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“perfect boutique hotel” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hotel Villa Ducale

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Hotel Villa Ducale
Ranked #1 of 88 Hotels in Taormina
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“perfect boutique hotel”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 17, 2013

This is definitely one of the most beautiful hotels I've stayed in. Amazing staff, stunning decor and food. Amazing views of Sicily. Everyone went out of their way to ensure our stay was perfect, and I will definitely be back!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank nic h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,913 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (305)
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Paris, France
Level Contributor
17 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 14, 2013

Of all the hotels that I have stayed in the staff at Villa Ducale were the nicest and most helpful. The view from the terrace, where breakfast is served is breathtaking and the one lunch we had at the hotel was simple and delicious.

There is a shuttle service to and from town that runs on a schedule, but the hotel was willing to run an extra shuttle if our timing did not correspond to the schedule. As member of staff remarked, “feel that this is your home” and indeed one does feel it.

One negative point as the quality of sleep, which is paramount in a 4 or 5 star hotel. Our room, a junior suite (number 2) was across the street from the hotel. On the road side the noise of passing cars although not excessive is perturbing. However on the valley side, with its view of Calabria, we couldn’t leave the windows open due to excessive dog barking, and they go at it all night. It was a pity since the weather during our visit was cool enough to sleep with open windows.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank HaziG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VillaDucale, Owner at Hotel Villa Ducale, responded to this review, May 15, 2013
Dear HaziG from Paris,
I would like to thank you for having posted a very nice comment about your recent stay at Villa Ducale with high marks. I also would like to apologize for your sleep which was disturbed by some passing by barking dogs; since we are a little away from the town center normally Villa Ducale is the quietest place of Taormina but also being in the country side may cause some "nature sounds" like barking dogs, birds singings, etc which normally do not cause any problem to our guests; we suggest to shut the windows and sleep in total peace !!
Warmest regards from my self and Villa Ducale staff
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 13, 2013 via mobile

This place is truly amazing and the most memorable part of our stay in Italy. The minute we arrived after half a day of travel from Sorrento, we were greeted by santino, paulo and a glass of wine each amongst incredible views over Taormina, Mt Etna and the bay of Messina. This place is faultless - the dinner is fantastic as if we were dining at Nonna's house, the breakfast is all local produce and the best breakfast we have had after travelling 5 weeks through France and Italy, even the bathroom was stocked with face moisturisers, make up remover and my favourite: Ferragamo conditioner! (the little things make the biggest different) Importantly, the staff were like friends and really went out of their way to provide us with the honeymoon surprise of Prosecco & strawberries, Almond wine and also assisting us with tours and our transfers over to our next destination. We loved this place so much and would recommend it to everyone travelling to sicily.

Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Australian T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Geneva, Switzerland
Level Contributor
79 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 12, 2013

We always heard that Taormina was special but staying in the right hotel also makes is even more magical!

We arrived at the hotel after driving on the autostrada from Siracusa trying to survive the Sicilian traffic and driving up the hill to the hotel in a stressful state that it was so lovely to be greeted by handsome Paolo and Alessia (sorry if this is wrong)! Being the passenger in the car (my partner was enjoying the scary driving albeit the stress), I was so relieved to have arrived in one piece!!!!! Therefore the welcome drink was just what I needed to put myself together again... we stepped on to the terrace and all my stress just flew out of my body!!! WOW! What an AMAZING view!!!

The view was breathtaking... our start to our four day stay in Taormina began beautifully. Our room was specious and comfortable with an amazing view (room 16). The staff were amazing and so very kind. They made you feel so at home which is very rare. A special thank you to Santi forall your help also for helping our friends get a taxi on such short notice. We were told that Sicilians were kind, it's even more than that - they love Sicily and their kindness reflects that, which is so touching.

We ate 3 nights of the 4 we stayed there and ordered special menus cooked by Mamma - sooooooo good and we recommend that you do this - discovered dried tuna roe pasta, just out of the world and her salt crust baked fish was divine!!! Our waiter (all my apologies for not remembering your name) made it all so wonderful too.

During tea time they pamper us with cakes and at aperitif time to canapes. Everything was just soooooooooo delicious. Breakfast was a real feast with so much to eat! My favourite moment was the Campari soda time on the terrace for aperitif...

If you are just visiting Taormina, we recommend that you do not rent a car unless you wish to travel to other places. We had a rent a car because we went to Siracusa before Taormina but once it was parked for us, we never took it out of the car park! The hotel can arrange for pick ups to/from airport. The hotel organises free transport to the town centre throughout the day and if you want to go the the beach, there are pick ups also. Everything is just so well organised and you hardly have to worry about anything. This was very much appreciated.

My partner and I are now working out how to get back, we loved it so much. It will not be until next year unfortunately owing to work schedules, however we definately will go back to enjoy the Villa Ducale again.

A very big thank you to Paolo and his team, WE LOVED IT!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank thegirls68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
United Kingdom
Level Contributor
218 reviews
74 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 11, 2013

We arrived at Villa Ducale at 8.45 p.m., tired, confused from driving vertically for ten minutes and in need of a drink. We were greeted with handshakes, a warm welcome, and taken straight in to the dining area for that drink and a look at the menu (dinner is only served until 8.30 so we were the last expected guests). The view from the dining terrace is utterly breathtaking! At night it is a sea of sparkling lights as one looks down on the town of Taormina. By day it is a huge canvas of roof-tops and lanes and Mount Etna. After a wonderful breakfast we booked the hotel shuttle-bus to take us down to the main street in Taormina which was very busy with two cruise liner groups of tourists but still pleasant enough. We went off the main drag to find somewhere for lunch which was very pleasant. Taxied back to the hotel in time for drinks on the terrace and, later, dinner. All the staff at Villa Ducale were helpful and full of good advice regarding the route to Cefalu. Our room was beautifully furnished, very comfortable and had a lovely little terrace with that stunning view. Would definitely return to this delightful little hotel.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank manytravels_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cheltenham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 9, 2013

We had a fantastic time staying at the Hotel Villa Ducale for four nights on honeymoon, The staff were incredible - very welcoming and helpful throughout our stay. We felt so at home and enjoyed the amazing setting with views over the bay and across to Mount Etna from the fantastic terrace.

The breakfasts are also incredible!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank J_and_J_Daykin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ledbury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
24 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 9, 2013

After my review last year ("Thank you Trip Advisor") and continuing our new love affair with Villa Ducale, we stayed again this year.

Judging from comments on TripAdvisor, most people only stay at Villa Ducale for a few days, possibly just the once. So what does one get if you stay as we did for 9 nights (effectively 10 days)? For us, the short answer is consistency.

I think it fair to say that most hotels of any repute nowadays are keen to bend over backwards on service and the overt things that the hotel can do to make a stay enjoyable, but for guests that linger longer there can often be a feeling of being taken for granted. Not so at Villa Ducale. The level of attentiveness from the moment we arrived in 2012 to when we left this year has been consistently high. Faultless. Service beyond the call of duty is service par excellence.

There are not many things to say about Villa Ducale that we and almost a thousand other reviews on Trip Advisor have not said already. Perhaps there is nothing left to say? We have scoured our thoughts and feelings, only to end up telling ourselves off for being overly-subjective. Even so, our sensitivity did detect subtle changes which for us were not for the better, but rather than proffer comments here for all to read, we suggest the hotel staff team be aware that even if we are wrong and there have been no changes since last year the fact that we suspect some should we suggest be carefully considered, lest they become obvious to others. In case you are wondering, what we have detected on a scale of 1 to 10 is that 12 is now 11.

Villa Ducale, as others have noted, is quite a way from Taormina. If you don’t want to walk down and up, or don’t have a car or want the fun of driving along helter-skelter/dodgems, the distance is shortened by the free transport provided by Villa Ducale. However, when you stay at Villa Ducale, you are not staying in Taormina as such, but on the outskirts. High up on the hillside in a strategic position overlooking the Bay of Giardini Naxos, with Mount Etna on a nearby ridge, and Castelmola, considered one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, nearby. We could have spent our whole time eating and relaxing at Villa Ducale, fifty shades of scenery for company. This year, we compiled our own guide book of Taormina so we could sight-see what we'd missed; I shall post reviews. Also I have contributed the first review of Mount Etna (which, considering it is one of the most visited tourist sights on Sicily, was surprisingly lacking, hopefully others more knowledgeable will review). Speaking of which, the view of Mount Etna from the terrace restaurant at Villa Ducale is spectacular and if wanting the panoramic combination of a snow-capped peak and the calm sea of the Bay of Giardini Naxos then I reckon Villa Ducale is unbeatable.

Last year, ever the sceptical tourist, I suggested Mount Etna erupted to order at the touch of a button in Villa Ducale reception and this year, on 27 April, Etna erupted again for us, and the 13th time this year. Fortunately, the ash cloud did not drop the bulk of its load onto Villa Ducale (or Taormina). I share a photo that I took whilst seated at dinner on the terrace.

The long answer (if you'll pardon the intervening paragraphs) is continuity of relationship and pleasurable atmosphere. In a business relationship, which is what a hotel has with guests, one expects friendliness, etc, but what you get, or at least what we got both last year and this, is authenticity. The smiles and warmth in communication are neither artificial nor false: there is no (overt) public mask of politeness that the hotel team collectively wears: no giving the right impression when actually underneath they don’t care. The nature of the relationship we experienced from when we first arrived at Villa Ducale in April 2012 to returning again and throughout our stay this year I liken to being amongst old friends, people you can relax with, be oneself, no needs to put on airs and graces, conversations picked up from where we left off. Greeted and treated well, and with respect at all times.

It is said that travel broadens the mind, but in my opinion all that travel does is clock up miles! To broaden the mind may expand horizons and introduce different cultures and so on, but the older I get the more important it is, at least for me, to deepen relationships, whether with personal friends or stranger-suppliers, shops and hoteliers. In a day and age when we are bombarded with offers and spoilt for choice to imagine we should not waste time on repeats when there is so much to see is the stuff of frightened marketing, much of what passes off as choice is mediocre, over-priced, second-rate, and superficial.

Two years running at Villa Ducale. Would we go again? We've booked already.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MichaelofLedbury
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VillaDucale, Front Office Manager at Hotel Villa Ducale, responded to this review, May 9, 2013
Dear MichaelofLedbury,
please let us express you our gratitude for having been back at Villa Ducale for the second time in a row ; as usual your posts are very interesting and out of the ordinary. A big "grazie" for the praises and compliments which are the gasoline for our engines... of course we are not perfect but our attitude is 100% towards our beloved guests.
Congratulations for the stunning photo that caught perfectly Mount Etna erupting and showing how well you can enjoy the volcano from Villa Ducale.
We will see you again in 2014, we can't wait !!
Warmest regards by all Villa Ducale staff
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 Hotel Villa Ducale

Property: Hotel Villa Ducale
Address: via Leonardo da Vinci 60, 98039, Taormina, Sicily, Italy
Phone Number:
Location: Italy > Sicily > Province of Messina > Taormina
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Taormina
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Villa Ducale 4*
Number of rooms: 17
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

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