Villa Ducalli in Taormina is a lovely, comfortable, scenic, romantic hilltop hotel, of natural beauty, overlooking the sea, with extraordinary hospitality and breathtaking views. The staff greet you with a smile and welcome drink, then explain everything you need to know about the area, island, and hotel, for example their shuttle van service. They insist that you ask if you need anything. The amazing breakfast includes ratatouille, grilled eggplant, olives, omelets, spinach, and pastry including marzipan cake NS great breads. They will even order soi milk for your coffee! Their evening tappas include brochuta and eggplant. (They don’t care if you don’t want to order a drink, you can just enjoy the complimentary snacks.) This is our favorite hotel in the world. The breakfast room has a breathtaking view of Mt. Helena. Villa Ducalli is a one-minute walk up the garden path which leads to the hundreds of stairs to the village below. You can walk back, take a bus, or book the hotel van.
After numerous magical stays, Villa Ducale, a lovingly restored patrician villa, family-owned and operated by the charming Andrea and Rosaria Quartucci, remains our favorite hotel in the world for so many reasons: The location (high on a cliff overlooking Taormina, offering stunning views of the Med and Mt. Etna, yet a mere 10-minute walk down to town); the accommodations, which exude Sicilian charm -- terra cotta floors, wrought iron details, antique furnishings, hand-painted ceramics and fresh flowers -- as well as every modern creature comfort; charming common areas, featuring a lovely lobby and a beautiful terrace overlooking the aforementioned view, whereupon a sumptuous breakfast feast is offered, not to mention the best cocktail hour in Taormina and a full dinner menu based upon sun-drenched, local ingredients. All of this is overseen by a staff who offer such fine service, it doesn't feel like 'service' per se, but rather, tender loving care. An unforgettable experience!
First, a little background on us: My husband and I are middle-aged, active, curious, reasonably well traveled and maintain more than a passing interest in the Mediterranean. In fact, we just returned from our seventh trip to Sicily. Now, Sicily is uniquely and deeply compelling on many levels – well worth more than a single visit – but seven trips there might nonetheless be considered a bit much, especially for a pair of Anglos with not a drop Sicilian blood between us.
Our primary reason for so many repeat visits: Hotel Villa Ducale.
We’ve stayed in a lot of lovely hotels over the years, but Villa Ducale is the only one in the world that continually beckons us back over and over again. On our first trip to Sicily 11 years ago, we spent a few nights at Villa Ducale when it had been open for only a few years. It was already an unforgettable gem – the setting, the accommodations, the exceptional hospitality – so we returned two years later. And so on. As a matter of fact, we just