Relais Santa Anastasia
10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
A luxurious, gastronic hideaway
"The hotel, a refurbed convent/monastery, is lavishly tastefully if not extravagantly furnished. The public reception rooms - there are several - are stylishly old fashioned and comfortable, albeit surprisingly "lonely" for early September - we were the only ones using the bar and (after dinner) the main lounge yet there were several other guests. The rooms are of a similar quality - spacious, well equipped and with lovely bathrooms. There is free internet access 24hrs for guests. The highlight is indeed the restaurant (we only took dinner but other guests commented favourably about lunch}. The table d'hote menu is more than adequate so we didn't bother to test the a la carte. Be sure to book half board rate if appropriate. The chef really knows his business and the choice of dishes and quality of the food was for me faultless. The wine is also REMARKABLY inexpensive in comparison with other restaurants that we used in Siciliy. Points on which they could easily improve are management of the pool - it had traces of green algi in it and when other guests mentioned this to the management the chap in charge was called, but in defending his corner he showed that he didn't really understand how the chlorine process works. I also agree with other recent traveler's comments about the billiard room - clearly no intention of making this available; and the service at the bar, where we had to search high and low for a waiter in order to get a pre dinner drink (or two). Odd, very odd, at such a wonderful place - so don't let that put you off. Go there."
- Travel date: Fri 15th of September 2006
Great place in mountains
"We loved this place. Great rooms. Wonderful meals. Some will not enjoy the curvey road up mountain to get there, but it's worth the drive. Best to hire local to drive you there. Jack in California"
- Travel date: Tue 12th of September 2006
Beautiful hotel in beautiful surroundings
"This small hotel in a converted abbey is a real treat. The rooms are very large and luxurious. The pool area is beautiful with a view of the surrounding vinyards and the sea in the distance. The wines produced here are among the finest in Sicily. At around 250 euros/night it is way undervalued. Stay here before the rates double. Cefalu (a fifteen minute drive) was probably our favorite town in Sicily."
- Travel date: Thu 29th of June 2006
Affordable luxury A real treat
"Had a wonderful stay here. The pool area is amazing -the best views and v large pool.
The rooms are elegant but comfortable - the whole place is really luxurious. Wonderful breakfasts served.
Well worth the price - one of our favourite stays in Sicily."
- Travel date: Wed 31st of May 2006
Great wine, and a great escape, but not 5*
"We enjoyed three nights at the Santa Anastasia in May. The hotel is set in its own vineyards in the foothills of the Madonie mountains, just outside the Madonie national park. It has a large terrace with a pool and a beautifiul view down a valley to the Med. Our standard room was spacious clean, well appointed and comfortable although not the luxury that we expect of a "five star" hotel. The dining room and breakfast room were also very pleasant. We ate at the restaurant on all three of our nights there. The food is very good, with a really fresh "just picked" flavour. One of the highlights of dinner was sampling the hotels own wine, all very reasonably priced and all excellent.
We did have a couple of gripes about the hotel. It was very difficult to get served at the bar and the billiards room was closed for a refurb. We got the feeling that the staff regarded these facilities as "added extras" which they would provide if they could but which were not something that we were entitled to expect. Otherwise the staff were very helpful.
The hotel is remote. We would not recommend staying there unless you have a car as the journey to and from Cefalu is expensive. The positive side of this is that, when we were there, it was blissfully peaceful."
- Travel date: Sat 6th of May 2006
A Great Base in a Beautiful Part of Sicily
"The redevelopment of this former monastery is superb. It is a great example of maintaining historic character while meeting the needs of modern guests. The public spaces and our room were very inviting. The vast vinyards surrounding the Relais are perfectly tended.
The restaurant was good on Sunday (Cook's day off?) and excellent on Monday."
- Travel date: Sun 1st of January 2006
What a wonderful place
"If you are looking for peace & quiet, then this is the place. Stayed for 4 nights at the end of September 2005. Used as a base for touring around the area. Eat in the hotel for 3 of the nights and once in Cefalu, which is easy to get back from at night. Although they feel miles from anywhere, they are only 5 minutes off the motorway junction. You do need a car. The staff in the restaurant were great. The food is almost all grown/bred on-site. Well presented and big portions. The rooms are large and clean. If this hotel was in England, it would be a real treat to visit once a year for a very special weekend. Would definately go back. They all spoke good english which helps with the communications."
- Travel date: Sun 16th of October 2005
"strange strange strange
It seemed more like a potential venue for an uplclass porn film. A lovely building , all show and no substance. When sat around the lovely building it would be nice to be able to get a drink of some kind. You have to go in and get a member of staff to come to assist , after which he goes back to whereever ,
hard work all round"
- Travel date: Tue 13th of September 2005
Perhaps not 5 star but still enjoyable
"We have just returned from a very enjoyable 2 night stay at Relais Santa Anastasia. It appears since May (the only other review of this hotel) the hotel has made many changes. The tasting/degustation 5 course menu(offered as half-board menu) is all translated into English and both the waiter and somelier spoke excellent English. Their advice on both the food and wine was both knowledgeable and helpful. An a la carte menu was also provided and this too was translated into English. Both the a la carte and degustation menus were excellent. The front desk staff were also very helpful and spoke excellent English - they rang a local restaurant in Castelbuono to make a reservation for us for lunch and gave detailed instructions on how to locate the place in the old town. There were a number of other guests staying (this was high season I guess) - mostly English but some Italians. The check-out time of 10am is a little early but the front desk were quite willing to allow us a later checkout time. It is a quiet hotel some distance from local towns (Cefulu about 30 mins and Castelbuono about 15mins - a car is required to stay here) but it was perfect for a relaxing break by their lovely infinity pool. I would stay again!"
- Travel date: Mon 29th of August 2005
Oh dear ! not what we expected !
"Stayed two nights during a 2 week fly-drive. Hotel is rated as 5 stars but simply does not come up to this. The building is lovely, set within its own extensive vineyards, the bedrooms are enormous and lavishly equipped. We had to ask for a change of room because we had booked a standard room and discovered that it had a shower but no bath. We were upgraded to a superior room at extra cost. The hotel was virtually empty (one other couple ?) which we thought was odd at this time of year and on both nights we were the sole diners in the large restaurant. We had booked half board and intended to both order differently at each course. Unfortunately the waiter spoke no English whatsoever and our Italian was basic, consequently after ordering by pointing at the menu we ended up both being served every item on the rather limited menu ! Furthermore there was no a la carte available and this was the poorest choice we had been offered in Sicily. Certainly not worthy of 5 stars ! Service of the wine was also rather confusing because of this language barrier, however the establishment's own wine was excellent value, some of which was priced at 7 euros per bottle and was very good indeed. The breakfast buffet was quite poor and limited and certainly did not reflect the official rating. The hotel is quiet and quite remote, (the private road is 3 km long), so eating out would be a little more than inconvenient."
- Travel date: Sat 28th of May 2005