A short train ride from Messina found us in the seaside resort town of Taormina for a conference. We had elected to stay in a small hotel a half kilometer from the grand hotel where the meeting was being held. A short, but sinuous and expensive taxi ride 20 Euro taxi ride (found out later we overpaid by 5 Euros) found us on a narrow street in front of the Villa Taormina.
It is a small hotel with only 8 or 9 rooms just a couple of staircases up from the Duomo Square near the Catania Gate in the southern part of Taormina. A former private home, it was lovingly and beautifully restored beginning around 2002 and started accepting guests three years later. It backs onto a quiet private garden that has a hot tub, although there is no pool. Wireless Internet is included and was very reliable. We stayed in a large room with a small, but usable balcony overlooking the garden. The pictures speak for themselves.
There is no restaurant in the hotel, but a dining room, opening onto a large balcony serves a freshly prepared and sumptuous breakfast buffet each morning from 7AM to 10AM. The view from the breakfast room stretches from Mt. Aetna on the south to the tip of Calabria on the north, framing the Ionian Sea. There is no bar, but liquor is available in the sitting room across from the lobby or in room. The rooms were always made up promptly and nicely while we were out, even though our schedule was very irregular.
The staff, though few in number, were as hospitable as any we have met and made us feel at home immediately and sad to leave.
It is difficult to put a price on passing through the lobby on the way to dinner and being stopped by the lovely lady manning the desk so she could stand up, spread her hands and say “molte bella, you look so beautiful!”
The staff spoke excellent English and gave us good recommendations for dining, also arranging some private tours for us.
Simply, they could not have been nicer and more attentive.
There is no exercise room, so we did aerobics in the garden.
We will perhaps return to Taormina. If we do, the main reason will be the friendly, beautifully decorated hotel Villa Taormina, where we felt more at home than at any hotel we have yet stayed.
Interestingly, some members of our meeting who stayed at the recommended hotel, had tiny rooms, unreliable Internet for 17 Euros/day and a snooty staff who treated guests as an imposition.
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