We stayed at Borgo San Francesco with our two young children (5 years old and 20 months) in April; 2011. The owners Sandra and Toninio helped make both our booking and stay exceptionally stress free. Sandra, who has English as a first language and who is also fluent in Italian and French, made sure that we had a cot and a high chair in the apartment before we arrived. She met us on arrival and spent some time making suggestions for places where we might eat out that would be child friendly and where we might take day trips. Nothing was too much trouble and her recommendations were first rate.
The apartment we stayed in was clean and well appointed. The beds were comfortable; we booked one of the larger apartments which had a large double bed, a single for our son, and a cot for our daughter all in the main bedroom. For adults not wanting to sleep in the same room as their children then the sofa downstairs also converts to a double bed. The apartment also had air conditioning but in April we did not need to use it, however it would be essential in Summer.
The Borgo San Francesco complex is quiet and in a rural location on the hillside up above the coast. Gioiosa Maria is the nearest town - just 5 mins by car down a steep decent - and has a pebbly beach with fantastic rock pools. Perfect for our 5 years old son to catch crabs and mud skippers. The town has a number of restaurants and good take aways. There are also two supermarkets, we preferred Conad which had lots of high quality fresh produce.
The personal touch afforded by Sandra and Toninio was also extended from the other staff and family. Salvatore (Toninio's father) took my son and I on a spontaneous sightseeing walk around the grounds through an olive grove and along a small local stream in search of lizards, before talking us on a small drive in his car to see some of the local highlights. We stopped at a local wine merchant where Salvatore bought some wine that was decanted from a large stainless steel vat into a plastic bottle. It was the type of place that you would not find by yourself but is typically Sicilian.
For days out the best were Etna - simply stunning, the boat trip by Catamaran and then hydrofoil from Millazo to Lipari and then to il Volcano and then back. Cefalu is the most beautiful town we visited and has a wonderful sandy beach.
All in all I would wholeheartedly recommend Borgo San Francesco for the simple reason that the owners and staff clearly take pride in looking after their guests. Sicily is a delight and this is a great place to explore from.
- Also Known As:
- Borgo San Francesco Sicily/Gioiosa Marea, Italy
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The 4-star residence "Borgo San Francesco" is a newly restored hamlet situated above the seaside town of Gioiosa Marea (Messina). It is perfectly nestled in the green hills of the northeastern coast of Sicily, in an area known as Monte Nebrodi and the Saracen Coast.It is an ideal place for those who seek both the tranquility of the countryside and the bustling atmosphere of a typical Sicilian seaside town. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Expedia, Venere, Priceline, TripOnline SA, Travelocity and Hotels.com so you can book your Borgo San Francesco reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.