I don’t normally write reviews but I was very impressed with this hotel so I felt I had to share our experience.
The foyer, pool area and eating area look absolutely immaculate; they are beautifully designed and very clean. Rooms are with balconies and sea view (although from a distance) can be had from two sides of the building. The breakfast room is big, it has a bar/cafeteria and extends to a resting area with sofas, tables and chairs and a big TV. The hotel has its own car park.
The service is amazing, the staff is very friendly and our few requests were attended to straight away. They even went out of their way and drove us to the shopping centre because we couldn’t find it! We were very impressed and that really made a difference for us.
The hotel has a small pizzeria/restaurant that serves pizza, grill, salads and other typical Italian/Sicilian food. It is freshly made and delicious and very reasonably priced eg a glass of wine was 2.50 euros. They have outside and indoors seating.
Breakfast is served from 7 to 10am and consists of cornflakes, 2-3 types of cakes, bread, butter and ham, toast, marmalades, chocolate and vanilla croissants, fresh fruits, delicious yoghurts, lovely fresh juices and amazing coffee.
There are few nice beaches close to the hotel but you really need your own transport. Our favourite was one that was only couple of km’s away, it had private beach (lido in Italian) where parasol and chairs were 15 eur for two chairs, and miles of public empty beach if you brought your own parasol (we were offered one from the hotel as a courtesy but I think these are fairly cheap to buy locally). Of course there is a bar that serves food and drinks. Unfortunately this beach was not on the map so not sure what its name was but you have to turn towards the sea next to Gemini. Any beaches that were recommended in the beach guide are very crowded so best if you explore the area or ask hotel and you can find a beach that is quiet and lovely…
Avola is a small and fairly quiet town. It has no restaurants in the centre, only by the sea. The centre has cafes only. Notto on the other hand is very beautiful and historic town, we recommend to visit. It has 55 churches and plenty of architectural beauties. We tried one of the fast food trucks that open in the evenings and it was delicious. It also has a beach but again it’s very popular and crowded.
Visit to Etna was an amazing experience and we definitely recommend. It is about 2hrs drive from the hotel and excursions start from 9am (best time to go as least cloudy usually) and the last excursion leaves at noon (confirm, not sure).
Getting there – plan your journey on google before as our sat nav got a bit confused. The sign posts only start to show Etna once you are quite close and they are also pretty random. As long as you are going uphill you should be fine…
You need – warm clothing as it’s much colder up there and trekking footware. Any fancy shoes will get ruined as it’s all black rock and ash/lava. You can rent shoes there for 2 eur but they are quite gross so bring your own.
Once you are there – we bought the excursion that included the cable car, further ride by a bus/jeep and a guide. That is 60 eur per person. You can walk up but it will take you a long time so definitely recommend the cable car. We decided to walk down but you can also take a cable car down. We walked down with 50min, the whole thing took us about 3.5hrs. The views are amazing and the ground is still hot in places.
What you need/to prepare
Car or a moped - you can probably walk to the closest beach but you really need a car to get around and see the place
Sat nav with up to date maps as they have some new roads – the signpostings in Sicily are fairly random.
Italian – learn basic few words on directions and food. They are very friendly people and very happy to help out however even if they understand what you are saying, you are likely to get a response in Italian. So learn the basics eg beach, left , right, straight, food etc etc
Cash – most places accept credit/debit cards however cash is always preferred.
For Etna see above.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Grand Hotel Pacla is located in Sicily between the baroque of Noto and the beaches of Avola and Fontane Bianche. It is a modern and elegant new construction. The Hotel is perfect for a relaxing holiday between fun and culture. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Hotel Pacla Sicily/Avola