Stayed here as part of a tour around Sicily in June/July 2007.
Arenella Resort is a large complex. Over 460 rooms, so don't expect small and friendly. It is situated quite a way out of Syracuse - most travel sites say 11kms but it seems a bit more than this. There is a bus service from the hotel to town but we didn't use it as we had a hire car.
Check-in was okay but staff were a bit officious. The resort relies on non-All Inclusive guests using a pre-paid card system for buying drinks, snacks etc. You top up the card with a minimum of €5 to start and you can add to this as you go along. Bar staff debit the card as you buy. Any unused amount is paid back to you at the end of your stay. For some reason they will only accept cash to top up the card - couldn't use credit cards etc. Given the location of the Arenella resort, they could exploit guests by over-charging for drinks and snacks but they don't. Everything is reasonably priced.
Two half litres of bottled water were provided for free on arrival and were left in the fridge in the room. A nice touch in view of how impersonal everything felt otherwise. Beach Towels are available but you must leave a deposit for each one you take (€10 I think) but you can change them as frequently as you want. There are some shops and two internet points on the site.
Lots of activities provided by the entertainment staff. There is a play area for children and two fantastic swimming pools - one of which is billed as the activities pool (pool aerobics etc.) and the other, the quiet one. Beach is rocky but there are sunbed terraces. Lifeguards oversee the pools and the beach for most of the day. Downside is that even with all of these facilities, with 460 rooms on site there just aren't enough sunbeds by the pools and you must be an early riser to make sure you get one (or however many you need).
The rooms are very large and very comfortable (including air conditioning, television & fridge). We found the maid service to be excellent.
It caters for a large number of people and the service reflects this. One big issue is the restaurant, which is large and chaotic. The choice of food is great (including barbecued) but the service is appalling. We found one waitress to be just plain rude and ended up having several run-ins with her. It soured what was an otherwise okay experience.
Good value and good for families but the complex was just too large for comfort and very noisy. Not a relaxing stay. We wouldn't go back and would struggle to recommend it to anyone.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- VOI Arenella resort is nestled in a spacious park on the southern coast of Sicily, alongside long sandy beaches, close to Syracuse and the protected marine area of Plemmirio. VOI Arenella resort offers a wide range of sports and leisure facilities. Try the resort's new wellness center with a number of relaxing and therapeutic spa facilities including massages and beauty treatments. You can choose from numerous sports activities including archery in the summer months. There is also a fully equipped scuba-diving center on site with lessons available at an additional cost. Enjoy the entertainment program at VOI Arenella resort. Here you will find professional staff, including French and German speakers, and an extensive line-up of daytime and evening entertainment. There are 2 children's clubs, both offering a wide range of dedicated activities. The Mini Bimbo club is a fully equipped nursery for children until 2 years of age. Arenella Bimbo Village is appropriate for children from 2 until 17 years of age. You can dine at VOI Arenella resort's 2 restaurants offering delicious breakfast and dinner buffets of local and Mediterranean cuisine, which can be enjoyed on open-air terraces. The restaurants feature an open-cooking area where you can watch your meal being prepared as well as a large grill and barbecue area. VOI Arenella resort may be only bookable for weekly stays, with arrivals and departures on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Aw Arenella Hotel Syracuse
- Arenella Resort Syracuse
- Arenella Hotel Syracuse
- VOI Arenella Resort Sicily/Syracuse, Italy