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Author: suekansas

Joined: 3/12/2010
Posts: 30
GCT Trips Taken: 17
OAT Trips Taken: 17
Traveler Since: 2003

October 07, 2010

We are going on the Sicily trip in a month.  When I booked the trip several months ago the hotel for Taormina was Ariston which is located right in Taormina.  Now that the trip is almost here, the hotel now is the Antares Complex in Letojanni, which is 3 miles down the road.  I am more than a little upset over this change because I want to stay in Taormina...not down the road.  Any one stayed at the Antares and what did you think?  And I assume that it will be an ordeal to get to Taormina.  Comments appreciated. 

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 1,018
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

October 07, 2010

I am so sorry that you have been switched to the Antares in Letojanni.  It's a beautiful hotel complex, but it is way out of Taormina.  We stayed there several years ago on a post-trip extension to our trip to Malta.  At that time, Malta was the basic trip.  People who were on a Sicily trip did get transportation into Taormina, but except for a couple of tours we were on our own.  The hotel is built with several sections up a steep hill, and there are elevators down to the parking lot level.  You have to allow time to get down there, since it's a series of elevators not just one straight down. At the time we stayed there, one of any two was always out of order. 

That said, it's a lovely place overlooking the water.  The rooms are large with balconies and views.  The food is quite good, but watch for things like charges for bottled water at meals.



Author: mctz666

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 61
GCT Trips Taken: 5
OAT Trips Taken: 2
Traveler Since: 2004

October 07, 2010


May be the Antares in Letojanni will turn out to be just fine for you, but I have read on internet (just google Grand Circle Sicily) about folks who signed up with GCT's Sicily then got upset after they found out that their hotel was not in Taomina.

Since GCT cares so much about customer satisfaction, and cares so much about repeating customers, they should keep customers who have already taking the step to sign up with their tour happy, and should just stick to using a hotel in Taomina. Staying in Taomina may cost GCT a bit more money, but it buys a lot of good will, more than the advertisement money spent in mailing countless color brochures can buy. (I hope a GCT Admin is reading this thread.)

I went on this tour in May 2009, it was a wondferful trip. Our hotel was Ariston, another team departing three days ahead of us stayed at Letojanni. Then both teams stayed at Hotel Garibaldi in Palermo. We met folks from that team at breakfast table in Hotel Garibaldi, we compared notes on optional tours but I did not ask if any thought their hotel in Letojanni was an inconvenience.

Author: janice.

Joined: 3/18/2010
Posts: 339
GCT Trips Taken: 7
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 1999

October 08, 2010

Thank you for posting about the hotel situation on the Sicily trip. You may have saved me from making a poor decision as the Sicily trip was at the top of my list for 2011 travel. Your post prompted me to learn more about the Antares Complex and what I have read doesn't appeal to me. Nor do I like the idea of booking the trip not knowing if I would be staying there or in Taormina.

Author: songerl

Joined: 11/9/2010
Posts: 8
GCT Trips Taken: 8
OAT Trips Taken: 10
Traveler Since: 1999

November 08, 2010

We took this tour in August last year and although our pre-trip information said we would be at the Antares complex, once we got there (we did the pre-trip to Malta) we were informed that it had been changed and we stayed at the Ariston in Taormina.  One couple on our tour had stayed at the Antares the year before and were very unhappy that we were changed to the Ariston because they said they loved the Antares.    We don't have a personal comparison of the two hotels, but we did enjoy being in Taormina where we could walk to the historic part of town and had the bus station right by the hotel.  One day we took the local bus up to Castelmola, which overlooks Taormina.  It was a hair-raising ride up the mountain but a beautiful view when we got up there.

By the way, we highly recommend the Malta pre-trip.  It was a very interesting island and we enjoyed it very much.  We also took the post-trip to Sorrento.  We used the local train to go to Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Naples on our own on three of the days we were there.  Very easy and inexpensive.

Author: sbaz

Joined: 3/19/2010
Posts: 2
GCT Trips Taken: 10
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2001

November 16, 2010

In replying to information on the Antares Complex.   We have just returned from staying here and were not at all happy with the location.   They should not advertise Taormino when you are not staying in Taormino.  You are really isolated and even though you have great room views they overcharged for internet and were not at all accommodating.   

Author: grandcircle

Joined: 3/5/2010
Posts: 352
GCT Trips Taken: 0
OAT Trips Taken: 0

November 17, 2010

Hello Sbaz -

We are sorry to hear the Antares Hotel did not meet your expectations.  At Grand Circle, we are very concerned about excellence and passenger satisfaction.  We will have someone from our Quality Department contact you about your experience.

Kind Regards,

GCT Forum Moderator

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