Unique, sumptuous, great food & location - just magical. We loves its history, its "personality " & its dining experience.
Paul thinks that Italy is one of the world's most stylish countries (don't we all!), Taormina is certainly one of Italy's most stylish resorts and the San Domenico Palace is one of the most unique and stylish hotels in Taormina - therefore, by default, the World!! Views from it are breathtaking, with a wonderful panorama of Mount Etna, the sea and Taormina's Greco-Roman theatre.
The world-famous Hotel San Domenico Palace is full of history and character, not perfect, as modern five-star hotels go, but with a quirky sense of history, which is really very appealing. Only invited guests are allowed inside, so it has a comfortable feeling of exclusivity and luxury. It is a hotel with atmosphere, because of the incredible building and a gracious style, so typical of the best historic hotels. Easy to see how it could become an old friend, a place to retreat to, the service is impeccable and professional, but has personality. Its countless awards are confirmation of its unique appeal.
In the 15th century, the San Domenico Palace's lovely cloisters and whitewashed walls echoed to the sound of quiet monks' footsteps. Nowadays, it seems no less tranquil and, although in the very heart of Taormina, it exudes a real serenity and peace. Around the cloisters are the original monks' cells. Now bedrooms, they are admittedly smaller than the other rooms, but they have delightful views, over the gardens, to the sea, some with small balconies. Bedrooms in the "Grand Hotel " wing are spacious and comfortable, with sea-view, and most have balconies. So decide between the warm cosiness of history or the more modern sunny spaciousness - we would be happy with either!
There are comfortable, antique-filled reading rooms, lounges and a delightful bar, once a chapel, with an open fire, which roars invitingly on cooler evenings. The elegant "Les Bougainvillees Restaurant " spills onto picturesque dining terraces, with glorious views of the bay. In summer, the abundant buffet breakfast is taken on the terraces, as well as lunch and dinner. The San Domenico Palace cuisine is interesting, inventive and tasty; making full use of the hotel's own herb garden and fruit trees, and the service is attentive. Dinner is especially romantic, with the moon above the bay, lights twinkling in the distance and soft tones of the piano as accompaniment. The two star Michelin "Principe Cerami Gourmet Restaurant ", on a secluded terrace, with few tables, has an intimate atmosphere and innovative gourmet dishes, for a very special evening. "Blooming Perlè Terrace ", by the pool at lunchtimes, and the poolside bar, offer seafood and Sicilian specialities, snacks and drinks. "Oratorio dei Frati Lounge " offers all day dining and cocktails. Especially unusual and flexible is that half-board guests may "dine around ", choosing lunch or dinner at the hotel restaurants - an incredibly extensive choice.
From the San Domenico Palace's ancient cloisters, a flowery pergola leads down stone steps, to the landscaped terraces and pretty, formal knot gardens, with lavender, bougainvillea and palms. At the bottom, the swimming pool hugs a sunny terrace, from which views of Mount Etna are absolutely breathtaking.
The San Domenico Palace Hotel is a stunning and magical place - a Palace, which really is palatial and wholly deserving of its name.
In a stunning location, hundreds of feet above the sparkling blue sea, Mount Etna dominating the backdrop, Taormina is a place to sit and absorb the atmosphere, a good excuse to dress up, have a typical Italian passeggiata and do some classy shopping - all the ingredients of a perfect holiday destination. With its Greco-Roman theatre and mediaeval centre, it attracts a truly cosmopolitan mix - fascinating, sophisticated, fashionable and chic. Internationally famous for its film festival and concerts, you could easily be rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous. A short cable-car ride to the beaches of Mazzaro to soak up the sun, then finish the day in one of the many excellent eating places for some delicious Sicilian food and wine. Taormina is also a good base for exploring Sicily, with a hire car, or with daily-organised tours. Local transport is good, too.