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“Pure class”
Review of Hotel Villa Ducale

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Hotel Villa Ducale
Ranked #1 of 87 Hotels in Taormina
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 13, 2014

A hotel is a service business and a good one is a reflection of the attention to detail, quality of food + ambience and particularly the duty of care shown towards guests by the staff. In all these areas Villa Ducale excels. Because we were staying for a relatively short time, I wanted to plan some excursions prior to our arrival and get some local recommendations. The small team of staff did not disappoint and were highly responsive and extraordinarily helpful both before and during our stay. Nothing was too much trouble. Bravo to them all. The views from the hotel are spectacular, which is sufficiently set away from the hustle and noise of central Taormina. However, access is relatively easy by ether booking a space on the hotels complementary shuttles or by taking the steps down to town along a very tranquil path (a 15 min walk). The standard of cuisine was exemplary with lots of quality touches whilst our room (albeit slightly small) had a small terrace and were finished to a high standard. If I could give any small advice to the hotel, perhaps you need to upgrade the speed of your Wi-Fi and install some iPod docks to the rooms, but this is a small issue as you are setting an exquisite standard for how hotels should be run. Thoroughly recommended although perhaps less suited for larger family groups.

  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank ranger2705
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 12, 2014

We spent three days in Villa Ducale and the experience was absolutely great ! The view is breathtaking (the hotel is at ~ 300 meters above see level) the mountain Etna, the sea and the whole valley - all seen from our room (also from most of the rooms if not all). The breakfast is delicious, local quality food, home made cakes, fresh fruits (I would suggest to add fresh vegetables also, once their season starts). The rooms are nicely decorated, keeping the strong local touch and very clean. We had a car that we parked along the road, free. You don't need a car in Taormina, the hotel's free shuttle took us down to the center and back in the night at the hotel. Walking down the stairs, in a superb landscape is also an option to get to the center.
Above all is the service that makes the difference. Both the family owners and the staff are extremely friendly, offering lots of info and chatting with us. We actually didn't feel like in a hotel but rather at some friend's house in a very warm and intimate atmosphere.
The same owners have also Villa Carlotta and luxury apartments in Taormina. We will definitely look for them when we will travel with our two kids.

Room Tip: rooms at upper floor
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  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Laurentia101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 11, 2014

Excellent stay at this hotel- great views, service and food- really loved gorging on the afternoon tea spread! We also visited their sister hotel villa Carlotta which was of a similar excellent standard- prob would have it preferred for its swimming pool esp if staying longer- both hotels are pricy but I think the cost is probably standard for Sicily.

Room Tip: If you like a swimming pool, villa Carlotta offers a similar standard with a pool.
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Laethantasaoire1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 10, 2014

just returned from a fabulous 6 nights in this magnificent place - waking up to views of Etna - staff fantastic & can't do enough for you. Everything you need and want from a break! A true taste of Paradise!!

  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank CHRISTINE B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 9, 2014

First a big thank you to Eduardo, you were a star! From handling a change our booking, to a warm welcome, help during the holiday with planning trips, and a warm parting. Knowing we could "call Eduardo" at any time was v. reassuring too.

I could praise everything and everyone which is due, but then this article would be the same as the others! So instead here are some useful tips that don't appear in the other reviews, to help make the most of your stay.

We stayed for 6 nights in the roof top junior suite , room 16. It's recently been refurbished to a very high standard, a large room, everything brand new in April, where the walk in double shower and "under the Sicilian stars bath are - well you just have to see it! The view of the bay and Etna is marvellous. The terrace is small but very romantic.

If you stay for longer as we did, you can venture out a bit without a car.The trains are regular and of two types- a ridiculously cheap type (limited hours) and an expensive inter-city type (mainstream hours). We went for a day trip to Syracuse, home of Archimedes and 2nd Greek City of it's time, well worth it. The train (cheap type) was just 8 Euros each way, purchased via automatic machine (card or cash) from the station, we bought the day before just in case machines didn't work (there are two, they both worked). You then validate your outward ticket at a little green machine on the most charming of platforms, and do the same from your destination on the return leg. It had to leave at 6:03am and return at 17:27, where Syracruse is 2.15 hours away, but this gave us just the right amount of time there to see the main sights. The inter-cities are more social outward times but you could miss the long day and pay much more.

If you are averagely mobile , walking is not a problem, it is a delight. The steps into town are gentle downwards and take 10-20mins from the hotel depending how often you stop to look at views. Back up, use the shuttle or just take it slow and steady. The shuttle pick up point is easy to get to and regular, with handy adjacent shops selling local cheeses and the local surprise local foods. The Almond Wine, which is completely delicious, a real delicacy. And the "Aranchinis", which are local fast food, rice made with either Bolognaise or spinach and mozzarella, in bread crumbs, and deep fried. OK it sounds challenging, but tastes wonderful. We also took a longer walk to the railway station and beyond to the station and the beach further along, which made a lovely day out.

Of the beaches, Isola Bella beach is widely promoted but is not the best one. It has a nice view and a cave and Island you can wade out to but is cramped and touristy and attracts jelly-fish. The adjacent Mazzaro is so much better though has a club fee of a few E. Also the beach you can see in the distance from the hotel dining terrace, is lovely - the best of the sands, white/yellow, sand with nice bars along the front, it doesn't look special from the distance but was surprisingly special- many of the buildings have some character, and the views back along the bay to Taormina and Castemola, the castle, and hills, are superb.

Don't miss Castemola. What a gem that is. The walk up to it looks terrifying (you can get a bus or taxi though), but the walk is much easier than we thought. Unless you are out for exercise, just take it slow, steady, little step by step, keep stopping to look at the amazing views down to the town, Greek theatre, castle, and monestary, and you don't even get out of breath or work up a sweat. At the top is a treasure well worth the ascent. A village with mountain views all around, a very old centre with narrow higgledy piggledy streets, and tiny shops, a surprise around every corner. From the distance you only see the more modern places built right on the cliff edges as it's the only place they can build, looking imposing and daunting and un-inviting, but they are simply the protective walls for the "secret" old village within.

I could write so much more, but there's already a lot of reviews to read. Hope this information is helpful!

Room Tip: See main article
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  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank JohnHols
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 8, 2014

Just arrived back from one week break at the fantastic Villa Ducale. Our expectations were very high but I can honestly say they were certainly surpassed. It has everthing including views to die for, fantastic breakfast and if you like cakes you are in for a real treat. However, what really makes this hotel so special is the service. All the staff were very friendly and always willing to help. They were passionate about their region and very knowledgeable. I don't generally single out any one single person especially as all the staff were great. However, special mention has to go to Serena who works in the restaurant and is particularly passionate about the wines of the region. I run my own wine school back in the UK and I can honestly say that she inspired me so much that in the future I want to run a number of Sicily themed tastings at my school. In terms of the facilities, our room (room number 22) was very comfortable with a good size bathroom. We also had a good size balcony that included 2 loungers, a table and two chairs, and of of course a fab view of Etna and of the bay. We are already planning a return trip, possibly in the Autumn. Thanks once again to all the staff at the Villa Ducale for such a memorable time.

  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Tedloveswine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VillaDucale, Restaurant manager at Hotel Villa Ducale, responded to this reviewResponded May 11, 2014

Dear Tedloveswine,
I want to thank you immensely for the extraordinary comment you posted in Tripadvisor about your overall experience at our Taormina boutique hotel. We appreciate you loved our hotel so much, your room and its large panoramic balcony overlooking the Mount Etna and the sea, its out-of-the-world view and our food. People working at Villa Ducale like me are happy and as proud sicilians we love our land and are keen to make it known to the people.
However I would like to particularly thank you for mentioning my person who had the great pleasure to serve you and had wonderful funny talks with you about our great Sicilian wines.
Next time in autumn we can organize a trip to Mount Etna wineries , I can escort you there to discover our magical vineyards !!!
Kind regards,
Serena A., Hotel Villa Ducale Taormina

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Reviewed May 6, 2014 via mobile

Absolutely deserves to be the top hotel in this gorgeous destination. From the moment you arrive the focus is on you. The Villa is gorgeous and comfortable. So pleased with our decision to stay here, especially after walking Corso de Umberto with all the cruise ship mobs. We simply strolled back up the hill to our quiet retreat. The views are sublime. The breakfast a feast. Staff very very welcoming and helpful. Did not want to leave.

Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
2  Thank boxerfan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about 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: $172 - $452 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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