Hotel Villa Ducale
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Travel Blogs from Taormina
Naxos is gateway to the island of Sicily's strategically significant northeastern region. From this port city, it is a short transfer to Taormina, resting 820 feet above the sea and overlooking imposing Mount Etna. In the early 20th century, Taormina became a colony for expatriate artists and writers, including D H Lawrence. Highlights of any tour of this city would include the remarkably preserved Roman-style Greek Theater, whose acoustics ...
... to the rocking of the ship the day before she had a mid day rehearsal. So we went into Catania which we had already ventured through when I was cruising with my parents. Rosie and I just shopped a bit, go wifi and ate arranchini's (those amazing rice balls that need to come to North America, they are unreal)
I ended up staying in port for awhile after Rochelle went back to the ...
... wasted a lot of the day going round in circles. This place is poorly signposted and the streets are tiny but eventually we are winding our way up the hill to Etna. It gets colder and colder the higher we go and there is heaps of either fog, or the cloud cover, can't decide which, so visibility is poor. When we get to the top we are underwhelmed. I don't know what I expected, but this barren landscape littered with lava rocks and a whole bunch of tourist buses, but not much else, ...
... largest active volcano in Europe and dominates the landscape all around here. We have had a quiet Sunday in Taormina today and head off tomorrow on a tour to Syracuse which is reportedly very beaufiful. Good to see you are enjoying the blogs...appreciate your comments.
... home in the countryside.
Depart the pier with your guide and head towards the Cathedral to the Porta Uzeda area, home to one of the most ancient and typical markets in the area. Here, discover the staples of Mediterranean cuisine - vegetables, fruits, and fish, while admiring the colours of the Sicilian stalls. Then, reboard the coach and drive on the Viagrande, formerly known as 'Varanni'.
How has this hotel rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews Hotel Villa Ducale Taormina
Villa Ducale is the best!
We recently spent two weeks at the Villa Ducale for our honeymoon. It was the best hotel experience we have had. From our arrival we were greeted warmly and felt like we had arrived at the home of friends. We were taken on to the terrace where we were offered a cold Sicilian plate while our car was parked and our bags were taken to our room.
From that moment we were in paradise. The view is spectacular. Stepping out onto your balcony or terrace it is a sight that is unbelievable.
With the sea in front of you and Mt Etna to the south it is incredible.
It is a beautiful palazzo with plants, terrraces, ceramic planters and flowers all around. The rooms were a good size in comparison to many other European hotels we have stayed in and the beauty in the them is the decor and the trimmings that are unique. You do not feel as if you are staying in a typical hotel. Everything about the rooms were comfortable and truly Sicilian. They are very private, clean and well appointed. The murals on the walls and the large glass doors allow for a beautiful view from anywhere in the room. Our room had a balcony and a huge terrace. It was great after a day of touring to return back to our room and be served coffee and a Sicilian plate on our terrace. The sun shines directly on them so it was soooo relaxing to sit in the lounge chairs and enjoy the view. The location is great. You are on a hill overlooking the town which makes for the spectacular vistas and you are a 10 minute uphill walk from a great mountaintop town called Castelmola. It is a quiet section and you can walk, take a bus, drive or taxi to and from town. It is a perfect starting point for all kinds of day trips. A Sicilian breakfast is served on the terrace each morning. There is no better way to start a day. I cannot put into words how great it is. With the view, the Italian music playing quietly in the background and the assortment of dishes, pastries coffes and teas it is an experience you will not forget. Finally the staff. From the man who parks your car, the front desk staff, the women cooking and cleaning to the owners, in all of our travels we have never been hosted by a more friendly, cordial, accomodating, informative and hospitable group of people than those at the Villa Ducale. They cannot do enough for you and will gladly help you plan any excursions from where to buy shoes to how to best see Mt Etna. I wish I was there right now. Anyone can feel free to e mail me directly with any questions.
We stayed here in Sept. 2003 for part of our honeymoon to Italy. While the view was spectaular, and the breakfast was great, the rooms had something to be desired. The towels in our room were very well worn, and ha stains/discolorations on them. Hair was found in one of the towels. The sheets seemed clean. The room was very small and tight. We had requested a "king" or the "biggest bed available" and we had a bed that consisted of two twin beds pushed together. It was hard for us to find space for luggage and us in our room. There was a lot of traditional decorations in our rooms. There were not enough hangers for our clothing. The view was excellent and had a private "patio" for us to have a picnic on for our evening meal. It is rather far from town, and the walk down the hill is strenuous but can be done (we are near 30 and we were sore the next day) but we could never walk up the mountain (especially with luggage). Taxi fares vary but were around 10-20 euro.
Views excellent but rating is lowered secondary to room size and cleanliness and distance from town.
A lovely little slice of paradise...
Simply Paradise!!! The Hotel Villa Ducale is the finest property we have visited! The Quartucci's and staff continuously strive to provide the necessary time to ensure you feel as if you're part of their family from the moment you arrive at their doorstep. We arrived a few hours early, and without hesitation were catered to with the utmost grace, service and efficiency. The Villa is absolutely beautiful, providing the charm and comfort travelers seek whenever being away from home.
Attention to detail and personal service is exceptional. (Each morning on the terrace, we were pleasantly greeted by staff and amazed to find our favorite morning beverages brought to the table without our asking...just one more reason to stress their commitment to providing the highest quality and personal service to its guests.) The morning's "homemade" Sicilian breakfast buffet was beautifully displayed and always included a variety of different items each day. This was always a treat for us in the morning and a perfect way to start our day in Taormina. We were frequently greeted by Mr. Quartucci during our stay, and Sebastiano and staff were always courteous and pleased to help assist with area information and day tours. The views of Mt. Etna and the Bay are spectacular from both the terrace and the rooms, and in our opinion, are simply impossible to describe in words. You must experience it for yourself. We are looking forward to visiting Taormina and the Hotel Villa Ducale again in the very near future. From the Villa's remarkable style and elegant Sicilian accommodations to its impeccable service, it is truly heaven. So, if you're planning to visit the Taormina area, we highly recommend that you treat yourself to experience this lovely little slice of paradise...The Hotel Villa Ducale.
My wife and I had decided to make Taormina one of our stops on our european honeymoon. After a lot of research, Hotel Villa Ducale seemed to be the best pick for our stay ... We had an absolute wonderful time. The hotel had a romantic and relaxing atmosphere, which made it a perfect place to spend a honeymoon , we couldn't have asked for a better place to stay ! . The finest aspect of the hotel was its amazing view of the Bay of Taormina and Mount Etna. Our room had a terrace with a panoramic view that was absolutely breathtaking . The rooms were very clean and elegant . The staff at the Ducale was first class, upon arriving they brought my wife and I a bottle of champaigne and snacks, which we enjoyed on the balcony of our room. It is located in the upper part of Taormina, which is more laidback and relaxing than the centre of town ; however, if you enjoy the nightlife, it is only a 5 minute taxi ride away (approximately ten Euro per ride). They had a shuttle van that would drive you down to the centre and to the beach, but walking takes about ten minutes . What really makes this place is the staff which without exception were fantastic. We have already booked up to go back next year and look forward to seeing Andrea and Rosaria again! If your looking for a place to stay in Taormina, do not overlook Hotel Villa Ducale . I would recommend this hotel to everyone who doesn't want to overpay the expensive Taormina
The perfect vacation...
We arrived in Catania in the early afternoon tired, nervous about being in a new place where we didn't speak the language and feeling pressured that spending all this money might turn out to be frivilous and irresponsible. What if we don't meet our vacation goals! Luckily, we met Allessandro, who was sent from Hotel Villa Ducale, to take us to the Hotel in Taormina. From that moment on, it was effortless and wonderful. We arrived at the Hotel to the open arms of Sebastiano (The Manager). He immediately greeted us, sent our bags to our room, and sat us on the Terrace for a refreshment. I have never seen such a beautiful view. This family owned villa has approximately 13 rooms for quests and each room overlooks the Ionian Sea (The Bay of Naxos) and Mt. Etna. The small, beautiful village of Taormina is stretched out below. That alone is a reason to stay here but there is more...Every member of the staff at this establishment made us feel at home. We were comfortable and it felt like they enjoyed us being there. They were open and naturally warm to all of the quests.Francesca is one of the best cooks I ever met (she prepares the morning breakfast that is unbelievably good). Rosario (the night manager) sweetly corrected my weak Italian phrases each evening and we always felt safe and secure. So as not to embarrass myself by butchering the spelling of everyone else's name, I will say that each person at Villa Ducale was available, resourceful, talented, professional and special.The location of the Hotel was perfect for us because we walked into town (down the stairs) each day (and back up) and, when we were dressed for dinner in the evening, we took the bus down which was very inexpensive and convenient. Since it isn't in the "center" of everything, it really feels like a getaway - a retreat.We're going back. No doubt about it.P.S. We had the pleasure of meeting the owner, Andrea, one evening. Thank you to him for sharing his village and home with us.
Worst management I've ever encountered
This hotel did not honor our reservation--we spent one night there, but as they had overbooked the hotel and the couple coming in the next day was on a honeymoon, the management essentially threw us out (even though we had our written confirmation in hand). In many years of travel I have never been so rudely treated. The management did virtually nothing to assist us or ameliorate the state that we found ourselves in (we ended up leaving Taorimina and moving on to Siracusa which was our next stop)--they did not try to obtain local lodging of similar character nor did they refund/discount the charge from the prior night. While indeed this was just a "screw-up", the handling of this problem by the management was totally incompetant. Only fascinating Mt Etna saved this part of the trip! Don't miss it.
Same as those other reviewers, I liked the Villa Ducale very much for the views, room, and very friendly staffs. However, there were one thing I was not happy about. Though staffs helped us a lot and they are very nice, but the owner was not friendly at all to us Asian. He was very nice to European or American guests, but not for us Asian. I felt uncomfortable for his "look" about us several times, and knew he was not happy to have us Asian in his hotel. It was a pity. Other than that, I loved the hotel very much. So, if the owner will be happy to have us Asian as guests, I sure would like to go back there someday again.
Forever in love with Villa Ducale and Taormina
My wife and I have been to the Hotel Villa Ducale in Taormina twice now , I figured I would pass along our wonderful experience of the hotel . Once you visit Taormina and the charming Villa Ducale , you will spend the rest of your life trying to go back . If your ideal vacation is filled with walking tours , afternoons by panoramic terrace , strolling to dinner , open air restaurants and people watching - this is a place you will never get tired of . The town is so so nice : there is never a crowd . Time seems to slow as soon as you arrive . Every room in Villa Ducale has an ocean and Mount Etna view ant the waves sooth you to sleep as the breeze keeps you cool in bed . There is plenty of great shops and local artists who sell their art and visit with you .You will walk everywhere or climb stairs . Directions consist mostly of up and down the mountain . Walking the stairs and seeing the town is much more enjoyable then any gym workout .The centre is car free and all the area and the rest of Sicily are extremely safe . The hotel is just beautiful and the staff very friendly . They will provide anything your heart desires , just ask . The sicilian buffet breakfast and the delicious local snacks in the hotel are wonderful and the bar is well stocked . The sun deck will take your breath away .The view from the rooms can not be explained , there are very few like it in the world , it is just amazing .... there are lounge chairs for those who love the sun and umbrellas provide shade for those who don't . By american standards perhaps the rooms are a little small but so so lovely . Not to worry , you will spend little time in your room . Everything is very clean . We kept the windows open the entire stay (but air-con works perfectly) and never saw one insect . The hotel itself is very interesting : a true sicilian house with only very few rooms with intimate but lively atmosphere , filled with local art and artifacts from the area . The reception desk will give you a printed guide in English to follow as you stroll through the hotel . If you ever do feel the need to leave , the hotel staff can plan day trips and guided tours that will get you out of Taormina and see greek roman temples and ruins , medieval little villages , islands and unspoiled and very safe countryside (Etna and Syracusa not to be missed !) . In one of the other reviews they wrote that it is a place that you will try to get back to for the rest of your life , they couldn't be more correct . We have been lucky enough to go twice and hopefully a third time isn't too far away !!! This is a vacation of relaxation , peace and calm . You will find no other place in the world that captures this as well as Villa Ducale in Taormina , Sicily , Italy .
Stay Here - it's fabulous
I stayed at the Villa Ducale with a friend for four days in June 2003. I've never been in a lovelier place, or had a better time. The hotel itself is gorgeous, flowers everywhiere, views of Mt. Etna and the sea, beautiful furnishings and appointments, and terrific food.But the greatest thing is the service. The hotel bills itself as personal and like a family. It's absolutely true. Everyone, from the concierge to the maids, were friendly, personal, and caring. It's really a wonderful place.
Villa Ducale a most special place
From the moment of arrival throughout our five day stay at the Villa Ducale we were transformed to the beauty and majesty of a majical spot atop the mountain in Taormina. The views were unparalleled as we enjoyed local Sicilian wines from the garden trerrace and our balcony which overlooks mount Etna and the beautiful coastline.The intimacy of Villa Ducale provided for a second honeymoon. The experienced staff was helpful throughout our stay and the morning breakfast on the terrace started each day with a most special touch of style and grace. The shuttle service to the resort beach area allowed us to leave our car in the lot and enjoy the shoreline in a beautiful little cove.We walked down to the town in the evenings and enjoyed a varieety of food and shopping. Andreo, the owner of Villa Ducale provided us with information on the best spots and places to find "down home" Sicilian cooking.An evening concert in the ancient Greek ampitheater which was just a 10 minute walk away from the hotel was breathtaking. We enjoyed an evening of wine tasting and local foods which were delicious at Villa Ducale before the show.We have travelled the world but found a true gem in the Villa Ducale. The owner, the staff and most especoially the spot on the mountain made our stay very special. We will return very soon!