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“A cosy and friendly place”
Review of 5 Balconi

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5 Balconi
Ranked #8 of 307 Catania B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Lausanne, Switzerland
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
“A cosy and friendly place”
Reviewed May 1, 2013

I spent 3 days there in the end april to climb the Etna and visit the city.
The apartment is calm and perfectly clean, joyfully colored. Owners Cristina and Rob are very friendly and can help you in many ways. I particularly liked the good compromise between warmness in common places and privacy that the conformation of the rooms permits. Shared bathrooms is not a big deal when there are two for four people and they are always totally clean. Rooms are spacious, beds are very comfortable.
Located in the city center, 20 min by foot from the station, 5 min by bus. Free wi-fi, coffee, tea and biscuits. I really had a good time.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Julien D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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255 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (30)
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English first
Sydney Australia
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed April 23, 2013

Because we didn't read the description closely enough we did not appreciate that this B&B has two shared bathrooms, both spotlessly clean and not individual bathrooms. The larger is entirely satisfactory although the smaller is "tight". Nonetheless we elected to stay because of its position on an old city ring road within a very short walking distance of all the historical sites – including worthwhile restaurants. The owners, Rob (English) and Cristina (Italian) simply could not have been more helpful or hospitable. It was like staying in one's best friends house. The B&B is converted from a substantial apartment on the piano nobile of an historic apartment block (second floor accessed by recently installed lift). All rooms are of a substantial size and much bigger than most hotel rooms. Decoration and furnishings throughout are very pleasant.

Because of their assistance as to worthwhile sights to visit as well as, especially restaurants, we got absolutely maximum value from our stay. It was our first stay in accommodation with shared bathrooms but we experienced no particular difficulty. Pressure on services might be a little more difficult in "the season". Ultimately we came to the view that Catania is the most typical of Sicilian cities. The pricing is very competitive as we did a small visual comparison with some competitors while visiting site in the city. We would certainly stay there again, probably just for the company of Rob and Cristina.

Room Tip: Room number two is the biggest
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank maxmagusn44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, null, Singapore
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed April 15, 2013

My friend and I were carrying a cold when we moved to 5 Balconi on 6 Apr 2013 . Cristina and Rob were very sweet in taking care of us, offering all sorts of cures like lemon, ginger tea, medicine, etc., not to mention all the useful advises on food and transportation. The place is extremely clean and neat (even in all public area), nicely decorated, and all the rooms are with lovely balconies. I'll definitely miss the stay.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Dorise F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed April 14, 2013

Our host Rob was the best person ever to have met while on a holiday, helpful and inviting, and his B&B is so lovely and for such a reasonable price. The perfect decor for an Italian island and a great location. We really felt like we got to know Catania. This place is really special. Please visit it!

Room Tip: You couldn't be placed in a bad one, we got to have a peak at them all.
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank 0daisydaisy0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City
Level 6 Contributor
198 reviews
58 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 93 helpful votes
Reviewed February 15, 2013

One caveat - If you can't bear the idea if sharing (spotlessly clean) bathrooms, this might not be for you.
Great location for exploring the city and dining, yet very simple to get to and from the airport by car. We stayed twice. The first time was during the feast of sant agata, when the middle of the night procession passed right under our balcony. Lovely hosts, the most comfortable bed in all of Sicily, a great breakfast. Thanks Rob!

  • Stayed February 2013
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Helpful?
1 Thank OutdoorsAdventurer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed November 14, 2012

Cristina was an amazing hostess - she really made us feel extremely welcome. She gave us a list of bars and eateries in the local area and the bar (where we met her later that evening!)

She was mine of information and the hotel was wonderful - the room was beautiful and clean with a gorgeous balcony.

Breakfast was delicious and plentiful and when I later lost my purse, she went way beyond the call of duty to help me find it!

If you would like somewhere unique, beautiful and friendly, then this is the place for you!

Room Tip: Balconi 2 is gorgeous!
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank impy78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed November 6, 2012 via mobile

Had the pleasure of staying at Balconi 5 for three nights - Monday through Wednesday. It is a charming place and Cristina and Rob made us feel welcome from the start, with plenty of local reccomendations. Knowing that we were travelling on our honeymoon we were welcomed with some bubbles and were delighted to find chocolates on our pillows when we went to go to bed!
The double room was spacious with vintage charm. Was a little hesitant before I got there regards the shared bathrooms but the set-up works well. There is plenty of space though you are aware of fellow guests - we liked the atmosphere though.
For breakfast we had a choice of having it in the room or at the central table - a nice touch. I reccomend the organic mandarin marmalade.
This isn't a glitzy, 'perfect' place but it is friendly and charming with excellent value for money.
NB you get noise from being on such a busy street but we found it kind of fun watchig the crazy traffic from the balcony. It is very centrally located.

  • Stayed October 2012
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Lou_5649
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about 5 Balconi

Property: 5 Balconi
Address: Via Plebiscito 133, 95121 Catania, Sicily, Italy
Location: Italy > Sicily > Province of Catania > Catania > Centro Catania
Amenities:
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 307 B&Bs / Inns in Catania
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Cristina (Sicilian) and Rob (English) welcome you to the "5 Balconi Bed & Breakfast," a sunny palazzo built in the 1800's, with lots of color, character and charm. We are situated in the historic heart of Catania, in the quarter of the famous fish market and right above the 13th Century Ursino Castle, which dominates the piazza and gardens of Federico di Svevia. Here you can wine and dine "al fresco" on delicious typical dishes at very reasonable prices, while soaking up the atmosphere of an authentic Sicilian quarter. We offer elegant & luxurious rooms to accommodate singles, doubles, triples, with inter-connecting family rooms for up to 5 people. All have 5 metre high domed ceilings and chandeliers, very comfortable beds with mosquito nets, duvets in winter and flowering balconies of iron and marble.NB: Fresh linen/towels, air conditioning & heating are standard in all the rooms.Wi-Fi, iron & ironing board, a fridge, chilled mineral water, organic biscuits & tea/coffee making facilities are also available for guests, any time and free of charge. We also provide a list of our recommended restaurants, local information & book excursions to the volcano.Our breakfasts are nutritious and delicious and can be taken in your room or in the communal dining area.NB: We serve locally produced organic oranges, bread & marmalades. Savoury breakfast alternatives are available for guests who don't have 'a sweet tooth'. We are only 10 mins. By bus/car from the airport, a 20 min. Walk to a golden sandy beach and a convenient base for exploring the East coast of the island (Taormina, Etna, Siracusa, Pantalica & Enna are all within 1 hours drive).Parking is free, infront of the B&B and in the surrounding streets. We are situated on the 2nd floor and have a lift for our guests comfort and convenience. A City Tax of €1-00 per person, per night, up to a maximum of 3 nights, is payable on departure. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
5 Balconi Catania, Sicily

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