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Taormina: Hotel Villa Ducale

Via Leonardo da Vinci, 60, Phone: 0942.28.153

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Reviewed by: Deborah Y from UK, review #2760

When: November 2009

Charming Boutique Hotel With Great Views!

Beautiful view of Giardini Naxos bay from Villa Ducale!, photo by Deborah Young

I am a profoundly deaf solo traveler and stayed at the lovely family run boutique 4 star Hotel Villa Ducale AGAIN this year for 4 nights recently! When I arrived the first evening, I was welcomed with open arms by Antonio, Alessia and Santina, who provided me with a glass of Sicilian wine, and treated me like a member of their family in a home away from home!

Afterward, Antonio took me to a ‘honeymoon’ type suite deluxe with ornate interiors in Room 4. I felt like a Royal Highness and I enjoyed my experience in that suite! I went to bed very late about 1.40am, because I was so excited! It has the homey lounge, large bedroom, a spacious en-suite and a balcony with a view of the lovely bay.

The next day, it was lovely to meet Francesca the hotel breakfast waitress again. She always looked after me and the other guests first class by making sure our breakfasts were OK! I enjoyed my breakfast on the terrace with the breathtaking views of Mount Etna, Taormina, Giardini Naxos Bay, Mediterranean Sea and sky again! Best view number one in Taormina from Villa Ducale, especially at sunset from the cocktail bar!

That hotel is really beautiful with lots of pretty flowers around and in a peaceful location for those who want to get away from the crowd! It provides a free frequent shuttle to and from Taormina town and the beaches, also it has 2 bus stops nearby to get buses down to Taormina, or up to the ‘fairy tale’ mountain village of Castelmola!

OR you would be able to walk down from the hotel to Taormina town via the public pathway where you would enjoy the panoramic views on foot like I did. It should take you about 10 to 15 minutes if you walk straight down. There is some seating and lampposts for the dark hours.

Later on, it was great to meet the hotel owner Andrea again! As agreed, they moved me to another room due to their fully booked status. I would advise you to book your hotel room well in advance – Villa Ducale is a very popular hotel in Taormina!!

Room 15 is a standard room with the elegant Sicilian character interiors and has a good size en-suite with a white bathroom set – spotlessly cleaned by the regular friendly cleaner! It is much better than any boring plain rooms at the many big hotel chains worldwide!

In the evening I met Luca for the first time and we had some nice chats! He and Santina were very good at entertaining everyone with their sense of humour, including myself, as well as they were serving us the meals at that hotel’s restaurant!

All the attentive multi-tasking staff were able to do the reception job, porter job, cooking and serving the meals, etc. during their shifts!! They were so amazing keeping smiling when they were busy! And the day before my departure day, Antonio offered to book any transport to take me back to the airport. I told him that I chose the bus for going back there. He suggested that he could book me for a free shuttle where the driver could take me to Taormina Bus Terminal beyond the usual drop off point where I would be able to get a bus to the airport from there!

I must say that Alessia and Antonio looked after me so well during my stay – big thanks to them!

During my last evening, I enjoyed Villa Ducale's delicious home-made sarde Beccafica (Anchovies style).

I really had a fantastic time there, as well as visiting Taormina, picturesque Isola Bella beach and Giardini Naxos beach! I feel sure you would want to go back to that hotel after your first stay! I would love to go back there from time to time!

Hotel Villa Ducale just won the Conde Nast Award for the most romantic hotel in Europe 2010! I am really pleased about this, because Andrea, Rosaria and all the attentive staff deserved it!!

Reviewed by: Deborah Y from UK, review #2677

When: June - July 2009


I am a profoundly deaf traveller and I stayed at the problem-free family run boutique 4 star Hotel Villa Ducale for seven nights recently.

On the first day I arrived there, friendly Antonio made me feel very welcome, and he wrote down lots of information on Taormina and the tours, etc. for me! He showed me around Room 10 – “WOW” – it was a lovely room with the character Sicilian interiors and the 2 balconies!! I got a lovely bunch of flowers and a bottle of wine from the hotel management and staff! Great for my belated 50th birthday presents!! I loved that room number 10!!

That hotel is really beautiful with lots of flowers around and great location with the view of Taormina, Mount Etna and the sea!! Much better than many big hotel chains worldwide! That hotel has 2 bus stops nearby where we can get the buses down to Taormina, or up to Castelmola (beautiful village!!) also they do provide the free shuttle to, and from Taormina town and the beaches! Nearly every evening, I walked to the nearest Ristorante Al Saraceno – I loved it, because it has an outdoor restaurant with the splendid view of Castelmola, Mount Etna, Taormina and the sea from the sunset to night!! Very romantic!!

Lovely Alessia also made me feel special! I guess she looked after my room e.g., making my bed ready for sleeping in, cleaning the cups and saucers, etc. during some evenings on her shifts! If she did – big thanks to her! She also helped me with booking the Sunset Mount Etna Tour by telephone for me with many thanks! I really enjoyed that tour – it was awesome and great fun!!

Friendly Paolo was also very helpful to me – I was grateful to him!

I also met the hotel owners Andrea and his wife Rosaria Quartucci – it was good to meet them! I was surprised when Andrea used some sign language in gesture! He always asked me how I was, every time I saw him!

Lovely Francesca the hotel breakfast waitress looked after me so well by making sure my breakfast was OK! The other hotel staff gave me the friendly atmosphere, as well!

I feel all of them are deaf aware, and they were so generous!

I really had fantastic holidays there! I am thinking of going back to the same room number 10 at Villa Ducale on my next Taormina vacation! I would look forward to seeing my old friends (hotel staff) again! I feel sure you would love that hotel!

Reviewed by: Random from NJ, review #2663

When: July 2009

Fantastic Hotel and staff! {4 stars}

This hotel was lovely. The view was spectacular, and the service was perfect from the moment we arrived - they sat us down and offered wine and soft drinks with appetizers while they brought our luggage to the room.

There were orchid petals on the beds and a spray of orchids in a vase. The beds were comfortable; the linens were fresh and beautiful. We had a private balcony with a view of the bay and Mount Etna. The staff was so attentive and caring, they even looked up relatives for me on the internet when they found out I was part Sicilian.

The Hotel is located above the town so we walked down a staircase which was a hike but good for the legs! At night we took the shuttle bus back. (It is available in both directions but we chose to walk.) They also arranged for us to go to a private beach club during the day and it was worth it.

The breakfast was wonderful and abundant with pastries cakes, meats, cheeses, eggs, bacon, fresh squeezed juice, etc., etc.

Reviewed by: Ginda Simpson from Italy, review #1004

When: October 2003

Warm Sicilian hospitality in a charming inn overlooking the bay and Mt. Etna. Villa Ducale's interior is as beautiful as the views from its terrace.

View from Villa Ducale terrace, photo by Ginda Simpson

To end a perfect day, or enhance the pleasures of a longer visit, I highly recommend a stay at the Hotel Villa Ducale, where Sicilian hospitality reigns. Andrea and Rosaria Quartucci are dedicated to making their guests feel at home in what was once their private family dwelling, now lovingly converted into an elegant inn painstakingly decorated by local artisans to recreate and showcase Sicilian interior design at its best.

The terrace where breakfast and afternoon aperitifs are served has an unobstructed view of the Ionian Sea and Mt. Etna. Andrea is present to greet and assist his guests offering advice and suggestions on all aspects of their stay in Taormina. He exhibited a gentle kindness to me and to my elderly parents, as did his staff. Reservations are a must as Villa Ducale’s reputation for excellence is growing.

Reviewed by: Diana from VA, review #682

When: June 2004

When you visit Taormina, do not pass up an opportunity to stay at Villa Ducale – or you will miss an exciting and most enjoyable travel experience.

Hotel Villa Ducale is not only our favorite hotel in Sicily, but in all of Italy. The views of the Bay of Naxos and Mt. Etna from the terrace are stunning, the rooms are comfortable with beautifully hand-painted oranges and lemons on the walls, the breakfasts are inviting and delicious, and the service is impeccable.

After a trip to the beach or a day of sightseeing, a dip in the hotel’s hot tub is a welcome treat. The staff is extremely friendly, helpful, and professional. At the end of our first visit, our new friendships were our most treasured souvenir. We have been fortunate to stay at the Hotel Villa Ducale on three occasions and hope to return many more times.

Reviewed by: Gail Pearce from US, review #561

When: April 2004

Villa Ducale Gets Better All The Time!

Villa Ducale has been our favorite small hotel in the world for several years. We were smitten from Trip One, for so many reasons… the hotel itself (a restored aristocratic villa); the location (a perfectly gorgeous situation, perched on a cliff high above the Med, offering stunning views of the sea and Mt. Etna, yet a mere 15 minute walk down into Taormina); the accommodations (which exude Sicilian charm in spades – terra cotta floors, wrought iron details, handsome antique furnishings, hand-painted ceramics and fresh flowers – as well as every modern creature comfort and boutique amenities); charming common areas (a lovely lobby which leads to a flowered terrace overlooking the splendid aforementioned view); a sumptuous daily breakfast feast; and a peerless staff (wonderful people who offer the perfect misto of warmth, hospitality and professionalism) … How could it get any better?

Well, we just returned from our fourth visit to Villa Ducale, and this time, we stayed in one of the newly opened “La Duchessina” suites, which are splendid! The suites are situated in a beautifully renovated house (just steps from the original hotel) which is nestled amongst lemon trees and overlooks the Straits of Messina (all suites have private balconies from which to enjoy the splendid view). The suites are spacious and the décor is fabulous, with gorgeous ceramic tile floors, frescoed walls, wonderfully appointed bedrooms and (Jacuzzi) bathrooms, and lovely furnishings throughout.

Just outside the suites, a large Jacuzzi sits nestled amidst the lemon trees; sipping a beverage while relaxing in the hot tub in the late afternoon in such a setting defines heaven! The price is right, too. Villa Ducale has always been a terrific value, and remains so – the new suites are extremely well priced. Now more than ever, I can’t recommend Villa Ducale highly enough!

Reviewed by: Sherry from MN, review #547

When: April 2004

Fantastic new suites, views are ever lasting and a jacuzzi to end a wonderful day! {2 star}

We have been to Villa Ducale before and have had a great time. We returned to stay in their new suites as it is a very enchanting place. All the employees and the owner Andrea are so cordial and helpful with all of our daily plans. The breakfasts are the best we have had in all of Europe and the views that come with breakfast from the veranda are breathtaking, Mount Etna and the entire Naxos coastline. We were so pleased with the new suites. They were decorated with antique Sicilian furniture, and the price was the best for the quality that we could find in Taormina. We will return and highly recommend Villa Ducale to everyone. It is a little bit of heaven, and so is Taormina. We give Villa Ducale five stars.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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