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“Amazing in every way!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Villa Carlotta

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Hotel Villa Carlotta
4.0 of 5 Boutique Hotel   |   Via Pirandello, 81, 98039 Taormina, Sicily, Italy   |  
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Ranked #2 of 89 Hotels in Taormina
San Francisco
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
“Amazing in every way!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2013

Before we even checked in to Hotel Villa Carlotta, we'd already had several positive encounters with the staff. First, when we somehow lost our way while driving to the hotel, I called and talked to Simona, who was so friendly and helpful and provided clear, simple directions to the hotel. Then, about 30 minutes later, I had to call back and, despite my extreme embarrassment, ask for more assistance. When we'd pulled over to call for directions and then tried to turn the car around, we quickly discovered that we couldn't get our rental car into reverse (we've driven in many European countries but never encountered a car that required that you pull up on an obscure little ring at the top of the stick shift in order to move the stick into reverse). Within 15 minutes, our lifesaver appeared in the form of a very cordial hotel employee, who, despite a language barrier, was immediately able to diagnose the problem and lead us to the hotel.

It was 9 p.m. by the time we finally got to the hotel, and we'd spent the whole day in transit from the Amalfi Coast (driving to Naples, returning our rental car, flying to Catania, getting another rental car, and then driving to--and getting lost in--Taormina). Simona accurately predicted that we'd be a little frazzled, so when we checked in, she urged us to quickly settle in to our room and then go up to the restaurant on the top floor to get something to eat and, more importantly, drink. First, we were amazed by our gorgeous room, which was spacious, beautifully decorated, and so comfortable. Then, when we went up to the restaurant, we were amazed by the incredible service and food. Not only did we have a wonderful meal, but the hotel comped us two glasses of Prosecco just to help us unwind after our minor ordeal. It was all a great introduction to an incredible stay at this lovely hotel.

Aside from the great service (special shout-outs to Simona and Nathalie at the front desk, and the restaurant's talented and hilarious chef, David), Villa Carlotta boasts a perfect location with amazing views, stunning grounds with a pool and outdoor lounging area, a beautifully restored building that's decorated so tastefully from top to bottom, and one of the most spectacular breakfast buffets I've ever encountered. Plus, after staying at several other hotels in Italy where we'd encountered various shower quirks (slow drains, erratic water temperature and pressure, lack of a bathtub), we thoroughly appreciated the perfectly functioning shower/bathtub in our room. My only very minor complaint was that the bed could have used a blanket or some kind of extra cover. My partner likes to jack up the air conditioning at night, and the sole sheet on the bed wasn't enough to keep me warm. Granted, I'm sure if I'd bothered calling the front desk and asking for a blanket or duvet, they would have immediately brought something up to me.

If you're spending a few days in Taormina, which I highly recommend if you're going to Sicily because it's a very charming little town, do yourself a favor and stay at Hotel Villa Carlotta.

Room Tip: Even though we'd originally booked a Double Superior room, I believe they ended up putting us in...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,042 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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 (146)
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English first
Banstead, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2013

We are still on holiday here but can't say enough how wonderful the Hotel and staff are especially
Olga and Ricardo !!!
From time of arrival they have gone out of their way to ensure we are having a wonderful time.
The breakfast selection fabulous you won't want lunch together with a stunning view!

Staff in the restaurant are great cant do enough even down to the lady that cleans our room.(Junior suit garden view) very nice.
Of an evening short ten minute walk in to Taormina lots of restaurants and bars and shopping !!!
We still have a few days to go but couldn't wait to let other people know how wonderful it is here.
We will definitely return have just also looked at the apartments which seem great if coming with children .
This is a true gem perfect.

Room Tip: ALl the rooms are great!!!
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  • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2013

We stayed at the Hotel Villa Carlotta for 6 days and can not believe the special treatment that we received during the entire stay there. We were traveling with our 23 year old son and 20 year old daughter. They loved every aspect of the hotel too. The greeting we got when we arrived was unbelieveable - they gave us drinks and snacks in the beautiful lounge area. The room was a suite and was large enough for the four of us. It was kept immaculate. Our room was on the first floor, but if you want a room with a larger terrace ask for an upper floor. The pool area is so peaceful and relaxing. There were plenty of lounge chairs and if you didn't want the pool you could take the shuttle to the beach. The breakfast was a wonderful combination of Italian delicacies (salami, prosciutto, cheeses), hot foods, breads, fruits, and amazing cakes and sweets. The personnel at the hotel went above and beyond in everything they did - in the restaurant for breakfast - Alberto, Mara, and Patrizia are the best. At dinner Marco and the chef, David, are fantastic. It is well worth it to eat dinner in the restaurant - the risotto with mushrooms is delicious! The chef even made a special pizza for us because we were getting back to the hotel very late. They left it in our room and it was even still hot when we came in! Olga, Riccardo and Natalie were always available to help with questions about restaurants and things to do in Sicily! Olga gave us great suggestions for shopping too! The owners - the Quartuccis are so very lucky to have people who work for them who are so exceptional! We have also stayed at the Villa Ducale and love that hotel too, but if you want to be closer to the center of the town and the beach you will fall in love with the Villa Carlotta. We can not wait to return again and spend time at this very special hotel! Thank you to all of you for making our vacation one we will never forget!

Room Tip: A room on an upper floor is great. If you want to be closer to the pool then ask for a room on a lo...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 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.
villacarlotta, Owner at Hotel Villa Carlotta, responded to this review, July 9, 2013
Dear friends from NJ, USA,
I would like to highly thank you for your fantastic review which made us all feel so proud of !!
It is certainly true that Villa Carlotta is a very beautiful and special hotel but certainly it is true that you can find a very very patient and extremely available staff who go beyond to ensure our guests well being.
The guys you mentioned feel very proud and they want to thank you too.
WE are all looking forward to your third visit in 2014 !!!
Arrivederci a presto,
ANDREA AND ROSARIA QUARTUCCI
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlottesville, Virginia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2013

During our June stay at this gem of a hotel we became members of the family and found a home in Taormina. That is the philosophy of the Quartuccis, owners of Villa Carlotta and Villa Ducale: their properties are your home, and all guests are special. The staff’s warmth and helpfulness exceeded our expectations, from everyone at the desk (special thanks to Nathalie for her patience with my wifi ignorance) to the rooftop restaurant, where cappuccino by Alberto and prosecco by Marco began and ended our days. Speaking of the restaurant, the breakfast buffet is first class. Our beautifully appointed junior suite offered an outstanding view of the sparkling Ionian Sea, and the sweeping vistas from the rooftop never failed to thrill us. Villa Carlotta is situated so that the charming town, excellent restaurants and the funicular to the beach are all within easy walking distance. (You can also buy a pass for a private beach with shuttle service – the desk staff will arrange that for you.) We went up to the Villa Ducale for drinks and dinner one night, which was well worth it. The hotel is situated up higher on the mountain and boasts its own incredible views. Thank you to everyone for making our Taormina trip so comfortable and memorable! We can’t wait to return!

  • 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.
villacarlotta, Owner at Hotel Villa Carlotta, responded to this review, July 8, 2013
Dear Bobbing2,
it was simply wonderful to read your beautiful comments after your recent stay at Villa Carlotta.
Thank you for your personal compliments you extended to my wife about the Villa Ducale, we are very proud of our stunning properties and our fantastic staff.
Just to be precise, the shuttle servicfe to the beach is complimentary, you only have to pay the sun umbrellas and anything else you may consume such as drinks, food, etc.
We are looking forward to your next visit,
ARRIVEDERCI !!!!!
Fam. Quartucci
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London, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2013

We have just stayed for the second time at this top class hotel and I would thoroughly recommend it. The rooms are lovely overlooking the sea and you can't beat the sea views from the rooftop terrace where you have breakfast. The breakfast selection is fantastic, we also ate dinner here which was delicious. The hotel is only a 5 minute walk to the main area where the bars and restaurants are located but what makes a stay here truly special is the staff, they are incredibly attentive and welcoming. Villa Carlotta is the perfect place for a relaxing break and we will definitely be coming back again.

Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Virginia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2013

This is our second time staying at this Hotel. We didn't even consider staying at supposedly grander or palatial-sounding place because after you experience this staff's warm hospitality and the top notch accommodations--all you want to encounter is the same. In the past, my husband and I stayed at the Hotel and we had a lovely room overlooking the sea--but, alas it was a cold December and while the view was still impressive, it was not the same as when we returned in June. In June of this year, there was no room at the hotel, but we were able to stay at a lovely apartment, very close to the hotel which had everything one could need for your Sicilian holiday as a family (stove, refrigerator, dishes, pots, washer/dryer, even a toaster)! It turned out ideal as we were traveling with my parents, they had their own room with en suite toilet (as did my husband and I). The apartment was decorated in a lively nautical theme and had a lovely view of the ocean and Mt. Etna. We had access to all of the amenities of the Hotel (pool, bar) and we dined at the roof top terrace restaurant where we enjoyed our complimentary cocktail. The Chef came out to greet us and told us a bit about himself and the inspiration for the dishes he prepared. In addition to a wonderfully delicious meal (and reasonably priced for Italy) the view, again was superb!! Ricardo and his staff (special hello to Olga) helped us with arranging for a shuttle service to the beach, and even after we missed our "pick up" because of a misunderstanding (on our part), they were very solicitous--making sure to arrange for the driver to pick us up so that we could enjoy our "beach time" at the wonderful Lido La Caravella (great lunch there too). The hotel provides these top of the line, soft beach towels in the cutest little raffia-like bags--too cute! This is the place to stay if you want a first rate experience!

  • 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, UK
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
121 helpful votes 121 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2013

My husband and I had a wonderful stay at Hotel Villa Carlotta. Overall it was fabulous but I feel that for 400 Euros per night, there are some minor things that could be improved. It could be that my expectations are somewhat higher given that we've recently stayed at the Four Seasons in Florence where everything was exception (although I appreciate that it is a 5 star hotel and Villa Carlotta is a 4 star). Interestingly enough though the rack rates are not that dissimilar.

The hotel itself is small (25 rooms) and tastefully decorated through out. The size meant that nowhere felt too busy and we loved the fact that there were plenty of nooks and crannies both inside and outside for guests to relax. We particularly liked the reading room on 3rd floor which was always empty when we went in there and had stunning views of the sea. The pool was smaller than we anticipated but was sufficient for our needs, and was always quiet and guests could relax in peace. There were also sufficient loungers at all times of the day. The hotel provides complimentary towels every day for all of its guest which can be picked up at the poolside bar or reception.

We stayed in room 102 - a junior suite with sea view. It was large and comfortable and in a good state of repair generally. The bed was large and firm. The bathroom could do with some improvement however. Although it was large, the shower was over the bath and the shower screen did not prevent the water from flooding the bathroom floor. The bath tub itself was also slightly stained. Neither of which was a massive deal (not enough to complain) but not what I'd expect of a 4 star hotel.

The staff throughout the hotel are warm, friendly and welcoming. They gave the hotel a feeling of being a family run place which was lovely. Most importantly the staff were all very efficient and did their jobs exceptionally well. My husband and I didn't really have a need to use the staff much as we just wanted a holiday where we could lock ourselves away and enjoy some sun, but from our few dealings with them, I got the impression that nothing was too much trouble for them.

The buffet breakfasts are as good as the reviews on Trip Advisor and it is included in the price! Everything was delicious and there was plenty of it, and you can enjoy beautiful views of the coast from the terrace. There was even complimentary Prosecco should you wish to treat yourself in the morning! The hotel also provide a complimentary buffet of appertisers at 6:30pm each day. My husband and I ate dinner at the terrace on two occasions. The food was good (traditional Sicilian fare) but we were surprised that there was only 1 waiter serving on both nights. It was clear that he was rushed off his feet and we overheard some other guests commenting to him that he needed to call in some help. He did an exceptional job considering the circumstances but it would have better if there had been more staff. Guests who can afford to stay at this level of hotel and to eat at its restaurant would expect a better service. Guests were keen to get advice about the menu (particularly because it is Sicilian) and on local wines. He simply did not have enough time to engage with them. On the first evening our food was even brought out by the kitchen staff. This situation is even more odd when you consider that there are 2 members of staff waiting in the morning for breakfast when the food is served buffet-style.

The location of the hotel was a major bonus. It is a 50 minute transfer from Catania airport. The hotel can arrange a transfer for you for 100 Euros each way, however we organised our own for only 69 Euros using newtravelservices.net. I would highly recommend them. The hotel is an easy (not hilly) 10-15 minute walk from the town where you can find Corso Umberto (the main shopping thoroughfare), loads of restaurants and the Teatro Greco. The walk will also take you through the public gardens which are small, but pretty.

It is also a 25 minute walk in the opposite direction down to the beach (Isola Bella). Be warned that the walk is all downhill via steps so some people who are more elderly or less able may struggle to do it on foot. The hotel does have links with two private lidos that provide a free shuttle service in both directions as long as you pay the entrance fee. These need to be reserved in advance. I think the hotel could benefit from providing its own shuttle service as we found being tied to one of two lidos a bit limiting (see below). The walk does offer some fantastic views of the coast and Isola Bella.

Isola Bella was gorgeous and well worth a visit. The hotel will provide towels and a beach bag for you to take with you - just ask at reception. Be warned that the beach is not sandy - mainly gritty - and is very sharp (and hot) underfoot. Flip flops do not fare well - you're better off with a shoe that is attached at the ankle. After a short visit to Isola Bella, we decided to go to Lido La Pigna (10 euros to get in per lounger) so that we could get the free shuttle back up to the hotel. It was not what we expected - it was incredibly crowded with every square inch being taken up with loungers and parasols and incredibly noisy (although this meant it was great for people watching). Not the idyllic beach we expected. The sea was also very choppy the day we were there, and there were jelly fish everywhere. In hindsight we would not have gone here had it not been for the free transfers and chosen somewhere else.

Other good things about Villa Carlotta - there was a real mix of nationalities of guests staying at the hotel which was great. No sign of the typical "Brits abroad". Bizarrely, all the few children staying there were also brilliantly behaved. The wifi was also free (reception will give you a login) and the signal was great throughout the hotel - even by the pool and in the garden. The air conditioning was also good in the room - not too cold and not too hot - some what of a rarity these days! The hotel also provide two bottles of complimentary water in the rooms each day - however these are very small (250 ml). We would recommend that you nip out a local mini-mart and buy your own. The water was priced at 2.50 euros per small bottle should you want more from the mini-bar, and for that price we managed to buy 9 litres from the mini-mart.

Overall, we had a very enjoyable stay but would think twice about returning as it just fell short of what we'd expect for the price that we paid.

Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
villacarlotta, Owner at Hotel Villa Carlotta, responded to this review, July 18, 2013
Dear Meifan from London,
thank you for taking the time to write something I would call more a report than a review.
I thank you particularly for comparing our small boutique hotel to the "four season" in Florence which is 2 stars more than us.
I understand you were not completely happy about your stay in partial disagreement with most people that are fully happy with us and I am sorry.
I respect your very very personal opinion but frankly it is hard for me to agree with it.
Kind regards,
Mr. Andrea Quartucci, the owner
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Additional Information about Hotel Villa Carlotta

Address: Via Pirandello, 81, 98039 Taormina, Sicily, Italy
Phone Number:
Location: Italy > Sicily > Province of Messina > Taormina
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Luxury Hotel in Taormina
#2 Family Hotel in Taormina
#7 Business Hotel in Taormina
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Villa Carlotta 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Villa Carlotta is an aristocratic 1860 Sicilian villa converted into a luxury boutique hotel in the centre of Taormina at 5/7 minutes walk to the historical pedestrian area of town. Our hotel, member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World group, is located in a panoramic and tranquil part of Taormina, overlooking the Ionian sea, lush mediterranean gardens, Italy’s mainland coast and on one side Mount Etna, Europe’s highest and most interesting active volcano.You can feel an informal and elegant atmosphere all around the hotel which has been decorated individually by celebrated Italian interior designers making it an idyllic place, ideal for honeymooners or for those looking for romance, relax and good Sicilian food. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Carlotta Hotel Taormina
Hotel Villa Carlotta Taormina, Sicily

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