January 04 2012
WHAT OTHERS WRITE ABOUT US
THE VILLA SCHULER IS A REAL WINNER
Taormina is on what could be referred to as the Amalfi coast of Sicily and, although the town is lovely and rich with history, it is very touristy. This of course means that rates are on the high side but, happily, the Villa Schuler is affordable. The villa was converted from a private residence to a hotel by the Schuler family over a century ago and now grandson Gerardo is at the helm. The pink façade faces out to the Via Roma and has a large raised terrace with palms and potted flowers. A continental or full brekfast is served either here or in the gazebo where you can enjoy views emcompassing the coastline and the peak of the Etna volcano. The hotel offers standard bedrooms and junior suites. All the rooms have air conditioning, satellite TVs, safes, and terraces or balcony often with a sea views. Behind the building is the hotel?s botanical garden filled with a profusion of jasmine, bougainvillea, and geraniums. Located in the garden is a secluded two bathroom suite. The garden opens onto the pedestrian main street of town and it is just a short walk to the cable car that takes you down to the beaches, or you can take the hotel shuttle services. For its impeccable service, ideal location and good value, the Villa Schuler is a real winner.
(from KAREN BROWN'S ITALY B&B Guide, Exceptional Places to Stay & Itineraries 2009).
OLD, ELEGANT CHARM
Late in the 19th century, Sg. Schuler's great-grandfather travelled by coach from Germany and built his house high above the Ionian Sea. He built on a grand scale and he chose the site well - the views of the Bay of Naxos and Mount Etna are gorgeous. When he died in 1905, Great Grandma decided to let out some rooms; the villa has been a hotel ever since. Though restored and brought up to date, it still has an old, elegant charm and a relaxed peaceful atmosphere. Lavish organic brakfasts are served in the low-energy chandelier'd breakfast room or out on the terrace. Bedrooms vary; some have beautifully tield floors, antique furniture and stone balconies, while the more modern top-floor suites have beamed ceilings and large terraces. All come with organic linen, jacuzzi showers heated by solar panels, heating from biomass and views out to sea - or over the vast, subtropical garden scented with jasmine. Hidden away behind a stone arch is a delightful, very private little apartment. A path leads through the gardens and out into the town's pedetrianised Corso Umberto. Lovely.
(ALASTAIR SAWDAY'S SPECIAL PLACES TO STAY. Green Europe, first edition 2009)
ONE OF THE GREENEST HOTELS OF ITALY
(...) The family has managed to hang on the house despite the appalling vicissitudes of two world wars. It has been expropriated in both wars. After the first, local buyers, so pleased that Signor Schuler had returned to buy the house back, withdrew their own bids. After the second, the house was returned to the family, but in a grim condition.
So the rebuilding has been painstaking and devoted. What has been recreated is a wonderfully handsome, up-to-date hotel with the charm and elegance of its past. It is cool, quiet, impeccably run, with tiled floors, antique furniture and stone balconies on one level and more modern rooms with large terraces at the top. In fact, they are as modern as can be, with WIFI, jacuzzis, and most of the gadgets you could possibly need.
In spite of the part-modernisation, Villa Schuler can claim to be one of the greenest hotels in Italy. Gerhard seems to have thought of everything, so the following may seem like litany of ecological achievement. But it is worth spelling out, even if briefly:
They have used traditional building methods and natural materials. The ventilation 'system' cunningly uses the up-drafts from the sea. Toxic materials, blithely accepted by most, have been rigorously excluded - even electromagnetic 'smog'. Waste, of course, is seperated and recycled to an impressive degree. The sun heats the water, local farmers grow much of the food, natural fertilisers nourish the garden, ecological cleaners are aplied to the walls and floors, clever devices will alarm and protect you in case of fire, fossil-fuels are treated with respect and water conserved. Materials are natural (cotton towels, of course) disposables are reduced to a minimum, and all discarded furniture and equipment is donated to charity. The standards are set at the highest level and the hotel is ISO 14001 certified,(...)
It is rare in the world of hotels to find a family so devoted to the familiy tradition. That, alone, is a seductive feature for those looking for Slow. But the long lazy afternoons in their garden (...), the views over the sea and to Etna, the deep commitment to running a hotel with the lightest ecolocigal touch - such things are enough to slow a person down.
(ALASTAIR SAWDAY'S GO SLOW ITALY. Special places to stay, slow travel and slow food, 2009)
Surrounded by shady terraced gardens with views of Mt Etna, the rose-pink Villa Schuler is family-owned and preserves a homely atmosphere. A lovely breakfast is served on the panoramic terrade. A great choice.
(LONELY PLANET - SICILY, 2008)
STYLE AND COMFORT
Filled with the fra grance of bougainvillea and jasmine, this hotel offers style and comfort at a good price. Family-owned and ?run, it sits high above the Ionian Sea, with views of Mount Etna and the Bay of Naxos. It's only a 2-minute stroll from Corso Umberto I and about a 15-minute walk from the cable car to the beach below. Guest rooms are comfortably furnished, with bathrooms with tub/shower combinations; many have a small balcony or terrace. Breakfast can be served in your room or taken on a lovely terrace with a panoramic sea view. Service is impeccable. The most luxurious way to stay here is to book the Garden Villa Suite with its own private access..." (FROMMER'S SICILY 2007).
With scintillating bay views from the tranquil, palm-shaded terrace, and an extensive garden at the back, this makes a luxurious oasis at quite reasonable prices.
(THE ROUGH GUIDE TO SICILY, 6th edition, 2005).
Converted into a hotel in 1905, this old house in the historical centre is surrounded by a Mediterranean garten full of tropical flowers and plants. The hotel retains some of its late 19C atmosphere and has old-fashioned, comfortable rooms.
(The Green Guide, Sicily, Michelin travel Publications 2004)