12 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Our big dissapointment
"My wife and I just returned from a wonderful vacation in Sicily. The trip was perfect except for our stay at the Hotel Villa Ducale in Taormina, where we stayed for 4 nights. Taormina was even more beautiful that we expected, however the Villa Ducale was a disappointing experience. When we arrived at Hotel Villa Ducale, we were greeted by Santi who asked us for our car keys. Even though we are not comfortable handing our car to valet, we felt the need to comply since it is the policy of the hotel. Big mistake!!! After admiring the view from the terrace, we were excited to go see our "Suite-De-Luxe". We had the first of what was to be a series of disappointments at the Hotel Villa Ducale. We followed Santi to a building across the street where the view was a dirt mountain with a small peek of the ocean. When we expressed our unhappiness, Santi conducted us to a room half the size in the main building. Given our choices, we decided to keep the first. Trying to make the best of our stay, we decided to try the restaurant. Second mistake, the fish that my wife ordered was inedible!! After a tiring car trip and a horrible dinner we went to sleep hoping that the next day will be better. Well, it had rained during the night and was still raining which made it impossible to cross the street to the main building for breakfast without getting our shoes drenched because of the river that the street becomes when it rains ( they provided no help with this issue). The day that we left was still raining. Our third disappointment came when we got to Siracusa. After parking the car, we noticed a series of new scratches (still with pieces of the wall where it was parked next to) on the rental-car. We were mortified but trusted that Sra. Rosaria Quartucha (the friendly owner of Hotel Villa Ducale) will respond to the matter. After waiting a couple of days for her response to our email, we got a letter from a Manager denying any responsibility for the damage of the car. This was ridiculous since the scratches clearly showed that they were made by parking. He even sent us a video of the time we left where as he thought there was no visible damage. It turns out his video came in very handy, because when you zoom it, it clearly shows the damage is there. We are now stuck with a â¬8400 Euro bill from Enterprise!!! What a frustrating experience we had at the Hotel Villa Ducale. If you really want to enjoy Taormina, stay close to the tiny beautiful town not far away from everything on the side of a mountain. Stayed November 2014"
- Travel date: 20th November 2014
You will not be able to stop yourself fr...
"You will not be able to stop yourself from seriously falling for Sicilian life and I will be surprised to hear of anyone who goes there and actually wants to come back! Everything is so relaxed over there, great food, great wine and great weather all to be enjoyed alongside the locals. An overall great quality of life - very chilled and relaxing. A state of mind which cannot help but rub off onto you however short your stay. It is easy to get around and a visit to the main square is an absolute must where you will be able to catch one of a multitude of shows on offer of an evening. The villa we stayed in was clean and beautiful - staff were helpful and always on hand when you needed them - give Sicily a try - you wont be disappointed."
- Travel date: 7th September 2006
"Taormina is such a charming place that any nice hotel would do fine, however the Villa Ducale was fabulous. The staff ARE amazing, the food is very good and the view magnificent! Mount Enta is great! The stairs could become a problem if you have smaller children and must go back and forth to the town center unless you are leaving in the morning when there is a bus. Taxi's are expensive for the short trip (12 euro) but necessary when your legs won't work anymore. If you are simply there for the view and the beach it would be fine, excursions and rental cars are easily arranged too. We just liked other hotels for their central location - better for convenience and they were facing Isola Bella near the cable cars. Still, this is quite a find!"
- Travel date: 1st October 2004
Breath Taking Location
"We stayed in Villa Ducale in late Sept 2004. It has the most breath taking views of Taormina, the coast line and Mt Etna, as it is perched high above Toarmina. This means you need to have good legs to walk up and down to the township on many flights of stairs. Relying on public transport, unless you use a taxi, makes it somewhat inflexible. Make sure you ask for a view over Taormina as they have other accomodation across the road which looks towards the Italian mainland. Whist very good as well, the main game is overlooking the front. The breakfasts are to die for, both in food and views, and you will from overeating if you have an extended stay. The staff are very helpful and the quality of the rooms is outstanding. Villa Ducale is a very expensive place (we paid 375 Euros for a suite pn) but for that special occassion or just to spoil yourself you will be left with fond memories. The only criticism is that at the price it should have a pool. The weather is usually hot and whilst arrangements are in place for transport to the local beach, the beach does not rate a second mention (at least in comparison to Australian beaches and watch out for stinging jelly fish) and it can be costly to hire lounges/umbrellas. Whilst l would stay again at Villa Ducale for that special experience, l would also first look at comparable alternatives with a pool."
- Travel date: 28th September 2004
"In a word....Breath-taking The ambiance, the service, the food, everything. If you are looking for the perfect spot, away from all of the crowds with spectacular views of the sea and Mount Etna, Hotel Villa Ducale is for you. The service is excellent and family-like, you will not be disappointed. Highly recommended!"
- Travel date: 21st September 2004
"After an arduous summer working long hours a few days at Villa Ducale were just the tonic we needed. The staff were very friendly and put on a great lunch upon our arrival to really settle us into the holiday mode...and the views, the views from the hotel are just stunning looking towards Mt Etna. Some Sicilian friends warned us that the hotel was high above the town, but if anything we saw this as a benefit. It was only 10 minutes down the steps to the main streets and was a very peaceful setting. We would definately go back again."
- Travel date: 12th September 2004
A Jewel and Charming Villa - Must Stay.
"This Villa is the most charming and in all of Taormina. Our clean, A/C room was below the reception area, yet you would never hear noise. Our view was spectacular with Mt. Etna to the right, and the Naxos harbor/beaches to the left, with beautiful Sicilia panoramic views of little towns and hills in between. The owner and staff is 5-Star: friendly, professional, attentive, knowledgable on all aspects of food, wine, suggested itineraries, and hospitality. The breakfast, truly Sicialiani and memorable. A must stay in Taormina."
- Travel date: 12th September 2004
A perfect honeymoon location!
"Villa Ducale was the most perfect spot for our honeymoon. The hotel is so romantic, the staff was so friendly, the breakfast was superb, and the views were unbelievable. I will definitely recommend this hotel to all my friends and family. My husband and I can't wait to go back!"
- Travel date: 20th August 2004
Very Fine Small Resort
"Stayed here for 2 days in July 2004. Our room was in the new addition across the street from the main resort, so our view was of Castelmola and along the coast to the northeast. Beautiful, but not quite as stunning as Etna and Gardini Naxos (which you see from the breakfast area). We had 3 in our party, and our room had a loft reached by a spiral staircase! The furniture, amenities and room finishings (bathroom tiling, etc) are top notch and very classy. When you walk into town, take the stairs/path from Santuario Madonna dell Rocca instead of the ones located right next to the resort; the ones from the church are much more scenic and impressive (take a taxi or the bus back; it's quite a huike back up). Corso Umbetrto and the various sidestreets are amazing; one of the best shopping areas in Italy IMHO. Make sure you check out Piazza IX Aprile; ridiculously beautiful. Found a very good wine in the room minibar: Donnafugata Anthilia."
- Travel date: 30th July 2004
Beautiful Hotel, Wonderful Staff
"Just returned from a 4 day stay at the Villa Ducale and can't say enough about it. I think this is the nicest hotel I have ever stayed in, in Italy. Everyone was so warm and helpful. Loved the fresh flowers in the suite everyday, and the bowl of lemons, picked from their own trees. Breakfast was delicious, served on a gorgeous terrace, overlooking Mt. Etna and the Bay of Naxos. Just Paradise. Hope to get back there again soon."
- Travel date: 13th July 2004
thrilled with villa ducale
"We absolutely loved Villa Ducale and its entire staff!! We felt completely at home and with family, amongst the stunning views, warm and radiant ambiance, and caring staff. The breakfasts were all homemade and offered delicious and different treats every day. Staying at this charming and beautiful hotel certainly helped us fall in love with Taormina. We look very forward to returning soon. Fondly, dalia & leor zahavi"
- Travel date: 4th July 2004
This is one of our favorite hotels..
"This is our second trip to the Villa Ducale. We love the hotel, it's staff and the location (the view makes it worth the cost of the taxi ride). I believe you can tell how a staff is treated by the way they treat the clients. This is a family run hotel and everyone is so friendly (even the maids) that I believe Andrea (the owner) must treat his staff very kindly. Sebastian has gone out of his way to make sure that we have a pleasant stay. Last year we stayed in the main hotel area with the view of Taormina, this year we stayed across the road in the building of the suites with the view toward Messina. We were in suite 5, which has the balcony and the view of Messina. This room would be perfect for a family as it is a very large room, a canopied king bed in an alcove room and a large jacuzzi bath. My disappointment with this room was that the windows were so high that in order to see the great view, you had to stand up next to the windows or be on the deck. We also saw suite 3 and suite 6, which I actually preferred. Suite 3 is smaller (probably not big enough for a family) but suite 6 is large enough and it has a sitting area that has large windows, so you can sit there and see the view (which is nice especially if the weather is too cold to be on the deck). Suite 5 is the only one with a jacuzzi tub, but I would trade that for the view out of suite 6 and suite 3. If it is just a couple, I would stay back in the main hotel area, only because I prefer the view of Taormina, especially at night. The breakfasts are great, because they are so different. Not just the usual, but really different and tasty things, like fresh sliced tomates with bits of onion and olive oil, and wonderful hot pastry dishes. As one of the other reviewers said, one does not need to go back down to Taormina for dinner. We ate at al Saraceno (within close walking distance) twice (it was unbelievably good) and at Al Castello once (it was also very good, but not quite as good as al Saraceno. If you have a car, I would drive up to Castelmola and try dinner. We ate lunch twice at Il Baccanale in downtown Taormina both last year and this year. It is more off the main road, so therefore not near as touristy. The food there was so good. I miss it just thinking of it. Sebastian can arrange a day trip to Mt. Etna, which was so worth it. Taormina is a wonderful place. Two days is not enough and a week is not too much."
- Travel date: 1st July 2004
Top traveller tips for Hotel Villa Ducale
"Do not give them your car keys"
Hotel Villa Ducale is also called
- Villa Ducale Hotel
- ducale hotel taormina