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“Honeymoon Misery” 1 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
Istanbul, Turkey
1 review
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
“Honeymoon Misery”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2005

If you’re planning to go there for your Honeymoon, well, I recommend you to forget it! Especially if you don’t have a hired car ( well actually if you don’t have a hired car don’t go there at all! ), there is no way to walk down or up to that place if you won’t catch the scheduled bus (only 3 times a day!). The place was such a disappointment for us cos first we were there for our Honeymoon and second because everything that we read about the place was not right! ( I cannot say that we are a couple hard to please ).

I am surprised to find out that a lot of commnets are so positive about the place, I never thought I’d be so much disappointed.

We spent 2 nights in Taormina in June and I wouldn’t have spent another one if they’d offer a free room!. The disappointment started with our balcony which is actually at the beginning of the path which leads to all the other balconies/rooms and everyone who is going to their rooms could easily see our balcony/room so we had no privacy, in order people not to see us we always had to close the curtains so what am I supposed to do with the view???

The bed was not a double bed but two singles put together which was disturbing and that is absolutely not something you expect if you’re on a honeymoon ( mentioned when we made the booking ).

Every morning being woken up by the scraping of the chairs is no fun! Considering the breakfast, I don’t wanna be disrespectful but I had a much better one in a no name cafe in Montpellier (France). And being charged for carpark is ridiculous after the amount you pay.

Taormina itself is trying hard to attract tourists and there is nothing really special about the place other than Etna and the view but as a person who travels a lot, I’ve seen much much much better than this.

We certainly thank the staff which was the only positive thing that'll be remembered...

  • Stayed June 2005
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 35
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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Oslo, Norway
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
143 helpful votes 143 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2005

After having used Tripadvisor ecc. several times in planning holidays, we followed the excellent reviews on the Villa Ducale ...

I contacted them directly far in advance and asked for the price of the Suite de Luxe, and also read their homepage several times. The price I got was 400 Euros for one night, with a 7 (!!) day cancellation policy.

Firstly: ONLY the junior Suites, and the Suite "de Luxe" has a sea view, from what I now have understood. They have another house (The Duchessina) with standard rooms on the other side of the street that has NOOO seaview! This information is not found anywhere! I would have refused to accept a such a room, when their entire "raison d'être" is the seaview, and as you see from above; they claimed in their email to me that all the rooms have seaview.

Secondly; we had the Suite de Luxe which had no Jacuzzi in the normal sense, with the underwater "bobbles/streams" ecc. The TRADEMARK of the bathtub was "Jacuzzi". It was a very nice bathtub, but had no Jacuzzi features! Also; none of the rooms with the seaview (that we saw) had a "private" terrace in my view. My definition of a private terrace is that you can enjoy a least a little bit of privacy on your terrace. On the upper floors of the Villa Ducale it self (not "the Duchessina"); everyone going into the Reception and the breakfast terrace had an excellent view of every detail on the balconies (they were not the size of a terrace!) We had a Suite below the Reception and Breakfast area that was much more private, but however with the entrance of the 4 different rooms from the FRONT of the small adjoining terraces, not very private in the end that either.

The view was spectacular, and the quality of the rooms excellent in every way - but all in all it was the one place in the entire 2 weeks of holiday where we did not feel it was worth the prize! We went from Rome and ended up in Palermo, and stayed in some wonderful places; Palazzo Marziale in Sorrento for one, and in some excellent B&Bs as well, but take an experienced travellers advice; find yourself another hotel in Taormina (and there are A LOT of niiice hotels there) with a cheaper seaview, and closer to the center. Unless you like to share your breakfast with a staff that joked among themselves in front of the guests, and with bees in the food (which I would give a 4)

  • Stayed July 2005
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 34
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, General manager at Hotel Villa Ducale, responded to this review, August 13, 2005
This is another review with unreal and false information. All our 17 rooms and Suites do have a huge sea view - this is something that you cannot joke about .
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A TripAdvisor Member
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2005

After years of researching hotels and getting it right 90% of the time the "Terrible in Taormina" Villa Ducale means I have to go back to the drawing board!
On arrival - sullen Indian greeting - shown to room 15.
Oh my god - alcatraz- hot with no view - one window high and small - as long as you can walk on the milan catwalks then you can just about get around the bed - and then the finale!!!!
Every person on your site seems to be talking in raptures about the breakfast - well all I can say is that if you are used to wasps in your frosties - this is the hotel for you.
Scenic yes..... disappointing totally - does it deserve 2 stars?
Well they barely twinkle.

Was this review helpful? Yes 24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Owner & General Manager at Hotel Villa Ducale, responded to this review, August 10, 2005
We were quite shocked after reading such bad review about our hotel to which we would like to answer briefly . First of all we do not have any Indian member of the staff ;second we do not have any room number 15 at the hotel ; third all our rooms have all amenities being a powerful air-conditioning with remote control the most important one . Also we have a very celebrated buffet breakfast which our clients appreciate very much .
Who wrote this review ?
I leave all conclusions to tripadvisor's readers and thank you for your time .
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2005

I have not much to say ... this has been the most incredible fantastic unforgettable magic wonderful romantic holiday of my life ... I spend my time thinking about Villa Ducale and can't wait to return ....

  • Stayed July 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2005

I originally came across the Villa Ducale hotel listed in my hotel book at work. It showed a picture of the breakfast terrace with a view out to Mt. Etna. I decided then (about 10 years ago) if I ever went to Sicily I wanted to stay at the Villa Ducale. Finally in September 2000 we went to Taromina for the first time. The view from the terrace was everything the picture showed and so much more. There were 4 of us and we stayed in the 2 bedroom suite across the road from the main hotel. Everything from the rooms, the view and the hotel staff was perfect. We just returned from our second stay at the Villa Ducale and this time stayed in the main hotel. We were pleasantly surprised at all of the changes that had been made. The addition of the shuttle service to town and the beach was wonderful. And the remodeled rooms were exquisite. The hotel staff couldn’t have been more accommodating. Both Sebastino and Ricardo show that that have been trained by an owner who cares about his guests. Andrea is the best. When we return to Taromina we wouldn’t think of staying anywhere else.

  • Stayed June 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2005

I always thought that Paradise was found somewhere near Tibet. Today I found it nestled in the upper part of Taormina. Getting to the hotel was the only concern.. as the roads are narrow and winding like the amalfi coast but boy the hotel and the associated views are marvelous!! The staff is tremendous, led by the owner Andrea and support well by Riccardo and others. Exceptional views from the rooms, the terrace and the reception area are panoramic of the ocean and of Mount Etna (Sicily's live volcano). The rooms are magnificient and worth every penny that you are spending - dont hesitate ever at the price of staying here.
If I were a travel critic I would tell you the rooms are all five star, the service and the hospitality is without comparison, the panoramic views are spectacular and the beauty of the area and the sun drenched ocean beaches are amazing. Did I mention that our bathroom is nearly as big as our bedroom? Phones in the room (missed this in Rome), great plasma tv in rooms, wonderful air-conditioning in the rooms, laundry service, in room safe, great maps available at the front desk, no problems speaking English or Italian with the staff, great restaurants recommendations, rooms are very nicely furnished with large beds and excellent decor.... very romantic.
Each room has a private terrace with a spectacular view of the ocean and countryside. Access to the town is easy. A free mini shuttle bus takes you into town or to the beach until late at night (and runs on a frequent schedule). From town you can get to the beaches by funicular... really convenient and fun. Corso Umberto is a shoppers paradise and reataurants about everywhere. If you need parking reserve ahead of time... however once you arrive and park your car you really won't need it again before you leave!
Truthfully, you need not look for further paradise or Shangri-la! This is it. I am looking forward to coming back next year and stay longer.. this place is going to be in my mind for ever ...... ciao.

  • Stayed June 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2005

We discovered Villa Ducale six years ago. We've traveled to Sicily three times since and would not think of staying anywhere else in Taormina. Our latest visit was end of May 2005. We could not wait to get there. The entire staff, starting from the owners Andrea and his beautiful wife Rosaria, the General Manager Sebastiano, and all the others... have become our true friends. Visiting Villa Ducale is like coming into a beautiful home and visiting friends and family, all in a beautiful and peaceful environment with Mount Etna and the Aeolean Sea in the background. In addition, the owners have made some wonderful enhancements in recent years... updating the rooms and bathrooms; adding a shuttle service to/from town, and providing dinner in the evening. Rosario and I cannot wait to return. We would pack our bags right now if you could. Ci vediamo presto... tutti amichi alla Villa Ducale! Rosario and Rosemary King

  • Stayed May 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 20
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 Luxury Hotel in Taormina
#1 Family 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 HIP hotels, is incredibly pretty, with flowers and colours adorning every angle, and a view to die for.Every bedroom is individually designed with the highest attention to detail, furnished with great taste in a mix of Sicilian traditional and Italian design contemporary style, 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.Free shuttle to center and the beach. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ducale Hotel Taormina
Hotel Villa Ducale Taormina, Sicily

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