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European Hotels - splurge or save?

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by Bond, Dec 5, 2016.

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  1. Bond

    Bond Low-Roller

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    I'm planning a trip to Europe with my adult son for 2 weeks later in 2017. One week will be in London and one week will be in Rome. Between miles and a Delta gift card, the cost of our flights is going to be about the same as flying to Vegas. We are having some debate about hotels, funny since it's my money so I'm not sure why he's debating me on this. I'm sure it's partly generational. I guess maybe I'm at the stage in my life where I want to stay somewhere where I will feel relaxed especially since it will be for a week each time versus trying to watch the budget super close. Not that we will necessarily be staying at the most expensive hotels in each city but I definitely want something nice with a good size bathroom and a bedroom that feels bigger than a closet. Are you a splurge or save type person on a big trip like this and why?
     
  2. vegas superfan

    vegas superfan High-Roller

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    Is this your first trip to Europe? One thing I learned was to read the hotel descriptions. Not all hotels have air conditioning (not sure what months you will be there) or elevators. Rooms may also not have private bathrooms. For these things, I splurge.
     
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  3. Snidely

    Snidely VIP Whale

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    Have you been to Europe before? Their rooms tend to be smaller than what we're used to here. I would spend a little more than you'd spend in Vegas to get something decent.
     
  4. Yall

    Yall Low-Roller

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    I guess I'm a middle of the road type. I don't want a fleabag joint, but when I'm on vacation the room itself is generally of little consequence to me. Notice I said "room" and not "hotel".

    Vegas is a great example, I can cheap out on the room, but still enjoy all of the amenities of a higher end resort.

    As someone mentioned above, rooms in Europe may be smaller, but what is important to you? Would you take a smaller room if the hotel had better services or was closer to your planned activities? When we travel as a group and there are debates over location, I'll go so far as to create a matrix with ratings and categories based upon price, value, etc. but then again, I may be a bit anal with planning. ;)
     
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  5. Bond

    Bond Low-Roller

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    I have been to Europe a few times before, including to London once. This will be the first trip to Rome for both of us. I would definitely want a private bathroom and at least a decent size shower as my son is about 6' tall and a bigger guy. I think a central location is important and good soundproofing. Things like a concierge or a hotel bar probably not so much as I'm thinking we will mostly be sightseeing.

    We are looking to go late November / early December so that definitely helps with the hotel costs as it's the off-season. Partly, this is the slowest time for me at work and my son also wanted to go when it won't be too crowded, and hot at least for Rome.
     
  6. vegas superfan

    vegas superfan High-Roller

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    For your needs, I would pay more for a larger bathroom. Make sure you aren't booking a hotel with those tube-like showers. Your son might not survive those!
     
  7. Snidely

    Snidely VIP Whale

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    We went to Rome last year for 3 days. We stayed in a hotel near the main Terminus train station. It was a nice hotel but the location was just ok as we had to train or bus to see the sights everyday. We enjoyed the area a few blocks from the Pantheon with all it's little restaurants and street life. Definitely do the Vatican paid tour. You'll just find people on the street touting. It seems a little sketchy at first but they're legit. We also went on a walking tour of the Colosseum and ruins. That was great, too. So much to see above the hill behind the Colosseum.
     
  8. azlefty

    azlefty VIP Whale

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    I think hotels in Europe are generally terrible. For the schedule you described, I suggest renting apartments on Airbnb, vrbo, trip advisor, etc. Staying for a week, it's nice to have a kitchen because eating out for every single meal can get expensive and frankly tiring.
    I prefer staying outside the main tourist areas and exploring neighborhoods, but accessible within a 15 to 30 min cab or Bus ride or walk. Restaurants in a tourist area will be like eating at a restaurant on the strip - prices will be 3x other places. And in Rome the little out of the way places you just stumble into by accident that are not in any guide book can be fantastic. You want to be near those places, not TGI Fridays and McDonald's.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2016
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  9. PsyDoc

    PsyDoc High-Roller

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    I am sorry, but that is absolute nonsense. You will find fantastic (and even award winning) hotels in most major cities in Western Europe, particularly in London and Rome. It just depends on how much money you are willing to spend.

    In London, there are some very nice hotels in Kensington, which is located near some of the main attractions in London.
     
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  10. deansrobinson

    deansrobinson VIP Whale

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    I guess we have a different perspective based on personal experience. Some of the best hotels I've stayed in are in Europe. As for a 'kitchen because eating out...', that's entirely subjective. One of the perks of my vacations is that I don't have a kitchen, and can eat at some phenomenal restaurants sampling the local cuisine.
     
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  11. Bond

    Bond Low-Roller

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    I would consider an apartment for a city that I have visited multiple times before but not usually on a first visit. A couple of my favorite hotels I've ever stayed in were in Europe though honestly.

    I think for Rome I've about resigned myself that I just need to go ahead and book this hotel as I keep comparing every other hotel to this one. I like the fact that it's small, the big bathrooms, it looks historic and hopefully quiet while still central. It's not inexpensive but about in line with what we have spent in the past for suites in Vegas or rooms in NY or at Disney so still within the budget.

    http://www.villaspalletti.it/en/

    I'm still looking in London.
     
  12. Snidely

    Snidely VIP Whale

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    I can't imagine cooking my own meals in Italy when there are so many great restaurants.
    I can't imagine cooking my own meals on vacation especially in Italy where there are so many great restaurants.
     
  13. azlefty

    azlefty VIP Whale

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    Fair points. To clarify, i have stayed in what were billed as 4 star hotels in Europe and they felt equivalent to a 1.5 star in the U.S., on multiple occasions. However they usually came with a decent breakfast.
    And yes, it's completely subjective. It's my opinion. And with the U.S. dollar comparatively strong, hotels may be a better deal than when I was there.
     
  14. Snidely

    Snidely VIP Whale

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    Looks good! Close to Trevi Fountain. Only a 15 minute walk to Piazza Navona. Lots of great restaurants a couple blocks off the Piazza going towards the river.
     
  15. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    Personally I would still like to have the kitchen. Eat out for the dinner and maybe a couple lunches, but how magical are seven breakfasts out going to be?

    Its a matter of perspective and budget and the OP does not want to go that way, but even as someone who would want to dine out, I'd rather save money on the breakfasts to splurge on some great dinners.

    To the OP, my (dated) recollection of Rome is that parking is a cluster****, so paying more for a hotel with good location would be worth it.
     
  16. azlefty

    azlefty VIP Whale

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    yeah, that's WAY nicer than the dump I stayed in when I visited Rome while in college, where there was a pool of a dark red liquid on the floor by the elevator. Probably can't go wrong there.
     
  17. makikiboy

    makikiboy VIP Whale

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    I went on a tour of Europe in 2013. The tour took care of most of my trip (16 nights) but I also spent an extra day in London and 3 extra days in Paris. Even though I'm over 50 I stayed in hostels in London and Paris. For me it was no problem since I was by myself and just wanted a place to stay for the night.

    Bond, just FYI, some hostels have double rooms for 2 people so you can stay with your boy there if you really want to save money. In Paris the hostel was a few minutes from the train station so very convenient for me. My room was adequate, shared by 3 other people and a separate bathroom in the room so I only had to contend with the other 3. In London the hostel was a little near Kensington palace but again near the train stations. The room was a shared quad but there was only 1 other person in the room. Unfortunately there weren't many bathrooms so we had to fight to use it during the early mornings. Not recommended.

    IMHO, for 2 people it might be better to find a better or mid priced place to stay at. As others have mentioned, it is also good to find a place that is close to the activities you will be doing, or at least near the train stations so you don't have to go far with your luggage.
     
  18. valsdad

    valsdad Tourist

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    That hotel in Rome looks very nice. If you like that one, and since they are members of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World group, why not check out what they have available in London.

    http://www.slh.com/destinations/europe/united-kingdom/london/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=brand-geo_|_search_|_gbr&utm_term=small_luxury_hotels_of_the_world_london&gclid=Cj0KEQiApqTCBRC-977Hi9Ov8pkBEiQA5B_ipb4ax-B5yClRpQmKOLRzeovRGdIpDRaa_gXwwA1LwkMaArBl8P8HAQ

    For a budget choice, Premier Inns are very good with locations throughout London. My favorite for luxury in London is the Beaumont Hotel. Great bathrooms.Excellent service. Rates include continental breakfast.
     
  19. irmster

    irmster Low-Roller

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    It all depends on what you want out of a hotel. Give me a character hotel with the odd flaw rather than staying in a Marriott or a Holiday Inn. (Or here in the UK, a Premier Inn - again, nice enough but pretty unimaginative for a vacation).

    There are fabulous hotels all over Europe which do not cost the earth and which are clean and comfortable and different. Spend some time researching - it's half the fun.
     
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  20. Bond

    Bond Low-Roller

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    I have stayed in a few of the Small Luxury Hotels before in other cities, and enjoyed them so I will check that out. I had actually stayed in a Premier Inn once on a school trip. It was fine, but as you said unimaginative.

    The Beaumont looks stunning. I'm a huge fan of that sort of 1930s Art Deco style.

    I generally tend to like character hotels as well whenever possible, especially when traveling outside of the US. I tend to like hotels that are smaller, with some character. If it's family owned, that's a plus for me. They don't always need to be as luxurious as the one in Rome either. I was really drawn to that one though.
     
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