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“Excellent downtown hotel at a good price in a city worth revisiting”
Review of Il Principe Hotel

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Il Principe Hotel
Ranked #13 of 49 Hotels in Catania
New Jersey
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Excellent downtown hotel at a good price in a city worth revisiting”
Reviewed November 5, 2011

For our last night in Sicily, facing an early-morning flight to Rome, I chose Il Principe Hotel because I wanted to squeeze in an early evening "passeggiata" in downtown Catania as a last bit of tourism in our very tight five-day swing through southeastern Sicily. The choice turned out to be perfect. First of all, location: The hotel is situated just a couple of blocks - a few minutes - from the magnificent baroque Duomo and its piazza; the area is partially pedestrianized at night; and there is a wide selection of restaurants nearby. As for the airport, in early morning light traffic, it was only half an hour away. Second: the hotel itself is excellent, professionally run as well as very comfortable. Although it is centrally located, Il Principe is set back slightly from a busy small street, at the foot of a broad stair-street, so it is quiet (although we didn't need quiet since we spent just a few hours there given our early-morning departure). Our room was at the rear in an area that has been carved out of a neighboring building, so access was a little complicated, involving a ramp and stairs - not good for someone with mobility issues - but the room itself was very pleasant and elegantly furnished, with a comfortable, well-designed bathroom. Our travelling companions had an even better room in the main building, facing the street, with a large bathroom and tub (Room No. 201). Our rental car was valet-parked and positioned so we could leave at 5 am without any problem the next morning. Overall I would recommend this hotel without hesitation to anyone wanting to spend time in downtown Catania: judging by what we saw in our short time there, we definitely plan to give the city more than just a few hours the next time we're in Sicily, and would definitely try to stay at Il Principe Hotel. As for the booking process: I contacted the hotel directly online after researching choices through TripAdvisor, and received an immediate, courteous response in English with a good price. To our delight, the final price we paid on checkout was slightly lower than that we had been quote: it came in under 100 euros per night per room. My ONLY complaint has nothing to do with the hotel: we were driving, and it is very hard to make your way from the autostrada to central Catania and the hotel. I was the designated driver because I speak Italian and have great eyesight for the miniscule signs that point - more or less - to the center if they are not pasted over with advertising. Thankfully, at a certain point we picked up signs for the hotel itself; otherwise it would have been very difficult to find, given the maze of one-way streets, lack of clear signage, and swarming traffic in the old city.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Sybil101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PrincipeHotel, Direttore at Il Principe Hotel, responded to this review, November 6, 2011
Dear Guest,
Thanks so much for the review!
We always do our best to guarantee to all of our guests the most pleasant stay.
Our location is ideal for visiting the city of Catania on foot (the best way) and as starting point for organized excursions discovering the beauties of the surrounding: Mount Etna (the highest active volcano in Europe), Taormina and many other destinations.
Our young team is made of special individuals all working together for a common goal: to take exceptional care of you!
As you well said, book directly with the hotel reservation department is the best way to find the lowest price and it is very easy, quick and safe.
I really hope that you will come back for visit us again.
I’ll be glad to welcoming you personally with a special drink.
Sincerely

Marco De Pinto
Hotel Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Medellin, Colombia
1 review
Reviewed October 25, 2011

We were a party of three and took a suite in mid-October for two nights. The service, the room and the breakfast were good. The place is a little bit difficult to find if you go on your own, so it is better to take a taxi to arrive there, but it is well located in the center of the old city.
I would highly recommend this hotel for families on vacation
Octavio-M

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Octavio M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed October 24, 2011

I'm writing this while staying at the hotel, such is the need to put the experience in to words. We booked a suite with a view over the church, as we're on honeymoon and this would be fitting. We have been given one overlooking a service entrance and then were given short shrift when questioning this at reception. No bathrobes, extra pillows or water in the room which required not only a visit to reception but also several follow-up phone calls to rectify.
Seem to cater to the well-heeled while well-dressed set - turn up with a fortune in jeans and the service will be downgraded accordingly...

  • Stayed October 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank southsidestick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PrincipeHotel, Direttore at Il Principe Hotel, responded to this review, November 1, 2011
Dear guest,
I'm very sorry for the not positive experience during your stay at Il Principe Hotel.
We take care of all our guests from the first contact till the departure.
Regarding the room, I assure that all the suites have bathrobes, extra pillows and obviously water and, in the rare cases of oversights, our staff is ready to re place it at all time.
Probably in this case something didn't work and I apologize with you.
I hope you'll come back to visit us soon.
Regards

Marco De Pinto
Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed October 18, 2011

If you are visiting Cantania, Sicily, then you must stay at the Hotel, Il Principe, its one of the best hotel's in Catania. I booked this hotel from reading reviews on the trip advisor and we weren't disappointed. Beautiful hotel-really lovely decor and furnishings, rooms were comfortable, clean with a great sized bathroom. Our room overlooked the one of the old churches in Catania and it was lovely hearing the church bells ring. The hotel is located on via Alessia, which is around the corner from the Duomo Piazza, its also about 5 mins walking distance to via Etnea-where all the shops are located-the shopping on via etnea was great, we found some excellent bargains. Giovanna at reception is so lovely-she was helpful, friendly and always greeted us with a smile. From Catania, Giovanna helped us organise a tour to Siracusa and mount Etna-which are a must! Ask for Marco-he was our private tour guide-he was fantastic-very knowledgable about his Ancient Greek and Roman history-he made our tour of Siracusa and Mount Etna fun-he is also a really great guy who we developed a friendship with. Giovanna was also fantasic in helping us organise transfers around sicily. Breakfast at Il Principe was ample and fresh, the coffee was great. The Bar in the Hotel had some great snacks and drinks if you are feeling peckish. We also recommend the trattoria outside the hotel, just up the stairs from IL principe-the best food in Sicily-seafood was fresh and typified sicilian cuisine.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank 112Margaret
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marin County, CA
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed October 3, 2011

Il Principe is a nice hotel in a good location...once you find it. The staff is helpful, the rooms are nice and the breakfast to start your day is perfect. We had to find the hotel at night and, from what we were told later, the city had just changed some of the streets to one way which were not updated yet on the GPS. We ended up parking the car on a side street and walked on foot to find the hotel. The front desk staff gladly went with my travel partner to get the car and bring it around to the hotel. If you rent a car, call the hotel and ask for directions. If you don't rent a car take a taxi. Though we were in Catania on business we did get out at night to check out all the beautiful sites. Just start walking and explore. There are many restaurant and bar options in the area. There is also an open market on Saturdays that we stumbled upon. Catania is a beautiful city.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank bsballbabe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, UK
Level 4 Contributor
45 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed September 28, 2011

The hotel is located round the corner from Duomo Piazza and is perfect for exploring the old city centre. We found the room pretty basic (for me personally it lacked bath robe to make it a classic 4* hotel) but of a good size and thoroughly cleaned. Service at the reception and in the bar was excellent. It was a bit annoying when we asked for an adapter for EU plug and they didn't have it but then you can't expect everything. The last day the free internet point did not work because as they explained someone stole the cable but we were given 30 min free wi fi accessinstead. The breakfast in the hotel was awful and I'd recommend to go somewhere else if it is not a part of your package. Our room was on the last (4th) floor with two windows in the roof and the last night we woke up in the middle of the night because of the thunderstorm and lightnings.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Suzannah-P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed September 26, 2011

A good location in central Catania, short walk from the train/bus station (lamentably no bus) although the roads are not well suited to dragging heavy luggage. Very close to the Cathedral and the main shopping areas.

The bar does a good range of interesting cocktails at around 8 Euro each (pricey, but nice).

The big downside was that at no point during our (2 night) stay could we get any hot water from either the sink or the shower. Would have been a bigger downside for a longer stay or if we had hiked up Etna.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Helen C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Il Principe Hotel

Property: Il Principe Hotel
Address: Via Alessi 20-26 | Centro Storico, 95124 Catania, Sicily, Italy
Location: Italy > Sicily > Province of Catania > Catania
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Business Hotel in Catania
#4 Romantic Hotel in Catania
#5 Family Hotel in Catania
#9 Luxury Hotel in Catania
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Il Principe Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 80
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Il Principe Hotel is surrounded by baroque architecture in Catania's historic centre. Located on the Alessi Steps between Via Etnea and Via Crociferi, it offers free Wi-Fi. The rooms at Il Principe Hotel Catania all have parquet floors and elegant furnishings. Each room includes satellite TV and a private bathroom. A continental buffet breakfast is served daily in the dining room. Guests can also relax in the hotel's American piano bar. Il Principe Hotel lies 1.5 Km from Catania Centrale Train Station. The airport is a 12-minute drive away. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Il Principe Catania
Hotel Il Principe
Il Principe Hotel Catania, Sicily

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