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“A home from home”

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Des Etrangers Hotel & Spa
Ranked #24 of 74 Hotels in Syracuse
Reviewed February 17, 2013

How, Dear Reader, would you review your own home? Perhaps not 100% objectively. The same goes for me and Miramare/Etrangers, which has been my home from home for 6 or 7 years now. But here goes. We’ll start from the bottom, topographically. You luggage will be expertly and expeditiously taken care of. The reception staff will make you feel at home from the very outset, and, day by day, you’ll discover that they are among the most loveable people in all Sicily and nothing, but nothing, is too much trouble for them. Rooms? We’ve always gone for a room with a waterfront view. Absolutely unexceptionable – spacious and well-appointed. Food? Breakfast, presided over by angelic Angelica, will set you up for pretty well the whole day. Lunch I can’t say anything about, because I’m always somewhere else at the time of day. Dinner? A short, exquisite menu, but expensive. I prefer the simpler, cheaper places along the waterfront. Once, though, a friend came to see us in mid-afternoon and I asked the head waiter to improvise. The result? The feast of a lifetime! In short, this a place I’ll returning to as long as I have breath in my body.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank RogerTidy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 24, 2013

There are many positives and negatives to this hotel. Lots of reviewers have noted that it doesn't live up to it's 5 star rating. I would agree with this, but argue that it isn't charging 5 star prices, so in fact offers quite a lot in central Ortigia for a reasonable price.

The location
Perfect. Beautiful views over the sea, very close to restuarants and attractions. I sat on the (tiny!) balcony each evening watching the sun set and birds gather in the trees.

The restuarant
Once more, gorgeous views. Dinner was quite pricey but very tasty. It lacks a little atmosphere because not many people seem to eat there in the evening, but because the balcony is so narrow this didn't really matter. You in fact felt as though you had your own personal spot, unidsturbed by others, rather than a lone table in a large space. Breakfast was varied. I found the staff a little stand-offish on the first day but positively friendly by the end! Boiled eggs were not always replenished.

The room - it's true what everyone says, you really must not have a room at the back near the bar - the noise is ridiculous! We paid more for a sea-facing room to guarantee we weren't at the back. I originally booked through Booking.com but then found a better deal on the hotel website so this is worth checking. I asked to be housed on a high floor if possible and they duly responded. We were in the old building which didn't house reception, so had to contend with a walk and two different lifts. This obviously doesn't matter at all but it is very strange how they have designed the events space in between the two buildings. There was a conference on when we were there so we had to leave our building through the fire door onto quite a busy, narrow road and then re-enter the main building. We also had to sneak around to access the spa. None of this is the end of the world but could have been so easily rectified in the design stage, or even retrospectively by adding a corridor next to the events space. One benefit of this building (as far as I could see) was that we had interior and exterior shutters and I believe the other building only had one set. They were digging up the road outside and we really couldn't hear!
The room was large and well-equipped. It did need maintenance though. I'm sure the building is a money -pit but the shutters and blacony needed some tlc, there was lots of mould on the fan and the bathroom was dark with a very leaky shower. We had to stick a towel by the wall every time we showered to stop the water seeping out and puddling in the room. The shower doors also kept falling off their runners meaning we had to squeeze through a very small space each time to prevent this!

Reception
Looks beautiful. Ladies very helpful, men not so much!

Spa
We didn't have treatments, so can't comment but it was nice to have the option of a pool, sauna, gym etc., which is very rare in Ortigia. As others have mentioned the pool is very small - a strange fusion of relaxation and swimming pool (it's certainly too cold to purely be a relaxation pool) and the requirement to wear a swimming hat is rather patronising. The gym equipment was not plentiful and kept breaking and not being fixed, leaving us with very few machine options by the end of our stay!

Other
There is a nice sun terrace on the roof of the conference centre. It was far too windy when we tried to use it and sometimes is used for corporate entertaining, but looked like a lovely spot on nice day.

So, a mixed bag but a wonderfully located historic building offering rather a lot.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Danielle C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2013

Very good adress in the hystorical center of Siracura. If you ask a room (in the old building) with sea view you will appreciate how delicious is the wake up looking at the blue sky and the Siracusa's harbour...The breakfast is served at the top floor terrasse and you can continue admiring all the special beauty of the old town.
The reception lady was kind and helpful to find nice places for dining. Let's use thus nice hotel to organise also an escapade to Noto (half-hour by car) to discover another wonderful Sicilian style town. I'm sure you will enjoy your stay at Hotel des Etrangers.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank MdE_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 11, 2013

Once upon a time it must have been a wonderful hotel and it still has charm and location on its side. It really is out of another world. But if you have a room on the interior courtyard - there is a cafe below that is noisy until 2 or even 3 AM. If you are also out that late then good for you - you won't mind! They did move us but those rooms were also noisy - but not nearly as bad. The breakfast is good and ample - even Prosecco and spectacular views of the water. The rooms were spacious and clean, the baths also more than ample. But the plumbing is noisy - all night long we heard loud running water but once my bladder was empty - it was kind of like white noise. The location was excellent and although there is parking - what you get in exchange for leaving your passport is a permit for your car and a hunting license. We were lucky and found parking near the hotel but I imagine in season this might be more challenging. The hotel was easy to find from the autostrada so is a good choice if you want to avoid driving in the city itself. I would probably stay here again if it were less expensive because the charm of a bygone era and the location were endearing.

Room Tip: Avoid the rooms on the courtyard because there is a cafe that is quite loud until 2 or 3 am!
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Francesca G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 8, 2013

Yes, the internet is not included with the room (and it is expensive).
Yes, the plumbery is a tad old school.
Yes, some window did not open properly.
And yes, the breakfast is quite horrid.

But overall it is just a amazingly stylish place to stay.

Consider it like old cars : a modern Audi Q5 is more comfortable than a E-type Jaguar from the 60s, but which one is owned by the most interesting and stylish people ?

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Stephane75004
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 26, 2012

We decided to visit Syracuse on a whim while driving around Sicily. It was a really nice suprise. We visited in early Autumn. It was still lovely and warm but not to many tourists around.
The hotel looked like good value and was by the water so we booked it for one night. It was in a lovely location, the rooms were spacious and I advise booking a room facing the sea. The rooftop bar/ restaurant was lovely for a drink at sunset. We ended up staying longer than the one night. I would expect it to rate higher. I would avoid the tourist restaurants by the water below the hotel as they are very average and venture a few streets back inland for some great food.

Room Tip: We stayed on both sides of the hotel and both rooms were fine, but the upgrade to the seaview room w...
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank ChristianS76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 6, 2012

Our trip to Syracuse was an eventful one. We booked our stay at the Des Etrangers Hotel & Spa a number of months in advance through Booking.com. The reservation was never heard of by the hotel even though we were given confirmation numbers – Booking.com had failed to actually make the reservation with the hotel. When we arrived at the hotel the front desk was surprised about our arrival and being that the hotel was over capacity we were concerned and they quickly found a solution for my spouse and me. The hotel staff were extremely accommodating and friendly. The breakfast on the roof top is a memory we will hold when thinking about Syracuse. Although the hotel was good to above average the people made the difference here.

Room Tip: If you can, get a room close to the front desk overlooking the water. Also, never use Booking.com a...
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Steve3535
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Des Etrangers Hotel & Spa

Address: Passaggio Adorno 10/12, 96100, Syracuse, Sicily, Italy
Phone Number:
Location: Italy > Sicily > Province of Syracuse > Syracuse
Amenities:
Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#8 Spa Hotel in Syracuse
#19 Romantic Hotel in Syracuse
#20 Luxury Hotel in Syracuse
Price Range: $112 - $367 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Des Etrangers Hotel & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 68
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The magnificent neoclassical facade of the Des Etrangers Hotel & Spa dominates the harbour of Siracusa in Sicily, from its position on the island of Ortigia. This five-star historical hotel has the elegance and style typical of the grand European hotels and features refined balconies overlooking the sea. Step in style into the grand entrance hall and admire the precious marble floors, the stucco works and gold decor of the walls and high ceilings. This luxury hotel offers world class services in a unique environment. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Des Etrangers Hotel Syracuse
Des Etrangers Hotel And Spa
Des Etrangers Et Miramare Hotel
Des Etrangers Hotel & Spa Sicily/Syracuse, Italy

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