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“Good base location for day trips”
Review of Garden Hotel

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Garden Hotel
Reviewed July 24, 2012

This is a review of two halves. There were some very good points about the hotel, but a few downsides as well. We stayed for four nights in all, taking day trips in the car each day.

On the positive, we found the hotel location outside of the city to be convenient for us. It was close to the motorway and was easy to get in and out for daytrips in different directions (Taormina one day, Mt Etna the next, Villa Romana del Caslae inland another day). Our TomTom GPS had good directions to the street but ended at 'number 11', if this happens to you, keep going up the road, there is a huge sign for the hotel that extends out over the road and can't be missed.

The parking was plentiful and free and was a relief at the end of a long day trip to just cruise back into the hotel and park up without any hassle.

The rooms were okay, a little old-fashioned in decor but the beds were fine, the bathroom was okay, TV had English language news channel, wifi connection in the room was mostly very strong, though a couple of times I couldn't connect. Everything was kept clean and the cleaning staff were very efficient. There was a fridge in the room and we had twin beds and a little seating area and a balcony. Shutter blinds kept the light out at night.

The breakfast was very generous. Lots of fresh fruit, cereal, pastries, bread, cheese, cold meats, scrambled eggs, yogurts, biscuits and juice, coffee and tea. The staff in the breakfast room were always pleasant and helpful.

The swimming pool is large and very deep at the end with the diving board. We never struggled to get a sun lounger, though we were usually out there in the evening after we were back from a day trip. The water was clean and not over chlorinated and there were showers by the pool for rinsing off.

The restaurant has seating on the patio over by the pool. The woodfired pizza is very nice particularly and there was at least one vegetarian pasta option each evening. The service is a little variable. Some evenings the waiter was very pleasant and attentive and others we had trouble getting noticed. There are menus in English but we had to ask for them each evening, they kept bringing Italian menus to begin with each time (we ate there three nights in all). There is not other restaurant options, the area around the hotel being residential.

Down the road there is a small group of shops where we could get bottles of water and snacks to keep us going on our trips.

The downsides?
The reception staff are variable in friendliness and efficiency.
We had two nights where music from events at the pool side area was loudly played until well after midnight and prevented a good nights sleep.
The airconditioning in the room was efficient but the thermostat seemed a little temperamental, turning the unit on and off during the night, ranging things from too cold to stuffy hot.
The location does limit the options for eating in the evenings.
There were cats snooping around the tables in the restaurant begging for scraps. The waiters would chase them off, but we did watch one cat jump up onto an empty table to sniff around and we didn't like the idea that our table might have been 'cat inspected' before we arrived.

Overall we had a good trip and were happy enough at the hotel in general.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank NomadicKiwi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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29 - 35 of 223 reviews

Reviewed June 27, 2012

We were three nights. Three couples, the hotel is very clean. Furniture is old and charming. Excellent swimming pool and tropical garden around. A good place to return after a day trip, very quiet place

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank yakoov w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 27, 2012

We were there this weekend its really far from the centre of catania the receptionist wasn't that nice too !! dogs really could be heard barking . nice rooms and clean too . but to far to get back to after a long day shopping in catania or else could appriciate a little more privacy at our room . Really difficult to find believe it or not even our last day we still could not find it easy to get to the hotel with the gps obvious !!!

Room Tip: its a nice hotel and clean. staff not that polite ,and far from centre and difficult to find the ho...
  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank ALEX S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 27, 2011

The property looks like it has been a very good hotel, and it still is of great value. We stayd here 2 nights in late July and really enjoyed it. Very, very quiet place, fabulous pool area in the garden, 25 m pool where you can actually have a swimming workout or just lay down lazy. No trafic around, you can really hear the birds singing. Free wifi is very nice for the price. You need a car to stay here, some 10-15 mins from cental Catania (=Duomo). We had some problems finding our way back in the dark after dinner. The hotel has a restaurant but we never tried it, looked nice but a bit expensive if you compare to room price. Extremely helpfull people at the front desk. Surprisingly few customers, the pool could handle 50-100 people easily, but there was less than 10 any given hr of the day, very calm and relaxing. The breakfast buffet is not what you would expect from a 4 star hotel, but it is reasonable and eatable. Great free parking area.
If you are looking for great pool, free wifi, midlevel rooms, good parking at a reasonable price in Catania, this hotel is a very good choice.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Scandinavian54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2011

The Garden Hotel was modern, clean, and the staff was helpful and friendly. A standout was Lorenzo, our driver that picked us up at the airport and shuttled us to/from town. You have to know going in that this hotel is miles from Catania proper. You can take a shuttle into town from the hotel, but it costs 35 Euros each way. It is located in a residential neighborhood, so there is really no where to walk/shop around the hotel. The restaurant in the hotel was quite good and we enjoyed each meal. One night I had the "fish of the day" and it was supurb. Breakfast was substantial and included hard boiled eggs, cheese, meats, breads, fruit, cereal, yogurt and beverages. On our last morning, the shuttle driver overslept (not Lorenzo) and we were taken to the airport 45 minutes later than we had originally planned. All connections were made, but it did cause stress. This hotel was an overnight stop to and from our final destination, so the remoteness didn't bother us too much. If we had assumed it was in Catania, we would have been disappointed.

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled with family
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Thank travelinghomebody09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 25, 2008

We were really looking forward to my stay in this 4* hotel as the pictures (especially the swimming pool) looked amazing and were couldn't wait to get there.
The hotel was in the middle of nowhere but wasn't that far from the airport, so we had to pay astronomical amount for our taxi (90 Euros). The location of the hotel is really inconvenient as there is no town in a walking distance apart from a little caffe and a shop. So be prepared to spend lots of money on a taxis. The pool is CLOSED out of season and we were not informed about this. There were no sun beds near the pool. The pool itself doesn't look very well maintained out of season either.
The food in the hotel was awful, we found it tastless and we suspect nothing was cooked from fresh! The restaurant had two menus, one being the pizza menu which was not available. The dinner menu was printed only in Italian (We don't speak Italian). Then we were charged 50 euros for this dinner at the end of the stay which wedon't believe was correct?
The breakfast was very limited to bread, ham, cheese, boiled egg, croissants and yogurt so after seven days eating the same menu we were not impressed. I'm not sure how we would feel after a two weeks stay!
The hotel room's walls are very thin so you could hear everything going on in the room next to you, which wasn't pleasant. We had to move rooms once as we were woken up by a guy snoring in the next room.
The double bed had two single mattresses which separated while sleeping, it was very uncomfortable.
The hotel was clean but quite old for our liking.
I have stayed in 4* hotels abroad elswhere and I would not rate this one as 4*, I would not stay in this hotel again out of season. It wasn't worth the money spent. I expected much more. I came back feeling disappointed.

Stayed: March 2008
5  Thank Tika_8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 9, 2006

The Garden Hotel is not easy to find, although close to the motorway. If you are driving yourself, get a good map and have plenty of patience. You need a car unless you intend staying in the hotel all your stay.
The hotel is pleasantly decorated, clean, tidy and fairly well maintained. The staff were helpful. Unfortunately the
pool(outdoor) was closed during our stay in mid-May. The food at breakfast was limited in choice...cereal, bread, cakes, pastries.
The evening meal was OK.

  • Stayed: May 2006, traveled as a couple
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Thank POL269
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Garden Hotel

Address: Via Our Lady of Tears, 12b, 95037 San Giovanni la Punta, Sicily, Italy
Location: Italy > Sicily > Province of Catania > San Giovanni la Punta
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in San Giovanni la Punta
Price Range: $61 - $133 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Garden Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 95
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Garden Hotel Province Of Catania, Sicily, Italy

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