I have been involved in the hospitality business for most of my 40+ year busienss career. My wife and I have travelled all over the world normally staying at 5 star properties. Hotel Villa Ducale Taormina is a first class property with spectacular views, lovely quiet public areas and an unbeatable ambience. However what makes the property more than special is the staff and the concerned service and assistance they provide. When we checked in we met with Mr Ferrari who I believe is the general manager. He told us that the property was formerly the home of the owner who converted it to a hotel and their goal was to make us feel at home. He did that and more. Not only did he help us with suggestions as to what to see and do in Taormina, he gave us great guidance for things to do in Sircacusa (our next stop) and suggested one of the finest restaurants we have even been to in Italy (Duomo in Regusa). Other staff members also did their best to assist in any way they could. For a small property, the choices of the breakfast buffet were more than at most large hotels. More importantly, all of the pastries and the hot dishes appear to be home made and definitely look and tasted like they were. Before diner, cocktails and hors d'oeuvres are served in a lovely and gracious manner. They also have their own private restaurant and the one error that we made was not eating there. This is not a property for someone who wants large 5 star rooms and formal public areas. It is a property for someone who wants a special ambience with privacy and an understated elegance.