- Welcoming – 5
- Privacy – 5
- Ambience – 4
- Restaurant/Food – 3
- Housekeeping – 3
This blog is a review of our stay in Donna Carmela.
Derek and I wanted to go on a sans-kids holiday. Don’t start with the guilt trip! I had my issues which you can read here. I wanted to show Derek Taormina, he had never been yet, he wanted to just chill somewhere. We found a compromise and we spent one day and night in a place of his choice and one day and one night in Taormina. For information on what we did in Taormina click here.
I am not one that looks for luxury. May be I don’t look for it because I can’t always afford it. Let’s be honest not everyone can. Still, my husband loves brands and looking out for good design is his work. When he decided to search for the accommodation of that one night I knew that he would find something different. I must admit he is good! Donna Carmela is a very well designed and decorated place. You immediately feel well taken care of.
The place is not hard to find even though it is off the main roads. Once in a while you might here a train go by but cars are non-existent. Privacy is a very important factor at Donna Carmela as the main gate is always closed. The bungalows that we stayed in are also very private and although you know that there are others right next to you, you can’t see them and they can’t see you. There are hotel rooms too and I am sure everything possible has been done to keep things private. Donna Carmela was perfect for our romantic get-a-way.
As we arrived at Donna Carmela, a porter came to help us find our way into reception. The ladies at the desk were super helpful and made the long road trip worth the while. Check in didn’t take longer than 5 min when after they guided us down to the lounge where we had our welcome cocktail. This was lovely, it made me feel special. Here I soaked in the beauty of the Donna Carmela’s surroundings! The peace was bliss.
We had not eaten much and lunch was way passed. Dinner was still too far away, we were hungry. Unfortunately, the hotel does not offer snacks if not at the restaurant times but, the manager was ready to get the chef out for us and make us something special. It was not necessary yet, I was a bit disappointed that I didn’t get some snacks with us from the airport.
Once we got into our bungalow, the host explained how things work. We were also welcomed by a bottle of bubbly – a gift for our anniversary. I checked the minibar for snacks and alas there were none. I looked for bath robes and slippers so that we could head into the heated private pool and unfortunately there were none. I was sure that I would find on arrival but I thought that maybe you had to pay more…assuming was not a good thing – I should have called reception there and then. Later on I found out that housekeeping had made a mistake and not placed any. We are humans everyone makes mistakes. Donna Carmela this, was a big one for me. Still, we used the large towels available and enjoyed the wonderful privacy of the pool. I was hesitant to plunge in as the air was crispy but, once in, all the guilt and the stress washed away! May be the bubbly helped in that too 😉
Evening came and we decided to make the most of the services at Donna Carmela. We headed for the restaurant as soon as it was open. The ambience is lovely, tables are not too close together and no tables are placed in the middle of the room, just to fit another table in. I felt comfortable in the corner of the room – I hate having people behind me. So till then all went well. Then the waiter gave us the menus and explained to us the specials, here is where things went terribly wrong.
Before I explain what happened, I must tell you that I am no romantic, old fashioned girl. I have never let a man pay my meal! It’s a matter of principle, not a feministic notion either. So, when I saw the menu that I had did not have the prices on it, little did I know that my husband’s did! I thought both menus didn’t have the prices on, maybe it’s something they do here. When I asked for the prices the answer I got from the waiter was that I had to leave the money in the hands of the man. It was said in Italian and I understand and speak Italian so there was no misunderstanding here. My husband did not understand what was going on until he realised how upset I was. It might be something some ladies like, but it was not appreciated by me! It was too late to leave the restaurant and I was starving anyway. So I tried to put the issue aside, it was very hard.
The food was very good and every plate we had was served impeccably (a bit too silver service for my taste). Unfortunately, I did not appreciate the whole experience. If we go to Donna Carmella again I either take half board or not eat at the restaurant. I felt that it is a “man’s world.” This feeling didn’t last long, a nice soak under the moonlight in the warm pool did the trick. Remember that Sicily is a bit old fashioned and these things might come as a surprise to us modern ladies but don’t let it spoil the moment.
A comfortable bed and a well-equipped shower room made the morning refreshing. I didn’t want to leave our bungalow so we ordered breakfast in the room – not sure that the reception at Donna Carmela is used to this kind of order. We had to tell them exactly what we wanted and honestly I didn’t know what they offered. We just ordered some toast and basic things with some orange juice, expecting a little bit more than what we ask for to be honest. The basics arrived with a smile. Again, I didn’t let this bother me but I did miss the Sicilian breakfast which I think they would have offered at Donna Carmela’s restaurant…
I think luxury was getting to me. With luxury comes expectancy and normally I don’t expect so I am always happy.
After breakfast we placed our things in our car and took a stroll around the premises. Donna Carmela shouts out nature! It is surrounded by lush greenery and designed to function well. We found out that the owners are also owners of one of the best plant nurseries on the island. The main pool area is big enough for children and families and although it was February, the area was still well cleaned and taken care of. In this area there is even a small (very small) gym and spa area.
In a way, I was sorry to leave Donna Carmela because the place did make me feel relaxed and feeling revived. This was the main reason why we came here in the first place. Apart from the restaurant issues we left the place happy and ready to recommend it to others even to families. Family bungulows do not have private pools. I don’t think I will be back though, I’d like to try other places!