In Guest reviews

Wow! a beautiful hotel in a lovely park with a fantastic pool and a great restaurant.

Wow! outstanding service with attentive staff.

Almost Wow! The classic rooms are quite basic, next time we go we will opt for the romantic rooms or a suite.

Just returned from a 6 night break with my wife and our close friends (another couple). The hotel exceeded our expectations and although we were a little disappointed in the room we are already discussing a return trip.

Rooms – we had a classic room, this is a single roomed cottage with a gallery bed. Access to the bed was via a steep staircase. Air conditioning is excellent although it does tend to be quite warm on the bed level. The bathroom was small but the shower excellent. All the usual amenities – hairdryer, TV, minibar etc. The rooms are cleaned daily and towels replaced.

Pool – one of the best, if not the best pool area, I have ever been to in all my travels. It’s massive, set in a paved area in the park with bushes and lawns surrounding the whole area. The loungers are wood and cushioned under a parasol and yellow fluffy towels are provided. There’s no need to reserve beds as there are easily enough for every guest. If you prefer the beach the hotel has a private section about 3 minutes walk away – there is a small charge (I think 13 euros for 2 loungers and a parasol per day).

Restaurants – Breakfast and Dinner are served in a lovely tented courtyard within the old castle area. The breakfast was very substantial with enough choices to satisfy all palates. I’m a vegetarian and had no problems. Dinner was sumptuous (try the ravioli). Igor (The maitre D – who is Sicilian despite his name) was both courteous and friendly – suggesting dishes or changes to accommodate our individual tastes.

Lunch is served at the poolside and has some great choices. It was our favourite meal of the day – try the white wine produced on the hotel’s estate. Drinks can also be ordered and brought to your lounger – always a sign of a quality hotel.

From 6pm to 8.30 they provide pre-dinner drinks and canapés in a lovely pergola with sofas and candlelight.

Service – faultless – the staff were outstanding, for example I had been a dinner venue for some mosquitoes (I was the only one in our party) and Arianna arranged for one of the receptionists to visit a pharmacy to buy cream and sprays for me. The front desk of Arianne, Elizabeth and Simone provided a first class service and nothing was too much bother for them. The other stars of their staff are Paolo who seems to single handedly run the wine bar; lunch; pool side service and the evening cocktails – he went out of his way to make us fell really special; and Elena and Carmela the waitresses who always greeted us with a smile.

Pros: Great Service; fantastic pool; lovely food and wine, beautiful location, outstanding staff

Cons: a taxi to Taormina costs 30 euros each, There is a bus 4 times a day which is 2 euros. If you have a car then this ought not to be an issue. The hotel should introduce a shuttle service.

The wine bar closes at 11.30 pm – this is a little frustrating as we often returned from Taormina after midnight and would have liked somewhere to sit and have a drink.

The classic rooms are not as well appointed as others but don’t let this put you off going there – you’ll spend most of your day by the pool / on the beach.

Some Tips
Restaurants
Nero D’Avola – in an alley way just inside Taormina’s Catania Gate – our best meal of the trip

La Botta – a great Trattoria – full of tourists and locals – great Sicilan food and wine

The hotel can arrange a taxi from Catania Airport for 90 euros but I used www.Taxi-airport-transfers.com and arranged the same trip for 65 euros each way

The hotel arranged a great trip to the godfather villages – we had a personal driver (Enzio) who made up the itinerary to suit us.

 

LINK: https://www.tripadvisor.it/ShowUserReviews-g672076-d576397-r71887307-Castello_di_San_Marco_Charming_Hotel_SPA-Calatabiano_Province_of_Catania_Sicily.html#CHECK_RATES_CONT

 

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