Grand Hotel Timeo by Orient-Express
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Travel Blogs from Taormina
So we finally capitulated and made the 2-hour trip to Etnaland, which is in the middle of nowhere, to the left of Catania.
We arrived at the advertised opening time of 9.30, but were pipped at the post by a hundred or so eager teens and Tweens and their parents...... It's gonna be a loooonnnnnnggggg day, I thought.
Italians have a sophisticated attitude to swimming and water-related activities: access to change rooms, at no cost, which ...
So, we had planned to go to Etnaland today, home of water slides and rides, which the girls had been counting down the sleeps for, bit some bad behaviour put paid to that, I'm afraid!
Instead, we opted for a more low key day and headed to the beach at Fiumefreddo, about 8km down the road. The beach itself was quite rocky, and the water really cold, but we had a nice time ...
... paste, which is white Nutella, mixed with ground pistachios..... Say no more......
On the way home, we stopped and bought the most magnificent strawberries, so, if a place is famous for something, for goodness sake, don't expect to buy it there..... Go somewhere else!
A side note: Sicilians are fascinated with french fries, they order them as a side with their pizza, on their pizza and inside pastry with a sausage.....patatine everywhere
At 8.00am we were driven by a chauffeur to the airport. We checked in with no wait at all and went to explore the airport which took about 10 minutes! Our plane left at 10.55am and was a smooth flight arriving in Catania at 11.50am. We then boarded a bus which took us to the terminal. We waited 30 minutes for the luggage to arrive on the conveyor. At last we proceded to the exit where we were met by another chauffeur who took us to the Una ...
... I was talking to a good friend of mine here who told me that she and a buddy were renting a car and driving through Sicily. She asked me if I wanted to come along. Even though I only had a couple days to spare, OF COURSE I SAID YES!! I flew to Catania where they picked me up and then we stayed in Taormina on an amazing beach named Nexos Beach. It was one of the first places that they Ancient Greeks occupied when they landed in Sicily. And I can see why! It is ...
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Historical Traveler Reviews Grand Hotel Timeo by Orient-Express Taormina
Stunning service, views and rooms
Third stay at the Grand Timeo. The only 5starL hotel in Taormina. Whilst right next door to the Greek theatre, the Timeo is a haven of tranquillity. The extensive gardens full of orange and lemon trees, the pool overlooking the bay, the terraces with a view up to the Greek ruins.
Though expensive, the rooms are lovely and the service is attentive and personal. Though the restaurant is good you have so many excellent choice in town that it would be a shame to only eat at the hotel.
There is also a shuttle bus down to the beach (sant andrea hotel run by same chain)
All in all a beautiful stay without the stuffyness of the San Domenico hotel.
An oasis at the end of a long vacation
The hotel was PERFECT!! It is truly an old world 5 star hotel, with beautiful rooms, gardens, and common areas. The staff was curteous and helpful. The pool is great, with waitered food and drink service and spectacular views. The food was quite good. The hotel sits next to an archeological site, and we enjoed concerts performed there live from the hotel's terraces.
The rooms were spacious and had adequae AC (WOW!). The bath rooms were old European with a heated towel rack. The bed was hard. English TV included CNN and a movie (WOW again!).
While in Taormino, eat at Maffei's. The food surpassed anything else we ate in all of Sicily at the atmosphere was romantic and lovely. (Eat in the terrace outdoors.)
Grand Prices, Grand View but no Grand Hotel
The Grand Hotel Timeo is situated on a great piece of land in Taormina, and the views are truly stunning. Of course, these views are more to the credit of Taormina itself and can be seen virtually anywhere in the town. That said, the hotel has priced itself higher than any other hotel in Taormina, but fails to meet the expectations it sets with such high prices. Rooms are dark, bathrooms are understocked and small and there were bug problems in both rooms my family rented. Also, service was not satisfactory. Breakfast service was slow and it took 52 minutes for the bellboy to get our luggage to the lobby (he got lost!!!). The Timeo is overpriced, but is also just not a very good hotel.
Our stay was 11/ 6 & 7/ 05 in the Grand Hotel Toarmina. This was the very first hotel built. It was beautiful in the classical tradition and luxurious in old world charm. The pictures on their web site does not do the hotel justice. We had room 314, which had a wrap around balcony, with views of the sea, the town and Mt. Etna on one side and the hotel patio on the other. At night, we were able to see the red/orange glow of the lava flow and the candle lit tables on the patio. The room had a 15 foot high ceiling and was grand in size. It is located beneath the Greek theatre and in the center of town but was located at a dead end so there was no thru traffic. It has its own garden and parking. The staff was wonderful and the breakfast buffet was a feast.
Loved the hotel, but problems with the room
The Grand Hotel Timeo has magnificent views, beautifully restored public areas and lovely gardens. However, our deluxe double, whilst elegantly decorated, measured approx. 16 feet by 16 feet with an equally small bathroom. Not much for 450 euros! To make matters worse there were serious problems with plumbing noises from adjoining rooms, which made it impossible to get a good nights sleep. Overall beautiful but overpriced.
My wife and I are experienced travelers and last summer spent 5 weeks in Europe. After spending 2 weeks in Italy, our trip to Timeo was truly the crowning jewel. The location above Taoramina was breathtaking but not honeymoonish...very upscale, yet not intimidating. Our suite was spacious, beautifuly decorated with vintage furnishings,and very sensual. Our terrace was at least 30 feet,very private, with views of Etna and the glistening bay below. Dining was "the very best" in every way...Classical music greeted us each evening as we enjoyed the romance of the moment. The trip to the beach each morning was a wonderful convenience and the welcome return trip always on time.`After 35 years of marriage, I will take my children and their children to Timeo for a family retreat again and again...
Complacent and snooty hotel
I have just spent 9 days at the Timeo and the experience was extremely disappointing. There is no doubt that the hotel site and surroundings are stunning. But the quality of service, and standard of cleanliness and state of the rooms is awful. This is a very expensive hotel e.g. 22 euro just for a basic buffet breakfast, 13 euro for 1 gin and tonic on the terrace, yet totally unjustified. The staff were snooty and rude.
An example of poor service was that on our second day, our room wasn't cleaned. When I complained I was told they hadn't had time! This is a 5 star hotel. In any other country this hotel would be strugling to meet 4 star standards. Beware when you book this hotel, you will be paying a lot for the pleasure and in my view, it is not worth it.
In this September 2003, we staysed at this hotel for two nights. First day, we stayed at the non-sea-view room with a lofted bedroom. This room was dirty, gloomy, noisy, and narrow. We expected to stay in the panoramic room at Taormina, but could see only wall of the other hotel!
I greatly enjoyed this hotel. It's located in the main part of town and is convienent to the 2 beaches of Taormina. The room I stayed in was enjoyable.
The Grand Timeo is a classy hotel. It's set just below the Greek Theatre, it's about 200yards down a gentle slope to the centre of Taormina and it deserves it's stars. We spent 6 nights at the hotel on our honeymoon, our room was large with a reasonably sized terrace and views of the bay and in general the hotel exceeded our expectations.The food in the resturant is wonderful, although we found the level service lacking on occasion. When we ventured out in to Taormina we discovered some wonderful restaurants and it's also great fun sitting in the bars in the piazzas and watching the world go by.While there's no pool at the Grand Timeo, there is a private beach at the sister hotel which is free to use and is a short shuttle bus ride away. The beach is pebbly rather than sand, but it's still a great way to while away the day and the facilities are excellent.We found ourselves staying at the hotel during the Taormina film festival and while we didn't mind, parts of the hotel were reserved for interviews and there were drinks receptions most nights. Having said that, considering the number of people who attended the events, it was surprisingly un-intrusive and it was fun trying to spot the celebrity in the crowd.We would definitely go back to Taormina and the Grand Timeo, however I'd probably want to go back earlier in May when it's a little cooler and before the film festival.Regardless, we highly recommend it.