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“One of the best views in Taormina” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Villa Ducale

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Hotel Villa Ducale
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   via Leonardo da Vinci 60, 98039 Taormina, Sicily, Italy   |  
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Ranked #1 of 89 Hotels in Taormina
South East UK
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“One of the best views in Taormina”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2013

This hotel is high above the town of Taormina so a bit a little detached from the tourist bustle in the main shopping and cafe parts of the town. This is good, and in return you get excellent friendly service, a brilliant location, fabulous views (we asked for a room facing the sea and with a balcony - it was amazing) and a breakfast room/restaurant that has the most beautiful vistas possible!

Breakfast is a buffet with good variety of dishes from muesli, through fresh fruits and cheeses, to cakes and croissant. Oh, and eggs and even asparagus wrapped in bacon. Excellent coffee served with a smile. The restaurant is very nice with good food well cooked and presented. Service is as always at the Villa Ducale first class. Room service is available but it was nicer to eat in the Villa Ducale restaurant or Al Saraceno restaurant nearby and have a nightcap in the hotel. Manuel automatically warmed the brandy glasses - always a good sign of a quality barkeeper.

If you have a car the location is of little relevance. If not the hotel offers a shuttle bus (not very frequent, and you need to book both directions as space is limited). If you want the beach two beach clubs offer a shuttle service that picks you up from the hotel and takes you back. The hotel will arrange and the price (€12 per person) includes a sunbed. An umbrella is a few € more. The beaches have most of the facilities needed including catering.

The staff at the hotel are very friendly and will go out of their way to help you and make you feel comfortable. Because it is small (only 11 rooms and 6 suites) the standard of service is high. Nice touches like a welcome drink on arrival, cold drinks and canapes at 1800 each evening, a well stocked bar (at very reasonable prices for an hotel). If you go to the beach you are provided with fresh beach towels in a hessian bag. You can book excursions but absolutely no hard sell. The bigger coaches can't get up to the hotel but the staff took us to the bus terminal - now that is good service - a taxi would add €15 each way to the trip price.

The rooms are well appointed and very well cleaned. The cleaning staff are the best. There is a mini bar at hotel prices, and a TV, but who needs that when sitting on the balcony sipping a brandy watching the sunset is available instead! Note that we stayed in the original hotel and cannot comment on the annex which is across the road. Check out the hotel website.

Going to town: Shuttle for free, or taxi at €15, or local bus at €1.80 single/€2.80 return. The bus stop is just outside of the hotel. Or you can walk up the Via Madonna della Rocca to the church of the same name (5 minutes) and trundle down the steps to town (10-15 minutes). The return is rather longer and a bit harder! Makes the taxi fare a real bargain! (alternatively phone the hotel and see if the shuttle has space).

Other things to do? As you are almost at Castelmola (the village on the cliff above) it is worth a visit. The (in)famous Bar Turrissi with its fertility theme is unusual, and the village has some good views. The best way up from Villa Ducale is using the local bus. The prices are the same as above. The bus ride is nice with good views as you climb the hill. The bus terminus has good views. Lots of bars and cafes and restaurants to choose from, and some nice deli type shops smelling of hams. If souvenirs are your thing then this village caters well for you!

Would we recommend this hotel? Certainly, we would love to come to Taormina again and would not hesitate to return to the Villa Ducale.

Room Tip: Some rooms are in the main building and some in the annex across the road. Check on line to see whic...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
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buenos aires
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2013

My husband and decided to stay at the hotel after reading reviews.
The hotel is beautiful, well maintained, and it has amazing views.
The service and the ambiance are excellent.
We had a room with a small terrace, a table and chairs, but we could not enjoy it as much since it was cold and rainy some days. The room was large, comfortable, included a small living room. The bathroom was beautiful and large as well.
We had dinner daily at the hotel. The menu offered a variety of options, which were all very good, very home-made style. Excellent quality of ingredients. The dinner was served at the terrace where breakfast was also served every morning. The breakfast also offered multiple options from home made pastries, to prosciutto.
The terrace view is beautiful facing the Etna, the sea, the mountains. You can also stay at the terrace in the afternoon, just to relax.
It was my first visit to Sicily. I celebrated my birthday there. The Chef cooked a special meal for me and it was exquisite!
Because it is located high, there is a shuttle to get to the main town to and from the hotel. We decided to walk, though. The walk is through a nice path, surrounded by trees, plants and outstanding views.It takes 20 minutes to get to the main town streets, where shops and restaurants are located.
I definitely recommend to stay here during your visit to Sicily.

  • Stayed March 2013, 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.
London
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2013

We were back again in June and the staff, food and views were just as fantastic as the year before. Paulo and the team are so friendly and helpful, you sense that they truly care about you having a great break, not like some places where it is obviously just a job. I mentioned how much I liked a local Sicilian salami that they served at their delicious breakfast buffet, and the team immediately sourced one for me to take home. Even the cleaners and maintenance team make that extra effort to be friendly and helpful. The downside, as with last year, is that eventually you have to leave....

  • Stayed June 2013, 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.
Toronto
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2013

We visited Taormina for 4 nights and chose this hotel based on previous reviews, and we were not disappointed! They have amazing service from start to finish, and it is obvious they pride themselves in that. There were welcome cocktails when we arrived, and they sat right down with us to explain on the map where we were and how the shuttles worked. There are free shuttles that run all day to take you down into the main old city. The food was amazing, and we ate at the hotel restaurant everynight except one (and only to try another amazing restaurant in town that specialized in truffles). I ordered the tagliatelle, at least three times. The service in the restaurant was outstanding, they would do anything for you, and they made amazing mojitos. They also will bring dinner into your room if you would prefer to eat on your balcony, which we did a couple of times at no charge! We had a junior suite, which had two balconies, with amazing views of the water and Mount Etna! I would highly recommend this hotel to anyone, and you will not be disappointed. What a gem!

Room Tip: The junior suite was beautiful, get a view - that's the reason why you're so far up the moun...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2013

The Villa Ducale really does deserve all of the praise and great ratings!

Other than seconding all the great reviews by my fellow guests here are some points I found:

1. I stayed in the Garden room (#15). While there was no view the room was great. It was cool, comfortable, with a big closet, nice bathroom, and not as expensive. We spent most of our time on the common porch or in the hot tub. You are not going to miss anything if you can't afford the suites. There are a few steep steps down to get into our room. Santi and Alessi were very helpful and really made you feel welcome.

2. Have at least one dinner there. Santina is an excellent cook. And Elie is a personable and efficient server. Then you can watch the beautiful view come alive with twinkling lights during dinner.

3. After the winding road up to the hotel, we were grateful to leave the car with the valet (10 euros a day) and arrange to take advantage of the shuttles. Down in the morning, we would come back around 3, then go back down for dinner. It was a hassle free, designated driver, no parking, way to enjoy the town and commute back to the hotel. Although I don't remember their names the drivers were all courteous, prompt and skilled at navigating that road!

All in all I really enjoyed our stay and highly recommend it.

Room Tip: Garden Rooms are a great deal. Less expensive, but still gives you access to the view, the hot tub a...
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  • Stayed June 2013, 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.
VillaDucale, Owner at Hotel Villa Ducale, responded to this review, June 27, 2013
Dear Bowfinn,
I would like to particularly thank you for the wonderful and trustful review you posted on TA regarding your recent stay with us.
Yes we have one dbl room that has no sea view (it is clearly stated when booking it) that we call courtyard view room; it is cheaper than most rooms but has exactly the same facilities and functionalities of all Villa Ducale rooms.Then its guests can fully take advantage of all hotel common spaces where the wonderful view is plentiful !
I want to thank you for pointing this out as sometimes people are doubtful about reserving it or not.
I am also glad to hear that you fully enjoyed your stay and enjoyed our excellent drivers, their names are Dylan and Sagare, they are two lovely sweet guys, they feel proud that you praised them!

Kind regards,
Mr. Andrea Quartucci, the owner of Villa Ducale
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2013

The hotel is located up a very windy road at the very top of Taormina. The views are spectacular. Our room was very spacious with breathtaking views. The drawback to the hotel was being located up so high, we had to reach the town by a staircase of steps that were easy to go down, but a bear to go up. We certainly burned a lot of calories that way! But seriously, the location was a bit inconvenient. They had a free shuttle, but there were not enough times that it made it that convenient. The staff was very helpful, but at times seemed a bit distant. The breakfast that was complimentary was very substantial. There were a lot of little things that made your stay very comfortable that they provided. We thought it was a very pretty hotel, but we preferred Hotel Imperiale, which was a much better value in our opinion. Their breakfast was better, their TV reception gave us many more English channels to watch at night when we wanted to wind down, their pillows were softer, the staff friendlier, and the location was more convenient.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VillaDucale, Owner at Hotel Villa Ducale, responded to this review, June 27, 2013
This review is faked and we have asked Tripadvisor to please check it and cancel it. It praises another hotel in Taormina but they did not write a review about that hotel.
Kind regards,
Mr. Andrea Quartucci, the owner
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2013

Many people asked us why we didn't stay at Grand Hotel Timeo instead of here - obviously they hadn't read TripAdvisor! And we are glad we had! Despite the location being up the hill instead of right in the city centre, we actually preferred this, as exiting Timeo you would be immersed in the tourist throng.
Firstly, the room at Villa Ducale was great - we had a Deluxe Suite situated on the other side of the road from the breakfast room and reception; nice and quiet, and huge room - huge bath, couch, terrace and lovely bed.
Secondly the staff were second to none. The manager Paolo is great, and speaks perfect english. The breakfast staff are the same people who service your room - they are so lovely and caring.
Thirdly - the food - we actually ate dinner here quite a lot, as we had already been travelling for a month by then and were sick of having to go out to dinner. The meals were simple but good quality - lots of pasta, salads and grilled meats. Breakfast was wonderful and my gluten free requirements were more than taken care of - biscuits, bread and cakes were provided for me.
Lastly - car parking. it was 10Euro a day I think, but given the drivers in Sicily we are glad we had it parked off the street!
Overall I wouldn't hesitate recommending this hotel.

Room Tip: Rooms on other side of the road are more private and quieter, except for ones right near the road.
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  • Stayed April 2013, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Villa Ducale

Address: via Leonardo da Vinci 60, 98039 Taormina, Sicily, Italy
Phone Number:
Location: Italy > Sicily > Province of Messina > Taormina
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Taormina
#1 Luxury Hotel in Taormina
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Villa Ducale 4*
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Taormina Hotel Villa Ducale is small luxury boutique hotel perched in an elevated position above the centre of Taormina km 1,3) commanding a unique outstanding view over the Mediterranean sea and Mount Etna.Our hotel,member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World group, is incredibly pretty, with flowers and colours adorning every angle, and a view to die for.Each and every bedroom has been individually designed with the highest attention to detail, furnished with great taste in a mix of Sicilian contemporary and traditional style, and each has its own private panoramic terrace or balcony.The hotel is able to offer a variety of personalised services, such as cooking lessons, wine tasting and tailor made meals, special romantic candle-lit dinners which can be arranged easily with the super friendly staff.Eleven Double rooms and six suites with full aminities and free wi-fi connection. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ducale Hotel Taormina
Hotel Villa Ducale Taormina, Sicily

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