Traveling with an escorted tour you have to trust that your tour company will put you in a good hotel. Book a good tour company and chances are you will have a nice room. Taking a Trafalger Tour through Italy and Sicily almost all of our hotels were 3 star or better. It had been awhile since I was in Sicily and was not familiar with the hotel we were sot stay at in Taormina. Originally we were to stay in Giardini Naxos but last-minute changed to just below the hilltop village of Taormina at the Caparena Hotel and Wellness Club.
I was looking forward to staying in Naxos since it was an active town with nightlife, good restaurants and of course shopping. When we drove down the short driveway of the Caparena just off the main highway, I wasn’t very impressed, just looked like a small unpretentious hotel with a small parking lot. We offloaded the bus and found our way to the check-in counter. Inside it almost reminded me of a South Pacific hotel with tropical style furniture and large windows on the beach facing side. The front desk was friendly and gave us our keys quickly. We made a time to meet then headed to our rooms.Walking inside I was pleasantly surprised that it was cute and homey. Guess I’d better quit being so judgmental at first appearance. Which in retrospect a parking lot is just that, a parking lot.
My room had green and rose tones to it with a queen sized bed, two wooden end tables, a large desk with a comfortable chair for working, two chairs for visitors on terra-cotta tiled floors, a large modernized marble bathroom where everything worked just fine and best yet, balcony with lots of colorful exotic plants to look at!
After taking a little time to freshen up it was time to check out the rest of the hotel. I met up with a couple of friends to explore and the grounds are quite a bit larger than expected. First stop since this is a beachfront property time to check out the beach. Walking out the door is a sidewalk that borders the hotel lined with plants and palm trees and something very unique… railroad tracks. Yes, there is a train that passes by between the hotel and the beach. Did not expect that! But asking some of the guests who had the rooms facing the beach… and the tracks if it was annoying at all. Not really if their balcony door was open then yes, they heard the trains go by but closing the doors it was relatively quiet and worth the ocean view.
Passing through a tunnel under the tracks to the beach is exactly what you expect of a Mediterranean beach, rows of blue lounge chairs and umbrellas on a somewhat rocky beach so wear your slippers. From there you can take a sidewalk to 2 restaurants, one very nice the other a beachside cafe next to a very nice pool area. Similar to a pool you would find on a cruise ship only larger and another smaller pool just off to the side and features an electronic cover for those less than expected stormy days. Expect to pay a 6 Euro fee for the pool which explains why there were only 2 people there and another 8 Euro fee to use the fitness center.
A few tips when staying at the Caparena Hotel, they have free shuttle service to Taormina, make sure you work it out with the front desk upon arrival. They only have a few departures each day and space fills up quickly.
When booking your ocean view room request higher floors to have a view of the water.
Although we didn’t have a chance to eat at the beach-side restaurant we did eat at the little cafe. Don’t miss a snack there, the bruschette was a highlight and the pizza was a lovely Sicilian blend.