May 22 2011
"Wonderful welcome back to this fantastic hotel"
We have just returned from our second visit to this wonderful hotel, and the return visit did not disappoint us.
We first stayed at this hotel last May, and were impressed by the all round excellence of this hotel. The hotel's location, although a bit uphill from the centre of Taormina, gives wonderful views of Etna and the coast. The hotel's regular bus service down to Taormina means that this distance is not a problem. The hotel is beautiful, very tastefully decorated with individual paintings for each room depicting the view for the place that the room is named after. Each room has a large balcony or terrace, with table and chairs and sunloungers. And each room has views of Etna. This was especially welcome this year as when we arrived it was obvious that Etna was more active than she had been last year. We noticed straight away that there was a constant stream of steam and smoke coming from the top crator. We were very fortunate on the Wednesday night to see Etna erupting. That was a special experience and Villa Angela was a perfect place to view it in comfort.
The staff at Villa Angela could not be more helpful or friendly, and it was really special to be recognised as returning guests and for members of staff to say that they recognised us from our previous stay. This was really nice in itself, but the bottle of prosecca that they gave us as returning guests made it an extra warm welcome. We were really impressed by the fact that they had checked which room we had stayed in before and given some thought as to which room to give us this year.
Taormina itself is a freindly and pleasant place. A little like Sorrento in many ways, and especially at the weekends, you will see a lot of the locals out in the evening. This year we decided to take a trip to the neighbouring resort of Giardina Naxis, we regretted it. This is nothing like Taormina, it has nothing of its quaintness or charm, just loads of hotels and restaurants and mad traffic. Castel Mola on the other hand is well worth a visit, not as busy as Taormina, a lovely place to wander around and enjoy the spectacular views. We found the shopkeepers here were not rushed and happy to chat, especially if you want to try a bit of Italian.
The Greek theatre is a must, again giving wonderful views of Etna, and I would agree with an earlier review that it is good to get there early as it can get very busy with school parties and cruises too.
Taormina is a wonderful place to visit, and the Villa Angela is the only place that I would stay. We shall return.
Midge55, Ipswich UK, May 2011