Arathena Rocks Hotel in Sicily?

Nov 11th, 2004, 07:51 AM
  #1  
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Arathena Rocks Hotel in Sicily?

I'm planning our short trip to Sicily next May and am interested in this hotel--seems nice, easier to get to by car than hotels right in Taormina and decent prices. I've read everything I can find on this forum, tripadvisor and slowtravel. Does anyone have any recent experience with it?

I would also appreciate general comments about the size of the rooms, the use of the shuttle to Taormina, ease of getting in and out by car (we'll make a couple day trips while we're there)and anything else that might be helpful. Thanks.
RuthMc is offline  
Nov 11th, 2004, 07:56 AM
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Of course, I forgot everything I wanted to ask. What's the location like? I gather it's a small town. Are there restaurants that you can walk to for dinner if you don't want to eat at the hotel every night? We'll be there in early May so it may be before the start of what is the high season for the tourism trade.
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Nov 11th, 2004, 08:48 AM
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The hotel is also listed in the Fodor's destination guide to Sicily. Have you looked at the description there?

It's in Giardini Naxos -- whether near the middle or at one of the edges, I could not say -- and Giardini Naxos is a beach town. I would imagine that the town would have a number of restaurants.
In addition to the hotel's own shuttle, there is probably a regular transportation service of some kind between Giardini Naxos and Taormina.
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Nov 11th, 2004, 11:41 AM
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Hi, Eloise. Yes, I've looked at the Fodor's description. I think it was there that I read that it's at one end of the beach. One of the possibilities that you raise, local bus service into Taormina, is a question that I have that's not addressed in anything I've read.

We booked a place in Chianti several years ago that described itself as walking distance into the town. Well, only if you could follow an almost unseeable path across muddy fields (and during boar hunting season). Since then I've tried to get info from people that have stayed at the places rather than rely on the hotel providing the answer itself.
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Nov 11th, 2004, 11:58 AM
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RuthMc:

There is a funicular between Taormina and Mazzaro, which runs every 15 minutes according to the Italian Web site I found. (You'll have to check when you get there how late it runs in early May, since that is not yet high season.)

Since the Taormina train station is indicated as being in Giardini-Naxos, I assume that the funicular is within walking distance of the train station and that Giardini-Naxos and Mazzaro are different names for more or less the same place.

Still not a personal testimony, I know...
Eloise is offline  
Nov 11th, 2004, 01:08 PM
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It's a cable car, not a funicular and it's not within walking distance of the train station.

Giardini Naxos looked like a pretty typical, uninteresting beach resort when I drove through.

Can't help you on that specific hotel, unfortunately.

Andre
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Nov 11th, 2004, 01:45 PM
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Giardini-Naxos is not a small town (it's probably larger in both population and area than Taormina.) There are many restaurants, most of which are either seafood or pizza. I did not think Giardini was an "uninteresting beach resort." I liked it a lot. It is a resort town that Sicilians go to. Taormina is more upscale and attracts tourists from the US and European mainland. Hotel prices in Giardini are lower because it doesn't have the cache of Taormina. On the other hand, the beach in Giardini is much nicer than that in Taormina. We stayed at the Villa Mora and loved it. We walked past the Arathena (which is on the other side of town), it looked nice but we did not go inside. I think you would be happy at either. You might also take a look at Letojanni, which is on the other side of Taormina and has a beautiful sandy beach.
rbrazill is offline  
Nov 12th, 2004, 06:41 AM
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Thanks, everyone. Rbrazill, what time of year were you there? I'm not that interested in the beach, since we'll be there in early May, but in a nice hotel with comfortable rooms and bed, easy access (don't want to have to lug suitcase up flights of stairs, either to get to the hotel or once inside) and moderately easy access to dining options. The idea of staying in a more Sicilian area appeals to me a lot.

I'll check out the Villa Mora as well. Thanks again.
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