanding service with attentive staff.

Almost Wow! The classic rooms are quite basic, next time we go we will opt for the romantic rooms or a suite.

Just returned from a 6 night break with my wife and our close friends (another couple). The hotel exceeded our expectations and although we were a little disappointed in the room we are already discussing a return trip.

Rooms - we had a classic room, this is a single roomed cottage with a gallery bed. Access to the bed was via a steep staircase. Air conditioning is excellent although it does tend to be quite warm on the bed level. The bathroom was small but the shower excellent. All the usual amenities - hairdryer, TV, minibar etc. The rooms are cleaned daily and towels replaced.

Pool - one of the best, if not the best pool area, I have ever been to in all my travels. It’s massive, set in a paved area in the park with bushes and lawns surrounding the whole area. The loungers are wood and cushioned under a parasol and yellow fluffy towels are provided. There’s no need to reserve beds as there are easily enough for every guest. If you prefer the beach the hotel has a private section about 3 minutes walk away – there is a small charge (I think 13 euros for 2 loungers and a parasol per day).

Restaurants – Breakfast and Dinner are served in a lovely tented courtyard within the old castle area. The breakfast was very substantial with enough choices to satisfy all palates. I’m a vegetarian and had no problems. Dinner was sumptuous (try the ravioli). Igor (The maitre D – who is Sicilian despite his name) was both courteous and friendly – suggesting dishes or changes to accommodate our individual tastes.

Lunch is served at the poolside and has some great choices. It was our favourite meal of the day – try the white wine produced on the hotel’s estate. Drinks can also be ordered and brought to your lounger – always a sign of a quality hotel.

From 6pm to 8.30 they provide pre-dinner drinks and canapés in a lovely pergola with sofas and candlelight.

Service – faultless – the staff were outstanding, for example I had been a dinner venue for some mosquitoes (I was the only one in our party) and Arianna arranged for one of the receptionists to visit a pharmacy to buy cream and sprays for me. The front desk of Arianne, Elizabeth and Simone provided a first class service and nothing was too much bother for them. The other stars of their staff are Paolo who seems to single handedly run the wine bar; lunch; pool side service and the evening cocktails – he went out of his way to make us fell really special; and Elena and Carmela the waitresses who always greeted us with a smile.


Pros: Great Service; fantastic pool; lovely food and wine, beautiful location, outstanding staff

Cons: a taxi to Taormina costs 30 euros each, There is a bus 4 times a day which is 2 euros. If you have a car then this ought not to be an issue. The hotel should introduce a shuttle service.

The wine bar closes at 11.30 pm – this is a little frustrating as we often returned from Taormina after midnight and would have liked somewhere to sit and have a drink.

The classic rooms are not as well appointed as others but don’t let this put you off going there – you’ll spend most of your day by the pool / on the beach.


Some Tips
Restaurants
Nero D’Avola – in an alley way just inside Taormina’s Catania Gate – our best meal of the trip

La Botta – a great Trattoria – full of tourists and locals - great Sicilan food and wine

The hotel can arrange a taxi from Catania Airport for 90 euros but I used www.Taxi-airport-transfers.com and arranged the same trip for 65 euros each way

The hotel arranged a great trip to the godfather villages - we had a personal driver (Enzio) who made up the itinerary to suit us.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Fillanderer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
castelloxxx, Proprietario at Castello di San Marco Charming Hotel & SPA, responded to this review, 25 September 2010
Dear Guest,

we have no words to describe how we have apreciated that amazing rewiev.
detailed and precise like never before.
On behalf of my staff I thank you so much and hope to guest you again in Sicily.

Kind regards
Daniele Murabito
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
47 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 July 2010

Just had a lovely six days at this very beautiful hotel. The staff were incredible, nothing was too much trouble. The swimming pool and gardens are exquisite and no fights for beds! The restaurant and staff were excellent. A nice haven to come back to after bustling Taormina.

Make sure you book a bedroom on one floor (ours had a very steep ladder staircase) which might not be good for everybody. . Might be a good idea to hire a car as buses do not run very often and taxis are expensive. Not very far from Taormina which is charming.

There were two weddings whilst we were there but you don't even notice them.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Sightseeer11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
castelloxxx, Proprietario at Castello di San Marco Charming Hotel & SPA, responded to this review, 25 September 2010
Dear Guests,

thank you so much for the time spend on the rerwiev about us.
we inform you that the romantic rooms will be completely renovated soon.
we are also thinking to organize a free shuttle bus to taormina for all our guests.
Anyway we hope that your stay at castello was relaxing.

best regards
Daniele Murabito
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Frankfurt
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 July 2010

We arrived late afternoon. Receiption was nice and helpful and showed us around. We booked a romatic room which means - sleeping room on the upper floor and batch and living room donstairs. The rooms are nicely decorated. Minus is: the rooms with numbers around 110 are really closed to garden restaurant. As Italian eat lately you will have lot of sounds till 23.30 and from 7.30 due to breakfast activity. It is not very loud but can disturb. Breakfast is for italian standard really good with scrambled eggs, fresh fruits, cheese, rolls, toast, etc.. The pool is great but the lifeguard is a bit unfriendly. Pool can only be used till 6pm and only one towle per person. It is a bit ridiculous, but take it with a smile because the rest is really great. The surrounding is quiet, 3 min to the beach. 35 min to Catania.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank plinius05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
castelloxxx, Direttore at Castello di San Marco Charming Hotel & SPA, responded to this review, 22 July 2010
Dear Guests,

we are so glad to receive your positive review and we will keep in consideration the details mentioned.
The swimming pool service include one towel each guest p.d. anyway is alwais possible have infinite extra towel with one little extra charge, that's becouse some unpolite guests stayed here in past take 3/4 or more towels in one single day and that's unfair and anti-ecologic attitude.
Anyway we aplologize for that and hope to guest you again. Best Regards Daniele Murabito GM
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London
Level Contributor
27 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 July 2010

We stayed here to celebrate our wedding anniversay and certainly chose the best place on the island. We had a room upgrade to a palatial suite and found the staff and service to be wonderful. We ate in the charming restaurant and the food was excellent. We went to the top of Mount Etna, Taormina and drove all around - the hotel is in a great location. Not to be missed

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank dizzie8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
castelloxxx, Proprietario at Castello di San Marco Charming Hotel & SPA, responded to this review, 25 September 2010
Dear Guests,

we are so glad that you have choosen us for your anniversary.
we also thank you about the time spent to write that nice rewiev about castello.

hope to give you a warm welcome during your next trip to sicily.

best regards
Daniele Murabito
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Additional Information about Castello di San Marco Charming Hotel & SPA

Property: Castello di San Marco Charming Hotel & SPA
Address: Contrada San Marco 40, 95011 Calatabiano, Sicily, Italy
Phone Number:
Region: Italy > Sicily > Province of Catania > Calatabiano
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Calatabiano
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Castello di San Marco Charming Hotel & SPA 4*
Number of rooms: 27
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Castello di San Marco charming hotel & SPA, a boutique romantic hotel immersed in a luxuriant park, on the glittering Jonian sea, between Taormina and the volcano Etna, this noble castle represented a splendid example of Sicilian Baroque architecture and well describe a part of the Sicilian History. The unique beauty of Castello di San Marco is timeless and is adapted to romantic and relaxing holidays, with its tranquil exteriors and elegant, softly lit interiors.30 elegant and charming suites take place in the park surrounding main building, SPA & beauty center , fine restaurant, wine lounge with a selection of 250 fine wines, very large swimming pool, private beach, tennis court, private parking, mediterranean park. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Castello Di San Marco Charming Hotel And Spa
Castello Di San Marco Calatabiano
Castello Di San Marco Charming Hotel & SPA Sicily/Calatabiano

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