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“Under Etna”

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Monaci delle Terre Nere
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed 10 July 2017

Our agent booked us into the Monaci for 5 nightS at the start of our holiday. The drive from Catania irpaort was fine with SatNav. Its a beautiful drive once off the E45 as the Monaci is nestled in the foothills of Etna
.
The room we booked was not to our liking, so they kindly showed us the Royal suit, which we took. The Roya suit is really large and beautifully suituated. Its a touch warm as the aircon units are floor mounted, but the privacy is great, and the bathroom a real treat.
Breakfast was modest, but freshly squeezed vege juice and great coffee goes a long way. The freshly made tarts are just wonderful!
The restaurant food overall was good, if a liitle pricy, which seems to be a recurring theme of many reviews.
As the property provides a lot of its own produce, I'm not sure why this is the case and some of the flavour combinations such as Pigeon breast and seaweed did not work so well for me. I realise taste is very subjective.
We dont drink, so much of the focus around the regional wines was not applicable.

It would be nice if the complimentary water was in to your room every day, not just the first day, as most other properties of in this price range offer these sort of extra touches to service.
You pay a cover charge for eating at the pool area of 3 euros each. I dont remember this happeing at other properties, and was supried this was on a hotel guest bill.

The rooms are very interesting, each one seems to have its own character, as some in in old stone farm builings and others new builds. All are very well thought out and kept in a beautiful condition.

The pool area is lovely, and you can see the cone of Etna smoking whilst in the pool.
All around the hotel are the smells and sounds of organic produce and bees, with lavender everywhere, really beautilful.

The staff are great, and very happy to accommodate your needs.
Its in a great location to be able to reach Mt Etna with ease, but we didnt travel out much after that. Zafferana is a lovely liitle town, with a couple of nice Trattoria's and a very lively Piazzo in the evenings.

Room Tip: If you are older, or just feeling a bit lazy, make sure you get a room close to the main building. I...
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  • Stayed: June 2017, travelled as a couple
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Thank SimonB72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
monaciterrenere, Responsabile relazioni con la clientela at Monaci delle Terre Nere, responded to this reviewResponded 15 July 2017

Dear SimonB72,

Thank you for taking your time to share your experience at Monaci delle Terre Nere on Tripadvisor.

We were glad to learn that you enjoyed our rooms, pool area and the estate.

Thank you for your nice comments on our Restaurant "Locanda Nerello". You were right to mention that our Chef mostly uses local organic products for the menu. The cost of vegetables, fruit and eggs from our farm is actually very high, because we do not use chemical fertilizers or additives that are largely applied in agriculture. Our products require much hard work and care from our farm staff, which explains their price. However in this way we may guarantee the freshest healthiest products for the guests of our Restaurant which makes dining an experience on its own.

We are delighted to read your kind words about our staff. Customer service is one of our highest priorities and your praise is really appreciated as it indicates that we are moving in the right direction to provide the best experience for our guests.

We sincerely hope to have a chance to welcome you back to Monaci in the nearest future.

Warm regards,


Katerina Kazenkina
Guest Relations Manager

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13 - 17 of 405 reviews

Reviewed 30 June 2017

This is a really beautiful place. It had been hired out for a wedding a few days before we arrived which didn't surprise me because the location and setting are just beautiful. It's a lovely deep pink villa set in several hectares of its own citrus groves, olive and persimmon trees, grape and kiwi vines. Rooms are dotted amongst this and surrounded by lavender covered in white butterflies. Depending on what room you book will depend in which part of the grounds you are based. We booked a lava rock walled suite which was great. They look like cottages from the exterior joined either side to two other rooms. Each with its own patch of grassy outside space with sun loungers screened from one another by planting. Our suite had a very large bedroom with wall suspended floating bed, volcanic rock steps down in to a living area with two lounging sofas (one raised on lava rock), a few steps down in to a large bathroom. It obviously wouldn't be a suitable room for someone with disability access requirements and it's wise to have flip flops on when negotiating the rock steps. Inroom safe in the wardrobe, big enough for iPads, phones etc but not big enough for an SLR camera or laptop if you're bringing one. Hairdryer, loads of towels, extremely comfortable large bed and bedding (think it was a memory foam mattress). Very quiet, no noise from adjoining 'cottages'. In room kettle with tea and instant coffee. Minibar. Loads of coat hangers in the wardrobe, always a good sign! Free wifi (doesn't really work in the room we were in but did immediately outside it). Liquid soap in bathroom but could do with some little bottles of shampoo and separate conditioner...especially at this price. Good shower. Breakfast served til 10am outside near the villa, buffet with homemade produce and lots of fresh fruit, eggs etc. Gorgeous place to sit, accessed by a fair few uneven rough hewn rock steps which would be an issue for some. But it's all about the natural setting and it truly is stunning. The pool is lovely, cold but that's a good thing as it gets very hot in Sicily in June. 33 degrees when we were here. Toilets, changing rooms, showers in the pool area. Towels, a bar and food served poolside. The villa restaurant is a beautiful place to sit...gorgeous. We really enjoyed it, but I do think it was expensive for what you got. The food was tasty but this felt like Michelin prices and although good, the food's not quite up there yet. The Rose wines were delicious. Yes I would definitely recommend it, and recommend eating here at least one night if you don't mind spending the money because the setting is fantastic as is the service. The staff are all very attentive and friendly, it didn't feel too 'posh'. Won't suit folks who don't want to be walking from rooms to main area to eat, up and down slopes and rocky steps and you do need some bug spray because you will get a few mosquitoes but only in the evening. We loved the place, it is very special and makes for a lovely treat. I do think they need to put softer pads on the sun loungers outside the rooms as they were rock hard...but that's pretty minor...the ones by the pool are really comfortable.

Room Tip: Check how far away from main villa you will be
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  • Stayed: June 2017, travelled as a couple
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Thank Leza H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
monaciterrenere, Responsabile relazioni con la clientela at Monaci delle Terre Nere, responded to this reviewResponded 14 July 2017

Dear Leza H,

Thank you for sharing your experience at Monaci delle Terre Nere on Tripadvisor.

We were delighted to read that you have enjoyed our estate, its setting, the room and our facilities. We are glad that you understood and enjoyed the true spirit and atmosphere of Monaci - a discreet and unpretentious retreat in a place of special energy.

Thank you for your kind comments on our staff. It will be my pleasure sharing your review with our Team. They will certainly be encouraged and motivated learning that they have managed to share our concept and philosophy with you.

We truly hope that we will have a chance to welcome you back to Monaci in the nearest future.

Warmest regards,


Katerina Kazenkina
Guest Relations Manager

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Reviewed 26 June 2017

Having arrived on the afternoon of the 11th of June, following the Sat-Nav sending us the wrong way (ensure you get the correct address before you set off for this location), the hire car got stuck in reverse on the entrance to the hotel. The staff were very helpful in getting the car moved to a safe location and luckily it was alright the next day(Phew)!

Prior to the holiday I had forwarded a banner, some balloons and arranged for a bouquet of flowers to be put in our room as a surprise for my wife on our 25th wedding anniversary. The staff had decorated our room lovely, what was already a beautifully appointed room, looked even nicer (Many Thanks).

The grounds and the facilities on site were amazing, the staff on site were extremely helpful and courteous, nothing was to much trouble. the wine and the drinks available at the hotel were very good, a little bit expensive but very good quality.

The only issue we had was the limited menu and its execution in the cooking of it, there were some very interesting dishes on the menu of which we sampled a fair bit. In the whole the majority of the food was not hot enough when it reached the table considering it was supposed to have been cooked to order. there were a few occasions when meals arrived and did not have all the items listed on the menu on the plate, an example of this was when we ordered a light lunch of burger and chips at the pool, it arrived missing the chips. When I asked for them, they looked like I was asking for the earth and when they did arrive some 25 minutes later we had already left our table and was relaxing by the pool, by this time they were no longer required.

An area out of the control of the hotel was the surrounding areas, we were very saddened to se the amount of fly-tipping and waste on the road sides.

In the whole we did have a very relaxing stay, and enjoyed ourselves but I think that the hotel could adapt a more lighter feeling as many things were taken to seriously, it was quite difficult to tell if other guests were actually enjoying themselves as smiling seemed to be a new concept to many there.

Room Tip: All rooms are good
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  • Stayed: June 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank S4fetyman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
monaciterrenere, Responsabile relazioni con la clientela at Monaci delle Terre Nere, responded to this reviewResponded 2 July 2017

Dear Guest,

First of all thank you for taking your time to share the review on your recent stay at Monaci delle Terre Nere.

We were delighted to learn that you have enjoyed our estate, hotel facilities and your room. It was our pleasure assisting with your requests and we are glad that you enjoyed the room decorations for your special occasion.

Thank you for your nice comments on our staff and service. It will be my pleasure sharing them with the rest of the team that will certainly be encouraged by your feedback.

We are sorry that your dining experience in the hotel has not met your expectations. Let us advise you that our menu is based on the freshest local products and varies daily as well as seasonally. However our Chef would gladly satisfy your requests out of the menu. We always use the best organic products in our Restaurant, some of them (eggs, fruit and vegetables) at KM 0 from our own farm.

We are sorry that we have received these comments only after your departure as we would have certainly taken care of all the small details which could make your stay more enjoyable. We are thankful for your feedback though. It is very valuable to us as it helps to improve the services and provide the best experience for our guests.

We do hope to have a chance to welcome you back to Monaci in the nearest future.

Warmest regards,


Katerina Kazenkina
Guest Relations Manager

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Reviewed 24 June 2017 via mobile

We stayed here with friends for four nights of an eight day holiday in Sicily.

The hotel is about a 40 minute drive from Catania Airport and a similar distance to the beautiful Taormina.

Our rooms were very close to the main building and I believe were originally an outbuilding on the old farm. The room was well furnished with a good ensuing (although no bath) and an excellent walk in wardrobe with plenty of space to hang clothes. The liquid soap dispensers also dispersed a very fragrant soap and the diffusers in the room were also very refreshing.

The bed was comfortable but my wife was disappointed that there was no plug for the hairdryer close to the largest mirror. There are no TVs on site but good wifi throughout.

The pool area is very pleasant and laid to lawn where there is no problem in getting a sun bed. Great views are available across the valley from the pool area. The bar by the pool was reasonable and served well by Rosario although a better choice of lunch snacks would have been nice.

The restaurant is very nice and we ate on the veranda two evenings during our stay and it was pleasant although blankets were brought out on one night and I opted back to our room to put on a sweater as the temperatures can drop in the evening with the proximity to Etna and the 500m above seal level. There is a reasonable menu which my wife enjoyed although much of it did not float my boat!

Reception desk were very helpful - Salvatore, Nuan and Caterina all helping us out at different times.

Breakfast is taken outside in a separate area and consists of good coffees, cereals, fresh meats, cheeses and scrambled eggs. Fresh orange juice is also available where on three mornings I squeezed my own.

All the staff were very helpful

There were probably only two things that with which we were disappointed- the first was that there was very little to do in the evenings and we mainly stayed in the bar and played games we had brought with us. Very rarely was anyone else in the bar. The second was the cost of some of the extras. For example if you wanted an omelette it was €10 extra and most of the alcoholic drinks were €10 too. Now this is a Relais but the Relais hotel we stayed at on our second four days omelettes were included in the price and the same like for like drinks were half the price. It is only a minor point but we did feel that we were paying over the odds and in some way being taken for a ride and it may be why the bar was pretty empty during the four nights we were there and why usually the barman would have to be called to serve us.

We felt four nights was probably the right length to stay as it is slightly secluded but still I would be happy to recommend!

Stayed: June 2017, travelled as a couple
Thank Duncan P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
monaciterrenere, Responsabile relazioni con la clientela at Monaci delle Terre Nere, responded to this reviewResponded 2 July 2017

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking your time for sharing your experience at Monaci delle Terre Nere on Tripadvisor.

We were glad to learn that you enjoyed our rooms, panoramic pool area and our Restaurant. It was a pleasure reading that you liked our breakfast and the estate with its magnificent views.

We are sorry that you have not had a chance to enjoy all of the hotel activities. We offer plenty of interesting experiences: wine tasting, cooking classes, cocktail lessons, special dining experiences and many more. We also have evenings with live jazz music in our bar a few times per week which is a great attraction for our guests.

As for the prices in our Bar, Restaurant and Breakfast, they are absolutely in line with other similar properties in the area. Please consider that we use organic products at KM 0 whenever possible (fruits and herbs from our aromatic herbs garden in our cocktails, eggs from our chicken for omelette, vegetables and fruit used by our Chef in cuisine).

Thank you for your kind words about our Staff. It is very encouraging and motivating to receive positive feedback from the guests.

We do hope to have a chance to welcome you back to Monaci in the nearest future.

Warmest regards,


Katerina Kazenkina
Guest Relations Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 June 2017

We stayed here for three nights. The main house and property are beautiful and the setting is quite romantic. I had some mixed feelings about our accommodations. I had booked a room near the main house. It was a lower category room, but pretty. When we arrived we were told we were upgraded (presumably because they wanted to give our original room to someone else). We were then put into their most expensive lodging which was quite far away from the main house (a 10 minute or so walk at supposedly more than 500 Euros a night). We stayed in this room for two nights and then were put into another upgraded room/suite a bit closer to the property. The first room/bungalow was rustic and original house on property. The second room was in a new building. We actually did not particularly care about the most expensive upgraded room and I cannot see why someone would want to pay original price for that accommodation. It had a lot of privacy, but the set up was odd. There were two large rooms separated by a glass enclosed walkway. The bathroom which was small for such an expensive room was not off the bedroom, but you had to walk through the rest of the rooms to get to it. It also only had one sink. The living room of this accommodation was sort of wasted space as there was no good place to sit down. The room only has a futon-like couch/bed on the floor and it was not comfortable to sit down on. No other chairs in that room. Our second upgraded room was much better. It was in a new building and it had its own private outdoor hot tub which was nice. The room itself felt much more comfortable to me than the first room. It had a nice couch. Bathroom in this unit was huge with double sink and nice a tub (not just a shower as in more expensive room). I would recommend that option over the most expensive room on the property. Breakfasts were very nice with all organic products. General areas of the hotel are nice and some of them quite interesting architecturally combining an industrial look with old farmhouse. We ate one dinner at the restaurant and it was pretty good. Pool was nice, but very small and not heated. Pool was rather cool in early June when we were there.

  • Stayed: June 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank danielswiss64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
monaciterrenere, Responsabile relazioni con la clientela at Monaci delle Terre Nere, responded to this reviewResponded 24 June 2017

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your recent stay at Monaci delle Terre Nere and your feedback shared on Tripadvisor.

We were delighted to learn that you enjoyed our property, the design based on bio-architecture and breakfasts with products from our organic farm.

It was our pleasure to provide you a complimentary upgrade to one of our best Suites. However should you have mentioned that you prefer the original room or any alternative accommodation, we would have certainly found a suitable solution for you. We were glad to read that you enjoyed the second room though.

Let us mention that our Suite Dependence Deluxe (the first room you were assigned) is one of the most requested rooms in our property. Guests love it for plenty of privacy and its outstanding design of a traditional lava-stone house with modern touch.

Thank you for your positive feedback on our Restaurant and the swimming pool. We do hope that overall your stay with us has been really relaxing and enjoyable.

We do hope to have a chance to welcome you back in the future.

Warmest regards,


Katerina Kazenkina
Guest Relations Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Monaci delle Terre Nere

Address: Via Monaci snc, 95019 Zafferana Etnea, Sicily, Italy
Region: Italy > Sicily > Province of Catania > Zafferana Etnea
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 9 Speciality Lodging in Zafferana Etnea
Price Range: ₹ 11,601 - ₹ 43,876 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Monaci delle Terre Nere 4*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In 2007, by chance, I stumbled upon this place, fell in love with it and decided to devote my life to its resurrection.To bring this place, previously chosen by the monks of Saint Anna’s order for his special energy and extraordinary charm, back to life. It has become the second great project of my life. The estate Monaci delle Terre Nere is situated along the slopes of Mount Etna, the biggest volcano in Europe on the border of the Etna National Park at 500mt above sea level. My wish has been to preserve the historic identity and local traditions, more than a Boutique Hotel it is a home which I hope retains its intimacy. The house which dates from 1800 is listed as one of historical importance. It is now a place where traditional Sicilian Architecture is combined with contemporary art and living. ... more   less 
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