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“Superb Views - worth the climb but definitely for the budget traveller”
Review of Sole Castello

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Sole Castello
Ranked #65 of 87 Hotels in Taormina
Reviewed August 26, 2012

I chose this hotel from a website based on the stunning views it showed - when we were driving up steep multiple hairpin bends I realised why the view was so amazing and hoped it was worth it...

We had a worrying start with an unfriendly hotel receptionist who tried to give us a room without the view of Etna and the bay. Luckily, I produced an email that promised this would be available for us and a smiley receptionsit quickly and efficiently checked us into a small, clean room that opened onto a huge balcony with the most amazing vista. Wow. This view was described in DK guidebook as 'one of the greatest in the world' & I think this budget hotel's view beats some of the more expensive places further down the mountainside.

Bathroom was small and clean. Air Conditioning was very weak but kept the room just bearable overnight. Rooms were cleaned perfectly - even an item I thought I had lost was put prominently on the bed for me to find. A typical European budget room. The swimming pool was small but perfect for an early evening dip and lounge before preparing to go out again. I sometimes felt a bit ripped off by the price of beers at the bar but it's an expensive resort and we did enjoy those beers!! Breakfast was adequate.

Other reviewers have complained about the steps. Well, the reception staff were really helpful about providing information on bus times and we quite happily walked down the steps to town - amazing views of Taormina square and the Greek Theatre on the way - and then caught the last (cheap, modern, air conditioned) bus home at about midnight. It was great fun being slightly tipsy and going round those tight hairpins in a bus! One night we missed the last bus and paid €15 to get back which was comparable to Sheffield prices regarding distance etc and worth paying rather than climbing the steps. We also had a hire car which made going to the local beaches quick and easy during the day - good, free parking at the back of the hotel and cheap parking at the beach. But one day we went down the steps and used the cable car to the beach which was fun too, so quite manageable without a car. Recommended as long as you're not too fussy.

Room Tip: Insist on a room with a view - email in advance.
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Faye K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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70 - 76 of 234 reviews

Reviewed July 9, 2012

I would have given this hotel a better grade without this incident below with the hotel manager. And moreover, you should know that the hotel is in the top of the hill in Taormina - so every time you want to go the city center or anywhere in the neighbourhood, you have to climb down and up hundreds of stairs (~half an hour). There are two busses that go to the city center, but the last one goes around 18:30 and they don't go that often anyways - so we ended up using a bus only once during the whole week. Taxis cost around 15 euros to the hotel from the city center, so it would become an expensive option to use them every time you want to go somewhere.

We tried to cancel the last night at the hotel because our plane was leaving at 8:00 in Catania, and there was no way we could get there with the public transportation that early. The hotel manager said it is ok but eventually it turned out that he tried to cheat us the money for the last night, even though we wouldn't have stayed there. And even though he let us understand it differently. Luckily we were in contact with hotels.com and they told what the situation really was. Basically, the manager was lying us. A very slimy guy he was.

The manager also promised us that they would make us early breakfast because we were leaving "by taxi" before the breakfast time. We woke up half on hour earlier for the breakfast, but there was nothing there.

"The taxi" what the hotel arranged us to the airport, was not a taxi - didn't have a taxi sign, meter or anything. It was obviously someone in the family. The price was the same as it would have been by normal taxi. But I guess it was a good way again to earn some extra money - and avoid taxes.

Apart from the manager, the other staff was really nice, and the view from the hotel was breathtaking.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Mosselo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 25, 2012

The hotel has a spectacular view of Taormina, Giardino-Naxos and Etna but to get there by foot from the city center you have to walk a staircase for 20 min down and 40 min up so you have to be in good condition.

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank LiBjork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 8, 2012

This place had the most amazing view I have seen in my life.Not only from our room but also from the breakfast room and even next to the pool you can just enjoy looking at the city, the see and the Etna at the same time.It was amazing!!!!! The staff was very friendly and helpful.Only negative point was the cleaning.
The pool was a big bonus as the see is very cold so we could enjoy swimming also.
The breakfast was fresh, mostly served with the same stuff you find in Italy all around.I liked it very much.If I go back to Sicily that we plan for next year we will go to this place for sure!!!!!

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank gozsducourt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 27, 2011

I stayed at this hotel for 4 nights after a week of travelling around Italy. We picked up a hire car at the airport and drove to the hotel and what a crazy drive that was! The winding narrow roads leading up to the hotel was very nervewracking and i was on the edge of my seat, as for my poor boyfriend driving he nearly had a heart attack. Driving in Sicily is not for the fainthearted. However it was well worth it to see the amazing view from so high up. Etna, the coastline, the yachts out on the sea, breathtaking. Being so high up does have a down side though, finding an easy way to get down to the town. Taxis were averaging around 15 euros which is very overpriced for a 5 minute journey however there is a bus that runs frequently which stops right outside the hotel for 3euros each way or if youre feeling very fit take the 500 odd steps (yes i counted). Me and my boyfriend used the steps everyday, to counteract all the delicious pasta we ate! The double room was very clean, spacious and comfortable with a huge balcony and we even had a jacuzzi bath tub! The owners and staff were very friendly and accommodating. We never ate at the hotel restaurant but they had a very reasonably priced 3 course meal which changed every night and the bar prices for drinks and snacks was great, 3euros for a bottle of beer. You can also get a shuttle bus from the hotel to a couple of beach bars if you fancy laying by the beach for a day. The pool was very clean and was great for having a dip after a long day exploring. Would have been great to lay on a lounger to dry off but unfortunately there were only chairs.
The only negative i found staying at this hotel was that the cleaner starts cleaning the rooms around 8am and you can hear doors banging (only made out of wood and not fire doors) throughout the morning so if you like a lay in or are a light sleeper you may be disappointed.
All in all a great holiday and we would definately stay here again!

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Nicky P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 31, 2011

I've spent 3 nights in this hotel on my Fly&Drive Trip to Sicily in July. I got there at 2 am, so I just wanted to get the key to my room and get some sleep. In the morning, when I went downstairs (there is an elevator too!) for breakfast I couldn't believe my eyes - the view is simply stunning! Etna, Taormina, Giardini Naxos and all around is clearly visible. You can swim in the pool and peek at Etna. Putting it simple - this is the best view I have ever seen from a hotel. The hotel itself is very pleasant - staff are friendly, everything is clean. Some rooms are small and have no balcony, which was not a problem for us since we were staying only for 3 nights. Breakfasts are generally poor, as in most hotels in Sicily (I've been to 5 different places while staying). The major defect, which is actually also the main advantage is the hotel location - on a hill above Taormina. The view as I mentioned above is great, but getting down to Taormina is tiresome. You can either take long stairs (climbing upwards in heat - horror), take a taxi (12 euros during the day, 15 at night) or drive yourself if you have a car. Anyway, this hotel is fantastic as long as you are not planning a lazy stay - beach and all other facilities are a long way down...

Room Tip: Rooms on the south-east side have balcony and view on Etna, those on the other don't.
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  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Loriath
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 17, 2011

My wife and I were here on honeymoon last July 21-28. We loved staying here the staff were fantastic and not at all rude. Yes it is very high if walking but all you have to do is catch the orange bus you go up and down for less than €2 the locals on the bus actually enjoy seeing you and will prob ask you where or what you want to go see it's brilliant.
The views from sole castello and it is a joy to wake in the morning look at etna and then to the sea too see which massive cruise ship has pulled into port.
The only thing I would say is if you are looking lots to do toarmina is limited.
I would recommend asking the owners what restaurants they reccomend that locals love not tourists, on these suggestions and off the beatan track we ate some of the most fantastic food.
In conclusion do not come to this hotel will dillusions of granduer this isn't a 5* palace it is a fantastic typically Sicilian hotel.
Would I go back here? Without a shadow of a doubt it was amazing!

  • Stayed: July 2010
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3  Thank Wobalong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sole Castello

Address: Via Leonardo da Vinci 83, 98039, Taormina, Sicily, Italy
Location: Italy > Sicily > Province of Messina > Taormina
Amenities:
Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #65 of 87 Hotels in Taormina
Price Range: $73 - $117 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Sole Castello 3*
Number of rooms: 54
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Also Known As:
Sole Castello Taormina, Sicily
Sole Castello Hotel Taormina

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