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“great resort - shame about the hotel!”

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Hotel Villa Kristina
Ranked #74 of 87 Hotels in Taormina
Reviewed October 13, 2009

We have just returned from a week at the Kristina Hotel and were frankly disappointed..
Firstly on a positive note it is situated in a great position - views of Mount Etna are amazing! The rooms were cleaned everyday and the towels changed. The staff were friendly enough, I especially liked the two guys serving breakfast, esp the small guy who was always rushing about.
But on a negative note alas there is plenty. Firstly on arrival we were "greeted" at reception by the manager/owner who although polite enough was by no means welcoming. First impressions of the room was how dark, drab and dingey they are. The bathroom is very dated with no shower curtain, no enamel still visible on the bath. Every time we attempted to use the shower the whole room got soaked!
There was no information in the room regarding Taormina, only rules, such as not to use the electricity power points!
The balcony was so small it virtually just accomodated us . And the biggest problem by far is the noise - noise from the busy road which is right outside, noise from the building work being carried out on the hotel, noise from other peoples rooms - in the bathroom you could clearly hear your neighbours. The air con was switched off but it was still hot at night , hence had the doors open, so we had to sleep wearing earplugs and chance being bit to death by mosquitoes!
The breakfast was okay but certainly room for improvement - the juices tasted like diluted squash, the scrambled egg if you were lucky enough for some to be left by 8.30, was cold and very limited selection.
Other couples also complained and were told that because its only a 3 star hotel and cheap for Taormina what did we expect. Okay it is cheap for that area but it made a cheap B+B in Blackpool look tasteful!
Final conclusion - If it hadn't been so noisy mainly due to where its situated the points above wouldn't have mattered as much, but the fact that peace and quiet was the main thing I needed from this holiday - made it a big let-down.
Taormina is on the otherhand everything and more, it has great restaurants, boutiques, garden retreats, the architecture is amazing. Loved going down little alleys to experience something different every time. Loved people watching, saw weddings, children playing, artists on the main square - you name it its got it. The beach we preferred was in Lettujani which is only a 15 min bus ride away. It is quieter than the others, less crowded and free to use! The restaurants we recommend are Ristorante Cucina Tipica Siciliana and Austeria Rita which is bit cheaper than most but with very good food and friendly staff. The walk upto Castlemola is well worth it, from the Krisitna there are steps all the way up and takes approx an hour to the top.
Hope you enjoy your trip!
Manchester couple.

  • Stayed: October 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank tiggysouthmanchester
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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11 - 17 of 62 reviews

Reviewed October 10, 2009

The aircon was swiched off as is all in Sicily this time of year. This ment that we had our door open all the time we were in the room. But at night the road out side was very noisy so we did not get much sleep and did not help our holiday.They did provide us with a fan. There is no tea/coffee in the rooms which would have bean usefull as when you get back after a meal there was no way we could get a drink at this Hotel. A good view from the room but did not make up for our stay.The room was small and the shower very small, had to dry myself in room and i am not that big a personnor is my partner.There was also a poor smell from the pluming.There was no information in the room, and had to find out things ourselfs.This is moore like a 2 star B&B.

  • Stayed: October 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank nothappy52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 21, 2009

My husband surprised me with a trip to Sicily for my 40th birthday. We stayed at Villa Kristina for a week and thoroughly enjoyed it. The rooms, although basic and on the small side, were spotlessly clean and the views from the balcony were just amazing. The bathroom was a bit retro, but again very clean. Fresh, good quality towels were provided daily. There was a safe and mini fridge in the room available at an additional charge, payable at reception. Breakfast was adequate with a selection of breads, pastries, cereals, yogurts, etc, and delicious coffee! The staff were all very friendly and helpful. We particularly took to the little bloke who serves drinks around the pool, which is a lovely area to sit and relax with comfortable loungers and large parasols providing shade. Entertainment is provided by a few cheeky pigeons, who swoop in for a dip and a drink from the pool. Hilarious!
The hotel is on a fairly busy road, but we loved sitting on our balcony watching the world go by (on scooters!). And we found the air-con worked efficiently enough to keep the doors closed at night, which eliminated a lot of the early morning noise.
A 10 minute gentle stroll takes you into the town, which is very swish. The Italians really dress up in the evenings and strut their stuff along the Corso Umberto. The best meals we had were at a little family-run tratoria called U Lantirnaru on Via Apollo Arcageta, which is just outside the Porto Catania at the end of the Corso Umberto. As you leave Villa Kristina, heading down the hill, you'll see a gap in the wall just on the bend on the right hand side of the road. Go down there and follow the steps down, cross a small road and keep going all the way down to Porto Catania. Turn right, passing a few bars, and right again. U Lantirnaru is on the left. It only takes 5 minutes to get there. A delicious 3-course meal with a pitcher of local wine, a litre of sparkling water and coffee was around 50 Euros for two, compared to 70 or 80 Euros for two courses at one of the restaurants on or around the Corso (watch out for the rip-off cover charges!!). And the service was far more friendly. You didn't feel they wanted to get you in, get you fed and get you out, as is clearly the case in some of the places. There was another fab little trattoria we ate at one night, just a couple of doors down from U Lantirnaru, called The Trattoria. Also definitely worth a look. We really enjoyed having a leisurely meal then having a stroll along the Corso, maybe stopping at Wunderbar to watch the artists.
For those who fancy a day trip, bear in mind that Sicily is a HUGE island, and the roads aren't that great. But Savoca, where Godafather I was filmed, is well worth a visit. But don't pay over the odds to go on a guided tour. Get the bus to Santa Teresa from the bus station in Taormina, then catch the local bus from Santa Teresa to Savoca. The whole trip costs about 13 Euros return for two, and going on a local bus is a scream, especially if the locals start having a debate about some random topic. Arms flail and voices rise. Even (worryingly!) the driver gets involved, which is fine except the Italians speak with their hands, and on those mountain roads you'd much prefer the drivers hands to be on the wheel! From Taormina the bus drops you off on Santa Teresa promenade. Walk in the same direction as the bus and take the next left. Go across the road at the junction and the connecting bus stop to Savoca is just there on the right.
Also worth doing is a stroll up to Castelmola. But BE WARNED...the climb is arduous. Don't even think of attempting it in the full heat of the day. We went up at about 10am and we were dripping wet by the time we got there. So make sure you take a bottle of water (buy this from the little shop just a few doors up from the hotel) and take your time.
Sicily is a bewitching place. We can't wait to go back. And although next time we thought we would stay closer to Palermo and explore the hinterland, we will definitely, absolutely, without question go back to Taormina at some point, and we wouldn't hesitate in staying at Villa Kristina.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank chakelski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 10, 2009

Great location, if a bit of a climb in hot weather!
Breakfast fine.
Helpful staff.
Only problem was noice from cars under window, but kept closed for airconditioning so not really an issue.
Noisy at pool though, but they have buses organised to beaches.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank NGCB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 30, 2009

Bring the earplugs... yes the aircon is efficient and very welcome at the height of a Sicilian summer, but if you're a light sleeper it may disturb you.

Apart from that this is a good value choice in an expensive town. I went with 2 friends, we booked a twin and a single for 4 nights. When the total price was divided between 3 of us, it averaged appx 60€ per person per night.

Hotel is on the hill on the way up to Castelmola, reached by small streets and paths from one end of the Corso Umberto, the main street. Perfectly safe to walk therefore. It's a steep walk on the way back, but perhaps a good way to walk off the pasta and wine !

Reception staff friendly and efficient, agree with comments re garage. ... we walked or used buses instead ! Tao is not good for cars, winding small streets make it difficult to drive and park.

Pool area is pleasant, lovely view across the town towards Etna. Comfy loungers and big parasols. Breakfast was fair, but unless it's included in your rate I'd be inclined to walk into town and just have a coffee and brioche on a square somewhere.

As for the rooms, a bit old fashioned but perfectly clean. Bathrooms are a bit 1970's but fine. Balcony overlooking Etna and the town.

So, as long as you're not looking for super luxurious, this is a good value choice.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled with friends
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Thank nothingtoulouse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 25, 2009

I stayed here for 10 days in July and my partner and I really enjoyed it. All rooms at the hotel, as everyone says, have amazing views of Etna and we spent many a happy hour with a glass of vino in hand, on the balcony. The bedroom was small but not problematic, and clean. We would have appereciated the floor being cleaned during our stay but other than that, no complaints.

All staff were friendly and helpful. Breakfast was fair and the food served by the pool was pleasant. The pool itself was very clean and we were always able to get a lounger when we wanted one. The walk into town was steep but not unpleasant and I'm sure I got fitter by the day!

Our only real complaint was the garage. It cost 6 euros a day which is a bit steep, especially as you really have no choice. It is also underground and very small so everytime we wanted to leave we would have to ask the hotel receptionist to move any number of cars before we could squeeze out. It made using the car quite stressful as the space is really rather tiny!

Would definately go back (and hopefully will as got engaged there!) but would happily never venture in the garage of doom again!

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank jellyfer78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 21, 2009

We really enjoyed our week at Villa Kristina. The room was clean and basic with a very small shower, but there are some rooms with a bath on request. The room was cleaned and the towels were changed daily. We had a balcony with a fantastic view of the sea and Mount Etna, a very beautiful setting day and night and better than most of the hotels we saw. Breakfast was ok but not fantastic, we were offered early breakfast when we went out on a day trip which was appreciated. The swimming pool was very clean and seating available around the pool.

The staff were very helpful advising us on buses and excursions, the sunset trip to Mount Etna is a trip not to be missed, and on a day trip to Lipari and Vulcano Island you can experience bathing in thermal mud. The hotel is well placed for the start of a walk to the hill town Castelmola.

The main high street in Taormina, a lovely old town, is about 10 minutes walk, there are many steps to climb up and down but the views are stunning and worth the effort. The town has many interesting shops and restaurants. In the evening people dress for dinner and go for a stroll through the main street before eating late, the bars and ice cream parlours are open until midnight. Wedding parties are a common sight there too.

We recommend this hotel, especially for a romantic getaway and would go back again.

Romeo and Juliet
June 2009

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank juliet0909
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Villa Kristina

Address: Via Leonardo da Vinci 23, 98039, Taormina, Sicily, Italy
Location: Italy > Sicily > Province of Messina > Taormina
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #74 of 87 Hotels in Taormina
Price Range: $72 - $143 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Villa Kristina 3*
Number of rooms: 32
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This three-floor family-run hotel was built in the early sixties on the hillside at Taormina and enjoys superb views across the Bay of Naxos and Mount Etna. Hotel Villa Kristina features an outdoor pool on a sunny terrace with a poolside bar, sun loungers and parasols, all open seasonally. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kristina Hotel Taormina
Hotel Villa Kristina Taormina, Sicily

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