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“A gem of a hotel” 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
Dublin Ireland
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“A gem of a hotel”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2013

Villa Ducale is a very special hotel. From the moment you arrive at reception you know you will be well looked after. It has the most incredible location with full panoramic views of Taormina and Mt. Etna from its lovely terrace where a light but refreshing breeze always blows. But what really makes Villa Ducale special is its wonderful staff. Nothing is too much trouble, everything is done with great attention to detail, a smile and a professionalism which nowadays is hard to find. The atmosphere in Villa Ducale is one of complete relaxation and a sense of basking in the comfort of beautiful surroundings. Villa Ducale does not have a restaurant but dinner can be ordered in advance and is prepared by a cook especially for you. It is well worthwhile enjoying this treat at least once when you stay there. Breakfast on the terrace is to die for. Villa Ducale provides a shuttle service to reach the town and can organise tours at your request. I cannot fault this hotel and would highly recommend it to anyone thinking of staying in Taormina.

  • Stayed July 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,355 reviews from our community

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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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (193)
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English first
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2013

Besides the stunning view of Giordanni-Naxos, the overall experience was very pleasant. Great breakfast (included) full of local produce, friendly and helpful staff and frequent free shuttle services to the Taormina town center. Any excursion you can think of, the staff can pretty much set it up for you which I found helpful. The only areas of improvement would be the quality of the bed (they put two single beds together as one king bed), and ways to repel the bees as they frequently interrupt our dinning while we eat at the terrace. All in all, for those who are new to Taormina, definitely spend a couple nights here at the very least.

Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2013

Dylan was waiting for us in front of the hotel when we arrived ready to helpus with our luggage. He said he'll take care of everything and uashered us onto the main terrace for a welcome drink. After traveling for several hours from Palermo, we were exhausted and needed some TLC. Paolo then sat us down with a map anfd got us oriented to Taormina. The hotel has a free van service to town, so once you're there you don't need to use your car. (Which is great, bc the road to the hotel is very narrow, steep and winding.) It gets especially harrowing when a bus is passing in the opposite direction. We absolutely loved our room, which overlooked the water and had a very large terrace. And what was really amazing was the lavish breakfast spread every morming, which was delicious and prepared with care.
My husband and I travel a lot and we both were very impressed with the quality and attention to detail this hotel provided. The hotel is very well decorated with attractive & comfortable furnishings as if you were in someome's home. And the staff was friendly and always very willing to help you. We hope to return one day and this time bring our children with us. Thanks for a wonderful time!

  • Stayed July 2013, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2013 via mobile

We arrived here for a two night stay to end our wedding celebrations in the heart of taormina. Upon arrival we were greeted by a very friendly chap who quickly whisked our suitcases off whilst escorting us down the steps into the reception. The hotel is a lot further up to castelmola than I anticipated. Anyway, we were welcomed by another very friendly chap who took us to sit down in the breakfast/lunch/dinner terrace. Now this is a small boutique hotel which has a lot of charm. The inside area had a rustic wooden table which hosts the cakes throughout the day & there is a fireplace with 2 club chairs-very cute. Well, the views on the terrace were nothing short of breathtaking-overlooking the bays & etna. Simply stunning! We were offered a complimentary welcome drink of choice & our host gave us info of the hotel etc. We were told that breakfast was served between 7.30-10.30 (there was if anything, too much choice)! There was also complimentary tea (selection of tea/coffee and a variety of cakes made by the chef at the carlotta ) served at 3pm (this was also fantastic). We were told that the did not have their own chef at the Ducale but the had their own Sicilian cook (whom they called mamma). We personally thought this to be even better. Also, if there something that you fancied that wasn't on the menu, give them a day and they would cook it for you. Only cost would be for special ingredients. You could also use the facilities of the carlotta( which is in town ) or just have dinner there. They also have a free shuttle service in and out of taormina & to different beaches/lido's ( which I don't think they have advertised well as if people were aware, they'd be more inclined to stay here if the location put them off). Knowing that they have the shuttle service (taxis are 15 euro into taormina), & how close this is to castelmola, I would say this is a very good location (especially due to the views). After a second welcome drink(we had our interesting host talking about the area etc for a while), we were shown to our room. This room was very very nice (not that large) but decorated in a rustic but luxury style. Now, the killer of this room was the balcony(again, not large) but it had to separate doors opening up onto the balcony which was above the dining area so we woke up to the same stunning views over etna & the bays. We must have had one of a few of the best views in the hotel. We then went back downstairs to find the bathing area and was taken back upstairs, across the road & down some other stairs (not far). We found a very intimate decked area (again with sea views). There were only 4 subbeds but as there was only ever us two there on the 2 days, this was not an issue. The jacuzzi pool was set on 38 degrees which was pretty horrendous when you're boiling hot & need to cool down. We reduced the heat but it only reduced by about half a degree in 3 hours! Thankfully, they had a shower which we could douse ourselves in to cool down. As I said, you are able to use the pool etc facililities of the carlotta. We had tea there which was wonderful. The hotel is very calming and not at all formal. You can just chill here. We had dinner here later in the evening which was very good but not the best I've had in Sicily. This is not meant as a slur as we've had some unbelievable meals (in often the most reasonable restaurants). Having said that, the food prices are pretty on par with a lot of the restaurants and the drinks are reasonable (5 euro for s large glass of prosecco). There is a very personal service here and staff are very attentive. I was very pleased with this hotel as a whole, no complaints.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Melbourne, Australia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2013

My husand and I just returned from an 8 night stay at the wonderful Villa Ducale in Taormina. We had a lovely room (#14) with a terrace that overlooked the sea, after a long day exploring it was perfect sitting there watching the world sail by. Paulo and the team are fantastic, no request is too difficult and everyone has a smile even the amazing guys that drive the shuttle to/from the hotel in the evening amidst that crazy traffic! The hotel's location at the top of the hill overlooking Taormina is perfect, it's a lovely walk down to the village and when you've had enough of the crowds the shuttle will whisk you back up the hill to your little piece of Sicilian tranquility. We loved everything about out stay, our room was perfect, the location was breathtaking and the entire team at the hotel made you feel like you'd come home for a visit.

Room Tip: We had room 14 and it was perfectly positioned in the hotel and on the hillside, the terrace has swe...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
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
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.
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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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