We have just returned from a family holiday booked through First Choice at the Athenee Palace. It's a lovely hotel, spotlessly clean, with beautiful spacious grounds which it shares with its sister hotel, the Garden. There are three outdoor pools and we didn't have problems finding sunloungers, also a green area with loungers, very pleasant. The hotel has a beach and there are more loungers and umbrellas there. Food was very good and apart from the large self service restaurant there is a snack bar, a pool bar looked as if it was about to open and there's a nice restaurant which serves mainly pizzas and burgers at lunchtime (not self service, sometimes it's nice to be waited on) and an a la carte menu in the evening. The kids club looked good and evening entertainment although not top notch was fine.
We had a corner bedroom with a large balcony, a view one side of the pool and sea and mountains the other, very nice. The curtain track was broken on the window that looked out to the pool and sea though and couldn't be pulled back, although I reported it to reception it was not
fixed. There was a large flatscreen tv with about 100 channels, but only 2 English speaking, both news.
The big problem with the hotel for us was the location, the nearest town is Cefalu, a lovely town 30 minutes away but there was no public bus service and a taxi cost 35 euros each way. The hotel runs a cheap coach service which you have to book the day before, either 9am-12noon or 3pm-6pm. On the Saturday of our holiday we went into Cefalu on the 3pm coach, we enjoyed the Cathedral and wandering around the shops and made our way back to the bus stop at 5.50, very hot and sticky. The coach had been only half full when we went into the town, but there was a massive queue and we wondered if we would get on. People must have gone into the town at 9am, or in a taxi, the driver didn't look at tickets. We got on, but my husband had to stand with about 20 others, the air conditioning didn't seem to be working and it was very uncomfortable.
The First Choice rep was good, we went on two trips, one to Etna and the other a meal in the mountains which was excellent.
If you are the kind of person (and I know there are lots) who is not fussed about leaving the hotel during your holiday, this is ideal for you, especially the all inclusive option, but we like to have a walk into a nearby resort for a change of scenery and there was no where near. If the bus into Cefalu was more efficient this would help a lot. I would still recommend the hotel, we all enjoyed our week there.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Fiesta Hotel Athenee Palace is the ideal location for a couple or family to spend relaxed holidays in the island of Sicily. The Fiesta Hotel Athenee Palace is a newly-constructed hotel which offers guests modern and comfortable facilities. Harmoniously set in a luxuriant garden. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Fiesta Hotel Cefalu
- Fiesta Hotel Athenee Palace Sicily/Campofelice Di Roccella, Province Of Palermo