I don't mind paying for quality. By its reviews, its looks on the internet and its price I was expecting high quality from Hotel Donna Carmela but I was rather disappointed.
It was no surprise to find this hotel very isolated. The directions they had sent via email were accurate and gave us the idea. It's often the price to pay for tranquillity but not in this case. The building is located at the edge of a big estate, most of it occupied by a plant nursery. Sometimes a lorry comes in for loading and it doesn't go unnoticed. We also knew there is a railway some 100 ft. from the Hotel, it's not very busy but it turned out to have more traffic than we expected.
The hotel opened only three years ago but, although the common areas are spotless and the garden is very well taken care of, the rooms seem to be showing some signs of decay already. And it's a pity because they're big and pretty. They would deserve a more thorough cleaning, limestone signs and marks in the shower and sink are so evident I doubt they've ever been removed.
Staff has been kind and helpful although not always easy to catch. Decent restaurant with a surprisingly wide wine choice (a little pricey), better in producing simple but tasty dishes than imaginative but unbalanced experiments.
Nice big swimming pool.
I think this place was specifically made for foreign tourists, who certainly don't mind paying a little more for a cosy and safe sanctuary, especially on account of the reputation of Catania and its province.
Nowadays, thanks to TripAdvisor, this is not necessary anymore.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A home in the parkPlaced in the heart of a nursery specialised in Mediterranean plants, Donnacarmela is ready to welcome you in a 19th century Sicilian house that has been refurbished in full respect of the original but given all the modern comforts. Elegantly refined, the building dominates the ten thousand square metre nursery garden. Here you may enjoy a guided tour to discover the hundreds of scents and varieties of Mediterranean plants. It is also possible to admire a private collection of subtropical plants. The courtyards in lavic paving, the ancient cistern and river pebbles, the well-stocked wine cellar and the swimming surrounded by secular olive trees, the comfortable spaces designed to relax and the quiet reading room, the wide halls and ample dining room: all this has been designed to make your stay exceptional. Ten hectares in the most prestigious wine area on mount Etna are where we produce the Doc wine for Donnacarmela. The vineyards were bought by Donnacarmela in 2006 and they are between Solicchiata and Passopisciaro on the northern side of the volcano in the territory of Castiglione di Sicilia. The vineyards all grow Nerello Mascalese, the vine that produces the most appreciated wines in this area. This is where the ‘Montedolce Etna Doc’ is born from the passion and commitment of the Faro family in an area that has wine for its vocation. The name of the wine comes from the place where we produce it. The wine-making is done in a well-equipped cellar in Mascali, the area of origin of the Nerello Mascalese, only a few kilometres away from Donnacarmela.Montedolce is characterised by its ruby-red colour, red berry scents with mineral notes, and by the complexity, persistence and elegant tannin it offers the palate.We do not only offer wine and taste, however. A little lower down the mountain side, between the Ionic coast and the first hills, it is possible to find the Mediterranean plants that have found the best environment to grow here. Thus, they develop into unrepeatable shapes and colours: the Abutilon, the Agave, the Ficus, the Cistus, the Opuntiae, the ornamental Citrus plants are all to be found in the gardens of Donnacarmela. They are the essence of Mediterranean gardens. Tese plants and flowers offer themselves to visitors in all their charm. ... more less
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