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“A work in progress that can be great” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Monaci delle Terre Nere

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Monaci delle Terre Nere
Via Monaci snc, 95019 Zafferana Etnea, Sicily, Italy   |  
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Buderim, Australia
Top Contributor
110 reviews 110 reviews
52 hotel reviews
Reviews in 71 cities Reviews in 71 cities
107 helpful votes 107 helpful votes
“A work in progress that can be great”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2014 via mobile

I have delayed my review for a month to complete our second full month of travel ( by car ) in Italy before reviewing Monaci. My aim is to be constructive.

Monaci is Guido's passion and he has certainly achieved a lot in two years of development. But Monaci still has a long way to go to be great and value for money.

The agricultural venture consists largely of fruit trees on terraces. They have been overgrown and don't look attractive. A lot more work.

This is not a family friendly resort. The rooms are not very suitable and the rough steps and some significant unprotected drops are a hazard. The food menu, meal timing and dining provision for families is not acceptable. Monaci seeks to offer slow dining and it just doesn't work with small children. Our expatriate and his wife with twin 5 year old boys living in England met us at Monaci. They stayed a week. My wife and I stayed 5 days.

The pool was too cold for children and there is no play equipment.

Our room had the embarrassing situation that anyone going to the toilet next door sounded like a fire hose - and using the shower was similar. Flushing at night was awful.

Travelling for 3 months, my wife and I need to hand wash clothes. The hand basin was useless and there was no provision for drying clothes.

Breakfast was interesting, served on the terrace but it would be helpful to get rid of some stones and flatten the ground. It was a bit too rough and the stone stairs would be difficult for people with knee problems or the elderly.

This is a romantic location for the honeymooner and gay market. The food is certainly very good and it is served very slowly in a nice dining room so a long and romantic dinner is certain.

After 2 months in Italy and 3 months last year in France and several other international holidays in between, my wife and I don't think that Monaci, as currently presented, is value for money compared with other offerings in Italy. But Guido will probably succeed in achieving his passion and we hope he does.



Stayed May 2014, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
monaciterrenere, Proprietario at Monaci delle Terre Nere, responded to this review, August 1, 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you for choosing Monaci and for taking the time to provide us with your constructive criticism.

We recognize that finding a balance between an authentic restoration of an 18th century building and providing for every guest’s specification could be hard; anyway here at Monaci we have hosted guests of every age and all of them have appreciated the logistics of our hotel. We have 15 rooms and they are very different one from another, so we can assure our guests they will have the room which is the most suitable to their needs.

Whilst we could flatten the breakfast area, we would also sterilize it by doing so; we have opted for retaining the old terracing, but we recognize your alternative point of view. Usually our guests appreciate having breakfast outside in order to enjoy the mild temperature of Sicily. If we were informed about your inconvenience, we would have set up your breakfast inside.

As for the pace of the dinner, it is our aim to encourage slow eating but again, we recognize the needs of a family with children and we will provide with whatever is requested of us.

If a guest asks something, we do our best to meet that requirement as part of our desire to provide him/her with an excellent service. We are a small hotel so we do not offer a laundry service automatically, but if asked, we will do everything to make our guests’ stay welcome.

Our estate is not overgrown, but fully functioning and looked after, moreover it provides the bedrock of our business. Our fruits, vegetables, oil and - soon - wine are all produced here and they are the ingredients of what is served in our restaurant.

A nice and relaxing walk through our land, visiting our farm, could have helped you in appreciating our work and our estate. I’m sure that the next time you come to Monaci, you’ll profit by a “guided tour” with me, in this way I would have the pleasure to telling you Monaci’s identity and philosophy.

We hope we’ll have the chance of welcoming you on a future occasion.

Thank you for your loyalty,
Kind regards,

Guido Coffa
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146 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (31)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Geneva, Switzerland
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2014

The site and many reviews made me book this place, but ...... It's not what you'd expect. It's very rustic, basic and it feels like staying at a farm ..... Maybe that's the intend, but then this needs to be clear on the site.

Overall the rooms, communal areas and the pool are not clean. The estate is not maintained, the vineyards are neglected and there's rubbish lying around.

The menu is overpriced, with 48 euro's for vegetables from the garden and simple rustic food.

The staff is unprofessional, upon arrival we're seated in the reception area and we had to wait until someone was coming to bring us to the room. It turned out after 30min waiting thst I anyhow had to take my own car up to the room. It was not a warm welcome, if felt that they had already enough of their customers. On top of it, whilst waiting someone was hovering the area, this was at 3pm in the afternoon ..... I suggest you do the cleaning before the guests are awake ..... The rooms are expensive and very basic and rustic. The bathroom wasn't fresh and clean. The toilet seating was loose and didn't fit. The same for the water taps they we're loose and it felt some maintenance and renovation was needed. Coming to the room, no effort was made to check the room before our arrival. We had to put up the parasol ourselves and the chairs in the garden word still 'stored'.

Anyhow long story short, disappointing and I did nog recognize the greatness of it as per many reviews. I suggest to the owner, Guido apparently ..... To make a choice, do you want high end luxury, as your prices suggest, if so you need to invest .... If you don't want to invest you need to change the concept and the price level. Right now is just nothing .... It lacks a concept!

Room Tip: If you don't want to take the dad back and forward to your room, pool and main areas ask god a r...
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
monaciterrenere, Proprietario at Monaci delle Terre Nere, responded to this review, August 1, 2014
Dear Guest,

First of all thank you for choosing Monaci delle Terre Nere for your stay in Sicily.

I regret reading that your expectations have been somehow disappointed, because our guests’ satisfaction is what we care about most.

We are very surprised for what you wrote, forasmuch as the only room you had the possibility to see was yours and it was a superior double that has recently been restored, as besides the whole estate, which was restored and opened last year.

If you had informed us about your concerns during your stay, they would have received our immediate attention and we would have worked to fix the situation on the spot.

On our website and everywhere online, we are very careful about informing our guests on what is Monaci, deep in a peaceful farm setting on the slopes of Mt.Etna and surrounded by nature. It is not a boutique hotel, yet it combines Sicilian traditional architecture with contemporary art and living. The vast majority of our guests understands and appreciates Monaci’s concept. We strive to offer a haven from the swirling vortex of the modern world. We do not aim at luxury but at comfort and style within what is a working estate where we produce most of what we consume and serve in our restaurant. We do not strive for perfection but warmth, comfort and peace, amidst a genuine environment.

Our farm is not neglected, on the contrary we love and devout ourselves to it since the products we serve at our restaurant are the fruits of our invaluable soils. The ingredients we use to cook are home-grown organic products and we can guarantee the best quality of what is served.
We have been fortunate enough to receive many compliments on our service and on the professionalism and the hospitality of our staff. Perhaps if your stay had been longer, you would have had the opportunity to appreciate all that we offer.

We look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.

Best regards,
Guido Coffa
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Centreville, Virginia
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2014

This review is way too long in coming, as my husband Vincenzo and I honeymooned here back in Nov 2013. The place is gorgeous...no, heavenly. Guido, Ada and the entire staff was warm, friendly, welcoming and couldn't do enough for us. They even upgraded our room to the gorgeous 2-story suite (with fireplace) for free, as a wedding gift. The food was outstanding, fresh, healthy, and we "city folk from Washington DC" felt like a million bucks by the time we left from the food, fresh air and peaceful atmosphere of this beautiful place. We're planning a return trip in August. If you find yourself in Sicily, stay here. You won't be sorry.

  • Stayed November 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.
monaciterrenere, Proprietario at Monaci delle Terre Nere, responded to this review, July 7, 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to post your review on the site following your stay with us and I am thrilled that you had a very special experience with us on your very special occasion. It was our great pleasure taking care of you.
We are so glad and proud to read that you have enjoyed your stay and that our service met your expectations.
I have passed your kind words to all the team who appreciate it and we do hope that we will have the pleasure of welcoming you back in the not too distant future.
Thank you,

Best wishes,

Guido Coffa
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brussels, Belgium
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2014

first of all, the staff is brilliant! very friendly and helpful.
Overall we liked the hotel and it's perfect for a short stay. however we couldn't help but feel that the hotel is being hyped (and the cracks are starting to show), we've had a very nice time, but it comes at a (very high) cost.
Restaurant, the food is fresh and lovely. It's very convenient but a bit pricy for what you get.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
monaciterrenere, Proprietario at Monaci delle Terre Nere, responded to this review, July 7, 2014
Dear Guest,

We would like to thank you for choosing Monaci for your stay in Sicily and for taking the time to write these kind words on our staff, our restaurant and our property.

Our restaurant serves only fresh food, which is prepared with organic home-grown products and refined ingredients, which require efforts and dedication.

I do hope that we will have pleasure of welcoming you back on a future visit and please do not hesitate to contact us if we can be of any further assistance.
Thank you,
Warm wishes,

Guido Coffa
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Top Contributor
115 reviews 115 reviews
44 hotel reviews
Reviews in 62 cities Reviews in 62 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2014

We stayed in the new dependance suites and were amazed by the architecture and stylishness of the rooms. We stayed in room 12 which has a bedroom and separate lounge area and bathroom. It was really nice living in a cavelike room. You need some slippers to walk the stairs between the rooms as the rocky steps are not so comfortable.

The bed is perfect and when you turn on the scenic lights it looks like you are surrounded by little candles throughout your room, really amazing and romantic. The rooms are equipped with air-conditioning and are spacious, quiet and comfortable.

The breakfast area is unique. It is placed outside against the hill and all you can image is there. Fresh fruit from the farm, cheese and meats together with the most amazing orange juice and coffee. The Coffee is something special, served by Antonio and Allessio, and comes in all options and served again and again with passion and expertise.

We had some small mishap during our stay which was taken care of by Nuan, coming over the 400 meters towards the dependance within minutes. Things can happen but it is the way it is fixed and managed is distinguishing normal and excellent guesthouses. Monaci della Terre Nere is truly excellent and if we are back in Sicily we will definitely return.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
monaciterrenere, Proprietario at Monaci delle Terre Nere, responded to this review, July 7, 2014
Dear Guest,

We’ll hardly find the words to thank you enough for your comments. Your detailed description is a source of pride for us, because it proves how caring about details could pay back when it comes to guests’ satisfaction.

We would like to thank you for taking the time to share your experience with future and past travelers, because your opinion is what we care about most.

We truly hope we’ll have the opportunity of welcoming you again in our Hotel,

Warm wishes.
Guido Coffa
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2014 via mobile

We stayed for a long period (7 nights), 2 adults with 2 young kids. After quite a drive from Catania airport through the narrow streets at the foot of mt Etna we finally arrived .The welcome was warm and friendly by all staff we met. We got the newly renovated 2 room suite located about 200m from the main building. What seemed like a small detail when booking proved to be quite an issue. Those 200m are of a dusty windy and dark at night dirt road, unsuitable for constant travelling back and forth with kids. The room itself, while spacious and luxurious left some to be desired (eg - stairs made of stone in the room with sharp edges one can cut himself on, really noisy A/C). We switched rooms after 2 nights and that made it all much better, but still.. Small details are still missing to make it the luxury it aims to be.

On the plus side are the amazing staff, especially Nuan and Antonio (who makes the best coffee I've ever had!) and the really nice breakfast outdoors.

  • Stayed June 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
monaciterrenere, Proprietario at Monaci delle Terre Nere, responded to this review, July 7, 2014
Dear Guest,

We would thank you for choosing our hotel and for taking the time to write this review. We are very grateful for your kind words on the staff and we are glad that you have enjoyed your stay and our service.

Thank you for bringing it to our attention that you did not appreciated the road. The charm of this place comes from nature around and many guests choose Monaci as a farm holiday. We are very careful about informing our guests on the distance between some rooms and the main building and many of our guests choose these rooms in order to enjoy the calm of the location and to experience a nice walk surrounded by nature and peace.

All materials chosen for the building are strictly linked to the identity of this place (e.g. stone walls); in the whole estate there are warnings stressing possible but unlikely dangers, in order to ensure the safety of our guests. Moreover, here at Monaci we have different rooms to meet every guest’s needs and if we were aware that your sons were kids, we would have suggested a more suitable room, such as Fresco or other.

We would like to thank you for spending your time in giving us your precious feedback. I have passed your very kind words to all the team who appreciate your time and we do hope that we will have the pleasure of welcoming you back to the hotel on a future visit.

Once again, thank you. We look forward to welcoming you back on a future occasion.

Best regards,

Guido Coffa
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Horsham, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2014

Monaci is set in a wonderful location with views to the coast and inland to Etna. We stayed for 4 nights in June when the weather was variable; it was unseasonably cold for a couple of days.
All staff individually were helpful and welcoming and did their best. What was lacking was an overall strong and visible management presence to ensure the service was tailored to customer needs. For instance, was it sensible to keep breakfast Al fresco when we had to wear our overcoats? A warming fire in reception would have added to the lovely aperitif time on those cold evenings.
Rooms were comfortable. There were some nice examples of style throughout Monaci but located on a working (ecological) farm the rural nature won out. With a bit more thought it could be even better. This is the dilemma, is it a stylish destination or a eco farm?

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
monaciterrenere, Proprietario at Monaci delle Terre Nere, responded to this review, July 7, 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your kind words on our property. We are very pleased and grateful for your positive comments on our staff and our hotel.

We regret reading that we somehow disappointed some of your expectations, because here at Monaci our guests’ satisfaction is what we care about most.
Usually our foreign guests appreciate having breakfast outside in order to enjoy the mild temperature of Sicily. If we were informed about your inconvenience, we would have set up you breakfast inside or you could have enjoyed our room service.

We try to preserve the historic identity and local traditions of this place and we always try to keep the balance between the contemporary art, the natural surroundings and the organic soul of our estate.

We hope we’ll have the chance of welcoming you on a future occasion.

Thank you for your loyalty,
Best regards,

Guido Coffa
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Monaci delle Terre Nere

Address: Via Monaci snc, 95019 Zafferana Etnea, Sicily, Italy
Phone Number:
Location: Italy > Sicily > Province of Catania > Zafferana Etnea
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In 2007, by chance, I stumbled upon this place, fell in love with it and decided to devote my life to its resurrection.To bring this place, previously chosen by the monks of Saint Anna’s order for his special energy and extraordinary charm, back to life. It has become the second great project of my life. The estate Monaci delle Terre Nere is situated along the slopes of Mount Etna, the biggest volcano in Europe on the border of the Etna National Park at 500mt above sea level. My wish has been to preserve the historic identity and local traditions, more than a Boutique Hotel it is a home which I hope retains its intimacy. The house which dates from 1800 is listed as one of historical importance. It is now a place where traditional Sicilian Architecture is combined with contemporary art and living. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Monaci Delle Terre Nere Zafferana Etnea, Sicily, Italy

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