Riis Villa

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Average Rating

7  / 10
(10 reviews)

Ratings summary


Rating by feature

Room: 5.5/10
Service: 6/10
Value: 5.5/10
Cleanliness: 6/10
Location: 8.5/10

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Traveller reviews

nice hotel despite the reviews

"After reading some of the latest reviews of this hotel I was concerned about the quality of the hotel and the friendlyness of the staff. After staying a week at the hotel I must say that all my concerns diminished. We had a wonderfull time in Taormina. The hotel is close to the mian street with wonderfull views of the sea and /or mount Etna.

We read the introduction pack that was written by Thompsons about hotels in Italy in general and would agree that this hotel does have some of the problems suffered by most Italian hotels (even 4 star hotels). Noisy, eratic plumbing, boring breakfasts,etc. but this was more than compensated by incredibly friendly staff, wonderfull views and location,

Overall I would return to the Villa Riis though probably only out of the main season of June to August.

by Bedford+Family
8 / 10

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Nice Hotel

"After reading some of the reviews, I was a bit concerned. The hotel is in a great location. We had a room on the 4th floor which gave us a small terrace but a nice view. The bathroom was dark. So if you are going to stay here, I would suggest asking for a corner rooom--they seem to have an extra window in the bathroom. Breakfast buffet was acceptable--yogurts, cereal, breads, ham, cheese, etc. No hot foods."

by positanobabe
8 / 10

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Have to think about it ....

"Me and my boyfriend stayed at the Villa Riis for 1 week in September. Having read the reviews by other guests I was a bit hesitant but I have to say over all it was ok. We had a room in the sidebuilding, not the main one, with private little terrace and a wonderful sea view but unfortunately no Etna view.

The room was brand new with a nice huge bed, new furniture and brand new bathroom (yes, we had the marble floor!).

Breakfast was ok but I was surprised coffee came from one of those office machine ... being italian myself but living abroad I was really looking forward to real cappuccino .... It was not bad but simply not the real one. The rest was good, amond or lemon cakes were wonderful.

The pool was very nice although they could change the chair's pillows ... they are so old poor guys.

The gym is well equipped but not finished! the toilets had no doors for example ...

The staff is really very nice and they all do their best to welcome you.

Negative points: the walls are made of thin paper!! you hear everything and when I write everything I really mean it, absolutely everything ..... To the point that it becomes embarassing ....

Would I go back to Villa Riis? probably not but mainly because we like to try new hotels. But the location is super. In no time you are on the main corso and the view from the main terrace is wonderful. And Taormina is just lovely!! Yes, a lot of tourists but who can blame them, they come to see wonderful Sicily, they cannot miss a gem like Taormina!!

by Betty65
4 / 10

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A mistake......

"A terrible disappointment. We booked from the 9th till the 16th September 2006 through Expedia. Being a bit nervous after reading the views of other visitors, we upfront called the hotel directly to check whether we had a see-view room with a balcony. Occasionally we were re-booked to a see-view room with balcony because according to the reception lady when you book through Expedia only standard rooms are available (I was not able to find out how “standard” a standard room was). It came across to me that Internet bookers are second-class guests and are convicted with the left-over rooms, normally not the nice decorated and not the spacious ones with no view at all.

With the verbal agreement we had a see-view room with balcony we departed to Sicily. When we arrived we were warm welcomed by a very friendly receptionist. The first disappointment was when he showed our room; it was a dark tiny little room on the lowest floor (3x3 m) with old and used furniture. The room had a damp musty smell that came from the bathroom because it was not properly ventilated. Around the bed there was not much more the 50 cm space to walk. Our see-view balcony was a shared terrace (only 1 sun bed!!!???) with 4 or 5 other rooms and the only view we had were threes and a little view of the see. No view of the Etna or Taormina Bay at all, that view turned out to be only possible for the upper floor rooms of the hotel. When we asked to change room it was not possible because the hotel was fully booked but we could come back a day later to check again.

Unfortunately it started to heavily rain and the smell of the bathroom draining became so strong that it was not possible to stay anymore. Then after the 3rd day we were moved from the basement to a room one level higher. Same small sized room, old furniture, a small bathroom. In this room the toilet kept flushing, the shower water in the bath did not run smooth because the bath-drain was blocked and the telephone didn’t work. Because we had complained already that much we had only asked for the toilet to be fixed because we could not sleep of the flushing toilet noise and forget about the other things. Speaking about noise; we could here latterly here what the neighbors were saying and when they were making use of the bathroom/toilet. The only plus was we had a private balcony and it smelled less then the other room.

The breakfast was very basic but adequate. Coffee came from the machine but was surprisingly of good quality. Orange jus was powdered. The swimming pool area was the only part of this hotel which was of good standard, very quiet and peace full and well cleaned. A pity there was no reasonable assortment of lunch you could chose from; there were only some simple pizza’s to choose from so we were forced to put on clothes and go out for lunch. What is nicer then to walk form your sun bed and have lunch at the swimming-pool terrace.

Overall, staff was very friendly, helpful and were trying to do their best to make guest feel welcome. There was this Indian guy who was running the swimming pool area, fixed the toilet in our room and also served breakfast (!!!). A very friendly person.

No, this is far from a 4-star hotel; it is old and need refurbished, also the rooms were not clean. We have not seen anything of the renovation of rooms and suites with luxury marble bathrooms decorated mosaics as the brochure indicates. We do not know if the other rooms are more spacious and better decorated/furnished but our experience is not good. Maybe when you are able to get a room on the upper floors (we would like to have been changed and have paid for it) you get better quality of rooms and better views. We will not go back to this hotel and we also do not think we will ever go back to Taormina again; it was very touristy (bus-loads were dumped for site seeing). If you still want to try going to this area then try Hotel Andrea (at the beach) or when you want to stay on the hill go for Hotel Monte Tauro.

by RobertRichard
2 / 10

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What a disapointment

"Having stayed in Taormina before at many good hotels it was a disapointment to stay at this hotel which is rated as a four star -but clearly is not. The Hotel is well located and has fabulous views of the bay - but it is old and tired.

I had booked a single room - but at 120 Euros a night I wasn't expecting the dreary little room which was a single. It would have been acceptable if it had been clean - which it was not- [---] on the toilet seat and blood on the phone. When I pointed out the state of

the room to reception - they offered to move me to another even smaller - more dreary room or clean the room. I opted for the later and the room was cleaned.

However after the third day the water in the shower tray was backing up so much I couldn't use it -this possibly explained the constant damp smell in the room, so I was asked to move to another room - whilst they sorted it out.

The room I moved to was a double- but again old and tired - with an interesting lack of light bulbs and I was told if I wanted to stay in this room for the rest of my stay I would have to pay another 90 Euros per night. I told them it was not the money - I would happily have paid more to stay in a better hotel - but the principle. Eventually and with bad grace they let me stay in the room I had had to move to, even though it had not been booked out during the remainder of my stay anyway! I didn't feel so bad about not paying the extra when I discovered the air conditioning did not work and they were unable to fix it until after my departure date.

The hotel has a well equiped gym - but it is not finished - no doors or seats on the toilets and no hot water for basins or showers. The toliets - which also serve the pool area never had toliet paper and weren't cleaned once during the week I was there.

The best thing about the place was the swimming pool- but I felt sorry for the young man who ran the bar - and did everything else as well - including trying to prepare food from the bar menu - most of which the hotel didn't have the ingredients for.

The rest of the staff tried hard to deal with numberous complaints from other guests - but the place is understaffed and badly run.

My advice - visit Taormina - wonderful place - but stay elsewhere.

by pixie63
2 / 10

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Fantastic welcoming hotel

"We stayed at the Villa Riis Hotel for 6 nights - 2 adults and a young baby and it was just fabulous.We arrived at the hotel after a long car journey from the Amalfi Coast and as you can imagine were exhausted and when we arrived at the Villa Riis were greeted by a very pleaseant lady Theresa at reception who was extremely helpful. The bedroom was very spacious with very elegant theme - bathroom was very small though.The view from the bedroom overlooking the Bay of Naxos was breathtaking.

Rooms were cleaned very day with fresh towels and bed linen and staff were very responsive to all our needs.

Location of this hotel is excellent - a 2 minute walk from the centre of Taormina where there are ample restaurants, bars and shopping. The hotel recommended a restaurant nearby called Da Lorenza which was one of the nicest meals we had during our stay.

Claire, Ireland August 2006

We had originally booked 4 nights and extended our stay to 6 as we enjoyed it so much.Highly recommend this hotel and if we will stay there again.

by DMore
10 / 10

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A Great Place

"Its very hard to beat the position of this hotel only steps from the heart of Taormina hanging off the edge of the mountain overlooking the sea.

Rooms are very spacious, ours was traditionally decorated and offered an incredible view of the sea (from the third floor - 302). Our room also had an extra large balcony. Air conditioning worked very well. Notions offered were ok. Towels were not particularly 'plush' but were adequate.

The front desk staff were efficient - but not overly extroverted/welcoming nor proactive with offers of assistance with reservations, excursions, etc. While this "all business" demeanor may be appropriate for a chain hotel, the kind owner of this family owned property should consider small adjustments as this is an area where with a little attention - they could go a long way toward enhancing the experience. Sicilians are famous for their hospitality!!!

The waitstaff in the bar and restaurant were exceptionally kind. We found the breakfast to be among the more complete we were offered in Sicily. And the afternoon drinks were a pleasure to take on the patio.

The pool, gym and tennis court were in "excellent" condition. They had all the equipment one could ask for. All very modern. And easily one could stay the entire day at the resort. And we really wanted too... and in fact we would have liked too...

Yet, the pool was not heated and the water was frigid cold. Moreover, there was no pool service continously present to offer towels, take drink or food orders nor was there any music (arguably the sounds of birds and breeze was relaxing). The towels and drink order eventually came too. Again, simple adjustments(heated water and a pool boy) and you would create an exceptional place. I am thinking that June is shoulder season and they don't have the staff to manage it. If it is a question of economics... I'll say this... please heat the pool and increase the cost of my cocktail order to pay the bill.

I say go - stay at the Villa Riis and enjoy.

by TwoTravelinDudes
8 / 10

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Beautiful hotel, excellent views

"We booked our holiday in Taormina as our friends were getting married here. After reading the reviews posted, we had a few reservations. However, on arrival we were taken back by the beautiful villa and upon entering our room were left speachless by the views. Breakfast on the terrace was wonderful, consisted of the usual Italian offerings, breads, cheeses etc - (and the grapefruit juice was lovely - not a hint of powder!) The bedroom was a little on the compact size, but we had ample room for all our clothes (and we took a lot!) and the bathroom was clean, spacious and had everything we needed. The pool area was extremely relaxing, on several days we were the only people around the pool, which to us is pure bliss. In the evening we started by having a drink in the hotel bar, you could choose to sit in the fabulous antique sitting room, or on the terrace, equally enchanting. The resort has the most fabulous bars and restaurants and we usually finished the evening on our balcony overlooking the sea with a bottle of the local red wine Nero D'Avola - which we can highly recommend!. We loved the hotel so much we are already booked to go back in September with our friends who got married there, (they stayed in a another hotel previously but loved our hotel also). I must stress that this hotel is a "small and friendly" hotel, so if you want to waited on hand and foot it may not be for you. If like us you love to be left in peace in beautiful surroundings, it is perfect."

by A TripAdvisor Member
10 / 10

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Almost but not quite

"Overall, we enjoyed our stay at Villa Riis. The location is great. The views wonderful from the balconies - all balconies seem to face the sea. The staff are very friendly and helpful. The breakfast is fine - if a vending machine bothers you it is still there - but wasn't really a problem for us. The juice doesn't appear to be powdered - OK, but Tropicana it isn't. The pool area is delightful and was never crowded and is reached via a scenic lift. The gardens along the cliff are lovely and there is a well equipped gym and a tennis court available. The public rooms are tastefully decorated and reflect the style of a villa.

However there is definite room for improvement with particular reference to our room and bathroom. Our room was not large but this was compensated for by a very large and comfortable bed. The hotel website states that all bathrooms have been refurbished in marble. This is simply not true. Our bathroom was tiny, with a miniscule bath, full of 70's/80's decor and desperately in need of refurbishment. It also had that damp musty smell that you get when a room is not properly ventilated. Other rooms were larger and the bathrooms had been updated., so this could just have been our room. However, all of this pales into insignificance when you conside the 'noise' problem. The internal walls for our room must have been paper thin. We could hear every noise our neighbours made from normal conversation to their use of bathroom and toilet, even down to their snoring! We were awoken, couldn't get to sleep, on several occasions because of this. If there was any exceptional noise, such as a baby crying, this was unbearable.

The changing rooms and showering facilities for the gym are simply not finished, although this does not affect the use of the quipment. For example, no doors/seats on toilets, although everything seems to be plumbed in and could be used. The fittings were good quality so this lack of finish is puzzling but could be explained by the leak in the ceiling. This is mentioned in another review.

We booked our holiday at the very last minute. We paid a reduced rate for the room and this has influenced the way we have considered these negative factors - that is we were prepared to put up with them and they did not interfere with the enjoyment of our holiday. If we had paid the full rates we would have been very aggrieved. Overall, due to the many positive factors re the hotel we would consider staying here again but would want assurances about the quality of the room and 'noise'.

by georgy8
6 / 10

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"We arrived at the last moment having left another hotel (crystal sea, dont bother). We were aware that the hotel had just spent a lot of money on redevelopment and were very happy with the results. The location is superb with views of the sea and mount Etna, the room was stylishly decorated and up to scratch, the front desk couldnt be more helpfull helping us with all our enquiries of the hotel and area. A lovely swimming pool and tennis court in lovely grounds. The breakfast was adequate but the staff excellent. They have 2 or 3 Indian nationals on their staff who spoke fluent English and could not be more gracious and kind. The location is superb near all the restaurants and bars. And more importantly the right end of town if your driving to visit Etna. Overall a fantastic stay, we will be back in the summer for sure. Superb"

by A TripAdvisor Member
10 / 10

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Map for Riis Villa Closest airport: Reggio Calabria (REG) 25.3 miles

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Riis Villa is also called:

  • riis hotel taormina

Address: Via Pietro Rizzo 13, Taormina 98039, Italy