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“can you say "deferred maintenance" in German?”
Review of Hotel Olimpo

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Hotel Olimpo
Ranked #1 of 11 Hotels in Letojanni
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 29, 2012

If you're from the USA and travel regularly, you already know that "four stars" means many different things to many different people. The Olimpo is typical of other Parc Hotel chain properties I have seen: a wide range of pros and cons.

Since we were with a small tour group arranged by an Italian cultural society in northern California, I don't know what the nightly charge was. But, it did include breakfast and dinner and we did have a seaview room (I'll post photos).

First, let's talk about location. This hotel is NOT in Taormina. It is in a small town to the south, Letojanni, which is an 18-20 Euro taxi ride (one way) from the Messina Gate in Taormina. So, if you want to spend the bulk of your time in that town, the taxi fare is a significant consideration. That said, there is the reality that the hotel was full of German visitors "on holiday." Apparently, many German families go there just to "go to the beach." We were there in late March. So, the place was not packed with the summer crowd yet. But, I could see how the "Taormina-adjacent" location was less of an issue for a family who didn't need the cultural tourist experience and this hotel seems to work well for them.

If it is the family "holiday" experience you want (and you understand that "four star" here means "Best Western" type amenities, i.e., threadbare towels and no "Heavenly Bed" type experience of Hiltons or Westins), This place has food, pool, bars, views, beach proximity (a funicular ride down to the road and then a short walk to the beach) and large rooms (some with an extra convertible bed). If the price is right for you, you might be able to overlook the deferred maintenance of wall cracks, old furniture, etc. and very mediocre cafeteria food served buffet style.

The food: For us, about the only decent food experience was a nice selection of local wines at very reasonable prices. Had we been closer to Taormina, we would've skipped every dinner at this hotel, opting instead for a variety of dining experiences on the Corsa Umberto in Taormina. Sorry Olimpo but your food is really quite poor. There's plenty of it. But, it was basically tasteless night after night.

Again, whether or not you want to go here depends very much on what you're looking for.
We would not return here since we can go to Lake Tahoe or somewhere along the California Coast for a "beach holiday."

Room Tip: though i don't know what the added cost may be, do get a seaview room with a balcony.
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  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank FlatbushFlyer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WebPRManagerPHI, Responsabile relazioni con la clientela at Hotel Olimpo, responded to this reviewResponded September 11, 2012

Dear Client,
we are very sorry to read thay holiday experience in our hotel didn't fulfill your expectations.
About our location is clearly stated in our brochure that we are in Letojanni that is approximately 10 kilometer far from Taormina. To reach Taromina is not always necessary to take a taxi ; there is infact a company bus that with 4 Euro return ticket you can go to taormina ( at the reception there is a time table ). The bus, stop just in front of the main park of the hotel.
We hope you will give us the chanche to get back so you can revalue our hotel and services.

Best Regards
Valeria Bosco
Booking office

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207 - 213 of 869 reviews

Reviewed November 21, 2011

This is a first and last for very different reasons!
The first refers to our first holiday with Saga (we are considered Junior Saga!!) and it was a most pleasant surprise. We were the youngest and the eldest two ladies were in their Nineties but outstayed evryone in the lounge bar every evening and then with age ranges in between. Everyone was, without exception, fun to be with and most welcoming. Our tour guide was very professional but also her talks were interesting to the point of being riveting.
Now to the hotel which is what most will be interested in.
The room was adequate it provided what you would expect a hotel room to provide. However one of the dining chairs had half it's seat broken. I left a note for the room maid with the chair placed next to it. On return to the room the chair had been placed back by the table and was still in the same condition! One of the wall sockets was hanging off and was dangerous, again this was pointed out but it was just pushed back into the wall and fell out whenever you pulled the plug out! The towels were changed every day but were clearly passed their best. Clean yes but sometimes threadbare and with holes. The air conditioning had long since been switched off and the room was unbearably muggy so we had to sleep with the door to the balcony open every night which under normal circumstances we wouldn't have minded except every balcony without exception had archways cut into the adjoing wall of next doors balcony!! This was most bizzare as you could not help but hear and see what your neighbour was saying and doing. There was no logic to this design! Also the balcony does not have a drainaway for rain water and slopes towards the room so when it rains as it did in bucket loads on our second day the water just flooded through the door and into the room! It was horrible. Most days teacups and glasses were cleaned and on other occassions they were just left on the side, very slapdash. The restaurant was quite large seating I would guess about 400 people so got very busy especially during the evening. The food was not bad but was always buffet style so don't go at 7 when it opens or you will be spending a lot of time queueing and being shoved or shoving! The resident population was German (about 95%)and they were quite aggresive (not all by any means but the vast majority it is true to say) They take no prisoners at meal times and don't care who gets in their way. There was more than one altercation witnessed by myself and one that I was directly involved in. Not nice at all!!
The hotel offers a free shuttle bus service to and from the base of the cable car that takes you to the beautiful little town of Taormina. You have to record your name on a sheet the day before you want to go and give outward and return times. The last return time is 17.30 which we booked. We were standing in a dark carpark at 18.00 with no sign of the driver. I managed to get a cab firm';s number from a local and arranged for the taxi to collect us and return us to the hotel. I got the driver to give me a receipt and asked the hotel to reimburse me. At first they refused until I got our Saga rep involved and they then coughed up!!
All of this together with the fact that our week was the last for Saga as they are moving to a different location from next year and the remaining 5% of occupation will, we were told, would be taken up by more Germans means this is one hotel that we will never return to but hey you may wish to visit and see for yourself.

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank chris-rosy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WebPRManagerPHI, Responsabile relazioni con la clientela at Hotel Olimpo, responded to this reviewResponded March 19, 2012

Dear Mr Chris,
we truly regret to read about your disappointment with your stay . We thank you for your comments, they will help us to improve the overall quality of our services.
We hope you will give us a second change staying again with us , so we will be able to show you that we do care of our guests.

Best Regards
Valeria Bosco
Booking office

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 24, 2011

Returned on 9 October 2011.

We were apprehensive about staying at this hotel after reading some of the reviews, but were pleasantly surprised and at times wondered whether we were in the same hotel as other reviewers.

The lift is not for the faint hearted, particularly if you dont like heights, but then why would you stay in this hotel if you didnt. (there are steps and a service road if you dont fancy the lift)

The views from the hotel are spectacular, we were upgraded to a sea view without having to ask, or pay and really appreciated the upgrade.

The food was a bit limited in choice, particularly vegetables, but there was always four different pasta dishes. The only criticism I have is that on the fish night, there wasnt any other main choice, fish or fish so if you weren't a fish lover, then it was pasta (and even then there was a fish variety)

The hot food was hot, although sometimes ran out, as the serving dishes were quite small. Might be a problem if it was busier.

Couldnt understand the comment about Saga - there seemed to be different - quite large groups of holidaymakers in the hotel each night, who were touring Sicily in coaches, but they were residents in the hotel, and all appeared to be having a good time and not a problem to anyone else.

Sharon the holiday rep was helpful without being in your face, and her coctail night was particularly enjoyable - we dont normally go to "events" run by the reps, but this was really good fun, the only comment would be that it should have been earlier in the week so the Thompson folks could have met up earlier.

In comparison to the local bars etc the hotel was reasonably priced for drinks and food. Be careful if eating out and about as the prices are double the hotel prices, ie 11E for drinks in Taormina - 5E in the hotel!

Car hire is expensive- we paid £288 to hire a Fiat Panda for 5 days, however given the local transport system, it was a necessity rather than a luxury. When we checked on the paperwork the car hire was only £78 the rest was in extras for insurance etc so you might want to waiver some of them.

Do go to Etna. Well worth paying extra for the shuttle up to the rim (althjugh it is not the rim of Etna but the erruption of 2004 (I think) but it is a long hard walk in the lava otherwise. It snowed when we were on the rim and 30C round the pool so take a wooley pully and waterproof if you do decide to go.

We enjoyed this holiday, and stayed in one of the prettier areas of Sicily which has wetted our appetite for mainland Italy next year.

Room Tip: Area 3 - fifth floor (we had room 508) and had a lovely view of the bay
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  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank monstermollie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WebPRManagerPHI, Responsabile relazioni con la clientela at Hotel Olimpo, responded to this reviewResponded March 19, 2012

Dear Guest,
we are very happy to know that you had a pleasant holiday with us. We also thank you for the other reports, they will be useful to improve our services.

We hope to welcome you back soon !

Best Regards
Valeria Bosco
Booking office

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Reviewed October 10, 2011

If you are looking for a large hotel where you can eat ,drink and stay around the pool this is the place for you. The hotel is huge and quite confusing to get around to begin with because it is on many different levels.The rooms are clean but a bit tired and the sheets on the bed had some rips in them.There is no sky tv,so if you don't want to sit and listen to piano music in the bar there is little else to do. Although you can walk to the beach fairly easily there is no reason to go because there's nothing there.Letojanni is mainly a residential seaside town,so if you are looking for night life i suggest you go elsewhere.

Room Tip: If you ask for a seaview be aware that a lot of the balconies are shared with 3 other rooms so be sp...
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  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank flossie00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WebPRManagerPHI, Responsabile relazioni con la clientela at Hotel Olimpo, responded to this reviewResponded March 19, 2012

Dear Madame,
we thank you for taking the time to post a feedback.
We are a little bit surprised to read that you had the impression that apart eating or drinking there was nothing else to do in our hotel .We have infact a wellness center and thanks to it strategic position is possibile to make daily trips in the surroundings.
Letojanni is a quite town with a lot of restaurants and bars but for those who wish to enjoy the night life we always suggest to go to Taormina that is very close from Letojanni ( about 5 km).

We hope that you will visit us again in summer where we also offer a full - day animation program.

Best Regards
Valeria Bosco
Booking office

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Reviewed September 29, 2011

The room and hotel set-up is very good, quite a distance to walk from the Olimpo to the beach, from Reception level there is a funicular down to the adjoining Antarese, walk to the other end of this hotel then a lift down to 'ground' level, then about another 300 yards to the beach.
Breakfast is the best meal of the day, lunch and dinner is disappointing with mostly the same choices, only variation is on an island servery with sometimes a carved meat.
We were told that the Sicillians eat there food cool (nearly cold) and the hotel serves it the same, personally I think it is a 'cop-out' as everywhere else we eat it was piping hot ! we did not think that the food reflected the Italian style we expected.
Guests are mainly German and the flavour ot the evening entertainment reflects it, very difficult to find a quiet place for a peaceful drink and chat.

Room Tip: go for a sea view room, either east or south facing. extra cost well worth it.
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  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank conuberator
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WebPRManagerPHI, Responsabile relazioni con la clientela at Hotel Olimpo, responded to this reviewResponded March 19, 2012

Dear Guest ,
we thank you very much for your review.
We are surprised to read that you didn't find a wide range of food in our restaurant: we always offer a rich buffet with different types of vegetables, salads, 1soup, 3 type of first and second courses, dessert and fruit.
We will take anyway in consideration your remarks , they are always very important for us to improve the overall quality of our services.

We hope to welcome back also this year!

Best Regards
Valeria Bosco
Booking office

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Reviewed August 26, 2011

You know there is going to be a problem when your first night at a hotel in Sicily is Pizza and Pasta night and pizza is two inches thick!

Essentially this hotel is a stop off for Saga coach trips (and similar), each night we were there we counted at least 10 coaches in the car park.

Is this a 4* establishment? No, seriously it is not, the decor is tatty and needs refurbishment, the layout is quirky as it’s' set into the mountain side however, this did make finding your way around a little confusing. Its position whilst giving fabulous views of the sea meant that if it was windy as it was frequently whilst we were there you couldn't use the sun parasols as the pool is at the very top of the hotel.
The room was more or less ok, however aged, great views over the sea, however the hotel is just off the motorway and therefore there was a high level of road noise even though the room was a fair distance from the road making what would be a very calm and scenic location somewhat busy.

The entertainment team was possibly the most irritating that we have come across on a holiday. Given that most of the clientele were off on their day trips there were only about 6-8 couples by the pool side most days, however the entertainment team seemed to make it their sole mission to try and get people to take part in there dancing and aqua aerobics which lasted from about 10am through to 12pm. Even if there was no one wishing taking part (which as frequently the case) they would carry on with the music and routine regardless whilst this added a level of comedy to the day, i.e. because it was so bad it essentially very irritating and loud for the full two hours.

The worst thing about the hotel was the food; it was dull and reminiscent bad school dinners, really not what you expect in Sicily.

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Stuart1980
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WebPRManagerPHI, Web PR Manager at Hotel Olimpo, responded to this reviewResponded February 20, 2012

Dear Guest, thank you so much for providing such a detailed review of our hotel. We are very sorry for the experience you had and we would like to assure you that we are taking steps to correct the problems. We hope that you will give a chance to redeem ourselves on your next visit in Sicily. Kind regards

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Reviewed July 26, 2011

Just returned from 2 weeks at the olimpo with my wife. This is our 4th visit to this hotel in the last 10 years although this was the first time for 4 years and things have definitely changed in this time.

The Good - Hotel is still clean and well maintained. The air conditioning is good and generally the staff are friendly and pleasant. The views are amazing.

The Bad - Since our last visit the hotel appears to have placed a firm emphasis on attracting that particular sort of guest looking for an all inclusive deal. As a result mealtimes are absolute chaos with literally hundreds of guests fighting in the buffet queue, and loading their plates with far more food than they can possibly eat!. Also, I am not sure if its related but as the hotel seems to be attracting a much higher proportion of eatern european guests the food choices seem to have changed and be more restricted than of old. That said quality of food is quite good certainly for mass catering. All in all though mealtimes definitely feel like a refuelling stop rather than a dining experience.

The Ugly - The hotel offers two lovely swimming pools with the top pool particularly attractive. However, you will have no chance of enjoying them because of the dreaded amazione! Goodness knows why but the hotel management have decided that their guests need help to fill their days with "action packed fun "and so have employed a team of teenagers to spend the day playing particularly awful Euro pop music at full volume in the pool complex. This is supplemented by morning and afternoon aquarobics, group water polo and team members trying to drum up business for their "evening show in the on site theatre. Truly awful.....

That said, for those looking for an all inclusive deal, and entertainment for your kids you may find this hotel right up your street.

Have to say though for my wife and I , with regret, we are highly unlikely to return again which is a shame.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank johnhewinson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WebPRManagerPHI, Web PR Manager at Hotel Olimpo, responded to this reviewResponded February 16, 2012

Dear guest, we appreciate that you have taken the time to comment on your recent stay . We would like to thank you for your advices, which will help us to improve our services in the future. We will be glad to welcome you next year. Kind regards

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Additional Information about Hotel Olimpo

Address: Via G. Chincherini, 98037 Letojanni, Sicily, Italy
Location: Italy > Sicily > Province of Messina > Letojanni
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Letojanni
#1 Luxury Hotel in Letojanni
Price Range: $61 - $186 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Olimpo 4*
Number of rooms: 120
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Also Known As:
Olimpo Hotel Letojanni
Hotel Olimpo Letojanni, Sicily

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