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“Beautiful, relaxing, comfortable fun in the sun...”
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Review of Villa Silvia

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Excellent
8 reviews
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Overview
Villa -
4 Bedrooms, 5 Bathrooms, Sleeps 21
Casteldaccia, Province of Palermo, Sicily

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Excellent - based on 8 reviews
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Reviews from our community

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BoABeauBe...
Bath, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
50 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
“Beautiful, relaxing, comfortable fun in the sun at Villa Silvia, Casteldaccia, Sicily”
Reviewed 4 June 2014 for a stay in May 2014
1
person found this review helpful

We were a party of 6, from age 3 to 69 and we had a fabulous time at Villa Silvia. The villa is located in Casteldaccia on the north coast of Sicily, 30 minutes from Palermo and less than an hour from Falcone–Borsellino airport (Punta Raisi). You need transport to stay here and we hired two cars for the week. There is plenty of parking in the villa grounds and access is via two automatic gates opened by remote control key fobs (provided on arrival).

We were met by Nilo, a friend and colleague of the owner Gianluca. Nilo is very helpful and went out of his way to sort any problems for us, or answer any questions. He went above and beyond our expectations of a property representative – particularly on our last day when our daughter’s hire car had a puncture. Nilo is a credit to the establishment and will ensure that your enjoyment of the villa and the surrounding area is paramount. Grazie mille Nilo :-).

The villa has a large well equipped kitchen with a larder fridge-freezer, two ovens with grills, cooker and microwave oven, plenty of storage and a large dining table. The front door leads into the kitchen, but there are several other doors to the gardens, balconies and terrace. The large open plan lounge has a formal dining area, but we mostly ate al-fresco on the terrace or in the gazebos.

On the ground floor there are two bathrooms with showers and there is a washing machine in the kitchen, so you can wash and reuse your clothes. Anything washed in the morning was aired and dried in the garden by lunchtime. Towels are provided, including ample beach towels, so you can reduce your baggage substantially – unfortunately we didn't know this, so brought our own beach towels, which were not used.

Upstairs there are four good sized bedrooms, a family bathroom and an en-suite to the master bedroom. Two of the bedrooms open onto a balcony and the master bedroom has a wrap-around terrace outside with beautiful views of the garden, pool, sea, coast and mountains. You can see the sea from the bathroom of the en-suite and the windows are mirrored on the outside, so nobody can see in. With the combination of beds and sofa-beds, the property can sleep over a dozen people, but 10 would find it comfortable, 12 or more would be overcrowded in our opinion. Warning: the beds are very firm but you get used to them.

The upstairs also has double doors leading to a staircase to the roof, which has fabulous views all around the locality, with the Madonie Mountains in the distance to the south east and Cape Zafferano across the bay to the north west. Small children should not be left unsupervised on the roof and steps as it is easy to climb the railings around the roof. We kept the door to the roof terrace locked.

All of the windows and doors have shutters with louvres to keep the sun off the windows during the day, but still allow air circulation. The only problem with the windows and door shutters is that when there is a strong breeze, the wind catches them and they bang during the night. So we propped them open with garden chairs or closed them at night.

The villa grounds are completely enclosed. So there is no concern for children wandering off, and there are ample grounds for adults and children to play, sunbathe, read or whatever. There is a large raised swimming pool which is well kept and a constant depth throughout. Not deep enough to dive in, but big enough to exercise and fabulous for the kids – big and small! It is fenced around the raised perimeter, but cannot be closed off to small children. Although the steps to the pool are facing the villa and can easily be seen from the terraces, kitchen door, sitting room and upper terrace.

There are lockable gates leading directly onto the pebble beach and the sea shore is only meters from the garden. We recommend beach shoes for crossing the pebbles. However, once in the sea, the sea bed is sandy or sea-grass directly in front of the villa. The beach is not private, but mainly accessible to the residents whose properties back onto the beach. At the weekends, locals from the nearby towns use the beach, and every day (and night), fishing boats are back and forth across the bay.

Snorkelling is possible in the clear waters, but uninteresting. Some small fish (up to 30 cm) can be found around rocks and sea-grass. Black sea urchins, clams and occasional crabs can be spotted. 40 meters to the east there are rocks bordering properties whose concrete walls have eroded, but the snorkelling is still uninteresting. No strong tide or current was noticeable so sea swimming is relatively safe, but no lifeguards or safety equipment is available along this stretch. The height difference between low and high tide is less than 40 cm.

One big nuisance at this location is the mosquitoes that emerge in the evening. We burned citronella candles and mosquito coils, and applied deet and jungle formula, but were still bitten. There are plenty of plug-in insect repellents in the villa, but you need to buy the tablets or liquid repellent. I recommend turning off the lights inside the villa as evening approaches, while doors and windows are still open.

Talking of lights, the villa is illuminated all night with coloured LED lights that change the colour of the villa – very attractive and ambient lighting in the evening. There are also garden lights around the perimeter and a red light in the pool (so as not to attract insects into the water at night). Very effective lighting.

Three cats live in the garden of the villa, which keeps down the rodent community. They are not pets and are quite shy, but we never saw them inside the villa. They certainly enjoyed the seafood, fish and chicken titbits that we left for them, and the odd saucer of milk.

The villa has TV’s in the bedrooms and sitting room with Sky boxes, but no Sky cards. So only a few channels are available on Sky. There are two Hi-Fi systems with CD, tape deck, tuners and auxiliary input in the lounge, so bring your favourite tracks to listen to. There is also WIFI in the villa, which works in most of the garden too.

There are plenty of sun-loungers in the grounds and cushions are stored on the terrace. There are also two permanent gazebos with garden furniture inside, including dining tables and chairs for al-fresco dining by the BBQ. I put one of the canvas roofs on a gazebo, so we had one in shade for the hottest part of the day, and one open for breakfast, sunbathing, etc. Even in the rain, a covered gazebo can be used as the canvas is waterproofed. The BBQ is large and suitably equipped, but be aware that the cats lick the BBQ grate after you have cooked, so it’s worth giving it a clean before use.

The wrap-around terrace at the kitchen and sitting room level has a large dining table and chairs that we used for dinner al-fresco in the evenings. There are also relaxing chairs, garden chairs and storage on the terrace. A pushchair is stored here, so there is no need to bring your own. Pop it in your car and use it in the towns and cities for a young one.

The gardens are planted with attractive mature trees, bushes, flowers and plants that are automatically watered overnight. Just be careful of the cacti which are very sharp, particularly for young children. There is a children’s play-house, swing, slide and garden toys to keep the youngest amused, and due to the scorching sun, the main area of the garden is laid with artificial grass. The edges of the roles of artificial grass can be trip hazards for little ones, but at least it is a soft fall.

The property has neighbouring properties on three sides, but the grounds are large enough for the neighbours not to be a nuisance. Having said that, we stayed in May, just before the major holiday season and very few properties were occupied. The location can be very busy in the summer months and a lot noisier. A few neighbours could directly overlook the property from their windows and balconies, but at the ground level the hedges and fences are quite high.

Around the gazebos and outside dining area, the ground is laid with decking, but a few pieces are loose, also causing a trip hazard. A little tidying of the garden is needed to take care of these things. At the sea end of the garden there is an outdoor shower which is very handy for returning from the sea and beach, or before entering the pool. The water is heated by the sun during the day, so from lunchtime onwards the shower is suitably warm.

The nearest shop is a couple of kilometres away – a Conad store which has a good selection for most daily needs, but they close for lunch from 1pm to 4pm like most Italian stores. Casteldaccia town centre is up-hill from the villa, and again a couple of Km distant. It is walkable for adults, but we always drove.

Closer to the villa, about 1.5 Km west along the coast road there are a selection of restaurants and gelaterie. Cafe 113 is highly recommended (and is on Tripadvisor) – they serve very good food and have a well stocked bar, serving cocktails, a good wine selection and excellent ice-creams. In the evening they have a wood fired pizza oven and an impressive choice of pizzas. The gardens have exotic palms and plants, old olive trees, shaded areas and running water features. Very ambient, with good music and great food. Their cocktails are potent!

The Rotunda restaurant and gelaterie, down a side road towards the sea after Cafe 113, has an enviable position overlooking the sea and there is a car-park opposite. There is a sandy beach at this part of Casteldaccia, which is quite attractive. We did not find it until the last day, so don’t make that mistake. The Rotunda also sell their own ice-lollies and ice-cream cakes that are delicious.

Along the coast towards Palermo the next town is Bagheria which has a good selection of local shops and some grand buildings. To the east of Bagheria on the coast is a fishing village called Porticello, which is well worth a trip to see the harbour full of fishing boats and pleasure craft. Close to the large fish market building, next to a large concrete pontoon, there is a stall under a gazebo by the harbourside selling fresh fish and seafood caught that morning. The owner is Filippo, and his gamberoni (prawns) were the tastiest we have had for years. He often has live octopus and scampi too. Buy some for the BBQ. Highly recommended!

The tourist books advise not to drive in Palermo, but if you are used to driving in big cities like London, Paris, Milan, New York, then Palermo is not a big concern. If you get nervous with vehicles coming from every direction, then don’t drive there, but I had no problem with driving or parking (although my passengers were a little squeamish!). Be aware of double and treble parked vehicles (which reduces the usable part of the roads), scooters coming at you on your side of the road, and worst of all, pedestrians with a death wish! Plan your destinations in Palermo before setting off – and I recommend using a satellite navigation system (but use your common sense too!).

If you hire cars at the airport, be aware that on your return there is no gas station to refuel at the airport. We finally found one at Terrasini, several Km down the autostrada past the airport. And then, the gas station was unmanned so you had to pay first and then fill-up, which required guess-work to estimate how much fuel you needed to buy. Car hire with refill on return is a big ripoff.

If you are an angler and want to cast a few lines, then enquire at the harbour for boat trips (or ask Nilo for information). If you want to shore fish, then head for the harbour at Porticello. A number of people can be found fishing every day at the end of the harbour walls, inside the harbour, or on the outer walls from giant concrete cubes that provide a sea-break. Favourite bait are frozen prawns (shell removed), worms and maggots. There are a couple of angling stores in Porticello. Also try the rocks at the beach next to the Rotunda in Casteldaccia (but the shore by the villa is not very suitable).

There are some very good driving tours from the villa, including many archaeological sites. Cefalu along the coast to the east is well worth a visit, as are the mountain villages inland of Cefalu. There are many walking routes in the hills, across the rocks and along the coast too. Enjoy it.

All in all, Villa Silvia is very good and we recommend it if you want to visit the north west of Sicily. Our rating would be 4.5 out of 5, but TA does not allow for that.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: Privacy, pool, sea, kitchen, ambient lighting, spacious, views, gazebos & garden furniture.
Liked least: Artificial grass, concreted garden areas, firm beds.
Travelling group: Extended Family
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Older travelers
Families with young children Large groups
People with pets
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
  • Was your security deposit returned on time?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 May 2014 for a stay in May 2014

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: The Villa
Liked least: Mosquitos
Travelling group: Large Group
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway People with disabilities
Older travelers Families with young children
Large groups People with pets
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
  • Was your security deposit returned on time?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveller and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Therun201...
Birmingham, United Kingdom
1 review
“beautiful, relaxing stay”
Reviewed 25 March 2014 for a stay in March 2014

To celebrate my 40th birthday, my family and I stayed in Villa Silvia last week. We were all very impressed with the location, right on the seafront, the amazing views. The location was good for Palermo airport, less than 1 hr drive. Nilo who manages the property for the owner was fabulous. Nothing was too much and he ensured we had everything we needed and assisted with any local issues or questions we had. There are 2 great restaurants within 15 mins walk.
The house itself was spacious and well maintained. The pool is lovely too and there are many outdoor areas in the garden which are perfect for relaxation.
I would definitely recommend this property to others

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: location, outdoor areas
Travelling group: Extended Family
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway People with disabilities
Older travelers Families with young children
Large groups People with pets
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
  • Was your security deposit returned on time?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
salsa1125
Budapest
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
“Perfect stay”
Reviewed 11 November 2013 for a stay in July 2013

The Villa was as it is advertised both owner and manager was very helpful in advance and during our stay. Good location, a bit further of the noise, but by car everything can be reached in minutes (Super market, restaurants). Casteldaccia has a good choice of restaurants La Rotonda is close with free private parking.
The pool is nice, also regularly (every 2 days?) cleaned at our stay, some when in the early morning, because we hardly met the staff. The sea is just couple of step away. It is not private, some people always hanging around, but only a few really, and you can always relax in your own garden after a swin, if you wish.
The Villa was very spacious, for us (7people) but for 8-10 people it is also more than enough.
In general we had a wonderfull stay there. Recomended highly.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: Spacious kitchen, location, 4 bathrooms
Liked least: nothing really
Travelling group: Young Children
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Older travelers
Families with young children Large groups
People with pets
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
  • Was your security deposit returned on time?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ISD_64
Bromley, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
60 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Everything you could want”
Reviewed 5 July 2013 for a stay in June 2013

Stayed here end June with my family and in-laws (7 adults in total) to celebrate my 67th birthday. The villa was as described with amazing ocean views, wonderful swimming pool and gate onto beach (public not private). All amenities were provided and the service from Nilo, who manages the property for Gianluca was excellent.
The beds were hard for some of the family and lack of choice on TV only negatives. Would not let either of these put off anyone wishing to stay here. Would highly recommend car hire if you wish to see the island. We found it a good base to visit Agrigento, Etna, Taormina, and Mondello beach but took the train to visit Palermo as traffic and especially parking horrendous.
Although Cafe 113 got good recommendations, we found La Rotonda, almost opposite Café 113 much better for food quality, service, ambience, and parking - plus an excellent ice-cream parlour!
Advice if travelling by train - buy your ticket at the tobacconist opposite Café 113 on way to station.
We all loved the kitten, which accompanied the many cats around but if not a cat lover or allergic you need to aware. However, they soon disappear if not wanted

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: wonderful views over the ocean
Liked least: hard beds
Travelling group: Extended Family
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Older travelers
Families with young children Large groups
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
  • Was your security deposit returned on time?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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