Firstly the great things about this hotel. The views from the balcony rooms and the breakfast room are just stunning; when the sun is out and you can see the sea and the top of Mount Etna there's a great temptation not to move all day. The staff, from the owner, through the waiting staff to the cleaning ladies are lovely people - just very friendly and helpful. And the breakfast room and adjoining lounge/bar, with hints of period/art deco style, are a joy. Breakfast itself is a comprehensive continental affair, with, for example, eight different fruit juices on offer. My only criticisms are that we would have liked more fresh fruit and the coffee was not the best I've tasted.
However, if you are looking to stay here, there are some things you should consider which might affect your decision. The hotel itself is some way below the town of Taormina itself and to get there on foot you have to walk up a flight of steps and then into town - about 15 minutes for us (an active 60+ couple). And as the hotel only does breakfast (apart from a weekly dinner and music night - good fun from the owner and one of the waiters!) you can be up and down them at least twice daily to get into Taormina to eat or to catch local buses etc. The hotel itself has no lift so it's stairs again if you happen to be on a different floor than reception.
There are different types of 'balcony' rooms - those with small individual balconies, and then those, like the one we stayed in, which are on a 'communal' balcony where you have either to walk past others to get to your room, or other guests are walking past you. It didn't bother us at all and it helped us to socialise with other guests which added to our holiday enjoyment, but not everyone would want this. I would suggest asking for a specific type of balcony room depending on what you want from your holiday.
Our room was fine - not enormous but certainly more than adequate size. Clean, quiet and air-conditioned; two minor negatives - we found the beds very firm (seems to be standard on the continent) and the shower cubicle was quite small, although very efficient. But the room did overlook the sea and Mount Etna so all was forgiven!
Taormina itself is lovely. The main Corso, lined with shops, bars and cafes, widened out to delightful small squares with plenty of good restaurants, and the higher you went the better the views. If you don't want to walk right into Taormina on a evening to eat, we found the Al Giordano restaurant just opposite the (again, lovely) public park to be very good. You still have to walk up those steps from the hotel, though!
Yes, we loved staying at Bel Soggiorno. If you're reasonably fit and don't mind the daily walk up the steps then it's thoroughly recommended. If not, you'd probably be better closer to the town itself where you might be able to walk in on the flat. Just make sure you get a room with a view!
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- Also Known As:
- Bel Soggiorno Taormina
- Hotel Bel Soggiorno
- Bel Soggiorno Hotel Taormina, Sicily