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Sant Alphio Garden Hotel & Spa
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All reviewsswim up barfour nightsmount etnaindoor pool and hot tubbaked alaskasilver servicenice hotelminute walkprivate beachroom was clean and comfortablemain partbeautiful flowerstouring holidayquiet locationhotel chargeswell run hotelroom was large
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Reviewed November 29, 2013

Stayed here for 4 nights with a tour group in October. Hotel looks great from outside with really nice pool and surrounding pool area. Great views towards sea and especially towards Etna. We had a spacious room with small balcony with sea view, for which we paid extra. Large bathroom and comfortable beds. Our main disappointment was the food. Dinner was very ordinary and there was a limited choice. Some of the meat dishes were almost inedible. We had paid an inclusive price, but chose to eat out on one evening and many members of the group did the same. Good choice for breakfast, but the vast dining room meant long walks back and forth to table and the large number of guests meant queues for hot drinks etc
Fortunately there are a range of restaurants within 5 to 10 minutes walk offering a range of local specialities.
Giardini Naxos is about 20 minutes walk away with even more restaurants.
I would agree with other comments about lack of free wifi and having to pay extra for beach chairs. This is petty and not worthy of a hotel claiming 4* status.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank uktravellingwoman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 3, 2013

Well located, with private beach approximately 50 yds from hotel. About 15 minutes walk to Giardini Naxos beach resort, with it’s multitude of restaurants to suit every budget. Giardini Naxos had a good sandy beach, whilst the hotel beach was dark, volcanic, sand. Perfectly OK, but didn’t look quite so inviting. Hotel amenities as expected from a 4* establishment. Our room was clean, spacious and quiet, and we had the most stunning view of Mount Etna from our balcony. The menus had a good variety of dishes to choose from and the dining staff most attentive. The bus to Taormina stops just a few yards from the hotel, and this enchanting town is well worth a visit. It is situated on a cliff, has a wide variety of restaurants, cobbled streets, numerous churches and beautiful gardens with stunning views across the bays, plus a funicular down to the beach

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Frances K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 12, 2013

Wow, what a wide range of opinions on this hotel! My two cents worth is that staying here for three nights as part of a tour group worked just fine. Little bits of criticism from others are all true. So are the good things. Had we been staying here independently we would not have been nearly as happy.

To start with, our room was large, quiet, clean and comfortable. We had a very small, comfortable balcony overlooking Mt. Etna that was large enough to accommodate two people. The bathroom was OK except for the very small shower where it was a chore not to hit the water controls if you moved. We had a room that did not required an elevator ride, but the elevators seemed slow. The pool area was large, comfortable and had a nice refreshment bar and plenty of seating. There was plenty of shade if you need it. So far not too bad, right?

The biggest downside it that the hotel is over run with tour bus groups. The place where you really run in to this in the dining room which was divided in to reserved table areas for at least three large tour groups each morning for breakfast and for dinner. At breakfast you walk by scores of empty tables until you reach your "spot". If you are on a tour this works out. If you are an independent traveler, being with all these bus tour people is be very inconvenient, possibly intolerable. Another annoyance is the ridiculous WiFi policy, with no free service anyplace in the hotel. You must buy an hour of service or service until midnight. Nothing is available in the rooms for any price. At other locations we were given free in room service.

The location of the hotel is also both good and bad. A 10 minute walk puts you on a quiet street with several good restaurants and a convenience store. A 12 minute walk takes you to a rather marginal beach where the hotel will charge you a substantial fee for beach chairs and an umbrella.

Bottom line, if your tour group is sending you to this property it will be fine. We had a tour farewell dinner and it was some of the best food we had in Italy with wait service to match. The breakfasts were ample but mediocre. I would not choose this hotel for independent travel. Too busy and the tour groups will swallow you up. Very good with the group, average or less if you are by yourself.

Room Tip: Caters to tour groups. Ask for a high room facing Mt. Etna if you are given a choice.
  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank maranasam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 11, 2013

As others have reported, this place gives the paying customer a very mixed experience. We were allocated a reasonable room next to the lift. We could hear the lift from the bathroom, but not from our room.The room was a good size with a decent bathroom and a small balcony. (Although the architect should be shot as the single light bulb in the bathroom only lit the hand basin, and not the shower).
The walls are paper thin. One night the man next door snored all night and kept me awake for half the night.
The hotel specialised in "Do Not" signs. Do Not wear shorts in the dining room, Do Not take food from the dining room, Do Not enter the hotel without a shirt on, Do Not enjoy yourself. (OK, I made the last one up).
The Dining room was like a Hangar for a super-jumbo. It was huge. This place is given over to rather a lot of Coach parties. At either 7.30 or 8.00 hundreds of coach trippers descend in to the dining room.
The food was Good. Whilst more Sicilian options would be good, each meal that we had was good. Getting the food was a different matter as the waiters were massively over worked. They tried really hard, but there were not enough of them. The wine list was extensive, but over priced for wines that were one third as much in the local supermarket.
The worst aspect was the arrangement for lifts. The hotel has two blocks. One block has two lifts. The other block has only one lift, and that lift only takes 5 people. Tough luck if you are on the top floor and in a queue of 50 people after a couple of coaches have arrived. You wait for ages for the one lift. A very stupid and mean bit of hotel design!!

As to the very mean habit of charging extra for everything, such as towels, wi-fi and so on, that policy was very annoying. Another sign of a cheap hotel??

Room Tip: Ask for a sea view, or a view of Taormina. The higher floors give the best views.
  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank ancientobserver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 9, 2013

We had seen some of the previous comments about this hotel and were a little concerned. However, we were pleasantly surprised and enjoyed our four day stay here.

We were part of a Riviera Travel tour. We found the welcome very warming, reception was efficient and helpful and the staff throughout the hotel were very pleasant and curteous.

We had paid extra for a sea view room and although you could just see the sea this was a little disappointing. However, we had a large balcony with a view of Etna as well. The room was very good, large and bright and everything worked. The beds were a little hard. There was a large bathroom and an excellent shower. The room was some way from reception and the dining room but we were glad of the walk after the excellent breakfasts and dinners we had.

We had requested vegetarian meals but this message doesn't seem to have got down to the hotel. However, the hotel jumped into action and the owner produced menus for us for the next three dinners. The food was excellent and of good quality. The only problem was that there was too much of it. A great selection of good local wines at about 18 euro each. Bottled water (large) was 2.5 euro each.

There is a large outside pool and another inside with a spa area. We may have been lucky but we could find little fault with this hotel and we would certainly come back if in Sicily again.

There is only a short walk to the stoney beach where the hotel provides loungers and umbrellas at a charge and a short walk into the town area where there are many restaurants. There is a small supermarket only 200 yards away where you can get most basics.

We were impressed with this hotel and a big improvement on the hotel we stayed in at the beginning of the tour.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Chris R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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