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“Bella Italia” 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
Texas
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Bella Italia”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2013

My husband and I stayed one night at the San Domenico Palace in November 2012 and we thought it was magnificent. The room was large and utterly comfortable, breakfast was included, and they gave us a free upgrade to one with a balcony over the ocean, even though we were paying with United Airlines miles instead of cash. The hotel was once an Abbey and has been combined with other houses of the period to make a lovely, rambling place filled with beautiful art, centered around a courtyard. It was reminiscent of the Danieli in Venice--a real treasure--and I would go back in a heartbeat. Next time I'm staying more than one night!

Room Tip: Spring for an ocean view room with a balcony--the view is spectacular and well worth it since the ba...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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.
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595 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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pied a terre in Sussex
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2013

This exquisite hotel has not changed in all the years I have known and loved it. Wander in its gardens and go back in time, a time when Taormina was the destination for winter visitors, poets, writers and the aristocracy. I remember another time, more recently, when the 'grande maestro' Chico Schimone touched the keys of the piano in the bar lounge and produced magical moments. But the beauty of the San Domenico endures and captivates the modern traveller as it has done for so many years. For me it is quintiessentially Taormina and I think about it with nostalgia and affection.

Room Tip: This is an ex monastery although comfortable and well appointed, the rooms remains the rooms of anot...
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tel Aviv, Israel
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2012

The San Domenico hotel is a unique, and a fantastic place to stay while you are visiting Sicily,
Taormina is a small village and the hotel is right on the center of the village.
This is an old monastery, transformed into a real palace hotel, Containing memorabilia from the past, wonderful gardens, fine dining, stunning views of the bay seen from the room window .
In short a perfect recipe for a romantic and special holiday.
Pleasant service, delicious breakfast, stunning views from the restaurant, and all around you a Amazing colors of bougainvillea.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2012

14th century monastery converted to beautiful hotel. Luxurious old world hotel. Our Grand View suite was spacious and comfortable with a wonderful terrace overlooking the Ionian Sea. Exceptional service. Wonderful location just a short walk to the main street and piazza.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 5 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.
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
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.
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.
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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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