My wife and I were recommended The Grand Hotel Minareto by our travel agent. As we were just taking a break at short notice we decided to go to a hotel for the first time on holidays. This was also our first real holiday in 3 years. We traveled in October 2012. The weather was lovely and we got some lovely sunshine and warmth. The layout of the hotel was lovely and each room had a lovely veranda and private access. The rooms were very comfortable and the staff friendly and accommodating. The pool was excellent though the sea access was awkward and dirty. They should carry out some work in this area. The breakfast in the morning was excellent and the cafe / bar by the pool was heaven with snacks coffee and wine. The meals in the restaurant at night were average for the price which I felt was a little expensive. There is much better restaurants and bars in Ortigia and Syracuse. Here lies the big drawback for anybody staying at the hotel. You need to have your own transport. While the advertise a bus service it is quickly overbooked even in the off-season and is extremely limited. We had hired a car for the week and did not need the bus. We took a taxi one night and this worked out at €30 each way. On hiring the car I was asked for a deposit of €1,400 despite taking out extra insurance when booking the holiday. This is deducted from your credit card or you can pay an all-in waiver of €120.. a right con job.
We enjoyed our stay at the GHM and sampled the spa and other facilities which were excellent. During our stay i also sampled the Italian health service which was adequate as well.
I would prefer a self-catering holiday especially after experiencing the food markets in Ortigia. If I was to stay in a hotel again I would have no problem staying at the Grand Minareto Hotel.