10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Good and Bad
"This hotel has a huge private beach and a large pool that is covered quickly if the weather is bad. The tropical gardens are well maintained and very attractive. The rooms are a bit 80's though.
However, you need to be aware of the location. The very busy main coast road runs a few metres behind the hotel (so go for a sea view) and between the hotel and the beach runs the railway line. To get to the beach you have to go through an underpass. The rail line is fairly busy and some freight trains woke us in the night and early morning. Another drawback is the general location. To get to Taormina you must either take a taxi (â¬18) or book the courtesy coach. This was a problem because it was regularly overbooked and at night only runs at 7 and 9 up to town, and 9 and 11 coming back. So you may find yourself waiting for the driver to take one load then come back for you. The journey is about 15 minutes. There is absolutely nothing near the hotel so you will undoubtedly find yourself in town each night."
- Travel date: Mon 5th of September 2005
"We have been during 5 nigths on the hotel , We think it is a great place to stay , with a beautifull see of the Taormina bay. During our one week travel in Sicily we were in 3 different hotels and this is the best by far. The staff is nice and alwasy willing to help you, the garden and the private beach are fantastic.
We really enjoy our five nights there."
- Travel date: Sun 28th of August 2005
"Spent 2 wks at The Caparena. Absolutely lovely. Had free pass to pool, and free pass to beach/sunbeds/brolly. The pool and pool area were very nice, and were kept immaculate by the lifeguard. The shuttle service, which ran near enough every hour, was excellent, as was the driver Joe. Dinner/lunch restaurants were very nice. Only downside was the beach, there wasn't a grain of proper sand in sight; just grey stones. Very disappointing. Also there was nowhere to have a drink outside, apart from the small area outside the basement bar, which was three quarters covered. All in all though I would recommend it to anyone.
PS: If you want to go to Letojanni (right out of the hotel) don't risk life and limb walking along the road, just walk over the beach a little way and it brings you up to a proper road with pavement. Not a lot of people were aware of this."
- Travel date: Wed 27th of July 2005
"I am gobsmacked at the bad reviews. Ihave stayed here twice and cannot speak highly of it. The pool, food ,lido ,staff etc fab.
You must book a seaview room and they re great . Even with the railway, you cannot hear them in your room and can enjoy a siesta, no trains at night and in the day when they do come through no probs as for the road all you complianers get a life
i go to italy at least 3 times a year and rate this hotel highly"
- Travel date: Tue 17th of May 2005
Stay anywhere but the Caparena Hotel in Taormina
"The nicest thing I can say about the Caparena is that fairly nice facilities seem to have given the management and staff delusions of grandeur. Although a few were exceptionally helpful and friendly, most were indifferent and some downright rude. The nice facilities are diminished by the train running directly between the garden and the beach as mentioned in other reviews.
The pool advertises an indoor pool, outdoor pool and fitness center. What they fail to tell you that it costs 6 euros per person for each and every entry to the pool. The fitness center costs 8 euros for each and every entry. The outdoor pool is quite small and the indoor pool located in an extremely warm greenhouse sort of area. Many of the advertised services on the premises are only opened in peak season.
Use the shuttle service with extreme caution. You are required to book a return when you take the shuttle to Taormina. They may or may not pick you up to return to the hotel. We were not picked up and when we telephoned, the hotel claimed to not have a return reservation. We were directed to take a 15 euro taxi back from Taormina and not reimbursed.
We made the decision to leave 3 days into our 6 day stay. We found another hotel for about 40% less and with much more warmth and charm. Save yourself the trouble and don't reserve there at all."
- Travel date: Mon 18th of April 2005
You don't get what you pay for!!!!
"Having a vision of my first stay in Sicily I looked forward to the wonderful Caparena hotel...Indoor/outdoor pool with a balacony facing the sea...free shuttle service to and from Taormina...a beach with a beach bar and restaurant....But what I found out was a total shock...checking into the hotel I found some of the staff stuffy and somewhat hostel...one girl was helpful but the rest of the staff seemed agitated if asked a simple question...the balcony seaview is from behind that of train tracks with trains that run quite regularly....the cost of the fitness center and pool are not included in your too expensive hotel price: 6 Euro for using the pool Per Day and 8 Euro for using the fitness room Per Day? Hello? With a cost of 225 Euor a day for two you would think that they would throw in the pool or fitness center? The shuttle did run a few times per day but you had to make arrangements ahead of time for returning to the hotel or you could not take the shuttle...Using the shuttle was only a roundtrip affair....funny that they forgot to pick us up in town one nite at the prearranged time...and then had the nerve to state that "We Forgot" to give them a pickup time? With a 14 Euro Taxi drive later can you believe that the hotel refursed to compensate us for the cost because they had no record of our return time...(Remember the rule that you cannot take the shuttle without a pickup time...hmmmm?) Let me also mention here that although the hotel said they were open for business they clearly were not....only one restaurant was open with a limited menu...like 3 entree selections...the beach bar and the other restaurants were not even set up for buisness...the outdoor pool was not filled and the beach chairs and loungers were locked up !!! Needless to say....We Moved...but we wasted two days and too much money before we realized that we had been "had"! I cannot say enough negative things about this hotel as it should be avoided at all costs. I am an experienced traveller as I live over seas and have never found a hotel with such a price to limit that high cost to only the room?"
- Travel date: Sun 17th of April 2005
"This hotel would be great if it was priced around Â£50 per night and had two stars. It does not warrant a four star rating with summer prices of over Â£200 per night.
Based on the star rating, the rate and the web site, I booked this hotel for our honeymoon. Big mistake. It is located off a busy motorway and has no convenient access to Taormina centre. The shuttles that the hotel provides go about every three hours and take only 5/6 passengers. A taxi will cost around euro 25 for a round trip - quite expensive.
When we arrived, the hotel made no attempt to recognise that it was our honeymoon. Not that important but it didn't create a good impression. The suite that I booked turned out to be a big room with a wooden trellis placed in the middle. Unfortunately that does not consitute a suite. The bathroom was terrible and the hotel has not been decorated/modernised for at least 20 years.
The train line runs about 20 metres in front of each room. No matter what you are told, 4 trains (including freight trains) an hour makes a lot of noise. Plus, who wants to spend that much money for a room next to a train line?
The bar is below ground and smells of toilets. It was actually never staffed so we manged to save our noses.
The restaurant was also dated. We didn't have dinner there but did have breakfast which was a very basic buffet.
The beach is very nice but you have to go under the railway line to get to it and it didn't seem that relaxing. The pool is good but closes at around 5pm.
The halls are decorated with very old rugs and plastic flowers. Also, wherever you are in the hotel, you hear the constant din of the motorway.
We stayed one night and then checked out to go to the San Domenico Palace Hotel - real luxury! My only rant is the actions of the hotel manager. We stayed one night and informed them on the day of our arrival that we would be leaving the next day. There was no cancellation policy on our reservation and the guide in our room stated that we could check out on the same day if we told them by 10am. On check out, the receptionist tried to charge us for the entire week. The manager then reduced this to a charge of two nights. When I told him that I would only be paying for the one night that we stayed there, he hurled a bunch of papers at me and shouted at me to get out of his hotel. Given that this was what I was trying to do, I didn't think he was winning his argument very well. I have never in all my years in international travel been shouted at by a hotel manager.
As I said at the beginning, this hotel would be a great budget hotel. My view is that you're better off elsewhere - preferably in Taormina town centre."
- Travel date: Tue 14th of September 2004
Our visit to Caparena Hotel
"If you are planning to visit this hotel, here are a few tips. First of all, make sure you are not staying on the ground floor. No views of the sea on this level. If you are on the side of the building facing the sea, you will have a garden view with the train directly behind the garden. Although the train really did not bother us that much, the fact that we had requested a sea view two months prior to our arrival, and that our travel agent was not told what the alternative was, really annoyed us. We spent two weeks travelling in Italy where the people were friendly, helpful and a delight to be around. Here, the hotel staff are extremely anal. At the pool on our first day, one of our party sat down on a cot and was told to remove his shoes, lest they should touch the chairpad. Then, the pool attendant very rudely advised that a shower was required before entering the pool to swim. The final straw at the pool was when one of our party took two towels instead of one and was again rudely told by the pool attendant that only one towel per person was allowed. The party then told the pool attendant where to go and he responded with an insult in Italian which we all understood.
Finally, even the staff in the restaurant where we had breakfast were very unfriendly, without a smile, and you had to call them to get your coffee, rather than they approaching you asking what you would like.
All in all, this hotel was the lowpoint of our wonderful experiences in Italy. I think they have a problem in this hotel with North Americans.
They like our money, but think we are all loadmouths who behave boorishly. I am truly offended by this, especially since I am a Canadian and everyone here thinks that all North Americans are American! I would recommend that travellers beware!"
- Travel date: Sat 20th of September 2003
Great Location & Facility
"This was a very nice hotel, with a great pool, nice beach and beachside restaraunt. Quick shuttles to Taormina made it a great choice. They also spoke very good english and were very friendly."
- Travel date: Sun 13th of July 2003
The Caparena Hotel
"When we finally arrived in Sicily after a delayed journey, we managed to find the turning off to the hotel directly after a blind corner on a major road. After parking we checked in with the friendly Receptionist. Our room at first was a twin room, which we had ordered a double room. We went back down to the Reception and asked to be moved, at which point she said that no room was specified, luckily we had bought a copy of our reservation, which proved we had booked a double room. Once finally settled we opened our balcony doors to see our seaview. We had a seaview, just so long as we overlooked the railway track that was 30 feet in front of our balcony. We enquired as to how many trains went by at night, which they said ONLY 4 and if we closed our windows wouldn't be able to hear anything!! In the Subterranian bar on a lovely evening we felt at this stage we were missing the Sicily experience. We tried to walk out the hotel for dinner but the triple layer road system directly behind the hotel, meant that you couldn't walk anywhere as it was too dangerous.Having had a sleepless night with the 4 cargo carrying trains going passed our closed balcony windows, we moved the next day we were meant to be there for the week. . Having stayed in a few hotels, I find it hard to believe that this hotel can be given a 4 star rating and quite honestly say that it is the worst hotel I have every stayed at."
- Travel date: Tue 3rd of June 2003