Hotel Villa Riis
Travel Blogs from Taormina
... claim the tax back when you leave, similar to non Australians claiming the GST back before they leave Australia. Sue was interested in a ring, but decided the matte finish was not for her, so it stayed there, our bank balance better off! Other then the shops, the star attraction here is the Outdoor Greek theatre which dates back to around 500 AD. Hopefully the photos do it justice as it is stunning. It is still a working theatre, in fact Simple ...
... about doing a "tour" around Palermo for a few Euro! After some bartering, we decided to take an "alternative" tour of the sights of Palermo. Wow, what a tour, down very narrow streets, which we had no idea where we were...could have been off to an organ donation centre! Saw a few markets, including seafood, meat, goods etc. The churches were a surprise. You can see the Arabic influence in the city and churches, some of the design and work was stunning. The opera house is ...
... 5.5 million people in Sicily, and most of them appear to live near the ocean, similar to back home. Inland is fairly sparse and unorganised, with lots of unfinished building and "rubbish" lying around. But every now and then you find a couple of gems. One place we went to was an old fort type building, the courtyard set up for a wedding. The town itself had a long beach (pebbles), and was clean and tidy with wide streets. This is when we first noticed ...
... a working passenger train for all the towns around the mountain. Eventually we got to Catania, the end of the line. We caught a normal train back to our where we thought our car was, but it was one station away from where we needed to be. A local couple rescued us and took Neil and I to our car and showed us the way back, which we would never have found, probably stranding the girls back at ...
In the theatre, actors are warned to never work with children and animals. Here's some similar advice for cruising, never visit Messina on a Sunday. Messina is a very religious city and not the largest of cities, so on Sunday there's not a lot open. Just as well there are plenty of things to see in Messina.
We spent the morning ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews Hotel Villa Riis Taormina
Not value for money
the location was spot on the room tiny and unfinished when you read there own infomation you will see the bathrooms are all refurbished in marble not i could have done better my self the breakfast was typical hotel apart from powdered juice the bar was never open the staff were friendly a1 view from balcony though fantastic location and resort we had to move rooms after one night as the shower gave up the ghost on the hole cleanliness was ok i will go back to the resort but not to this hotel i dont know how it got a 4 star rating more like 2 stars
The Hotel is perfectly located and central for bars, restaurants and shops.
If you want the beach its a 15 min walk to the cable car which takes you down. The hotel is charming and extremely well decorated and maintained. It's oozes a relaxing feeling and the pool area is quiet and not overcrowded. The pool bar was only open on the odd day when enough people were sitting around but that wasn't an issue for us. What we didn't like was the loud music which the barman turned down once asked on the days he was there.
The rooms are small and compact but are well decorated and all have an excellent view and balcony of the valley. The bathrooms were clean and again well decorated.
Breakfast was the only meal on offer at the hotel and it was simple. Bread cheese, Ham, Fruit, yogurts and pastries were on offer.
My only critism is nothing to do with the hotel but the resort generally. There are many restaurants but they all offer the same menu which became repatitive after two weeks. Its the tourist menu basically which isn't great. Locals seem to eat much better with not a menu in view. Be aware of local dishes/specialities especially fish and ask for them.
You will have a wonderfu holiday here.
If you have been to Sorrento its similar.
After having read the other reviews of this hotel on tripadvisor we very nearly changed our booking to another hotel in Taormina. Being unable to find anything last minute we decided to stick with what we had and I have to say I am so glad that we did.
The breakfast, whilst admittedly they do have powdered fruit juice and a coffee machine, was infinitely superior to hotels we had stayed in the previous week in Venice and Rome.
We had a superior, sea-facing room - the view from the balcony was wonderful, the room was of a decent size and nicely furnished and decorated. In my opinion the location of this hotel in Taormina cannot be beaten - peaceful yet central - a 100m walk to restaurants and shops. The pool area was peaceful and pleasant and the staff were friendly, cheerful and helpful.
A four star view with one star service
its our last day here and frustration takes me to an internet cafe to write about this place. Beautiful view and what could be a great hotel but they are so penny pinching - breakfast is poor with powdered juice essence mixed with water (I kid you not) and apart from that there really is no service. No diet coke or fresh juices in the bar, our phone still does not work one week after arriving and I think they wont spend the money to get it fixed. - Our air con leaked for five days and I mean leaked - towels everywhere - but the hotel owner offered only a smaller room and the rooms arent that big to begin with. Apparently the workmen are on holiday so cannot come to fix anything. The only star was the barman who has a warm personality and is approachable. The family who own the hotel spend the day giving loud orders to the staff and one feels that we are intruding in their private home! However, Taormina is a beautiful place and I would definitely come back here again ' just to a different hotel.
What a disappointment!
Hotel Ville Riis is a disappointment! A huge one! The hotel has been renovated, but not completely and the result is simply terrible. The garden and surroundigns of the hotel, especially at the pool area, could be so lovely if the owner had spent some money on flowers and plants. In stead most of it is concrete...
I will not even describe the facilities for playing tennis, only add a deep sigh!
The breakfast buffet is also terrible - extremely cafeteria like. Afterwards the restaurant is closed and gates locked with huge chains.
The same goes for the pool bar. The gates are also locked with chains and at the staffs convenience one of them comes down to the pool area and takes our order. At their convenience... Simply unacceptable!
The front office staff is rude, unattentive and offers a minimum of service and assistance!
Only the view from the balcony and the location brought a smile to our face while we stayed at that hotel.
Lovely convenient situation
Visited in June 2004 for 1 week. Loved Taormina and, on the whole, were happy with the hotel. The good bits were the aspect from our room, the quite reasonable comfort and cleanliness, and excellent, quiet position for reaching the town. The downsides were the breakfast and the front desk staff attitude - these were definitely worthy only of say 2 stars ! Pity - because with a bit of effort (and some investment) it could be made into a much better hotel in keeping with its great location. Above average score overall simply on the basis of position (and the pool with the birds singing all morning!) - the rest is neutral.
Quite good - eventually!
My wife and I stayed here in September 2004 after a very pleasant week in Lipari.The hotel is under relatively new ownership and changes have been made but we cannot understand how it has reopened ( after a 12 month closure for the refurbishment) to a 4 star rating from its previous 3.
We changed rooms 3 times in the first 2 days and ended up with quite a good room but the whole process tried our patience. The first 2 rooms left a lot to be desired and I doubt that they had been redecorated.
The staff on the whole were quite good, with the exception of the young lady on reception who was clearly a square peg in a round hole and her attitude showed!
Breakfast is only average but the whole place was short staffed which did not help.
The hotel has so much potential and its position is great, situated in a quiet position just outside the main pedestrian street and only 2 minutes from restaurants and bars. It does not have a restaurant of its own which is no problem since Taormina has such a large choice.
Taormina is a lovely town but prices are high - prices on Lipari, where they have to bring everything in by ship, including drinking water were much cheaper!
After reading the wonderful reviews on Tripadvisor, my partner and I were so exited at the prospect of spending a week at Villa Riis, but we were very disappointed.
I would have to agree on the great location, the fantastic views and the lovely pool, and could even add that the beds were extremely comfortable. Except for the woman on reception, who wasn't particularly helpful, the staff was friendly and welcoming.
This place has so much potential but it certainly isn't a 4 star hotel; breakfast wasn't great (the juices were disgusting and I couldn't believe that coffee was provided from a vending machine!), the swimming pool dripped into the gym located below, the dead flowers at the reception desk remained there for the whole week (why bother?) and we were woken up at 8am on a Sunday because they needed to repair the lift (at 8:00 am?!).
These might seem like details, but my point is that this place doesn't deserve the ratings/stars it currently has. We won't go back there and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.
Breath taking views !!
The most wonderful location I have ever stayed at. If you are planning to stay here you must get a sea view room. Its more expensive but worth every single cent. The views from the room (which was wonderful too) were just spectacular. Our room faced out over the bay of Naxos with mt Etna in the distance to the right.. The staff in the hotel are relly nice, especially Guissippe. Taormina is a beautiful town. Stay in Villa Riis and you will have wonderful memories to cherish. I only wish I was going back tomorrow. Enjoy !!
I had the fortune of staying here for a week with my partner in July 2004. The hotel was excellent. Perfect location just outside the medieval walls of Taormina, but away from the surrounding road noise. The rooms are exquisite and the gym is fantastic. The pool was also lovely. Above all the staff bent over backwards to help and made our stay very special. I intend to return to The Villa Riis, and would have no problem recommending it to anyone thinking of a stay in Taormina.