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.
- Also Known As:
- Carlotta Hotel Taormina
- Hotel Villa Carlotta Taormina, Sicily
- 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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