Lodging options in Taormina range from army cots to sumptuous suites. Be prepared, however, to pay a king's ransom, and don't be too surprised if what's deemed four-star here passes for a nondescript three-star anywhere else.
If you're coming primarily to hit the beach, at least in July and August, you may want to stay at Mazzarò, 5km (3 miles) from the center, and trek up the hill for shopping, nightlife, and dining. Mazzarò is the major beach and has some fine hotels. Buses and cablecars connecting Mazzarò and Taormina leave every 30 minutes daily from 8am to 9pm; the fare is 1.50€. Otherwise, I recommend that you stay in Taormina -- it has far more charm than anything down by the sea.
In summer, the curse of Taormina hotels is the noise, from traffic as well as from visitors who turn the town into an all-night party. If you're a light sleeper and you've chosen a hotel along Corso Umberto, ask for a room in the rear -- you'll be trading a view for a good night's sleep.
If you're driving to a hotel at the top of Taormina, call ahead to see what arrangements can be made for your car. Ask for exact driving directions as well as instructions on where to park -- the narrow, winding, one-way streets can be bewildering once you get here.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.