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“A Convent from the Fifteenth Century” 5 of 5 stars
Review of San Domenico Palace Hotel

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San Domenico Palace Hotel
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Piazza San Domenico 5, 98039 Taormina, Sicily, Italy   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #15 of 89 Hotels in Taormina
Miami, Florida
Top Contributor
88 reviews 88 reviews
80 hotel reviews
Reviews in 77 cities Reviews in 77 cities
142 helpful votes 142 helpful votes
“A Convent from the Fifteenth Century”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2012

This gorgeous hotel is very well located in this small touristic town. Just one block away from the main street where everything happens. Plus, it’s surrounded by restaurants.
They have a free private garage, and there is wi-fi in the room, but it will cost you $9.00 euros a day.
We had a deluxe room on the 3rd floor that was very nice, of good size, and with a fantastic view of the ocean. It was nicely decorated and the bathroom had luxurious amenities, fluffy thick towels that were changed twice a day. It also had a big window that unfortunately couldn’t be opened. According to them: bug could come in. Only negative point: the paint on the window panes was peeling, due to the water from the shower that rotted the wood, therefore in need of some maintenance. But this was a minor issue.
Breakfast was good but quite ordinary. The breakfast room was beautiful with a terrace that overlooked the beach.
On the first day we had some problem with the TV. We called the front desk and immediately someone came. We have never seen such fast, efficient and polite service anywhere else.
They had a Michelin one star restaurant on the premises which we highly recommend. Especially the pumpkin and clams risotto I had for primo piatto.
The gardens of this ancient convent are gorgeous, from where you can see Mount Etna standing majestically right in front of you.
The staff is so kind and helpful. We really loved this town and the hotel, and will surely return if we happen to come back to Taormina someday.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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596 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (111)
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Miami
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2012

Stayed in small monks room . The staff were hesitant to put me there and insisted I see room first. It was fantastic. Nice balcony view. A lot of character. Very comfortable for one. Excellent service and food. Amazing breakfast .

Room Tip: Try a monk's room
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dix Hills
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2012

I stayed at the San Domenico Palace October 6-13, 2012. I stayed in the newer wing, in a deluxe double room with a balcony. The views were fabulous, the room superb, and the food very good. I would like to address previous criticisms.
1. Complaints of "old, chipped furniture"--know the difference between valuable antiques and old. This hotel is a piece of living history.
2. Breakfast buffett--the food is fresh and fabulous. It was delicious, plentiful, and the service was good. If you want "waffle house" food please stay low-budget in America and go to a waffle house. European food and coffee is different from ours and you need to know that before you leave the U.S.A. The waiters seemed detached, but I believe it is a due to the language barrier.
3. I have found that Europe utilizes air conditioning sparingly. That being said, our A/C was more than adequate, and certainly better than the A/C I encountered in THE top rated hotel in Paris.
4. Noise--It was as quiet as the monastery it used to be. Others posted about a "busy" road right next to the pool. It is a narrow, one-lane road that had maybe one car per hour. Most of the getting around in Taorimina is done by foot.
We had drinks in the garden bar 2 nights, and the bartender/waiter were friendly and accommodating.
I have two obsevations about Sicily in general. First, Whenever we took a side trip (Catania, winery, Mt.Etna)--we were told it would take "20, 30, MAYBE 40 minutes if traffic is bad." I believe that's the only answer they use. It's more like 40 minutes to 2 hours. Trust me--add at least 20minutes to what you are told. Second--WHERE are the ICE CUBES? No ice in the room, no ice bucket, rarely would you get ice in drinks in any restaurant. I don't know why.

Room Tip: This is a converted monastery. In the older wing, rooms are smaller.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2012

My wife and I spent a week at the San Domenico Palace Hotel in September 2012. We arranged a transfer from the airport through the hotel and the arrangements went very well. The Hotel gave a very good first impression, we ate in the restaurant and the fish was excellent. Our first night was spoiled by being woken regularly all through the night with the sound of an electrical motor starting and stopping and with the sound of glass bottles being emptied into bins from time to time. The next morning the reception staff were very responsive in resolving the problem and we were upgraded to a superior room that was free from noise. The breakfast service and selection of foods were the highlights for us, they were superb. The pool was also a favourite. The location was ideal for the main shopping areas, the Greek Temple, and local gardens. We walked up to Castelmola one morning (when it was cloudy and cooler) and it was well worth the effort. We also took advantage of some local tours however going to the top of Mount Etna was the highlight. We were lucky that there was no cloud on the volcano that day, the view was fantastic. We can recommend Taormina as a relaxing resort and the hotel as a very good home for a week. It would have been 5 star but for the noisy room on the first night.

Room Tip: We suggest you ask for a quiet room.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cleveland, Ohio
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2012

The hotel amenities detract significantly from the spectacular view and incredible gardens. You can see all the way to the Italian mainland and the Sicilian landscape is classic. Nevertheless, the air conditioning barely worked at all, which is a problem even in October in this Mediterranean setting. Also the hotel staff seemed ill prepared the entire week we stayed.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sacramento, California
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2012

My family and I toured Italy for 2 weeks and stayed at 6 different hotels; this was hands down my favorite. Upon our arrival (we stayed 3 nights, with 3 rooms), we were told they had upgraded all of our rooms to a sea view. Not only was the view great but our three rooms were at the end of a hall, kind of tucked back in an alcove (doesn't sound that great, I know), which made it really easy to go between the rooms (if you needed something real quick from another room, you felt perfectly fine momentarily leaving your door open). The rooms were beautiful, comfortable, and clean. The staff was very kind. And the food in their Michelin starred restaurant was fantastic (my favorite meal of the trip). I would definitely return to the San Domenico.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
east anglia
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2012

We stayed at the San Domenico Palace Hotel in September 2012. We were in the convent wing in a superior room. It felt of old time typical Italian palatial luxury. Not the usual room factory with a sterile feel. This place has character and grandeur. Stunning views. Amazing breakfasts - so much choice and even a glass of bubbly. Nearly as good as the Danielle in Venice for breakfast. Good location and easy walking distance to everywhere in Taormina. My only negative would be the bathroom - needs updating - modern shower / bath please; I didn't feel I could take a soak in the bath with rust around plug hole!! (Take a leaf out of Sant Andrea's bathroom's - we checked out several hotels during our stay).

I would definately recommend if you would prefer old style luxury with character instead of modern 5*

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about San Domenico Palace Hotel

Address: Piazza San Domenico 5, 98039 Taormina, Sicily, Italy
Phone Number:
Location: Italy > Sicily > Province of Messina > Taormina
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#6 Business Hotel in Taormina
#10 Luxury Hotel in Taormina
#16 Family Hotel in Taormina
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — San Domenico Palace Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 108
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A LUXURY 5-STAR HOTEL ON THE EAST COAST OF SICILY The San Domenico Palace Hotel sits in a truly magnificent setting that has attracted people from ancient times. A luxury 5-star hotel in an ancient Dominican monastery, it has views over Mount Etna and Taormina Bay on the east coast of Sicily not far from Messina. Countless famous writers, artists and composers, came here to savour this unique spot at the very tip of Italy. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Palazzo San Domenico Taormina
Palazzo San Domenico Hotel Taormina
San Domenico Palace Hotel Taormina, Sicily

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