Last month we had the very good fortune to be staying at the Grand Hotel Timeo in Taormina, Sicily, Italy - a truly exceptional hotel. The Sant' Andrea is a so called 'sister' facility of the Grand and it too is owned and operated by Orient Express; and this is about where the comparisons between the two hotels start and end.
If one's looking for a truly enchanting beach-front hotel there are countless others across the planet that would rate higher on most any reasonable scale or basis of evaluation. This particular hotel is nestled into a cove at the base of the hillside upon which Toarmina sits; as such it is not exactly well positioned to catch the sun at its best at certain times of the day.
We dined one evening at the Sant'Andrea and much of what I recall was the over-powering and omnipresent stench of the citronella that couldn't be avoided out of doors. It being a lovely summer's evening, we dined on the terrace and what could and should have been a delightful evening was... overwhelmed with the stench of the citronella. Though the dinner presentation appeared rather lovely, I can't really comment on it - because my olfactory senses were rendered utterly useless by the stench of the citronella. Obviously, the hotel has... issues with annoying insects due to its location and, therefore, renders their out of doors facilities effectively unpleasant at dawn, dusk and well into the evening hours. If you're considering a stay at the Sant' Andrea, I'd suggest you look to do so out of season - when nature's ting creatures may lessen the over-reaction of the hotel with so much citronella as to effectively declare victory by the insects, the consequences of which render the facility's out of doors essentially unfit for humans. Seriously, it was THAT bad; I do not exaggerate.
Thankfully, we weren't spending the overnight there, or we would have to have tightly secured ou...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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I would firstly like to thank you for taking the time to review your experience of Villa Sant'Andrea.
Over the years, we have delighted guests with our combination of Orient-Express luxury and beachfront appeal. I cannot stress enough how many guests we welcome back each year who come to stay with us, returning for the secluded beach and our Sicilian charm.
As a precautionary action, we put measures in place to ward off mosquitoes in our restaurant area, and as I am sure our guests will appreciate due to our close proximity to the sea and to a unique sub-tropical garden and with it being high-summer there could be some mosquitoes around this area. This is why we have used citronella around the terrace areas of the hotel, past guests might not enjoy our fine cuisine and captivating view in the knowledge that a mosquito may be close by.
We pride ourselves on our customer service and if you had have made your thoughts clear to the maitre'd that night, we would have relocated your table immediately to limit your discomfort. As you will see from previous reviews, no other diners mention that citronella as it’s common in Italy in the summer months.
It disappoints me that you were not able to appreciate the true Villa Sant’Andrea experience. However, I am pleased you enjoyed your time at our sister property the Grand Hotel Timeo so much, and I hope you return to Taormina in the future so I can personally guarantee all your needs are met here in the Mazzarò Bay.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.