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“A Splendid and Grand Hotel” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Excelsior Palace Hotel

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Excelsior Palace Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Via Toselli 8, 98039 Taormina, Sicily, Italy   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #43 of 89 Hotels in Taormina
Hampshire
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“A Splendid and Grand Hotel”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2011

What a Grand and Stylish Hotel building - almost like entering Buckingham Palace ! Some people would not like this sort of thing (my 12 yr old remarked that it was "too old fashioned) ! I can easily see how you could mistake some of the rooms as being "dirty" but that was not the case. It was more the fact that the baths for instance were the proper old fashioned ones and the decor was a bit dark.
Swimming Pool - a fair few flights of stairs down, walking through the glorious gardens. The pool was large, very secluded, with a bar and toilets, shower/changing rooms. It also had a magnificent view down towards the town and sea area. I particularly liked the evening meal gathered around the pool-side, where a vocalist sang throughout the evening.
Meals - to die for - seriously ! Breakfast was a huge buffet selection to suit all, alongside bacon/scrambled eggs. Evening meal - again a cold buffet, with 3 further courses. I found the cold buffet and the starter adequate for me. All meals were explained fully and vegetarians were well catered for. I even asked for a specific meal to be cooked for me, without notice, no problem !
Bar Area - a very comfortable and cosy area. There was even a piano there (which my daughter happily played) ! Drink were pricey compared to the UK (but all around Taormina was similar)
Reception - they all spoke very good English and was always happy to help with ideas of places to visit etc. They even recommended the best "beach deals" where you could be picked up from hotel, taken to a beach resort with chairs/table all included.
The town itself - I was amazed at how many designer shops there were (bring LOTS of money) ! The walk to the chair lift (down to beach) and the bus station are a good 20 min fast walk away - passing all the shops/cafes !! Take a bus ride to the small village right at the top of Taormina (forgotten the name of it) ! Enjoy the cafe next to the church with "fallic" symbols everywhere !!
I travelled on a package deal with CITALIA. They were very good. We had a private taxi to and from airport and a travel guide was on hand and would gladly meet you at the hotel re any trips etc.
Beware that in August - the temperature reached 100 degrees !! Even with air conditioning - we were still quite hot in our rooms (I think cos of the very high ceilings).
I secretly cried when I left - the whole experience was breath-taking !

Room Tip: Get the rooms with Etna view and side sea view. You are however at the front of the hotel and oppos...
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 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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340 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (81)
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Belfast, NI
Top Contributor
90 reviews 90 reviews
41 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
151 helpful votes 151 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2011

Stayed in the Excelsior Palace for one night as part of a recent trip to Taormina. The staff were very helpful - when I called in to ask about booking a room they advised looking at their website since the offers were much better on it which I did really appreciate. They also let us check in early and were helpful with baggage etc. The room itself was niceand was a reasonable size. We had gone for a slightly better room with etna and side sea view and we weren't disappointed with this. There was also a little balcony but not for the vertiginous - you really did feel perched on the side of the hotel!! But the view were truly lovely. And I really liked the character of the hotel, it just felt like an interesting place to be!

The location is really a plus, it's just at the end of Corso Umberto and if you were driving it's right next to the Porta Catania car park. The pool is also good, you could really swim properly in it if you wanted to, it's a good size although not very deep. It was cold though!! There were also plenty of sunbeds and a poolside bar which I would have really appreciated if I was staying longer.

Breakfast was included in our room rate and was fine, the usual continental breakfast fare but nicely enough done.

Our only downsides were the cost of the room and the lack of aircon in the night. The hotel has a lot of greenery around it and this makes for unfortunate results if you open the window as we did - several bites in a few hours. And it did get very warm - and this was in late September. I don't know what it would be like in the real heat of summer but I don't intend to find out. The internet was also patchy but it was included in the cost and when I was in the lobby it worked fine.

Most of the other guests seemed to be there as part of package deals and maybe this would make it more affordable.

I did enjoy my stay here but it wasn't really worth the exorbitant price - I would stay here again but only if I got a better deal!

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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Suckley
Top Contributor
116 reviews 116 reviews
112 hotel reviews
Reviews in 108 cities Reviews in 108 cities
113 helpful votes 113 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2011

This old style hotel is located on the edge of this popular tourist town and has extensive views of the coast, from the right rooms. It also has large grounds leading to a secluded swimming pool which means you can escape the crowds when the town is at it's busiest. The rooms are comfortable but not particularly stylish and this applies to much of the hotel but there is a reassuring plush elegance about the public areas. The food is good and the choice, particularly for the ante-pasta, is excellent. Service can be a litle slow and the staff are not exactly brimming over with bonhommie. One slight drawback with a visit in the spring is the lack of air conditioning. This is not switched on until later in the year but a warm spring may require open windows and open windows invite mosquitoes so take precautions!

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Barnsley, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
43 hotel reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2011

Stayed for four nights in June, very surprised to read negative reviews of the hotel. The hotel could not have a better location, it is located approximately 50 meters away from the City wall and as such only a short stroll from the cafes and bars. There is also a small supermarket around 100 meters away from the hotel.
We did pay extra for a room with a sea view and was lucky to get another view overlooking the town.The room was of average size and was very clean. The bathroom was a very good size with a bath and shower.
The breakfast was of the buffet variety with both hot and cold dishes.The evening meal was of a very high standard and with a fantastic help yourself anti pasti buffet. The wine list (all Sicilian) was expensive but the wines we did try were all of very good quality. The only negative was that the mealtime coincided with the spectacular sunset that could be viewed from the hotel terrace. The hotel does have very large landscaped gardens including a out door swimming pool.
I can not comment about the price of the hotel as it was part of a two center package but i would definitely stay there again and would definitely recommend it. The hotel was very grand full of character and had very friendly and helpful staff

Room Tip: Go for a sea view rather than the Etna view
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
England
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2011

We stayed at the Excelsior as part of an organised tour. Our room was spacious, with a comfortable king size bed. The bathroom was small but clean and adequate.After a misty first evening, waking up early in the morning and discovering Mt Etna against a pink sky ,remains a highlight of my holiday and I never got tired of looking at the view from our window.I liked the faded grandeur of the hotel, with lots of rooms to choose from for our evening drinks.The staff were pleasant and the meals were good. The antipasti buffet was excellent, as were the local dishes. Breakfast was varied and plentiful. The gardens were beautiful and we enjoyed making use of the lovely swimming pool.The hotel is conveniently situated at the top of the main street in Taormina. All in all, I would recommend staying at the Excelsior.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with views of Mt Etna.
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ilkley, United Kingdom
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2011

We stayed at this hotel for 7 days, via Citalia Travel. Although the hotel is in a very convenient position, on entering it was obvious that the hotel had seen better days, with worn and threadbare carpets in the reception area and some public rooms. On being shown our alloted room we found the bedroom decor to be totally depressing, with sparse furnishings, dirty looking carpet and dusty furniture, and a distinctly unpleasant smell, which we think was coming from the kitchens below.
The bathroom was rather antiquated, with well worn fittings, and not overly clean. The main drainage port situated in the middle of the bathroom floor was blocked with debris, and had not been cleaned out for some time( who knows what unhealthy contents lurked within)! Minimum toiletries were provided, and consisted only of liquid soap, shower cap and small sewing kit. No shampoo, body lotion, conditioner, face cloths, or box of tissues were provided (which would be quite usual in a 4 -star rated hotel).
Breakfast was the same every morning with cheap cereals, tinned fruit, and no fresh fruit juices. There was an attempt to provide a cooked option, consisting of overcooked bacon and scrambled egg which did not look very appetising.
When we expressed a desire to find an alternative hotel we were informed that we would have to forfeit 3 days accommodation costs, plus the full cost of the accommodation in the alternative hotel !
Eventually, we had to pay another 210 Euros for a somewhat better room, which had a more pleasant feel to it.
The Pool area could have been very pleasant had they bothered to give it a thorough clean prior to the opening of the holiday season, with many of the sun loungers suffering from the effects of bird droppings that had not been removed.
Having paid for half board accommodation, we can say that the evening meals were good, if not exciting, but in order to get a full choice of the self -served buffet, and sweets, you had to be sure of being early into the dining room, as if you came in later there was a good chance that much of the food would have already been consumed, and we saw no evidence of staff replenishing those foods.
We are well aware that this hotel is old, and dates back to the early twentieth century, and that an effort has been made to retain some of its old world charm, but there is no excuse for not keeping up to required modern standards of decor and cleanliness.
On the whole the staff were good, and full marks to the barman, who was very friendly and efficient, however, it did prove to be quite disappointing, as we were expecting a somewhat better holiday experience.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bath, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2011

We travelled with a coach tour group through Riviera Travel and were not disappointed. The hotel is in an excellent location at the top end of the main Taormina street, so ideally placed for local restaurants and shops. There is also a small supermarket within 50 yds of the hotel - handy for bottled water and other small items. Our room was large and elegantly furnished with a modern, spotless en-suite bathroom. Most of the rooms have a spectacular view over the valley and bay towards Mt Etna but if you like peace and quiet, ask for a room at the far end of the hotel as some of the rooms are right over the busy highway just below - this could be a problem for some if you like to sleep with the windows open. Hotel food was very good and typically Italian. There was a wide choice at breakfast including hot bacon and very good scrambled eggs. In the evenings, the choice was also good with an excellent veg/fish anti-pasti buffet where you could help yourself. This was followed by three more courses including a wide variety of desserts. The hotel grounds are truly beautiful and has a swimming pool with stunning views over the sea - however, if you have difficulty with steps (there are quite a few!) you may find it difficult climbing back up to the hotel. Staff were friendly and helpful and spoke excellent English. Taormina itself is a tad expensive with lots of upmarket and designer shops, but there are also plenty of places to buy your souvenirs/gifts, especially down towards the Greek amphitheater. DO GO TO the amphitheatre - an unmissable archaological treat. Overall, a wonderful holiday in a very good hotel.

Room Tip: Ask for a room away from the highway below.
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  • Stayed May 2011
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Excelsior Palace Hotel

Address: Via Toselli 8, 98039 Taormina, Sicily, Italy
Location: Italy > Sicily > Province of Messina > Taormina
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#25 Luxury Hotel in Taormina
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Excelsior Palace Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 88
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Excelsior Palace Hotel even to day after more then one hundred years its building is considered one of the most appreciated hotel structure in Taormina.Its architecture draw its origin from a context cultural and natural,Greek,Roman and Medieval.The Excelsior Palace Hotel looks over one of the most beautiful panoramas of the world:Etna and the Bay of Naxos, the Greek Theatre, and the immense space of the Jonian Sea. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Excelsior Palace Taormina
Hotel Excelsior Palace
Excelsior Palace Hotel Taormina, Sicily

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