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“Perfect high-end agriturismo getaway” 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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London, United Kingdom
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Perfect high-end agriturismo getaway”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2014

A huge effort of heart and soul has been put into this luxurious hotel, and it's obvious where it matters. The staff are charming, knowledgeable and well-trained. They understand that the biggest impression when you leave somewhere is the human experience, which is excellent. The food and wine are also really good, as you would expect from a place with these aspirations and prices. Small details like the bar near the swimming pool and in the main reception area, are a nice touch. Dining on the And of course the views are stunning, though I don't think I can give you credit for those Guido!
But it's expensive and you need to understand that most of the bedrooms are dotted around the main Baroque mansion on the slopes among the hillside vineyards. Once you are back in your room you are on your own. So don't expect room service except some drinks provided. The rooms are designed with a great eye for style and an idea only for the comfort and peacefulness of your stay. You need to be careful walking late at night after a bottle (or two) from the wonderful wine list. But that's all part of the fun.
This is high end agriturismo among the green foothills of Etna, where the air is cooler. I would recommend for a romantic weekend break or your last night or two in Sicily.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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 taking the time to write these kind words, from which I can easily deduce that you fully understood the concept and the philosophy of Monaci. I’m glad and grateful to read that you really enjoyed your stay and that we somehow contributed to it.

You are right when you say that you can’t give me credit for the stunning beauty of this place, since I had the fortune to discover almost by chance and I immediately loved it.

I do hope that we will have the 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.

Warm regards,
Guido Coffa
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141 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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 (30)
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English first
Leicester, England, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
290 helpful votes 290 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2014 via mobile

Firstly the pros... We loved the peace, great bed/ towels,fab friendly staff and great breakfasts and general ambience.delicious desserts at dinner and local wine!
Now the cons... For the price it doesn't stack up ...when does shabby become chic? It's a fine line. Dead plants next to you at dinner at 48euros doesn't do it. Damp spreading in bathroom because they decided not to tile.
Main courses at dinner failed on the flavour front and generally very bland.
Room 2 is to avoided as no natural light without other guests looking in all the time.
What really annoys us about this type of hotel is the self congratulatory approach in questions ... " isn't our hotel fabulous?" Etc... Rather than " how can we improve your experience?"
Eg make sure by 9 am all sun beds have a cushions on them and yesterday's bottles and glasses are cleared away.
For 3 days in a row we had to get our own cushions from the unfinished store room and lay them out as did other guests... Not nearly good enough for the price. We are staying today in a 5 star villa Athena hotel overlooking the valley of the temples at Agrigento and it is fabulous AND the same price!!!
Word of warning the area around Monaci is very depressing with nothing to see apart from downtrodden infuriating street networks and poor signage.
Steps to breakfast are our final concern ... Treacherous and unnecessary ... Improve please!!!anyone over 50 beware!
Monaci is an oasis of calm in an otherwise unremarkable and certainly not pretty area.


Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
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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 10, 2014
Dear Guest,

We would like to 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, the ambiance, Mt. Etna wines and the food we serve at our restaurant, which is prepared with organic home-grown products and refined ingredients. Running an organic farm and keeping the balance between the identity of the place and the philosophy of an agritourism require efforts and dedication, in order to provide our guests with a unique stay.

We are sorry that you did not have the chance to experience the Etna area in all its aspects. It is the wine production centre of Sicily and every major House of the Etna area is in the near surroundings. Sea is less than 20 minutes far from the hotel and the majority of our guests fall in love with the oasis of calm that is Monaci. The view from here is sea in front and the mountain behind, with its varied ecosystems, plant life and colors. Catania is only 20 km far away and the whole Val di Noto area is the cradle of the Baroque art.

We have put in place arrangements to ensure that the pool area is well-prepared for our guests before 9.00 am and we are sorry if, despite our efforts, you found something out of order; I fear that at the time you got to the pool our staff’s efforts were invested on breakfast. It is obviously important to ensure that the pool area is properly prepared for our guests, so we are grateful for you bringing this to our attention.

We are sorry that our pride for all that we have achieved has been confused for self-congratulatory attitude, because we take our guests comments very seriously and react to them wherever we see that a point is well made, striving to improve every day.

We do not strive to be a five star hotel. We are an agritourism and our unique concern is to provide a unique stay to our guests in this place, which is an organic working estate that has been rescued from ruin. We aim at providing comfort and style amidst the olive groves.

We are glad that you appreciated your stay in Sicily and we do hope we will have the pleasure of welcoming you back on a future visit.

Best wishes
Guido Coffa
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San Francisco, CA
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
50 hotel reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
116 helpful votes 116 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2014

At the base of Mt. Etna, Monaci is an agriturismo that provides an enjoyable experience and grows much of its own produce. It is a collection of old buildings that have been converted into rooms. It is a great base for exploring the Etna area. We enjoyed walking the property (there are 40 acres) and viewing the various vegetable farms and terraces of fruit and olive trees and a beautiful pool area. Our room was in the old stable and was pleasant, but perhaps a bit too rustic and would benefit from touch up paint, floor boards and some general sprucing up. From quick views of the other outer buildings/accommodations, they appear nicer and more up-to-date and therefore may be better choices. We would also suggest improving the outdoor pathways as they can be a bit treacherous, especially at night. The staff was wonderful—friendly and helpful. We particularly liked the young man from Sri Lanka (we can’t remember his name) serving dinner and Antonio at breakfast. We very much enjoyed the meals. Breakfast was an array of gorgeous fruit from the property and the surrounding area with made-to-order cappuccinos, wonderful cheeses, yogurt, eggs, and bread. Dinners were wonderful and I am not sure why anyone would want to drive to a meal anywhere else. We ate there both nights and it is a set menu with a choice of entrees. Both evenings the food was delicious—although not elaborate, the food is very high quality, fresh and delicious and it is served in a lovely dining room. With a little bit of work (perhaps it is in process?) this could be a stellar property and we enjoyed our stay there.

Room Tip: Choose a room in one of the outer buildings
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
New York
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2014

Just returned from 4 days at MdTN in Zefferana Etna and my husband and I couldn't have asked for a better way to enjoy our anniversary. If your a fan of unique, boutique hotel experiences, this is surely for you. Perched in the foothills of Mount Etna, amidst vineyards and citrus trees and views of the sea for miles, it's as quiet as you one could hope for. We were calling it "Rustic Chic," as it has a minimalist, natural feel and decor. Best part about the hotel, the restaurant and views. Restricted only to current hotel guests, with a menu created daily using organic fresh vegetables, bread, olive oil (heaven!), and wine-ALL made ON PREMISES (in addition to local meat/fish). Delicious, delicious, delicious! Enjoyed a nice ayurvedic massage from a lovely masseuse, though not for you if you're the shy type :-) Best to have a rented car to navigate the switchbacks and rocky/dirt roads through Catania and Zefferana. Definitely take a trip to Taormina and Isola Bella, which were about 30-40 min by car. Excellent service from full hotel staff, from reception to dining. Take a walk around the whole property to take in all the cherry trees, organic farming, kiwi plants, grape vineyards, etc!

Opt for one of the rooms/villas that stands alone and don't forget your own bath soaps/shampoos.
Not very child friendly.
Don't expect to wear anything but flat shoes or sandals around the rugged property :-)
Air condition did not work well in our villa, but it's very cool at night so not needed.

Feel free to contact with questions!!

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Buderim, Australia
Top Contributor
108 reviews 108 reviews
51 hotel reviews
Reviews in 70 cities Reviews in 70 cities
104 helpful votes 104 helpful votes
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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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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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
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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.
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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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