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“Wonderful experience”

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Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo
Ranked #3 of 87 Hotels in Taormina
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 6, 2012

We stayed at the sister hotel to this one, Villa Sant Andrea, which was outstanding. We came up to see the town of Taormina and stopped by the front desk of this hotel for a map, and the head concierge - Steven Ceschia - could not have been more helpful. His suggestions made the day for us and his caring attitude was unparalleled. One rarely sees service like this anymore. So,
yes - these hotels are expensive - but they really know how to make you feel taken care of,
and that is priceless. We had an incredible lunch at the Grand Timeo, on a covered porch overlooking Mount Etna - can't imagine an experience that would top that. Thank you to Steven for all his extra caring and effort on our behalf.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank heavenisspringlake
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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493 - 499 of 918 reviews

Reviewed October 5, 2012

A very pleasant couple of days was spent at the Grand Hotel Timeo last week. Certainly a class act although an expensive one. It has one of the best views of any hotel in Italy and has excellent staff to take care of you. The restaurant is high callibre and is fairly full of both residents and outside visitors. Will certainly go back again in the autumn next year. My only slight reservation is that it is very difficult to find the hotel by car, although they are very happy to park it for you when you arrive. Overall, very enjoyable.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Alan B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 28, 2012

Mrs R and I stayed in a junior suite at the Timeo for 4 nights in late Sept.   We used it as a base to explore the town and the region, for which it was perfect.  The place is not cheap, but then that generally applies to Taormina.   

For an average rate of €850 per night, we got a room with sea view through a small "window" of 50cm high by 1.5m wide.   We also had a balcony to the side of the room, from which we could see the sea provided we leaned far enough over the balustrade.   The room itself was nice though a bit too classical for my liking.

The hotel itself is a nice old property at the base of the Teatro Greco at the far end of the town - but within walking distance of everywhere.  It is set in beautiful gardens overlooking the sea, Mount Etna and the town of Taormina.   In spite of the size of the grounds, it is not really a resort style place and the swimming pool is small though perfectly adequate for a refreshing dip at the end of the day.

As for the restaurant, we only had dinner at the hotel once and were not impressed with the food.  Problem with Taormina is that most other dining options do not seem to be all that great either.  The breakfast on the other hand was wonderful with an excellent selection and very attentive service.  

The service was generally quite good though not always flawless.   Repeated attempts to contact the concierge via email in advance of our arrival were only part successful.  The concierge also managed to make us a restaurant booking for Mon night, only to call us one hour in advance to state that - in fact - the restaurant they'd booked us at is closed on Mondays.   

Also, the Financial Times newspaper that we were so kindly offered on check-in to have delivered to our room every day only managed to arrive on the last day - after one day with a different newspaper, one day without a paper altogether and one day where we got a 3 day old paper...   

Lastly, the hotel was unable to provide us with an iron and ironing board and instead offered to iron my wife's dress for her.   We got charged €10 for that privilege.    In the grand scheme of things, these small kinks did not really affect our stay but they do stand in the way of our giving the hotel a 5* rating.

Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
4  Thank Robbie R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gm-timeo, Direttore generale at Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo, responded to this reviewResponded October 2, 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you for writing. We are pleased to learn that you overall enjoyed your stay at the Grand Hotel Timeo but we are sorry that something in our service did not meet your expectation to the fullest.

The room that was allocated is one of the nicest and more spacious of our Junior Suites.
We usually assign it for long stays considering it more comfortable for our guests, the room has a balcony overlooking Taormina and a rectangular window overlooking the sea and mount Etna. Of course if we had known that you were not so satisfied with the room location, we would have showed you another accommodation with a different view.

Good note has been seriously taken regarding your comment towards the quality of the food in our restaurant and at the same time, we are flattered by your fully satisfied appreciation of our daily buffet breakfast.

Concerning the laundry service, please note that, for safety reasons, the Italian law does not allow guests to personally iron on hotel premises.

We apologise if some missing steps of communication on behalf of our concierge staff while meeting your requests, caused the inconveniences that you kindly reported. However, we would like to inform you that in Taormina foreign newspapers arrive one day later.

We appreciate your observations and we will make good use of them. Please be assured that we are actively working to improve our service level and your feedback has proved to be invaluable.

We hope to have the pleasure to host you again at the Grand Hotel Timeo in Taormina.

Best regards,

Luca Finardi
General Manager
Grand Hotel Timeo

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 27, 2012

My great-grandmother stayed at this hotel in 1962, so when my wife and I were planning our honeymoon we decided to end it with three nights at the Grand Timeo in Taormina. Though our original reason for going to the hotel was a sentimental connection, after spending three days there we will return again and again. It is, in a word, an extraordinary hotel.

There is no doubt that the prices for the room are extremely high - over 500 euro a night for our standard double room (we ended up being upgraded to a deluxe double). That said, you get what you pay for, and much more in fact. Our room was in the separate building, on the third floor in the corner and had a large balcony with a spectacular view of Mt. Etna and the bay of Taormina. The room was large and light and even though the bathroom would be considered small by US standards it was beautifully appointed and more than adequate. Everything from the linen sheets, to the Frette robes, to the 3 different types of toiletries was carefully thought out and of the highest quality. Both my wife and I have stayed in luxury properties around the world and even if the room wasn't the biggest we have stayed in the evident care with which it was designed and maintained made it by far the most comfortable. The location of the hotel is also impossible to beat - because it's one of the highest up the hill the views are unmatched and even though you are literally footsteps away from the Greek theater, it never once felt like we were in the midst of a tourist maelstrom. We also had a light lunch and dinner on the terrace in the main part of the hotel - again the sweeping views over the bay are impossible to put a price on. Orient Express owns not only the Timeo but also the Villa Sant Andrea - an old noble's villa now converted into a hotel down by the beach. This is a huge plus because being a guest at the Timeo you can use the beach and all the amenities of the Sant Andrea as if you were a guest there. The beach, like many in Italy, is made of pebbles but the water is crystal clear and the beach service is very good. Having both the mountains and the beach is a wonderful aspect of the Timeo I do not think is shared by the other 5-star properties in Taormina. We had dinner at the restaurant at the San Domenico hotel, one of the other super luxe properties and while its location is good I don't think it can compete with the Timeo. Also, I would add, the general feel of the hotel and the service, while very good was quite obviously a notch below the Timeo.

Included in I believe every room rate is breakfast which can be served either at the hotel buffet or in your room. Given our gorgeous balcony we opted to have it in the room all three days and it was simply sumptuous. The selection is huge, from cereals, fruit and brioche to eggs, steak and veal, to prosciutto, buffalo mozarella and Sicilian goat cheese. To be sure, given the price of the room one would expect a very high quality and generous breakfast, but this exceeded our expectations. Each day the waiters would set up our table on the balcony with care and the food was consistently delicious. We are huge foodies and were on the whole disappointed with much of the food we had in Sicily, but the Timeo really exceeded our lofty expectations at breakfast. Less impressive, I will note, was the food for lunch and dinner we had at the terrace restaurant. Given the superlative prices we were disappointed by the grilled shirmp, pasta, and minestrone we ordered. It wasn't bad, but was quite ordinary.

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn't point out that perhaps the most impressive thing about the hotel overall was the service. From the bell boys to the concierge to the very friendly guest services manager, everyone was beyond polite, warm, and extremely helpful. Everyone seemed to know our names, knew it was our honeymoon, and went out of their way to see our every need was satisfied. One small example. We had particularly liked a certain type of artisanal olive oil while in Sicily and wanted to find a place to buy it in Taormina. Manuela (I believe her name was) who had checked us in looked up the oil, then called around stores in Taormina, and reserved the final three bottles available at the one store that had it. Given that the Timeo holds itself out as a super luxury hotel and charges as much one might say this sort of service is to be expected, but nevertheless it was great to see it in action at every turn.

One small dissapointment is the Orient Express doesn't appear to have any type of loyalty program. Given our experience at the Timeo we are very tempted to try out other Orient Express properties and probably will in the future. If there was a loyalty program that provided some sort of benefits for frequent guests it would increase our incentive to do this.

In sum, if you can fit the Timeo into your budget - which is no small task - you won't be disappointed will leave feeling that your money was very well spent.

Room Tip: Make sure to specify a room with a view of the bay and I would suggest a higher floor.
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Djangy P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 23, 2012

My wife and I decided to start our 15 day visit to Sicily with 5 nights at the Grand Hotel Timeo in Taormina. It is an elegant hotel with the best location in Taormina. The staff is professional but friendly and attentive to your every need. We chose the package that included breakfast and one additional meal, and it was delightful to dine every evening al fresco - the weather is perfect the first week of September, with views of the town, Mt. Etna and the sea. Easily took advantage of the sister property on the beach with the hotel's private shuttle van service - one day the van was full and the attendant called us a private car service (gratis) so we would not have to wait the 30-45 minutes for the next van! The only caveat we have for Timeo is if you have a rental car, the directions the hotel provides indicate a gated barrier to a street in the center of town - the web site does not mention that an employee must come open the gate, so you have to call ahead and wait 10 minutes for the gate to open.

All in all, a near perfect place to splurge.

Four of the five days we were in Taomina Mt. Etna was in clouds but the one day it was clear we took advantage and made a day trip of it - definitely worth the visit.

Room Tip: Room 228 is a corner room with two balconies, one facing Mt. Etna.
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Don B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 21, 2012

We are staying in the Vila Flora in a mini suite with views as fine as they come - waking to see a smoking Mount Etna is really something. Everything divine so far...really classy hotel. Nice vibe with great concierges.

  • Stayed: September 2012
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2  Thank pixiebreath
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 20, 2012

Having spent four wonderful days at The Caruso in Ravello, we were concerned that The Timeo wouldnt live up to expections but we needn't have worried. As usual with Orient Express, the housekeeping was immaculate and the staff efficient and friendly. Loved the fact that the centre of Taormina was easily accessible. Our welcome bottle of wine and nibbles was appreciated. Views from the terrace were fabulous, towards the coast and also Etna. The half hourly shuttle to the Sant Andrea was much appreciated as the temperature was high and a day at the private beach of their sister hotel was a necessity. Beautiful grounds to wander at night after coffee on the terrace. Looking forward to going again.

Room Tip: Higher rooms have better view
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Ian M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo

Address: Via Teatro Greco 59, 98039, Taormina, Sicily, Italy
Phone Number:
Location: Italy > Sicily > Province of Messina > Taormina
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 ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Taormina
#3 Luxury Hotel in Taormina
Price Range: $453 - $1,730 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo 5*
Number of rooms: 70
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set high in the rocky hills on the East coast of the island, with Mount Etna as a backdrop, Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo has always been one of the favourite destinations of both Hollywood’s and Europe’s most prominent stars; from Sofia Loren to Audrey Hepburn, from Marcello Mastroianni to Liz Taylor. Adjacent to the Greek Theatre, the hotel was first built in 1873 and is surrounded by a six-acre park and magnificent gardens where the panoramic pool is located. Widely considered to be the most luxurious hotel in Taormina, it boasts 70 splendid rooms and suites, each decorated in a fresh Sicilian style that blends modern innovation with local artisan traditions. This historical hotel is well known for its “Literary Terrace” which has always been a preferred meeting spot for illustrious guests thanks to its breathtaking panorama. Dining facilities include the Restaurant with an enchanting view of Mount Etna combined with typical Sicilian and Mediterranean cuisine. The Pool Restaurant offers brick-oven pizza, a salad buffet and freshly caught fish, it is the perfect place for a light lunch or a snack. The wellness centre offers signature treatments made from local flowers and fruit essences. A fitness centre and a panoramic swimming-pool are also available Guests can benefit of the complimentary shuttle to the private beach at sister property Belmond Villa Sant'Andrea, in Taormina Mare, boasting new exclusive cabanas, as well as the daily mini-cruise by private boat to explore the beauties of the coast (available during summer). The Smile Club with an English-speaking supervisor is available at sister property Belmond Villa Sant'Andrea to entertain the younger guests with lots of fun and exciting activities. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Nh Hotels Taormina
Grand Hotel Taormina
Grand Hotel Timeo
Timeo Hotel Sicily
Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo Taormina, Sicily

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