Excelsior Palace Hotel
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TravelPod Member ReviewsExcelsior Palace Hotel Taormina
The décor is tired and out-dated but the rooms are spacious. The bar area is a pleasant spot to while away your time. The hotel's pool is a 10 minute walk further down the cliff. The hotel has an unimpeded view of Mount Etna.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews Excelsior Palace Hotel Taormina
Excellent location - good hotel
We stayed at the Excelsior Palace at the end of October for a week and enjoyed the experience.
As others have pointed out the location is excellent - with a great view of Etna and sea views from the front of the hotel and the pool. But be aware that there are plenty of steps to negotiate getting down to the gardens and the pool. The pool is of good size but only the hardy venture in at the end of October as it is unheated.
It is also worth mentioning that the town of Taormina is exceptionally interesting and pretty and the hotel is at its Southern Gate.
The bedroom and bathroom were fine although I agree dated in style. Like other reviewers we suffered from the mozzies as it got too stuffy at night with the window shut and air-con not operational.
Being on half board we ate in the restaurant and the food was good quality and there was plenty of choice. The menu changed each night. And with anti-pasta, 1st course, 2nd course, dessert and coffee the were no complaints about the quantity.
Breakfast was good too unless you like a full english which wasn't on offer. But there was plenty of choice and lots of different fruit juices etc. The tea and coffee were the only disappointment.
The other thing I particularly liked was they left out an urn of hot water, some juice and museli/milk overnight so if you were awake in the early hours or had an early start to make you could help yourself.
The staff were very friendly and helpful for example checking the train times and costs for us.
All in all a very comfortable and relaxing stay in a friendly run hotel.
Price is not in proportion to quality offered
Let's start with the points in favour of the Excelsior Palace: the hotel is situated on a perfect spot in Taormina. The park and pool are magnificent. However the inside shows past glory. The rooms are very small and the bath rooms have become very dated. Moreover the airco was already out of order although it was rather hot in the rooms. So we had to leave our windows open during the night. Result -> mosquito-hunt every night! Looking to the blood spots on the wall paper we whave not been not the first "hunters".
Taking into account that we paid € 237,-/night for bed and breakfast we think you may expect a bit more luxury and service! Final conclusion: the Excelsior will not be a repeating experience for us!
Super hotel and location
This hotel is in a superb location with beautiful terraced gardens, pool and phantastic view over the bay. The rooms are spacious with nice views, the food in the restaurant (half-board) was certainly a cut above the rest. Can also highly recommend the bar/restaurant facility beside the pool - they make some great fresh salads and simple dishes - considerably better quality/value for money than most of the restaurants in Taormina.
Recommendation: all our party was plagued by mosquitos in the rooms - except one, who had the great foresight of bringing an electric mozzie-killer! I think this applies to all the hotels in Taromina.
I would certainly stay there again.
Romantic & Beautiful Location - Some Cons
I spent a lovely, relaxing week in Taormina with my mother at the beginning of this month (July 2005). Overall I rate the hotel highly. I thought it would be useful to summarise my view.
LOCATION: Very near Corso Umberto, overlooks Bay of Naxos and views to Mt Etna. Fantastic.
ROOMS: Excellent views. Large rooms if you go for a superior room with balcony. Very poor air conditioning. Comfortable and clean. Satellite tv (basic). Decent bathroom - no glam toiletries!
AMENITIES: Gorgeous pool area on a promitory with stunning views over the bay with loungers, terraces (all beautifully maintained) and cafe/reastaurant, changing etc. However, you will have to negotiate many steps to get from the hotel to the pool area so this is not suitable for all! There is a bar and a restaurant in the basement. Its decor is dated, but it is a large clean room and not dingy.
FOOD: We stayed half board. Overall, good. However, poor choice of main courses of vegetarians or those who are not fans of red meat & game. The starters got a bit repetitive as did the antipasti, but the food was fresh and good.
SERVICE: very good all round.
TOP TIPS: Worth booking a trip to Mt Etna & Alcantara Gorge early on - ditto Siracusa. The Greek theatre in Taormina is worth a look, but is, frankly, overpriced. Definitely have a drink in the evening at the Wunderbar and enjoy the live music. Good walks to Castelmola and cable car to Mazzaro about 30 mins walk from the hotel.
Great Location, Great Hotel
This hotel was located on the cliffside overlooking Naxos Bay. The view was spectacule.....The rooms were beautiful English style decor, very elegant but Europe style small in size. We had 2 windows, 1 overlooking the sea, the other the town of Taormina. The location is central and you can walk to the main attractions and dinning places in town. Since it was off-peak season, there were not many guests in the hotel. They did not have any internet facilities and the parking garage was about a 5 min walk- this was the main drawback we felt. Otherwise the hotel was great, better than the Hotel Sant Alphio Garden Hotel Spa in Giardini Naxos we were initially booked at. Never Ever go there even if it is the last hotel of your choise!
Great location, good deal
We stayed at the Excelsior Palace Hotel over Christmas for 3 nights and we really enjoyed our stay. The location is perfect - you could not be better located. As well if you have a car there is a car park literally 2 minutes away which is very well priced.
Our room although could use updating was fine. It was very large which was great and had all of the extras you would look for. The bathroom was great. We were on the first floor and had a great view.
The package included half board and so we had our dinners in the hotel. The food was okay and we saved alot of $$.
I'd stay here again and would recommend it to others.
The hotel was beautiful BUT...
The hotel had a beautiful view of the sea. Our room was directly overlooking the ocean . Small rooms but very typically European. The location was perfect. Right along the Corso Umberto which is in the heart of Taormina. Easy walking to the shops, restaurants, cafes. Also close (10 min) walk to the tram to take you down to the beach (beautiful). However, the staff was not very receptive to Americans, often not as helpful to us as to our English counterparts!! Also, they hotel turns off it's airconditioning each morning (between 8-11). I'm not sure why but it happened every morning x 7 days! If you open your window for a "fresh" breeze you are greeted with the smell of sewage! The hotel had a definite foul odor around the same time each morning (along the outside, likely from poor sewage system in old Taormina). This was ok by us, easily avoided by keping the window closed and holding your breath for 20 seconds when you walked past a particular spot, but the place is a 4 star hotel, come on!
all in all we'd do it again. Taormina is overall absolutely wonderful, much like the almalfi coast only warmer. next time we'll consider the Sea Palace Hotel (right on Mazzaro beach, lovely hotel, can take the tram up to the city for dinners, excursions, etc.
also recommend having dinner (if not staying at) the Grand Timeo Hotel (5 star luxury) VERY costly but well worth at least a dinner (white glove service...expect to pay about 200 Euros if you do it right!)
The Excelsior is in the A1 position to visit Taormina , in town at the head of the main street , the hotel is built on a cliff (if you come in from Catania via autostada you can see in on your right) , the hotel is slightly shabby but very very comfortable , big spacious rooms with high ceilings. You must get a room on the 3 floor with great views of Etna, the bay (and the motorway and new multi story car park !!) , seriously spectacular views . But the real bonus is the gardens leading down to (long walk) a great pool with great views , I doubt if any hotel in Taormina has a better gardens / pool area, very good hotel . Try the Trattoria up the steps opposite the hotel , pretty good
The waiters were lovely, but people travelling with babies beware
THE ROOM: We were epsecially careful to check our requirements with bothe the tour operaters and the hotel itself before booking the holiday as I was travelling with a toddler (1year old) and my mother who has osteo-arthritis. I was assured that I would be goiven a room accessible by the lift and that the room would have a cot. Unfortunetly when we arrived, the room was situated up 3 small lots of steps which made it very difficult to get the buggy to and from the room (as my mother could not help). There was no chest of drawers to put baby clothes away in. The view that we had paid extra money for was lovely to the right but to the left a car park and tunnel under the rocks was being built so it was very noisy (again a trouble when you are trying to get a baby to sleep). I had not thought that we would not be allowed to have a kettle in the room to heat the babys milk (as is standard in uk hotels) and the reception staff could not care less. They suggested that (at 4 in the morning) that I ring and request hot water (who knows how long this would have taken) and my baby had an upset tummy due to having to mineral water bottles in which the water had not been boiled). The room whilst small had reasonable air conditioning and a fridge that could be used. I spoke to many couples in the hotel and many of them were unhappy with having paid the supplement for a view - on the right side of thr hotel (the siode our ropom was on the view was giardini-naxos and a car park and a half built tunnel and the left was the sea and a rubbish tip. The only realy fully beautiful view was the rooms at the very front. The receptionstaff did not want anyone to change rooms and met requests for such with disinterest.
THE POOL: There was a safe'ish' swimming pool but that had 100 steep steps down to it (again no help was offered from the hotel staff).
There was also a lovely bar with parasols, toilets and a shower all alongside the pool. The terrace that the pool was built upon had stunning views over the bay below. There is a charge for using matteresses on the unsloungers and this seems to be one daily rate irrelevant of how long you use them for (i.e. same charge for all day as 10 minutes).
THE FOOD AND DRINK: The half board must have saved us quite a lot of money, the food was lovely, the waiters helpful, cheerful and were truely affectionate towards my baby. The little bar was lovely and provided fine (but expensive) cocktails and a nice shady terrace.
THE HOTEL: The hotel itself is well placed in the centre of Taormina and the main corso seconds away. The staff on reception were surly and disinterested.
THE TRANSFERS: The transfers too and from the hotel were ok - on the way you are shipped between a large coach and a minibus which is exhausting.
TAXIS IN TAORMINA: Were very expensive - a cab from the hotel to the greek ampitheatre cost 8 euros (a 10minute drive) and to giardini-naxos were were charged 18 euros. I am sure that they would have been cheaper if we had argued the price!
WAS THE 4 STAR HOTEL WORTH THE EXTRA EXPENSE?: Generally I thought that the extra expense for a 4 star hotel was not well met as I had stayed in 1 star 2 years ago in Taormina and been treated much better generally. However the half board saved us a lot of money.
TripAdvisor Reviews Excelsior Palace Hotel Taormina
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