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“Lovely stay in Castelmola”
Review of Hotel Villa Sonia

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Hotel Villa Sonia
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Castelmola
Certificate of Excellence
Luxembourg
Level Contributor
23 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Lovely stay in Castelmola”
Reviewed September 13, 2013

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.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Vincent V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Canada
Level Contributor
99 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
Reviewed September 11, 2013

High atop Taormina, amazing drive, amazing views, amazing location! Staff friendly & attentive, breakfast on the patio facing Etna - priceless! Rooms simple, but clean - loved the fresh fruit in our room on checkin as well as the ice cold proseco in the minibar!! There are antiques everywhere throughout hotel, so stroll & enjoy. Castelmola short walking distance from hotel where there is a variety of restaurants as well as shuttle to Taormina. We were lucky to enjoy an outdoor theatre performance of Beauty & the Beast one night in Castelmola while sitting on a patio sipping Amaro! The Castel though is under renovation so it is closed. Highly recommend!

Room Tip: Request view of Etna!
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank debart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canterbury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
36 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed August 23, 2013 via mobile

Castelmola is a small village, perched high above the busy tourist destination Taormina, which is itself high above the beach. The hotel is at the entrance to the village, and has great views of Mt. Etna. The hotel is lovely, furnished with all sorts of antique bits and pieces as you can see from their website. Our rooms were a good size and comfortable, with a small balcony (though we were too late to book one with an Etna view -but who spends time in their room?).

The hotel has a nice pool, with loungers and sun shades, offering views of Etna (which is a must go visit). The location, high above the coast, was far more comfortable than Taormina itself or the beach.

The lunches served by the pool were very good. We didn't eat at the hotel in the evenings - we usually walked into Castelmola - so I cannot comment on larger meals; there was a good variety for breakfast.

The hotel were charming and could not have been more welcoming or friendly. I'm really surprised by those reviews that found otherwise - maybe there have been personnel changes.

A balanced review should comment on any niggles as well, though these were minor. It would be nice if the pool had stayed open later, the rooms would benefit from a chest of drawers, and the hotel never answered any email (though they provided what I requested).

Overall, highly recommended.

Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
3 Thank Richard J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 11, 2013 via mobile

We spent a week at Villa Sonia and I was impressed with the staff. They are very friendly and always ready to help out with a smile. The view from some rooms and restaurant is amazing. Some wasps and mosquitos might annoy a bit. There is free wifi everywhere. They also offer daily free shuttle service to taormina and back. Kitchen there is room for improvement in portion sizes and value for money but food is good. Breakfast limited but good as well. If you are coming to Castelmola look no further and trust your stay at Villa Sonia...

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Ivan C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stroud, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
16 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed August 10, 2013

Just returned from our stay at Villa Sonia.We were there for 2 weeks in one of the smaller double bedrooms with a view of the castle which was lovely.Room 606 was small but perfectly formed and the air conditioning was a relief after the July/August Temperatures.I wouldn't want to attempt the Mountain climb by car to the hotel but the shuttle and hourly bus service meant that a car was not necessary and Castemola had enough restaurants and bars with amazing views to occupy us on evenings where we didn't want the crowds of Taormina.

Adrianna is the jewel in the hotel's crown!If the owner/manager reads this please make sure this 
lady is rewarded for her amazing service -she welcomed us on arrival,helping with suitcases.She
assisted us with arranging a beautiful gulet boat trip which she changed the day before when an afternoon trip became available,cancelling our taxi and rearranging things for us - that was after driving us back up in the shuttle bus from Taormina.What a star!

Taormina is a great place to people watch - we sat at Wunderbar;although expensive worth it for
the views and people watching alone!We saw many beautiful weddings,bands who go from bar
to bar entertaining and we always found something new -make sure you don't miss the garden
communale -we went back by day after an evening at one of their jazz nights.It's a beautiful oasis
with amazing views of the bay below.Get an ice cream or lemon granita and take some time out from the crowds.For shoppers it's great if you can afford designer price tags but I found an Italian
style sephora called 'makeup Milano' and reasonably priced shoe shop near Swarovski.There is
also benetton and intisimmi so a few places to spend some euro

Restaurants -we loved the food and people watching at osteria de Rita in Taormina - off the
main corso umberto where you see a large colourful vegetable/herb shop veering to the left;keep
going past the restaurants who ask you to go in - you will see this at the bottom by one of the many parisi shops - the rustic salad and bruschetta was to die for!!In Castelmola the Taverna dell
Etna is the best view,food and price!The Sicilian pasta was the best!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ClareLouise19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
5 reviews
Reviewed August 5, 2013

This was such a lovely hotel - I just have to write a positive review - been with a bad conscience sinçe our stay in Nov 2011 - for not doing so.
We came in the low season, family of four with an au pair and got two HUGE suites. Amazing location on an amazing holiday island. Thank you to all the staff for making our stay so special.

Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
Helpful?
Thank Pal H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alkmaar, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
83 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed July 21, 2013

I believe that nothing could be better for the "cherry on the top of the ice cream" than this glamorous finish of our Sicilian journey. We had a nice room with an absolute view of mount Etna volcano craters steaming in a sleeping beauty mode. On the other side of the road the view was as exceptional as the latter overlooking whole Taormina and its famous Teatro Greco. At last we could calm down and relax after a long traveling around the whole island. Hotel Villa Sonia offered all the piece and quietness to us. Close to nature and not far from Taormina lively streets with lots to offer. We had 3 days at this hotel and all about it was superb, and especially the Front Desk staff that was so helpful, friendly and charming. The swimming pool was really nice and the water temperature was good. All the surroundings were so peaceful and charming. They also had their owe shuttle bus to take you down to Taormina center. Remote location with easy access to Sicily's top resort, and the taxis were not so expensive /about 15euro/ in case you had a late night out downtown. Rooms was clean, staff was helpful and all about it was simply good, but the location and the views are what make it so much better.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Evgeniya S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Villa Sonia

Property: Hotel Villa Sonia
Address: Via Porta Mola 9, 98030 Castelmola, Sicily, Italy
Location: Italy > Sicily > Province of Messina > Castelmola
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Castelmola
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Villa Sonia 4*
Number of rooms: 42
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

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