We arrived in Taormina for a two night stay to end our wedding celebrations in the heart of Taormina. Upon arrival we were greeted by a very friendly chap who quickly whisked our suitcases off whilst escorting us down the steps into the reception. The hotel is a lot further up to Castelmola than I anticipated. Anyway, we were welcomed by another very friendly chap who took us to sit down in the breakfast/lunch/dinner terrace. Now this is a small boutique hotel which has a lot of charm. The inside area had a rustic wooden table which hosts the cakes throughout the day & there is a fireplace with 2 club chairs-very cute. Well, the views on the terrace were nothing short of breathtaking-overlooking the bays & etna. Simply stunning! We were offered a complimentary welcome drink of choice & our host gave us info of the hotel etc. We were told that breakfast was served between 7.30-10.30 (there was if anything, too much choice)! There was also complimentary tea (selection of tea/coffee and a variety of cakes made by the chef at the carlotta ) served at 3pm (this was also fantastic). We were told that the did not have their own chef at the Ducale but the had their own Sicilian cook (whom they called mamma). We personally thought this to be even better. Also, if there something that you fancied that wasn't on the menu, give them a day and they would cook it for you. Only cost would be for special ingredients. You could also use the facilities of the carlotta( which is in town ) or just have dinner there. They also have a free shuttle service in and out of Taormina & to different beaches/lido's ( which I don't think they have advertised well as if people were aware, they'd be more inclined to stay here if the location put them off). Knowing that they have the shuttle service (taxis are 15 euro into Taormina), & how close this is to Castelmola, I would say this is a very good location (especially due to the views). After a second welcome drink(we had our interesting host talking about the area etc for a while), we were shown to our room. This room was very very nice and large but decorated in a rustic but luxury style. Now, the killer of this room was the balcony that had to separate doors opening up onto the balcony which was above the dining area so we woke up to the same stunning views over etna & the bays. We must have had one of a few of the best views in the hotel. We then went back downstairs to find the bathing area and was taken back upstairs, across the road & down some other stairs (not far). We found a very intimate decked area (again with sea views). There were only 4 subbeds but as there was only ever us two there on the 2 days, this was not an issue. The jacuzzi pool was set on 38 degrees which was pretty horrendous when you're boiling hot & need to cool down. We reduced the heat but it only reduced by about half a degree in 3 hours! Thankfully, they had a shower which we could douse ourselves in to cool down. As I said, you are able to use the pool etc facililities of Villa Carlotta. We had tea there which was wonderful. The hotel is very calming and not at all formal. You can just chill here. We had dinner here later in the evening which was very good but not the best I've had in Sicily. This is not meant as a slur as we've had some unbelievable meals (in often the most reasonable restaurants). Having said that, the food prices are pretty on par with a lot of the restaurants and the drinks are reasonable (5 euro for s large glass of prosecco). There is a very personal service here and staff are very attentive. I was very pleased with this hotel as a whole, no complaints.
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