Just arrived yesterday and my only negative comment is having to leave the hotel and Sicily! I had the same concerns originally after reading the negative reviews but in my opinion they must have been staying in a different hotel!!! I was greeted by Luigi at reception who had upgraded my room (based on an e-mail request made 3 months ago) and the view from my balcony (Room 225) was simply breath taking ( swimming pools, palm trees and a breathtaking view of the sea and the other side of the island where a small town known as Portocello is located).My room was a good size and the bathroom was great ( excellent water pressure ,rain-water shower and a separate hand-held shower too) . There is no bath but with 2 pools and the sea, what more would you want? Ladies, there is a lovely long mirror with a powerful lamp nicely positioned so you can dress comfortably. Just to say, Italians dress up in the evening , so make sure you bring a frock. It is very classy! The hotel is located in an isolated area called Zagarella but if you are not driving, the hotel provides a regular shuttle service into Palermo for 25 euros there and back. I believe it is worth it as it is a good 40 minutes drive in to Palermo. As I was initially travelling on my own , it was important that the return car would meet me at the designated point and I would not feel stranded. Guiseppe the manager of this shuttle service telephoned me regularly while I was in Palermo to ensure that I was safe and that I knew how to travel to meet him for my return. I booked to be in Palermo town for 5 hours and the car was prompt and met me at the agreed time and that was my first day.This was just one of many kind gestures. You could also walk to Santa Flavia train station and take the train into Palermo for 4 euros each way. The same shuttle is provided to many other destinations so you will not feel stranded without a car. The swimming pools are all salt water pools and if you go walk past the first pool and the bar and its lounging area, you will see stairs going down towards the second pool. The surroundings of this entire area is like an oasis dotted with exotic flowers and plants. There is a beach restaurant here too so you can laze by the pool or sea and then lunch . The waiters are excellent! Again I must say being your own it is slightly awkward when you have to eat on your own but I was made to feel so welcome by Fabio and Nino. Grazie mille Nino and Fabio!!The service was simply excellent and they always tried to please.The food was delicious too and just in the right portions. Try the black pasta, the pasta with prawns ad pasta vongole! Water is slightly pricey but you can buy water from a nearby supermarket in Portocello at 1.50 euros for 4 (1 litre bottles). I swam in the sea nearly everyday, the sea water is warm and is supported by a number of rocks to ensure the tides are managed. You can also swim to the rocks easily and if you are wearing goggles, you will see tiny fish living amongst the corals on the sea bed. My cousins joined me on the fourth day and we went snorkeling too. The hotel has a scuba diving school and organises snorkeling trips. This was fabulous but not long enough (1.5 hours). It costs 25 euros and you are provided with the snorkeling gear and the motor boat takes you out to open sea. The water currents were not so bad on the day we went so we did not need to use our flippers. It was stunning and you could see red starfish and beautiful silver and yellow fish as you dive in. Throughout the day, the hotel organises entertainment for the kids by the pool. The kids look like they are having a great time. There is pool volley ball for the adults, salsa by the pool and lots more. I loved the music that was played throughout the day by the hotel. It would range from mood music to Italian music to pop music. In the evening, you could have buffet dinner on the second floor or ala carte dinner on the first floor and we ate in the restaurant located on the first floor most nights as the food was delicious and service was superb. The prices at the restaurant in the hotel were similar to most restaurants in Sicily and compared to London, I felt it was very reasonable (about 20 -25 euros with starters ).The managers of the restaurant (Maurizio and Domenico) were always trying to please and we even got treated to a bottle of Sicilian wine and dessert on my last night. By the pool happy hour starts at 6pm and finishes at 8.30pm and most of the guests could mingle and were entertained by various dances organised by the hotel. Giuli and others are the event organiser girls who are in charge of making everyone comfortable including playing with the kids. Although, I have no kids, I could see the children (2-8 years) were having a great time so I would say this hotel is ideal for family holidays too.
There is also a separate company located in the reception area who deals with the popular excursions trips in Sicily. They are not very reliable as they are dependent on numbers so plan some of your own trips in advance. You could do Catania on your own which is about a 2.5 hours drive and Cefalu which is another beach only 30 minutes away.
Only one down side, the wi fi is not very reliable but I find most hotels on the sea have this problem. But again I must emphasise ,the reception staff (Luigi, Claudio, Russian girl with blonde hair (sorry I have forgotten your name)) at this hotel will bend over backwards to help you .
I would just like to say I enjoyed every minute of my holiday and a very warm thank you to everyone at the hotel for making it a perfect week. Grazie Mille Domina and I am intending to return next year!!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The brand-new Domina Zagarella Sicily expresses a fresh and surprising style, who took inspiration from the sparkling era known as “La Dolce Vita”. The result is exclusive and charming, thanks to the special location and unique atmosphere. With a privileged position on the coast of Palermo, just 15 km from the city centre, Domina Zagarella Sicily counts with 330 rooms with all comforts, most of them with sea-view, and 38 villas plunged into the lush Mediterranean vegetation, perfect for an upscale guest. Exclusive services as the “La Zagara” Restaurant, real pride of Domina Zagarella Sicily, hosted in a warm and unique dining room designed with a special touch, some remarkable lounges as “D Club”, where our guests can enjoy a private food experience, “The Positano” pool bar & Piezzeria, a wonderful starting point for a journey to discover the best spirits and food labels of this territory. This experience is enriched by a wide choice of gourmet delights at the “Capo Zafferano Restaurant & Terrace”, direct over the sea, to enhance and harmonize the tasting of an excellent glass of wine with the best local seafood. To complete the offer our Private sea-shore & sea-pool area where our guests can swim and relax with a drink from the Lounge Bar, enjoying the breathtaking view, comfortably lying on their chaise-longues. To be part of the Domina Zagarella Sicily experience, discover also the Fitness room, the Tennis and Beach-volley Courts, the Diving Centre for sea-lovers and the Kids’ Club for the youngest. Domina Zagarella Sicily renews also its long-standing reputation for the MICE market with a balanced offer of 8 large meeting rooms and many break-outs, indoor and outdoor exhibition spaces for events up to 900 persons in total for meetings, banqueting and gala dinners: the maximum flexibility and expertise for Clients needs! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Domina Home Zagarella Hotel Santa Flavia
- Hotel Zagarella Sea Palace
- Zagarella Sea Palace Hotel
- Domina Zagarella Sicily Santa Flavia, Province Of Palermo