We have just had the most fabulous holiday in Sicily staying with friends for 4 nights in their Villa near Siracusa and then we descended on the Castello .
We were booked four days end of the high season and had paid the going rate which is probably a bit more than most hotels in the region but worth every penny .
We were met by Simone a very nice smiley man who took us and helped with our bags to our very nice room a small distance from the hotel which was kind ,Simone also speaks good English and is extremely helpful.
The rooms surround the Castello ,some are in the beautiful very well kept gardens and some are attached to the Castello ,we were slightly further away in room 136 which is in a row of attached villas surrounded by lovely flowers gardens and trees.The paths around the beautiful Castello are all well lit so late at night it is a 2 minute walk from the Castello ,you will notice how spotlessly clean and well presented the paths ,gardens and all the amenities are. The room we had was perfect ,had all the amenities of a first class hotel other than wifi which is being installed soon we believe ,there is wifi in the reception and bar areas and also by the pool.The soaps and creams in the room are all high end Etro ,the bed was very comfortable, our son enjoyed his pull out bed in the living room which is a perfectly good size.Out of the back windows of the roomyou look across a large field and up into the hills beyond ,my only gripe re the room is that maybe we should of had complimentary water put in the room at the end of each day ,we actually bought it by the pool and squeezed it into the minibar to keep cold ,or just call room service and they will deliver with a smile.The air conditioning in each room worked well .
The restaurant is built in a large silk lined tent like structure which is attached to the Castello ,with Chandeliers on a grand classical scale and gives it an air of elegance .The food is exceptional ,the breakfast is delicious and fresh with so many fantastic choices you could if greedy spend far too much time enjoying the fruits /fresh cakes and pastries all made on site there are hams/salamis eggs & bacon ,cereals,fresh yoghurts ,you name it they have it and I am sure if you ask they will find it .
I believe breakfast is from 7.30am -10.30am which is perfect for some in our family who like a late start.
We ate dinner in the restaurant quite a bit and the food is fantastic ,fresh delicious fish ,great pastas ,salads local cheeses and puddings,I had a fillet steak one night and it was superb .
The waitresses and waiters are charming and jolly but not in your face ,lovely manners and clearly very professional and immacutely well dressed as are all of the staff at the Castello .
The lovely thing about the hotel is that the family who own it live in the Castello and you will see the charming owner wandering the grounds of the hotel with his dog , tipping his hat to the ladies giving instructions if things are not quite as they should be ,he has a very smiley wife who clearly rules the roost.
The hotel has a cosy and friendly feel to it,all the guests we met by the pool were from a very international mix and interesting ,the children by the pool were well behaved and considerate ,if things got a bit noisy (our son) the lifeguard would come over and tell them to keep things down ,although there were not that many times .The pool is vast and very clean ,well maintained as are the facilities such as the loo's and showers near by .Again the staff by the pool are non intrusive and don't bother you but if you tell them when you get to the pool what you would like through the day including lunch by the pool they will organise for you ,Angela is wonderful as are all the other kind staff who could not be more polite and helpful a special mention to the pastry chef who had lived in the uk for a number of years and makes the best cakes .
The pool has a deep end with a diving board ,you can walk around the deep end on a shelf around the side so you are not out of your depth unless in the middle of the pool ,the kids end and side pool is perfect for small ones .
We spent much time butter pool but would head sometimes through the back gate to the hotels private part of the beach ,you need to remember you are on a volcanic island (Mt Etna is in the background )so these beaches are not white sandy beaches like the Bahamas ,the beach is stones and dark volcanic sand ,the Hotel have clearly heavily invested in new amenities such as showers ,walkways and jetties to beach ,small snack bar and permanent umbrellas and have cordoned off from the local beach ,there is a full time lifeguard on duty for the hotel during the day, the area is clean ie no litter on the hotels beach area which is substantial .We took swimming shoes and goggles with us which made swimming in the sea very easy and comfortable.
During our recent stay the temperature was about 32-35 most days so we splashed about at the sea from about 5pm most days onwards ,on the local beach there are a couple of restaurants where you could get Pasta or Pizza or ice creams inexpensively at lunchtimes if you want a snack.
I stay in major and boutique hotels all over the world for business and pleasure and have never felt so personally well looked after ,the staff were great towards our 8 year old and spoilt him rotten ,my wife had a great time in and out of the spa .
There is an enormous feeling of security as well once yo have parked the car after a days sightseeing behind the large steel gates of the Castello you feel a calm and peacefulness come over you now that you are back home away from the hustle and bustle of the Siscilian roads and cities such as the beautiful Taormina which is a must ,plus a visit to Etna and the local vineyards and honey shops .If you and the children like to ride there is a riding school not far away which the hotel can organise.
The hotel does host numerous weddings through the summer but our experience was that we hardly noticed,they do not tend to start until about 6.30pm and happen down by the pool area which is cleverly segregated from the hotel ,there is a permanent marquee structure away from the hotel for wedding dining
also the catering facilities for the weddings
are in a different building from the hotel etc so you do not really know that it is all going on and certainly did not effect us in any way other than to see the odd beautiful bride walking around the gardens, also Sicilian weddings do not appear to be such boisterous affairs as English weddings (maybe a little bit more refined!).There really was no noise that would bother you because of the location it is all handled in a very well run slick like military operation with no fusses or drama ,very professional.
We were originally booked in for 4 nights only however stayed for a further 3 nights and were very well looked after so many thanks to all at the Castello ,we will be back .
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to Castello di San Marco charming hotel & SPA, a boutique romantic hotel immersed in a luxuriant park, on the glittering Jonian sea, between Taormina and the volcano Etna, this noble castle represented a splendid example of Sicilian Baroque architecture and well describe a part of the Sicilian History. The unique beauty of Castello di San Marco is timeless and is adapted to romantic and relaxing holidays, with its tranquil exteriors and elegant, softly lit interiors.30 elegant and charming suites take place in the park surrounding main building, SPA & beauty center , fine restaurant, wine lounge with a selection of 250 fine wines, very large swimming pool, private beach, tennis court, private parking, mediterranean park. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Booking.com, Hotels.com, Priceline, Despegar.com, Travelocity, Agoda, TripOnline SA, Odigeo, Escapio and Tingo so you can book your Castello di San Marco Charming Hotel & SPA reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Castello Di San Marco Charming Hotel And Spa
- Castello Di San Marco Calatabiano
- Castello Di San Marco Charming Hotel & SPA Sicily/Calatabiano, Italy