We arrived by car from Catania in the late evening. The room was cosy and quaint; I was pleased when I noticed Bulgari toiletries in the bathroom, but to me, it's the extra touches - like the small bottle of almond liqueur and some pretty almond cookies on a tiny plate - that differentiate a good hotel from an execllent one. I ordered a simple tuna salad from room service...it looked as great as it tasted.
The next morning I opened my windows and got blown away by the view - I was facing a giant postcard!! Nothing could go wrong after that: the breakfast buffet comprised a whole array of fresh and dried fruits, cheeses and cured meats. There was an amazing variety of cereals and yoghurt too.
It's not easy to upkeep an old property - not a single corner of this Villa looked worn, faded or tired. It was pristine, proud, shiny and tastefully decorated.
The staff were helpful and smiley. They were all very conversant in English (which I later discovered was NOT the norm for the rest of Sicily). Some days my friend and I kept them in conversation for long periods with our many queries on where to eat and what to do. They obliged with much charm and charisma - from Martin at the front desk to Fabio by the pool and Mario the PR manager...right to the GM himself!
I'm planning another trip back there as soon as I tick off some other destinations on my 'Bucket List'. Perhaps in August or September 2015.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- With an exclusive location on the Bay of Mazzarò, considered one of the most beautiful in all of Italy, the elegant Belmond Villa Sant'Andrea nestles on its own private beach with new luxurious cabanas, facing the dazzling aquamarine sea. Built by an aristocratic family in 1830, surrounded by lush, subtropical gardens, the hotel retains all the charm of a private residence, enriched by paintings and antiques. The décor of the 64 rooms and suites reflects the nautical character and marine location of the hotel, with ample use of local stone and Sicilian materials and fabrics, creating a light, relaxed and serene atmosphere. The Oliviero Restaurant, on a panoramic terrace overlooking the gorgeous sea, is known for its fish and seafood specialties and traditional Mediterranean cuisine. The Bar, located on the outdoor terrace, is the perfect place to enjoy a drink, a snack or a light lunch by the beach. A Beach Bar and a Pool Bar in the new pool area are also available for a refreshing drink after a swim. Guests can benefit of the complimentary shuttle to the centre of Taormina, as well as the daily mini-cruise by private boat to explore the beauties of the coast (available during summer). The wellness centre offers a range of exclusive treatments for the ultimate of relax, while the fitness centre is fully equipped with the latest technology. The Smile Club with an English-speaking supervisor is available to entertain the younger guests with lots of fun and exciting activities. Guests at Belmond Villa Sant'Andrea can enjoy all the facilities of Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo, its sister property located in the centre of Taormina next to the Greek Theatre. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Villa Sant`Andrea By Orient-Express Hotel Mazzaro
- Hotel Sant Andrea
- Sant Andrea Hotel Taormina
- Sant'andrea Villa
- Belmond Villa Sant'Andrea Taormina, Sicily - Mazzaro