Extract from Andrew Harper’s Hideaway Report magazine:
“The boutique Taormina hotel VILLA DUCALE is run with warmth and personal style by the charming and elegant Rosaria Quartucci. Arriving on a sunny afternoon, we were ushered into the hotel lounge, where we were confronted by startling eagle’s nest views of both Mount Etna and the Mediterranean coastline. Minimal formalities dispensed with, Signora Quartucci explained our many options while in Taormina, including the various beach clubs, the hotel’s regular shutt le bus into town and her favorite restaurants.
The 11 rooms and six suites at the property are divided between the original villa, with west-facing inland views, and an annex across the road, which looks toward Calabria on the Italian mainland. We instantly fell in love with our suite in the annex, since it enjoyed afternoon shade and came with colorful faience tile floors, a large sitting room and a spacious bedroom. Both bedroom and sitting room had vaulted brick ilings and topaz-painted walls adorned with gilt-framed red coral and pearl needlework, a local tradition.
The ample bath was equipped with a Jacuzzi tub, a shower unit with jet sprays, and toiletries from the wonderful organic herbalist Dr. Vranjes in Florence, plus several bottles of locally made cologne. With a long balcony overlooking the Strait of Messina, this was a setting in which to while away the entire day. And the attention to detail was admirable, from fresh flowers to a fruit bowl, a bottle of Prosecco on ice and a complimentary minibar stocked with snacks and Sicilianmade beverages, including liqueurs in chocolate, lemon, pistachio and mandarin flavors. After a light lunch of Penne alla Norma- pasta with eggplant, a Sicilian specialty — that was pleasant if not exactly life-changing, we very happily spent the sweltering afternoon relaxing in our suite. The Hotel Villa Ducale has no pool, only an outdoor Jacuzzi, and there is no spa or fitness room. However, it was a consistent pleasure to stroll down to town each evening, a 25-minute walk with glorious views, and to return after dinner by way of the complimentary shuttle. Intimate, personal and stylish, this hotel is ideal for those who prefer smaller hideaways and who like to be at arm’s length from the madding crowds in a frequently busy destination.”
TAORMINA HOTEL HOTEL VILLA DUCALE
Double Superior Room, $455; Suite Deluxe, $535.
Via Leonardo da Vinci 60, Taormina. Tel. (39) 0942-28-153.
Article source: http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/a944b56e