Our daughter spent her honeymoon here and said that it was an amazing experience. We followed her footsteps ten years later to celebrate our 46th anniversary. She was absolutely right!
How can you not love this place! The staff takes pride in treating everyone like family. Their joy is making you happy. Antonio welcomed us with a glass of Prosecco and said, “This is your home for the length of your stay. We want you to feel like you’re part of our family”. We have never experienced this level of satisfaction and sense of belonging. It is hard to put into words.
Antonio explained that savory and sweet entrees are served at breakfast that include fruit, various types of cheese, meats, Sicilian entrees, eggs made to order, pies, pastry, juice, Cappuccino, Espresso – all delicious!
Afternoon tea and pastry is served at 4 PM and cocktails are available for purchase with complementary appetizers at 6 PM. Ilie and Manuele are the servers in the dining room and bar – always smiling. They can’t do enough for you.
After our intro, Antonio took us to our room, #10. It was spacious with king bed, large tiled bathroom with Jacuzzi tub, shower, and many amenities. We stepped out onto a balcony and were overwhelmed with a spectacular view of the bay and Mt. Etna – makes you melt. It gets better . . . we open another glass door on the opposite side of the room that leads to what may be the largest terrace on property. It had two chaise lounges, umbrella, a ceramic table, two chairs, and a lantern with candle to light when having a glass of wine at night. Antonio also surprised us with a basket of fruit and chilled champagne to celebrate our anniversary. Life is good!
The hotel offers an extensive library of travel books on Sicily as well as DVD’s that you can view in your room. They provide complementary shuttle service into town and back at various times of the day. This adds convenience and value to your stay because taxi’s can cost 15-20E each way.
Alessia, Paolo, Santi, and Antonio will happily arrange shuttle service, restaurant reservations, and excursions to various parts of Sicily. They also offer a free shuttle to their sister hotel, Villa Carlotta where guests can use the pool and court yard - a fabulous gathering place that is ideal for catching up with new friends to compare notes on restaurants and places to visit. We ordered sandwiches and drinks at the pool bar and there are many tables and chaise lounges with umbrellas where you can work on a tan or enjoy a bite to eat. One day as we were leaving to catch the shuttle, Rosaria Quartucci, owner of Villa Ducale, arrived. She asked us and another couple from England to join her in the dining room to have freshly squeezed orange juice and some pastry. Much to our surprise Rosaria then invited us to her kitchen to participate in a cooking class. We made a pasta entrée and dessert that was absolutely delicious. Glasses of red wine were poured and we were in heaven. The owners are the most generous people. Villa Carlotta is located close to the Public Gardens and a short walk into town. We enjoyed the diversity of both hotels during our 10 days in Taormina.
Our mornings would include a leisurely breakfast that is fit for a king. Loredana and Luana greeted us with Buongiorno and a lovely smile to start our day. Many choices followed breakfast . . . Valets, Dilan and Sagar drove us into town to shop, visit the Greek theatre, Public Garden, or several beaches. The hotel provides beach towels and bottled water is always available in our room. I would be remiss in not mentioning that our room was always immaculately cleaned by Milena – she was a joy to meet!
There are many nice shops on Corso Umberto where you can buy wine, Sicilian food specialties, granita, gelato, pastry, clothes, ceramics, and just about anything you can think of.
Rosaria Quartucci met us after breakfast one morning and offered to take us on a drive to the scenic town of Giardini Naxos. We toured a cheese factory and learned about the production process of cheese and sampled fresh buffalo mozzarella. She then drove us to Golo dell Alcantara Gorge, a deep ravine where a waterfall gushed into a stream and later to Motta Camastra, a peaceful hilltop village that Michael Corleone saw when he looked up from the road in The Godfather (Part 1). This was an unexpected gesture of kindness by Rosaria that we will always remember.
Villa Ducale is the true definition of caring, kind people that look after you. The staff is the glue that keeps people coming back.
Salute and mille grazie to Andrea and Rosaria Quartucci, Alessia, Paolo, Santi, Antonio, Loredana, Milena, Luana, Dilan, Sagar, Illie, Manuele, Marco, Santina, Pia, and Dilan! We miss you already.
Santina is Villa Ducale’s fabulous chef and will cook fresh fish for dinner from a local fish market provided you place your order before 10 AM. We enjoyed a salad, mussels, Snapper, and shrimp with pasta that was more delicious than any restaurant in Taormina. The food and wine at Villa Ducale is exceptional and reasonably priced. Ditto at Villa Carlotta where chef Pia does an amazing job.
We tasted the best granita at Bam Bar that can be reached by walking toward the Public Gardens. If you have a sweet tooth, go to Roberto’s Pastry Shop that is close to Bam Bar. They offer the world’s best cannoli made with sheep milk – molto buono!
Our hotels have arrangements with several beach lidos such as La Caravella and La Pigna. They provide round trip transportation to the beaches and include two chaise lounges, an umbrella, and a changing room for 12.50E - 15E. This is a good deal because taxi’s are expensive and we received front row location on the beach – most likely because of the high reputation of Villa Ducale and Villa Carlotta. You can also dine at their restaurants. We enjoyed pizza and beer at one and salad plus seafood at another – all good.
One of the highlights of our vacation was going on the Godfather Tour that was arranged by the front desk. We went with two other couples from Villa Ducale to the city of Savoca – about 25-30 minutes drive in a Mercedes bus. The entire tour took about 4 hours and cost 31E per person – very reasonable. The tour guide was Ricardo but I do not know the name of the company – highly recommended!
Our top restaurant picks: We dined twice at Da Nino which is near the shuttle stop. They serve fresh seafood, pasta, and have an excellent wine list. Another great find is Al Seraceno, a five minute walk up the hill from Villa Ducale. Our favorite is Maffei’s, a fabulous seafood restaurant in a garden setting located downtown.
Be sure to tell the front desk staff if you are celebrating a special occasion so they can mention this when making reservations. Restaurants often offer complementary Prosecco when notified in advance.
My wife enjoyed shopping at Daneu located on Corso Umberto, 126. They sell table runners, hand towels, napkins, glasses, and ceramics. She purchased a beautiful hand made table runner with lemons. Adriana, shop owner, is a lovely woman that wants to accommodate everyone that comes to her store.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Taormina Hotel Villa Ducale is small luxury boutique hotel perched in an elevated position above the centre of Taormina km 1,3) commanding a unique outstanding view over the Mediterranean sea and Mount Etna.Our hotel,member of HIP hotels, is incredibly pretty, with flowers and colours adorning every angle, and a view to die for.Every bedroom is individually designed with the highest attention to detail, furnished with great taste in a mix of Sicilian traditional and Italian design contemporary style, each has its own private panoramic terrace or balcony.The hotel is able to offer a variety of personalised services, such as cooking lessons, wine tasting and tailor made meals, special romantic candle-lit dinners which can be arranged easily with the super friendly staff.Eleven Double rooms and six suites with full aminities and free wi-fi connection.Free shuttle to center and the beach. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Ducale Hotel Taormina
- Hotel Villa Ducale Taormina, Sicily