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Accademia & Uffizi without advance ticket/reservation in December

Accademia & Uffizi without advance ticket/reservation in December

Nov 7th, 2009, 12:11 PM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 32,701
It appears your hotel has tacked on a fee of 4€ per reservation for their profit. I think many hotels make these reservations at no charge (except the museum charges)as a service to their clients.

I'm not sure what advantage you hoped to gain by having the hotel book versus you booking it on the museum website. Perhaps you don't understand the cost of these tickets.
For the time you are going, entrance is 10€ per ticket because there is a special exhibit. You can not get out of paying 10€ to get in even if you just walk up and stand in line. 6.50€ tickets do not exist if there is a special exhibit. For the convenience of booking online through the museum website and thereby avoiding standing in perhaps a long line, a 4€ fee is tacked on to each ticket (10€+4€=14€). If there were no special exhibit, you would pay 6.50€+4€=10.50€ on the museum website.

IMHO - The Westin has not made your reservations and have not paid for them because according to the museum website, there is no 4€ cancellation fee. I think the Westin is just trying to make 4€ per ticket off of you or 8€ per ticket if you cancel. I think the Westin has the tickets on hold, but hasn't paid for them because there is no refund at all for canceled tickets. That tells me the Westin has not paid for them.

>>REFUNDS
No refunds of the price of the ticket shall be given should you decide that the purchase was done in error or that you are no longer able to attend the event. Nor are refunds given for tickets that were purchased but never retrieved. <<

http://www.b-ticket.com/b-ticket/uff...golamento.aspx
kybourbon is online now  
Nov 8th, 2009, 04:12 AM
  #22  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
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oh dear, talisburo - I do sympathise.

sometimes whatever you do turns out wrong.

look at it this way - if you'd booked it on line, you'd have paid €56. now you're paying €72 or an extra €16 - which is about the cost of 4 beers.

a lesson learnt but not tooo expensively.

AND you have the convenience of just walking up and walking in. I'm with your DH - forget about it and enjoy the trip - it's not worth worrying about.

as your reservations at the accademia are for 9.30, afterwards you could cross the piazza san marco and visit the Fra Angelico museum, which is only open in the mornings - [not mondays].

after that, the cafe on the corner of the piazza where it meets via cavour is well worth visiting for a light lunch - lovely sandwiches and cakes, and the most elaborate hats on the waitresses that I've ever seen.
annhig is offline  
Nov 8th, 2009, 04:32 AM
  #23  
 
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You also provided some valuable information for people asking their hotels to book reservations for them to beware hidden extra charges.
kybourbon is online now  
Nov 8th, 2009, 05:19 AM
  #24  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 78
FYI: During the week in the afternoons (this week) there was no line at the Uffizi - today - Sunday - at around 2 PM on a cold rainy day there was a short line.
InFlorence is offline  
Nov 8th, 2009, 10:42 AM
  #25  
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Oh, I hope, at least, that some people can benefit from my disappointing experience...yes, DO ask for asking any hotel to make a reservation for you.

Thanks annhig for your simpathy (I kind of need it!) we'll do what my husband said to (keep the reservation) but I can't avoid hating the Hotel people already...

kybourbon, I am obviously not gaining anything from booking with the hotel (in fact you saw that I'm loosing!) but some people suggested to ask my hotel to make the reservation for us (with no cost) it wasn't the case with our Hotel, so I told them to make the reservation without asking them first how much the charges were going to be (because I was already aware of the regular fees to enter the Galleries with the exhibitions), so I figured it was going to be just that cost.

You read the respond from the Hotel, so yes, they are trying to profit no matter how from my reservation.
tasiburo is offline  
Nov 8th, 2009, 01:54 PM
  #26  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
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I have always had my hotel book my reservation and have never been charged a fee.

But honestly, is enough to make you "hate the hotel already"? Perhaps they have had too many clients stick them with the reservation fee after they have paid it so they implemented a fee.

I very much enjoyed my stay at the Westin and hope you do as well.
kfusto is offline  
Nov 8th, 2009, 02:21 PM
  #27  
 
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"You also provided some valuable information for people asking their hotels to book reservations for them to beware hidden extra charges."

That's why we stay at cheap hotels and get much better service than the more expensive ones. We always have our hotels (ones without consierges) make reservations for whatever we need and I have never been charged a penny by the hotel. If I remember correctly, they charge a couple of euro more when you arrive at the museum for the ticket. You wait in a different line for the Accademia and the Uffizi we walked in ahead of the line. Definitely not what the Westin is talking about.

My in-laws insist on staying at the expensive hotels and everyone always has their hands out. We never have that at the little cheap hotels.
Ann1 is offline  
Nov 8th, 2009, 04:16 PM
  #28  
 
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ttt
pjsparlor536 is offline  
Nov 8th, 2009, 07:31 PM
  #29  
 
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>>>That's why we stay at cheap hotels and get much better service than the more expensive ones. <<<

Many times people choose hotels such as the Westin to use their points, not because they are trying to book a more expensive hotel.
kybourbon is online now  
Nov 8th, 2009, 11:48 PM
  #30  
 
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Hi tasiburo, you need to put the irritation out of your mind, so that it doesn't spoil either gallery for you.

It happens to us all at some point. I'll tell you what I did in Rome last year...... we arrived in Rome late in the afternoon, very jetlagged after a more or less direct flight from Sydney.

I knew from Fodors to go to a tabac and buy our bus/train tickets for the week. I did buy them, but so that I wouldn't waste most a day's travel, I also bought us each a 1 euro pass for that day. Off we went, all was good. Then at about 11pm, very jetlagged on our way back to the convent where we were staying I accidentally pulled the weekly passes out of my wallet and activated them on the bus, instead of the one day pass. I was so cross with myself, I wouldn't believe I had done something so stupid and wasted an entire day of our passes.

Anyway, it's just an example of the irritating things that happen, but really in the scheme of the cost of a trip to Europe, it's a trivial cost. Don't let it worry you any more.

I hope you have a great trip and look forward to hearing about it when you return.
cathies is online now  
Nov 9th, 2009, 04:16 AM
  #31  
 
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I think it is ludicrous to claim that cheap hotels give better service than more expensive properties or they do not add extra charges. Gross generalizations are rarely valid.

We have stayed at all types of inns, B&Bs and hotels around the world. I can not remember being disappointed with fees or service levels at any of luxury hotels nor have I ever been charged a supplemental fee.
kfusto is offline  
Nov 9th, 2009, 08:50 AM
  #32  
 
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kfusto: We stay at expensive hotels when we travel for business. We go to expensive hotels with points. In Europe there is a big difference of being well cared for in a small cheap hotel than an expensive hotel. In expensive hotels you are given the choice of what the Westin did. They will recommend whatever they get a commission or kick back from first. Small cheap hotels give you more of the "the way the locals do" information. That's a fact. We have been traveling for many many years on business and personal. I have experienced it.

As an example. We were in Frankfurt and I asked about a special trolley that tours around on weekends. The consierge had no idea what we were talking about but tried to sell us on another tour. We went out walking and it passed right in front of us. I then found out that everyone knows about it. It was (and possibly is) a big deal in Frankfurt. Things like that have happened many times in Europe and the US to us.

We go to a specific hotel in Rome every year. 9 years ago we had to cancel because my husband was sick. To this day when we go they ask how he is feeling. Sorry, you don't get that in a big expensive hotel.
Ann1 is offline  
Nov 9th, 2009, 08:57 AM
  #33  
 
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Not all expensive hotels are big. And I disagree about the level of service. We have traveled to Europe 25x or so and stayed in our share of expensive hotels. We leave in 2 weeks for another trip and are doing so again.

I do not share your opinion nor have had your experiences. And the Starwood properties in Europe are among our favorites. The Westin in Florence was a great experience for us.

And when a concierge is trying to make a buck, it is easy to figure that out if one does their research up front.

Horses for courses.
kfusto is offline  
Nov 9th, 2009, 11:44 AM
  #34  
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Yes, we're staying at the Westin because of the points we're using. It was a bad experience (the booking) but you're right, maybe I shouldn't hate them...I'll try to be open mind when we're there and of course enjoy the (very expensive galleries!
tasiburo is offline  
Nov 9th, 2009, 03:55 PM
  #35  
 
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tasiburo: What a previous poster said before about going to the Accademia a little before closing is correct. You can walk right in. The Uffizi I'm not sure about. Everytime I have passed there is a line. At least you can save with the Accademia.

kfusto: What I said about the level of service is that you can get it with a hand out. In family run hotels, you get it without having to pay for everything and they're more open to caring about you as a person and not a euro bill.

Our family owns a hotel in Ischia. They treat people like family. In the morning everyone eats together, etc. Whatever you want, you get without tipping. They give advice and call taxis or set up tours without a tip or kickback. You don't get that in an expensive hotel.

It's like here. Hiltons you have to pay for wifi. Hampton Inn you get it free. Why is that? They're both Hilton family. The more expensive hotels charge for everything.
Ann1 is offline  
Nov 10th, 2009, 03:46 AM
  #36  
 
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The only truly negative experience I have had in Italy was at a small family owned B&B in Florence. I had jewelry stolen out of a locked safe while I was out for a run.

The owners were not helpful at all (though they were gracious before the incident), denied it could have happened in their inn and the police would not give me a police report as they believe the family, not me, so my insurance would not pay. It was the one and only time I have had items stolen from a safe.
kfusto is offline  
Nov 10th, 2009, 04:49 AM
  #37  
 
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I run an Alastair Sawday-listed B&B in Lincolnshire and totally agree with Ann1 about service and charges in small versus large places to stay. We advise guests on things to see in the area, book dinner reservations, look up timetables etc, even give lifts on occasion, not to mention the odd glass of wine or tea and cake in front of the fire. Not many large hotels offer these services at no extra charge.
tarquin is offline  
Nov 10th, 2009, 06:50 AM
  #38  
 
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absolutely Tarquin.

we stayed at a B&B in Surrey in the summer in order to atend a party being held nearby, and completely unprompted, the owner offered us a lift to the venue, so that we wouldn't need to take our car. I've never heard of the concierge of a big hotel chain doing that.

OTOH another B&B nearby "forgot" that our friends had paid a very large deposit in advance for some other guests, tried to charge them twice, then got shirty when the mistake was pointed out.

not all small establishments are perfect. think Fawlty Towers.
annhig is offline  
Nov 11th, 2009, 12:20 PM
  #39  
 
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kfusto: Just as a friendly suggestion. When traveling, leave the jewelry home. I go stripped of all gold or any good jewelry. We were at a beautiful ocean front hotel in Hawaii in the late 70's. I heard a ruckas in the hall. I opened the door and it was the police going into the room. The woman had been wearing beautiful jewelry and someone decided to break into her room and steal it. From then on I never packed anything good.
Ann1 is offline  
Nov 13th, 2009, 11:20 PM
  #40  
 
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Ann1, I agree with you completely. I leave my precious pieces at home and just take inexpensive things I wouldn't be too upset about losing. And it's losing them or leaving a hotel and forgetting them that worries me the most, rather than having them stolen. I wear my wedding ring and my watch, but the rest, including my engagement ring, stay at home. Good advice.
cathies is online now  

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