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All reviewsvilla sonialovely hotelmount etnathe buspool areaamazing viewspizzasun loungersthe air conditioninglarge terraceantique furniturecroissantsevening mealon dutyhire carfree shuttle servicestaff are very friendly and helpful
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Reviewed 12 June 2018

This is a great hotel if you want a quiet place with fantastic views and are willing to drive up the mountain. Castelmola is located directly above Taormina and to get to the hotel, you need to drive about 15 minutes up very narrow, twisty roads with a lot of switchbacks, some bus traffic, and many motorcyclists trying to pass you. I found the drive pretty terrifying and we parked the car and didn't take it out again until we left. Parking was 7 euros per day in the hotel's lot.

Thankfully, the hotel has a shuttle that goes down to Taormina and back a few times a day, which we used and were happy with. There is also a local bus going up and down the mountain, which we did not use, but the hotel gave us information about it. Castelmola itself is very quaint and sleepy, with a handful of restaurants and a few bars.

The view from our room was spectacular: a direct view of Etna with a little balcony terrace. The room itself was fairly small but fine, and given that there was a pool with views of Etna, we didn't spend a lot of time there. The pool and terrace were lovely and very relaxing.

Breakfast was quite extensive, with fresh bread, pastries, yogurt, eggs, and some hot meat items. The hotel wasn't full, but they didn't run out of anything and were good about replenishing the buffet. There is a hotel bar and restaurant that seemed to close around 10 pm.

The hotel is a bit strangely decorated (for some reason, there are old confessionals in the stairways) but it was comfortable overall. The hotel advertised treks around the Etna area, which we didn't do, but it seemed like they would have helped coordinate, since the staff were very friendly and spoke good English. For us, it was great to return to Castelmola after being in the chaos of Taormina for part of the day, especially since we didn't have to make the drive!

  • Stayed: June 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank ameliatd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 June 2018 via mobile

Incredible view from everywhere in the hotel, that is what you pay for and only that. It was a fantastic way to end our 2 weeks road trip in Sicily. But if you take away the view, the hotel is not that good: outdated (especially the rooms), swimming pool closes at 6:30pm sharp and we got kicked out in a rude way. We didn’t have swimming pool closing so early in any other places we stayed! The service is not very friendly, ordering something felt like they were giving us a favor... our large terras from our room was fantastic but impossible to stay in the afternoon cause too hot, nothing to protect from the sun!

Stayed: June 2018, travelled as a couple
1  Thank ChrisyNL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 May 2018 via mobile

What a find. The views from the superior rooms look over rocky crags and gorges right to Etna from this village high on the mountain top above Taormina.
Frankly, swimming in the lovely pool towards a volcano above a breathtaking gorge must be one of the best sights in the world.
The Hotel is big, a typically old Italian Grand Villa. It is spotlessly clean and the staff can be proud of their welcoming, helpful and friendly approach (there are not a huge number of staff and they multi-task so even more impressive).
The rooms are meticulously cleaned every day and although basic the breakfast will keep you well fuelled for the day ahead.
Castelmola itself is a typically Italian tiny village with super trattorias and breathtaking views down to Taormina and the bays below. San Gorgio is an excellent cafe on the village square, owned by a relative of the Hotel Sonia owner so you get a 10% discount off their excellently crisp and filling pizzas (they also do takeaway if you ask!).
The hourly bus from Taormina to Castelmola stops right outside the hotel. Sadly there is no bus or shuttle before 9am or after 9pm so it is difficult to get down to join Sicilian excursions which leave by 8am unless you get a taxi (these are expensive - you know why!!).
The Hotel serves delucious lunches and the bar is open all day to provide all kinds of drinks.
Much of the wine is local and worth a try.
Reception staff are welcoming, efficient and helpful and speak several languages.
I last visited Sicily 25 years ago. It was not very clean, little English was spoken and the locals were not particularly friendly or hospitable.
Now in 2018 the transformation is unbelievable. A clean, friendly, efficient and 100% fantastic experience.
We thank everybody at Villa Sonia and Castelmola for the most wonderful holiday. We will definitely recommend and return one day, god willing.
Bravissimo!

Stayed: May 2018, travelled as a couple
3  Thank Colin G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 May 2018 via mobile

Very pretty quirky hotel. Lovely views if you opt for the mountain side. We didn’t and unfortunately overlooked the road and car park.

Great shuttle service (free 3 times a day) and local bus hourly into Taormina. Castelmola in my opinion was a much nicer, quieter place to stay, but still super easy to get into Taormina.

Pool area nice, shame it shuts at 6 pm though. We were promptly turfed out on the dot!

Breakfast a good selection for Italy with a couple of hot items which was nice. Not replenished however when things run out, they are gone, so get there early!

Our stay was completely ruined by the stifling temperatures experienced in the room (we were not the only ones! Many people complaining). This meant no sleep, a basic requirement in a hotel! Let alone a 4 star one! Had we not prepaid we would have moved hotel. It was unbearable. The worst thing about this was that we were constantly lied to that they were ‘looking into it’, that they would turn it on ‘their end’. Eventually at 4 pm on our last day a different frustrated receptionist told us that the manager will not allow him to turn on the aircon until 1st June, despite the temperatures in our room being 27-28 degrees at night! Terrible. After this we did not want to spend any money here and had dinner in town instead of at the hotel.

I would not recommend staying in this hotel without aircon. Check first! If things had been different I would have given a higher rating!

Stayed: May 2018, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Becaman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 May 2018 via mobile

Villa Sonia is a delightful hotel with breathtaking views over the valley and the Etna vulcano. The staff is very friendly and helpful and they have a good restaurant too. The best rooms are at front of the hotel, we were on the side nevertheless the room was spacious and very clean

Stayed: May 2018, travelled as a couple
Thank anna s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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