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Review of La Rosa sul Mare

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La Rosa sul Mare
Level 5 Contributor
57 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed November 6, 2008

Having just returned from a wonderful week at the La Rosa Sul Mare I can honestly say it was one of the most relaxing and enjoyable holidays in a long time. Beautiful location, extremely friendly staff, comfortable, clean and well furnished apartment with the most stunning views and sunsets. Ortygia is magnificent and well worth a visit, fabulous fish and vegetable markets with equisite restaurants. Another gem worth visiting has to be the town of Noto, what an absolutely beautiful Baroque town - the colours of the buildings and the architecture takes your breath away... word of caution, park in downtown Noto and take the local bus into this amazing World Heritage Site.

  • Liked — The spectacular views
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
3 Thank Audi1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Madison, Wisconsin
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed July 9, 2007

We just returned from an absolutely wonderful week at La Rosa Sul Mare. Having booked with insicily.com under the name "The Reef Hotel", I was very surprised to receive my voucher and see a different hotel name. I was even more astounded to see the two bad Trip Advisor reviews, and contacted the insicily.com company to find out about these "extras".

I was assured that the package we had booked included everything, breakfast, kitchen, air conditioning, pool and seaside use. The only thing it didn't include was parking inside the gate, but we were able to park just outside for free. After rechecking the hotel website and noticing that the extra tariffs were listed at the top of the prices, and that the management of the hotel had responded, logically, to the bad reviews, we decided to go ahead with our booking.

We are so glad we did! Upon our arrival and check-in by a very nice gentleman we were shown through the beautiful grounds to our apartment. We found a lovely bouquet, welcome champagne and a breakfast basket (including pastries, cereal, milk, juice, coffee and assorted crackers - the fresh fruit was in the fridge.) We enjoyed having breakfast in the privacy of our own apartment.

We actually stayed in the same apartment shown in the "7th Circle" review. That reviewer neglects to mention that there are TWO terraces. One is narrow and smaller, but opens from the living room and table through double doors to a glorious view of the sea. It has a chair and also room for and includes a convenient drying rack for beach towels.

The other terrace is in the main bedroom, and is located up three steps and through a double window, so you do need to be able to climb through it, but people should have no problem. Once there, it is a long (6+ X 2 meters, 20+ X 6 ft) terrace with two folding lounges and a table with two chairs. You feel as though you are on a ship looking out in all directions to the sea. The sunsets, stars and moon were fantastic. This was definitely our favorite perch during our stay, when we weren’t below at the pool, sundeck or in the water.

We had planned to save a bit by booking the 1 bedroom apartment with sofa bed (for our 15 year old son), and so were surprised to find an additional single daybed, giant armoire, 2 chairs and small table inside the entry to the apartment. Although you did have to walk through it and down a hallway to the bath, main room/kitchen and other bedroom, I find it strange that the other reviewer didn’t mention what was, essentially, another bedroom. This was an unexpected pleasure, as my son did sleep in the main room, but was afforded a private changing area and place to keep his things. The apartment was not fancy, but was simply and tastefully furnished, and much larger than expected.

We enjoyed the lovely pool and spent several days just lounging by the sea. As the waters all around the point are designated a marine park, the snorkeling was excellent (do bring your own snorkel gear and beach towels as well). Many dive and snorkel boats came to the area on the weekend, but there were only locals during the week. We would also recommend water shoes for getting in and out of the sea as there is lava rock all around, although the surface was smoothed at the hotels seaside.

Both the seaside and pool have outdoor showers, very nice after the saltwater. The view from the top is fantastic, but results in steep stairs down to the pool and the sea. We didn't have any problems, but you should be aware if you have difficulty with stairs or very small children. We also found the other guests to be polite and from many different countries. Everyone was using the pool and seaside, but we never had a problem having lounges and umbrellas when we wanted them.

We found the owner and the staff to be exceptional. In addition to the welcoming gifts, they found out it was my birthday and a new bouquet, balloons, more champagne and a Happy Birthday sign was put in our apartment. Another time, the owner brought his wife's chilled Homemade Almond Milk out to the pool for us to try. As the almonds are famous locally, it was a real treat.

With regard to the air conditioning, we didn't read our Guest Directory carefully enough and when we asked why the air didn't work the first night, we were immediately told that all of the doors and windows must be closed in order for the air conditioning to function. Although you have to turn on the two units, by remote control, each time you leave and return to the apartment, we found this to be a smart, environmentally sound setup. Although it wasn’t too hot the week we were there, this made our sleep much better and did keep out the mosquitoes. (The windows do have nice, heavy wood shutters – and plug in, nightlight sized units with insect repellent.) But do pack bug spray for eating dinner outside in the evenings. We had no problems during the day, however.

As far as restaurants go, we were provided with a map showing restaurants in the area surrounding the hotel (the town of Siracusa is about 7 km or 10-15 minutes away). We tried several different restaurants, and while casual, they were very good. We also frequented a fruit and sandwich stand nearby, and had sandwiches made on most days to take to the beach or on our excursions. We had brought a soft cooler - and refreezable ice blocks - and this was very convenient. Just past the sandwich place, was a great little bar and mini grocery, with takeaway roast chicken, breads, pastas etc. and wonderful pizza in the evening.

Be aware that morning and evening commute time into Siracusa is crowded and plan accordingly. Also, there are several, large grocery stores on the way into Siracuse. Do have a good map of the area and of the town. We found parking on Ortigia, just after crossing the bridge both to the right at the marina, and two huge lots to the left on the other side of the Isola. It is easy walking between the two sides, as Ortigia is not large.
We had dinner several times in Siracusa, but would recommend NOT eating along the seaside walk on the marina side. The sunsets are lovely and the people-watching great, but find other food recommendations away from the tourist menus.

We also drove and looked at the beaches south, inland to the area around Palazzolo Acreide (lovely town/Greek ruins), to Noto (exceptional Baroque city and Noto Marina – sandy beaches with services), and spent a day at Taromina (which I found way too cruise-ship touristy) – but my husband and son enjoyed the drive and hike around the North side of Mt. Etna.

Mainly, we were happy to spend time outside at our seaside apartment, which felt like our own, except someone else cleaned it and replenished the breakfast supplies daily. Fresh towels are provided whenever you leave your towel on the floor and not hung up – as plainly stated in several languages in a frame in the bathroom. We also found the neighborhood to be lovely – nice, but not palatial homes along the sea. Fontane Bianche, a few minutes south, seemed to be a more upscale area. If you haven’t been to Italy before, there is sometimes garbage dumped outside the dumpsters along the roadsides, but we didn’t see this anywhere near the hotel and frankly, have to wonder if the negative reviewers would even be happy at a suite at the Ritz. (For the record, we have stayed all over the world, in 5 star hotels, including Ritz Carlton, the Grand Wailea and others.

But, I found that a 1-bedroom (not even 2 bedroom) hotel room in Taromina would have cost one third again as much and were not directly on the water. We would highly recommend this hotel to any able-bodied people who want to spend time on the sea and poolside. You are close enough to drive to the towns and sights and will be thrilled to return to your own slice of heaven –if you are actually motivated to leave it at all!

  • Liked — The sea and the view
  • Disliked — The pillows
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4 Thank segway11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed March 2, 2007

I couldnt agree more with the negative comments about the area surrounding RSM Hotel The rubbish , wild animals and general down at heel appearance of the Plemmirio area would put most people off. We nearly booked our daughter into RSM to be close by , but we left, very disenchanted by the general lack of local facilities.We were staying almost next door and hated it. Nice view, nice sunset but that soon palls when you consider that there is nothing to do in the immediate vicinity apart from a pizzeria.. My advice , go to a different part of the island.

Stayed January 2007
6 Thank shawshots
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LAROSA-MANAGEMENT, Public relations manager at La Rosa sul Mare, responded to this review, March 16, 2007
Whilst we believe that it is important for holiday makers to be able to read reviews about hotels and accommodation, we feel that it is equally important to note that the majority of people that submit reviews to websites such as Trip Advisor are those holiday makers who have had a bad experience or a grudge to bear.

It is important to realise that holiday makers returning from a successful holiday do not rush to find a website in which they can provide their feedback. Whereas, people that return with an axe to grind will want to vent their anger and will therefore search for a suitable outlet for their negative comments.

Therefore, when reading reviews on travel websites regarding accommodation it is important to remember how many successful holidays have taken place and not been listed or commented on.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Syracuse hotels

1 review
Reviewed September 18, 2006

I would like to say that I had an excellent holiday at La Rosa Sul Mare.

The ocean in front of the hotel was pristine blue, it was such a luxury that every morning wake up and jump into this ocean... (I recommend you to take snorkeling masks! )

We stayed in a room in front of the swimming pool, I think it was one of the smallest room in the hotel but I think it was a good value, with a beautiful ocean and swimming pool view just in front of the door.

The property of the hotel was very clean, well maintained with lots of exotic flowers and plants. Also, I found a very good pizzeria just 5 min. drive from the hotel...

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — you have to have a car to go around the hotel
  • Tips/Secrets — bring snorkeling mask, stay around the sunset time at the hotel....dont miss it.
  • Stayed August 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank hasu_no_hana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed September 9, 2006

On returning home from what I consider to be one of the most relaxing and reviltalising weeks my family has ever had (spent at La Rosa Sul Mare Hotel), I felt it would only be fair to share this marvellous experience with the rest of the world.
I entered Trip Advisor inorder to help me do so and
I must say that I was completely baffled by a couple of very scathing reviews that I have found referring to this hotel. My own very different experiences at this establishment oblige me to put the books straight and urge anybody that is looking for a wonderful hotel that can offer that something extra, then they should look no further.
On arriving at the Rosa Sul Mare we were greeted by a very helpful and friendly staff and shown to what can only be described as a superb two double bedroom suite, tastefully decorated and with all the necessary amenities in excellent condition.
When we opened the double doors that led to an enormous terrace, we gasped at the stunning panoramic view that lay before us. Contemplating the vast expanse of blue sea that occupied our vision as far as the eye could see , our gasps were replaced by huge sighs of contentment.
We had full access to a fabulous sundeck situated at the bottom of some steps leading down from the hotel that jutted out over the rocky shore and a very beautiful pool which allowed you to cool off while contemplating the privileged view.
Every morning we had breakfast on the terrace mesmerised by the sun sparkling off a multi – blue sea and every evening we were offered a spectacular sunset to signal the end of another beautiful day in paradise.
The hotel grounds full colourful and exotic flowers and trees were immaculately kept only added to the sensation of well being.
Some very good restaurants and other services were just a short drive away in Syracuse.
We booked our stay through a company that specialises in offering rented Villas and hotel accommodation in Sicily that was recommended by a friend and thus we incurred not one inconvenience as far as financial terms and conditions were concerned.
All in all we had a fantastic holiday thanks to an attentive owner and his efficient and helpful staff and the amazing and privileged location of the fantastic Rosa Sul Mare Hotel.

  • Liked — The amazing location
  • Tips/Secrets — If you have difficulties climbing steps,( elderly or disabled) dont stay at this hotel
  • Stayed September 2006, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2 Thank FCBarcelona
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed August 13, 2006

Unfortunately we did not read the poster's comment from Jan because it could have saved us the flights to Sicily and a lot more... read on.

I am not complaining (and I was not really surprised - in fact quite resigned to ignoring it beforehand) because of the garbage dump feeling of the area - environmental protection is unknown in Southeastern Sicily and the heaps of uncollected garbage everywhere will surprise no one. And there IS a nature park 40 minues south if you want to escape most of the dirt and the litter for a day. Another positive note: the grounds of Rosa sul Mare itself are kept clean, and it looks nice from the outside.

However, here almost all positive notions about the hotel stop. First surprise immediately upon arrival: we had booked an air conditioned appartment but are asked to pay up 140 Euros (10 Euros a day) for air condition by a very polite assistant kindly pointing out some fineprint in the contract: air condition is only included for a few hours and we really should pay up because otherwise we northerners would not only sweat to death but also the moskito plague would be unbearable. Enjoy the welcoming feeling of feeling cheated.

Well we did fork out the Euros only to realise in the days to come that a/c is more or less a joke because some clever switch turns off the b....y thing constantly anyway without a possibility for the guest to restart. When occasionally asked to repair the a/c from hell, sure enough the owner will come along, tell you that you are too (--) stupid to press the on-button ... yeah, right. And of course, when that nice joke ran out after the third time or so (one can tell ones clients only so often about their sudden mental or digital incapacity), its just shoulder-shrugging ... the poor innocent of course has not the slightest idea what could be wrong with the two naugthy naugthy air conditioning units.

We'll but we are going ahead of our story, lets go back to the "welcome". Through some fuzzy remark we become aware that there maybe something dodgy about using the pool (why is there nobody else???). So again, I check the fine-print and RIGHT! the 5 x 3 m (otherwise nice, wooden deck and all) pool is in fact a "Health Club". Aha, lets look up "Health Club". Right, there is a "Club Pass" for 400 Euros extra (50 Euros per week for 2 adults, 2 kids, 2 weeks). This trifle will do the job to allow us the use of the "pool area" during our stay (unsure if that includes touching the water).

Alert! What else is there "extra"? Better check. Turns out, everything! Want to park your car? 140 Euros extra (10 Euros per day)! Want to actually USE the kitchen which your rented? Pay another 140 Euros extra, dumbo! (Now can that be right ... probably they bought the kitchen for that amount, see photo attached.) And so on, and so on.

From then on, holiday was over. Only when mentioning a burning desire to sue the hell out of the owner he did cave in and generously announced we would be spared from the standard guest fleecing - in consideration that we should relax on our holiday. How nice of him! Unfortunately this generous move could not much improve our relaxative capacity. The nagging doubts remained ever present... Do you pay for the use of your bed? Heck, maybe only sleeping on the floor is included. How much for putting clothes in the cupboards? For opening the Windows? How much is breathing?

Needless to say, that also other important promised features were not delivered. The "terrace" you could climb up to through a tiny window a man's hight above the bedroom floor (see foto attached), then you are on a 5 x 1 m funnel with two sun chairs. Once you are up - on a positive note - you do in fact enjoy the promised sea view. (Not sure how much it costs to look, so we only climbed out there very quietly in the dark.)

The second bedroom (explicitly confirmed when booking ... again hustling back to the rental agreement... do we have it in writing.... yes thank goodness) turns out to be a sofabed in the combined kitchen/living/dining room ... some solid thinking there: remember the kitchen is not meant to be used anyway... .

The nicest thing about the survival holiday? Not the stone-hard matrasses but managing to purchase earlier flights out of there (the best "Extra" cost ever spent) with the distinguished feeling of having actually survived the hardest fee/extra spotting training on the planet. (Don't tell the owner: I vaguely remember an "Extra" of 10 Euros a day for each surviving person.)

To sum it up: If you want to have a holiday squatting in a kitchen, where you live, sleep, cook, eat, and study rental contract fine-print for admirably immaginative "Extra" fees ... go to Rosa Sul Mare. ...

Stayed July 2006
11 Thank hh1963
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
107 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 141 helpful votes
Reviewed January 1, 2006

Ah, the Hotel Rosa sul Mare in Siracusa, Sicily… Advertised as having “charming apartments, situated on the most beautiful hillside of the Plemmirio nature park and sea reserve, with cliffs of white rock and flowered terraces gently sloping down to the Ionian Sea”, the Rosa sul Mare offers “…an oasis of scents and colours from the typical Mediterranean vegetation, with panoramic views on a sea where dolphins usually pass through and a coastline maintaining the ecosystem.” Whatever that means!

What a lovely description – although it fails to mention that the hillside backs on to a particularly shoddy warren of residential roads and dirt tracks, surrounded not by a lush nature reserve but by acres of graffitied derelict buildings and wasteland, most of which are covered in litter and swarming with flies.

As for the apartments themselves, they’re charming enough in a bog-standard Euro-condominium kind of way… but not for the reception staff on site. On arrival at 8pm, in the dark, exhausted after a three hour drive from the airport, our first greeting from the surly owner was an instruction that if we wanted to park on-site, we would have to pay €10 per day for the privilege.

On reaching our apartment, before any introduction to the room amenities, we were grilled on the subject of breakfast, on offer at €10 per person per day. On reviewing the breakfast which had clearly been laid out much earlier in the day (a couple of dismal looking nectarines, a 1-serving box of cornflakes and a yoghurt pot) we declined. We were then told that, in that case, we could not use the kitchen or its facilities.The only item we were allowed to use was the fridge, but we were not to touch any cutlery or crockery. And we were warned that if we dared to disobey, a €35 penalty would be added to our bill.

By this time, we’d been at the hotel about ten minutes and had received nothing but grief. But there was more to come…

The next morning, fancying a swim and a spot of relaxation in the sun, we located the pool and sundeck. However, before we could use the facilities, we were warned that we would have to pay €100 for the privilege during our week’s stay. This explained why, despite the hotel being full, both pool and deck were deserted… and set to stay that way for the whole of our stay.

It became quickly apparent that there was absolutely no atmosphere, no feeling of community, no vibe at this supposedly ‘hip’ hotel. With so many restrictions, boundaries and hidden charges, most guests did what we did – escape every morning to private beaches in more salubrious areas, returning only to kill the flies in the room and go to sleep.

Unless visitors are keen long-distance walkers with a penchant for trekking across landfill municipal dumps and arid insect-infested wastelands, a sealed car is a must for this area. But beware, book your car in the UK before you leave, as the nearest rental operation is at Catania airport, an hour or more’s drive away from the Rosa Sul Council Tip…

Saddled with temperamental air conditioning that failed on a daily basis, the absence of new towels or bed linen (despite promises to the contrary) and a toilet system that proved incapable of dealing with the not-unreasonable challenge of toilet paper (!), we sat in the darkness of our terrace (thankfully included in the price of accommodation), waiting an eternity for the sun to come round to our benighted side of the hotel. Robbed of the will to live and risking life and limb on the rusted ‘death-trap’ sun loungers, we considered our options. Behind our improvised sight barrier of towels (draped across the open balcony front to prevent the staff and various family members wandering by and staring as they stood around chatting at the tops of their voices), we took the decision after 4 interminable days to move on to a proper 4-star hotel, notwithstanding the fact that we had paid for 7 days of this dismal accommodation in advance. And strangely, when we left, the staff seemed unsurprised… I suspect we were not the first to jump ship.

In summary, this hotel is predicated on a series of half-truths, untruths and frankly misleading omissions. It appears to exist solely as a means for the owner to extort additional rent from his punters and I would urge any self-respecting traveller with taste, discernment and any expectation of a welcoming relaxing break to avoid it at all costs.

26 Thank Horrified-of-London
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Public relations manager at La Rosa sul Mare, responded to this review, July 3, 2006
Whilst I believe strongly that everyone should have the right to "air their views" regarding their holiday experiences, I feel that the negative comments posted from this client were purely driven by their anger regarding a completely separate issue and not based on the reality of the situation.

La Rosa sul Mare has been receiving very positive feedback for many years regarding the high standard of our accommodation and the services that we offer.

The coastal area in front of La Rosa sul Mare is a recognised "protected coastal resort" and as such offers crystal clear seas and stunning views.

I would suggest that when reading such extreme comments such as this, it is essential that they are taken with a "pinch of salt" as they are clearly not objective. Also, consideration should be taken for the other positive feedback regarding La Rosa sul Mare that are posted on this site and indeed on other travel sites on the internet.

Thank you for your attention regarding this matter.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about La Rosa sul Mare

Property: La Rosa sul Mare
Address: Via Dei Diamanti 16, 96100, Syracuse, Sicily, Italy
Location: Italy > Sicily > Province of Syracuse > Syracuse
Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #52 of 99 Specialty Lodging in Syracuse
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — La Rosa sul Mare 4*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
La Rosa sul Mare is situated on beautiful coastline within the Plemmirio Natural Park and sea reserve in Syracuse, with cliffs of white rock and flowered terraces gently sloping down to the Ionian sea. An exclusive property offering wonderful apartments, immersed in an oasis of perfumes and colours originating from Mediterranean plants within the garden. Along this stretch of protected coastline, where the natural ecosystem of the coast and sea bed is preserved, it is even possible to witness dolphins swimming. Our friendly staff are attentive to the needs and requests of guests to ensure that they experience an enjoyable, peaceful and memorable stay. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
La Rosa Sul Mare Sicily/Syracuse, Italy

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