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Review of Villa Silvia

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

Reviews from our community

Excellent - based on 9 reviews
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Reviews from our community

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RamonaE28
1 review
“See sound full volume on!”
Reviewed 5 weeks ago for a stay in September 2018

We loved our stay at Villa Silvia, to be able to open the back door and jump in the sea directly was a true plus! The 2 kitchens are fully equipped and we had nice BBQs and dinners with the whole group. It is very suitable for a big group, although bear in mind there are only 4 bedrooms, the other sleeping places are more freestyle. Just 2 km ride away and you are in Casteldaccia, a lovely little town where you could buy fresh fish, meat and vegetables and enjoy an authentic Italian espresso with the locals. The owner of Villa Silvia was extremely responsive and always ready to help us with our questions. I would definitely go back anytime soon!

Your age range 25-34
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
John K
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“memorable visit to Sicily”
Reviewed 18 August 2015 for a stay in July 2015
1
person found this review helpful

We visited Villa Silvia July/August 2015. There were 4 Adults and three children in our party. The children were 10, 8, and 6 years old. The weather was very hot and we were thankful for the air conditioning, shaded outside seating areas and of course the pool. The children described the villa as ‘awesome’. There was plenty to keep them occupied as Gianluca had supplied everything from bicycles to a boat and fishing gear for the sea! Gianluca, Francesca and husband could not have been more courteous and helpful to the point that they arranged to have us taken into Palermo, and ensured that we had suitable food and refreshments for our late arrival. These things are extremely important as travelling with young children and arriving late in a hot climate can prove challenging. We were shown around on arrival and given a contact number for any queries or assistance.
The villa was excellent with 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms. The quality of the interior furnishings and available family space was exceptional. There was plenty of comfortable space inside in air conditioning if required but mostly we preferred the comfortable outside seating on the lower balcony or the covered area with drapes. You could have formal dining, kitchen dining or outside seating plus barbeque facilities. There was a plentiful supply of linen and towels plus laundry cooking facilities, in fact everything that you would require for a stress free holiday with kids. There are large safe areas outside for playing, relaxing, sunbathing swimming, barbequing, and even kids cycling. There are balconies on two levels and a roof terrace all giving magnificent views over the sea and hills. The gardens were nicely tended and had grapes and olives as well as colourful flowers, The children loved the pool which had changing water colours in the evening. The seaside was just through a gate at the bottom of the property, the shore was stony but this did not prevent the use of the sea for the kids, who snorkelled in the shallow water. There are a few small fish to see near the shore if you just turn over some of the stones.
There is a supermarket nearby (up via Pietro Nenni) where you can get all you need, but beware parking is difficult at busy times (weekends and 11 am to 1 pm). There is an excellent local bakery close to the supermarket if you just go up via cavour and turn left at the top on to via Carlo Cattaneo, it is on the right. Excellent fresh bread and cakes at unbelievably low prices.
Driving is another experience altogether but you can soon adjust to local conditions. The Villa has a narrow entrance and a large vehicle will struggle to enter the property where there is ample parking space but entry is reliant on other peoples parking if you have a large vehicle (we had a 9 seat Fiat, but had booked a ford galaxy, making things slightly difficult)
Eating out starts at eariest 7.00pm. La rotunda is open all day with special menuat 8.00pm. Food is generally good but deserts and gelateria is exceptional. Café 113 is almost as good as Rotunda and similarly has exceptional deserts and ice cream dishes. Buzzini’s is up in the town off via Allo and has exceptional food but limited ice creams for kids.
Overall a great vacation made easier thanks to Gianluca and Francesca’s help. Did not get the best use of the roof terrace due to exceptionally hot weather but this did not detract from the excellent property, views and facilities. A memorable visit and holiday encouraging us to return to Sicily for more.

Travelling group: Young Children
Your age range 65+
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BoABeauBe...
Bath, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
51 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 92 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
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