The hotel is in a great location, a 5 minutes walk (uphill) from the lovely village of Castelmola, with its superb views, nice restaurants and cafés and friendly inhabitants. We had a superior room with a big balcony and Etna view. The view is great but be aware that the view depends on weather conditions, somedays the volcano was hidden behind clouds and fog. The room was spacious, bathroom was with shower (altough not for big people) bath with jacuzzi, toilet and bidet. Take your shampoo and bathfoam, the amenities are basic. There's a hairdryer but it is not for people with long hair. The bed is of good quality (hard) there's a free safe, you just have to ask for the lock at the reception. The Tv is the size of an ipad with very limited channels. Wifi is free and if you have signal it is quick enough for streaming videos, there were some spots in the room where we did not have a signal. I was not happy with the maid service, they barely cleaned the room, for sure the floor was not wiped wet, after three days I threw the empty shampoo bags in the shower myself, tissues were not replaced for 2 days (and I tipped them the first morning!!) definitely no 4 star.
I appreciated very much to enjoy breakfast and dinner on the restaurant patio, very nice view, lovely atmosphere, definitely one of the strong points of the hotel. The breakfast buffet was ok, not breathtaking, altough it is worth mentioning the homemade cakes and pies, very tasty.
As for the dinner service me and my wife were very satisfied. The quality of the food was good, with 3 to 4 choices for every course, usually an amuse-bouche, a starter, a pasta dish, a meat or fish dish and dessert. They could do a little effort on the desserts side and propose more sicilian choices. They have a good, reasonably priced wine menu with lots of local choices. We did not regret opting for half board, altough on the last evening we decided to eat in Taormina (billions of restaurants) as the hotel decided to serve dinner inside the restaurant and we wanted to spend our last evening outside as the weather was ok. Service at the restaurant was friendly and efficient. If you want a drink before or after your meal go for it in Castelmola as the hotel bar is deserted.
The pool area is smaller than it appears on the pictures, altough with a nice view, free sunbeds, free towels and free cushions. The pool is not big enough for a proper swim workout. We did not try the pool restaurant. I can recommend the hotel beach service which you have to book in advance, you get a towel, transfer to a nice beach in Mazzeo and return to the hotel for a very nice price.
The walk down to Taormina takes about 40 minutes, is very nice but very steep, be aware that untrained persons will have aching legs for 2 days after the descend. The walk back up to the hotel is only for the very brave. The bus service is very punctual and can be recommended, be sure to wait exactely at the bus stop. It usually runs once an hour with some exceptions, be sure to check the schedule. Taxi from Taormina to the hotel costs 20 €.
Some reviews mention barking dogs: yes there are dogs barking at night but it aint that bad and if you close the window you won't hear it. As for the wasps at the breakfast outside: yes on some mornings this can be annoying but we did survive it! The swimming pool is closed at 18h30, this did not bother us as we still could sit on our balcony.
In a nutshell I would say that we did enjoy our stay, it is a nice location with nice people.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hotel Villa Sonia is a historic rural home situated in Castelmola in the district of Taormina where a real corner of “Paradise” awaits you. A charming residence surrounded by green vegetation and having as much tranquility as one would desire, ideal for romantic escapes or family holidays. Ensuring your relaxation are its position, structure and the professionalism of its qualified staff, which provide the facilities that enable you to spend all the time you want to, reliving ancient times and rediscovering unique flavours that only a land as rich and generous as “Sicily” can give you. Tradition, love and hospitality for every single characteristic and detail distinguish our rooms and accompany our guests in the best periods of the year. The hotel is set in a unique and silent natural environment, yet just a few kilometers from Taormina and the sea. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Villa Sonia Castelmola, Sicily, Italy