Belmond Villa Sant'Andrea
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Travel Blogs from Mazzaro
... there last night (performances are booked out months prior), and a popular Italian singer was playing tonight to a full house. Even at the back of the amphitheatre, you felt you we're right at the stage, very personal. All Greek amphitheatre's have a great backdrop, this one is no exception...Mount Etna! To complete the wow factor, at the top the back of the amphitheatre gives stunning views of the coast in front and behind from so high up. You can ...
... Opera is the number one form of live entertainment in Sicily and third overall in Italy. What was meant to be an hour trip turned into 2 very enjoyable hours of hurling around the streets of Palermo. After a quick lunch, back in the car for the 4 hour drive back to Taormina. Last full day tomorrow before we all part company on Saturday. Will stay local tomorrow and apart from seeing the town and taking the cable car there, might go for a boat trip around the area. Until ...
... seems to shut between 1.30 and 3.30pm each weekday for siesta! It is a good time to drive as the roads are not so busy! We then to another town further along the coast ( the road and exit was built between two mountains with the roads some 200 metres above the ground...amazing to see, and a good example of the road infrastructure the Italians have spent on the autostrades. Have never seen some many tunnels and bridges to keep the roads straight as possible). ...
... station for hours! After some lunch , we made our way to Etna (after a couple of wrong turns). It is a fair trip up the mountain to the cable car, which takes you to 2.4km up. Neil and I took a jeep up to the crater if the 2003 eruption, some 3,000 metres up, the closest you can get, some 309 metres from the main active crater, which no one can visit at the moment. Unfortunately, the weather ...
... for a drive in the old island part of Siracusa, which had further ruins and old run down buildings. Then back to Taormina where I drove to give Neil a break. Decided not to take the cable car up the mountain, but stay at the Villa and swim, given we were all tired. Big day tomorrow when we attack Etna. At 3.3kms tall, you can see it from space! Looking forward to this. Hopefully will have photo's of tomorrow and the last couple of days up tomorrow. Until then, Ciao, ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews Belmond Villa Sant'Andrea Mazzaro
Overpricing seems the norm here
We stayed here for 3 nights. The setting is good with lovely old furniture and pictures from when it was a privately owned house and excellently situated for the cable car up to Taormina. The sun is not on the hotel first thing and disappears early in the evening. The restuarant food was excellent but overpriced as was everything else. This spoilt it a bit for us as you had the sense of being generally fleeced. The reception staff we found helpful and smiling so maybe they have taken heed of the previous reviews. However the restuarant staff were impersonal and quite cold at times. The place generally also needs a bit of maintainance.
It was not possible to get a simple plate of pasta after 3pm when we came of the beach, but they were happy to sell us a £20 bottle of wine!
Generally overrated, Framon hotels could learn a lot from Meridien/Hilton.
Beautiful hotel, service impersonal
This was a beautiful hotel in an excellent location - beach and sea at the front, cable car to Taormina opposite the entrance at the back. Our standard room was large, rustic and had a large private terrace with sea views - breakfast could be served on the terrace at an extra local charge. The hotel did so much that was right - including beds turned down with a sweet on your pillow nightly. Domestic staff adhered to a high standard of service and we were impressed when, on our arrival, the gardner insisted on taking our bags at the top of the drive. However, along with other reviewers, we found the front of house staff delivered a very impersonal service. There was an issue one night when the restaurant had been overbooked (staff error). Rather than being offered apology, drink while we were waiting etc., we were simply told we would have to go away. I felt that, had I not insisted on being given a new time to return, they would have preferred us to make alternative arrangements.
The shingle beach is on a pretty bay and we found excellent for early morning swims. Boats which ply their excersion trade from the bay later in the day were a bit intrusive. Sea when we were there was clean and clear.
I would never go back to this hotel, we were so dissapointed. We paid 330 euros per night for room 309. The room was ok and we had a big terrace but it was far to expensive for what we got.
the staff here were not even remotely helpful and some had a really bad attitude, especially the guy on reception. We had lunch in the hotel restaurant and the service was dreadful and the food was not much better either.
The beach is too crowded and you are constantly hassled by people trying to sell you fake junk and boat rides. the sea was very dirty when we were there as lots of rubbish kept being brought in by the tide.
We did however find some excellent restaurants, for lunch try 'DA GIOVANNI' (turn left out of the hotel, it is a very short walk), it does not look much but the food and service was great and it looks over the sea. 'CASTELUCCIA' was also very good for dinner (turn right out of hotel and walk along the road a bit)
Best place in Taormina town for dinner was 'IL BACCANALE' try the gnocci with basil and pesto it is fantastic. You can find this restarant on via di giovanni, take 2nd left after you go through the first archway into the town. Also best Granitas in town are at BAM BAR just above il bacannale.
Too expensive for what you get
We were there two nights and had our wedding dinner there. The food was very good, but the staff is really disorganized and not very willing to help you. Some of them are really arrogant. If you pay 330 EUR per night for a room the service should really be perfect, but it was not...and in our room (305) you could hear the noise coming from the air-conditioner, so that we could not really sleep....they said someone would come and repair it, we asked 3 times for that, and nobody came...the location is really great but we would not go there again.
Having spent two weeks here I could not have wished for anything better. All the staff, from start to finish, were very friendly and also very helpful and certainly made our honeymoon that little bit extra special.
The chance to have breakfast and supper with the sound of the sea in the background certainly made for a romantic time.
Great place for a honeymoon and we will certianly be going back there to celebrate our year together ( in fifty more weeks )
Would recommend it to anybody....
Great place with style
We loved that place. You are directly at the beach, the breakfast place outside under trees is more than lovely.
Although the sun moves behind trees at approx. 5p.m. no problem - you just take the cable car up to Taormina for dinner or shopping. It is oposite the hotel entrance.
We had a quite big room with seaside view and a little terrace - great. And what we prefered most, was the hotel style. No bunker and not too big, an old house in very nice style
We stayed there for 4 days with our two kids (4 and 6 years old). we were more or less the youngest guests.
Great Hotel! Perfect Location!!
My family of 4 (children 8 &11) stayed at the Sant'Andrea the last week of April in 2005. We had a fabulous experience. The staff was extremely helpful, polite and spoke English. Our room was the Percy Threwella Suite with the additional adjoining room. It was absolutely beautiful, as was the view. Our own private veranda, good for both sunning or relaxing in shade, overlooking the sea and the gardens. We couldn't have asked for a better location. Right on our own beach and a 2 minute walk to the cable car taking us to Taormina central. We recommend this hotel highly!
Pity about the reception staff!
A beautiful hotel in a suberb setting! What promised to be a fantastic honeymoon for us was spoilt by the unhelpful staff, particularly on reception! I wouldn't recommend it.
Perfect and charming
Worth splashing out on, this hotel has character and an enviable position. We will definitely stay here again. An old colonial residence it is set in a terraced garden giving a needed touch of green on this rather dry island. Taormina is easily reached on the nearby cablecar and is stylish and charming in the evening. Perhaps we didn't find it's best restaraunts though, as those we found were lacking in culinary sparkle. The view from the square in Taormina is breathtaking.