Delightful stay at the Villa Belvedere
We stayed at this hotel for three days in early November 2004 and loved it for its location, cleanliness, views, and staff. The staff was refined and gracious, telephoned our rental car company for us, and also let us keep our suitcases at the hotel even after checkout while we went off to visit the Aeolian islands for a few days. Breakfasts were excellent, consisting of a number of breads, two kinds of cheese, a variety of yogurts, prunes, and the sweetest fresh pears we have ever tasted! The coffee was also good (unlike some hotels where we stayed in Sicily.) The pool area was also charming and the pool very refreshing after a day of walking. Finally, best of all was our room which, although small, was impeccably clean and sparkling and offered a wonderful view of the sea and Mt. Etna. On the night we arrived, we could see the pinkish streak of lava down the side of the volcano; after that, the clouds obscured the mountain itself. But sometimes early in the morning I would get up, sit on the terrace, and enjoy the peace and the view. We had requested a room on an upper floor with a terrace overlooking the sea and we weren't disappointed!
view and service make up for mediocre rooms
Lovely older hotel a seven minute walk from the Corso, the Villa Belvedere is all about the view. Rooms facing the street are noisy; make sure to request sea view. Ours had a small balcony facing the sea with a view of Mt. Etna. Service is excellent; staff speaks English well. Rooms are on the small side with unattractive furnishings and small bathrooms. But for the price ($150 sea view room with small balcony) this place offers a good deal for this expensive town. Buffet breakfast is underwhelming but served in a lovely room with a view.
Me any my wife stayed at the Belvedere for a first few nights on our honeymoon and we were not dissapointed. It was just what we needed after such an amazing and busy time for us. Very relaxing, chilling out in and out of the pool. The place is covered in tropical flowers forming an oasis around the whole place. We were lucky and got upgraded to the suite which was so good of them. It was massive and I will never forget Villa Belvedere. The staff are very helpful, the place is stopless and the service is first class. I highly recommend this place. Taormina is stunning.
TREMENDOUS FIVE DAYS!
Taormina, Bellagio and the Amalfi Coast are among the most special water locations world-wide. My wife and I (along with our daughter, her hubby and our two grandchildren ages 6 and 9) stayed here for five days in October. The hotel's location is excellent, within 3-5 minutes walking distance to the Corso Umberto or the Gondola which takes you to the beach. The grounds, which include a small pool and magnificent views of Mt. Etna, are beautiful. Our room was small, but included every amenity required, including a small patio. The hotel only serves breakfast (which was good), but there are exceptional restaurants within five minutes walking distance. Our grandkids took great advantage of the pool, along with trips down to the beaches. The staff was exceptional in every respect, which reflected the top-flight attention by management to every detail. Parking is at a great premium in Taormina and the Belvedere is no exception. We had a large van and the hotel's bellmen parked it for us on site and they are wizards in this area. The hotel does not have the cachet of some five star hotels, but you cannot beat it for VALUE!
Fine if you don't mind noise
We'd read virtually rave reviews of the hotel on Tripadvisor prior to booking our holiday and were really looking forward to it as our trip was to celebrate a special occasion in June 04.
Initial impressions were good - attractive exterior and interior with our room being clean and comfortable, although the mattress was quite soft and the bathroom very small. The sea views from the hotel were excellent. We found the staff to be helpful and friendly.
The main problem we had was the noise during the night, both from the road below the hotel with incessant honking of horns through the night, scooters etc and the noise from adjoining rooms.
The walls either side of our room were partitioned only, consequently we heard every time our neighbours flushed the toilet, which was surprisingly loud and enough to wake us during the night. Also woken by loud snoring from one room. I know the hotel cannot be held responsible for guests snoring, but I wouldn't expect to be able to hear it so loudly. Adequete sound proofing would improve this hotel dramatically. It didn't ruin our holiday but we would never stay in this hotel again as we slept badly every night due to the noise.
Quite surprised to hear people commenting favourably on the poolside menu as we found it to be very ordinary, especially when compared to some of the great places to eat in Taormina itself.
Welcoming and friendly!
We arrived in Taormina "on spec" and were worrying that we wouldn't get a room when the Belvedere offered us their last remaining room, which was very small and tucked away, but I guess that'll teach us to book in future!
We found the staff really friendly and helpful, the hotel clean and nicely furnished and the food good.
I would definitely recommend this hotel - no, its not cheap, but then neither is Taormina! But its worth every penny.
We were happy
We spent 2 nights here in March, 2005, just before the tourist season, which begins with Palm Sunday. The hotel had hardly any customers. Best to arrive during the day. You climb and climb up from the autostrada exit, and when you reach town, you will see a bewildering array of hotel signs. This hotel should do a better job of providing exact and specific directions.
However, we enjoyed views over the water down the coast. Breakfast was very good. Common areas were nicely decorated. Il Guardino ( I think) is a very nice restaurant just up the road from the hotel.
Bath had a stall shower that was a bit narrow, and we could have used more surfaces in it on which to place bath items.
I am wondering if anyone has suggestions of a nice (not to crazy expensive) charming place to stay in rural Tuscany? Any great pensions or budget hotels in a quaint town perhaps between Florence and Rome?
RE: Tuscan Countryside
We have a favorite place in Orvieto. It is a farmhouse that is terrific. Check out my Orvieto Travel Page for information.
RE: RE: Tuscan Countryside
Agree with Chiara wholeheartedly. Chianti has lost the Tuscany true character long time ago. It has became an English town, the only ones who go there to visit or to live (if they can afford the price) are the ones whose favorite books are anything written by Frances Mayes.
It's the same as in Sorrento, where the primary spoken language is English.
RE: Tuscan Countryside
Ciao, English spoken here, but Italian is the way of life. My wife and I enjoyed the Villa Belvedere in Colle Val d'Elsa (Colle), just off a main highway, near vineyards below the original town on a hill nearby. Not too tourity, more laid back and just a great small Italian town, noted for it's crystal and the 16th century Palazzo Campana with it's hugh arch entry. Located between Florence and Siena with San Gimignano and Volterra also close by and only two hours to Rome. Bella
RE: RE: Tuscan Countryside
Oh, sorry, but a big ciao to Charles and Nathalie (Ciambella). BTW the website for Hotel Villa Belvedere is: www.villabelvedere.com easypage name. arrivederci.