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Therasia Resort - Vulcano, Italy | Hotel Review

The Best Hotel on Vulcano, But Still Lacking


Therasia Resort - Vulcano Island, Italy: Probably the most worthy-of-note hotel in the Isola Vulcano (Vulcano Island), located north of Sicily, the Therasia Resort is a gorgeous whitewashed hotel set on an idyllic green hill, and is in the center of Mediterranean paradise. It overlooks the majestic Aeolian Islands and has some fantastic views of six volcanic islands on the Tyrrhenian Sea - Alicudi, Filicudi, Panerea, Lipari, Stromboli and Salina.

First Impression/Lobby: My first impression of the hotel's service was telling of what was to come in my stay in the Therasia Resort. When we got to the harbor, no one from the hotel was there to pick us up even though we made arrangements beforehand. Vulcano is a very small island, which also means that they had very few taxis. We had to walk around to finally catch a taxi to take us to Therasia.

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Once we did get to Therasia Resort, which was about a 10-minute drive, my annoyance was soon forgotten. A beautiful structure with majestic views of the surrounding islands, Therasia Resort is the perfect setting for an unforgettable experience. The structure impeccably combines modern design with local materials such as olive wood, marble from Modica, molten rock from Mount Etna, and Sicilian majolica 'respecting and blending well with the island's natural beauty.

Inside the hotel, I instantly had a very good feeling for what the hotel and resort was going to be like. The interior was filled with natural light and was extremely elegant and trendy. It surely felt like a luxury, five-star resort.

Reception: My awe and wonder with the hotel's majestic design were soon deflated from the hotel's slow check in process, however. When we arrived, they seated us and made us wait for at least 20 minutes before they were ready for us to do the actual registration and to show us our room. Registering was also made all the more difficult as the front desk staff spoke very broken English.

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The Suite: Our good-sized and comfortable suite once again consoled my feelings of weariness from the hotel's deficient service. The room's color motif of creams, browns, and tans, coupled with its minimalist chic design made it feel elegant, yet calm and relaxing. The room's overall ambiance made me feel light and refreshed.

The room felt a bit unbalanced, however, because the living room had a lot of empty space making it almost boring while the bedroom seemed to be packed full. This inconsistency subtracted from the room's Zen-like atmosphere. The room was also beginning to show some wear and tear and could have used a new paint job.

Our bathroom was not a disappointment and had all the luxuries of a five-star hotel. The best part was our big terrace which gave us the most amazing views of the islands.

Room Service: The room service at the hotel is pretty much nonexistent. During the day, if you're lucky, you can get a grilled sandwich, either a grilled cheese or a tomato and cheese, or something that basic. In the evening, you can order the dinner from the restaurant, which isn't saying much.

This being a five-star hotel, their room service is far from impressive.

Housekeeping: It bewildered me how surprisingly inconsistent the hotel's service was. While reception and room service was a huge disappointment, their housekeeping staff provided six-star service. During our stay, we had to switch rooms a few times but regardless of which room we were in, they serviced our room perfectly.

There is nothing better than coming back after a day of exploring the island and having your clothes neatly folded, the room perfectly cleaned, and knowing that each time your room is serviced, it will be done in the same consistent manner. This tells me that the housekeeping department has high standards and makes sure that their staff delivers to that level each time. The hotel's room service and reception could sure use some pointers from their housekeeping department.

Pool/Spa/Gym: The hotel has a stunning pool that sits on the edge of the sea, affording cinematic views and unforgettable experiences. You have a choice of taking a dip in the rough but beautiful clear sea at the bottom of the steps. There is also a large multi-leveled lounge area for sunbathing or taking in the beautiful scenery. In addition to the pool, there is a large Jacuzzi pool next to it. To use both pools, you are required to wear swimming caps, something that put me off, considering I haven't worn one of those since I was in high school.

The pool 'restaurant' serves only toasted sandwiches; that is, when they don't run out of cheese, like they had the day I was there. The service at the pool was non-existent; not five-star, not four star, simply none.

Besides the pool, other recreational activities offered by the hotel include a lush garden, several bars for daytime and evening entertainment, themed nights, and mountain bike hire.

Restaurant: There are two restaurants in the resort: the Arcipelago, which serves traditional Sicilian dishes and Aeolian cuisine; and the Dydme, an American bar that serves cocktails and play live music. We tried the Arcipelago and were not enticed or impressed.

The dinner menu changed each night, but every time, it still only had three or four appetizers, three or four pasta, and three or four main dishes to choose from. Of the two times we ate dinner there, there was nothing on the menu that sounded very good. The fish was decent, but it definitely didn't taste like it was fresh. Overall, the food in the restaurant was just barely mediocre. The whole service and atmosphere and experience were definitely not five-star.

The other thing that really ruined it for me was the occasional cockroach that would walk across the concrete wall in front of me. When I said something to the waiter, he said that with the heat of the room and being so close to the water, there was nothing they could do about it.

The morning breakfast buffet was no better. By 9 AM the food was close to gone and not replenished. The service was bad and I had to order my coffee three times before someone actually bothered to get it for me.

Overall Impression While the location is perfect and the building itself is gorgeous, Therasia Resort's service is lacking, lacking, lacking. The poor room, restaurant, and pool area service were far from being five-star. The staff is grossly untrained and after talking with many of them, most were unhappy and it showed. To think, this was just weeks after they have been open for the season.

Therasia Resort may be the best hotel and resort on Vulcano Island, but I can only give it a rating of somewhere between bombastic and not.

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