Best Sources for Finding Hotels, etc.

Jan 24th, 2001, 12:52 PM
  #1  
Daria
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Best Sources for Finding Hotels, etc.

Can anyone recommend some reliable sources for finding lodging? My husband and I are going to Rome and then I think either the Riviera or the Amalfi Coast. We are open to staying at hotels, B&Bs, and maybe renting a house in the Riviera or the Amalfi Coast (if that is a possibility). We would like to stay in nice places with some charm, but donít want to pay much more than $175.00 U.S. per night. Any book and/or website suggestions would be appreciated.
 
Jan 24th, 2001, 02:03 PM
  #2  
janice
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Cheap sleeps Italy by Sandra Gustafson is a great source for Rome - but won't be a lot of use out into the country. When she says "cheap" it's not necessarily really low priced - she is more focused on good value -some of which are not really inexpensive. But she does cover a full spectrum of price ranges, and gives very thorough recommendations. (I've also had very good luck with her restaurant books Cheap Eats)
 
Jan 24th, 2001, 02:11 PM
  #3  
jhm
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Let's Go Italy = student priced accommodations, not just for students (but may be too budget-oriented for you).
 
Jan 24th, 2001, 02:16 PM
  #4  
elaine
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As one resource, you can search on this forum for Rome hotel, Amalfi hotel, etc
and particularly for Rome you will get
much information
here are just some websites
www.travel-italy.com/library/
www.hotelguide.ch/
www.venere.it/
www.initaly.com.
www.italyhotel.com
www.italiantourism.com/
www.itwg.com
www.ciaoitaly.net network of B&Bs
www.karenbrown.com her books feature charming inns and small hotels
www.travelocity.com
 
Jan 24th, 2001, 02:16 PM
  #5  
not a snob but...
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I purchased the book "Cheap Sleeps in Italy" and looked at several of her hotels, and stayed at two of them. I'm sorry, but, the hotels we stayed at were dumps. We had to stay there due to the lateness of the hour when we arrived in Rome and Venice, but, we took our leave at daybreak. I was appalled that anyone would recommend these worn, rag tag hotels. I am not a snob. I have stayed in all types of accomodations all over Europe and still cringe at the thought of her recommendations. Save your 12 bucks.
 
Jan 25th, 2001, 06:50 PM
  #6  
Daria
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Thank you all very much for your help. I used the Cheap Sleeps books to book places in Venice, Florence, Paris and London and was please with the places in Venice and Paris, but had mixed feelings about the places in Florence and London. We want good service and clean rooms that have nice furnishings and charm and I'm not sure how reliable she is for that.
 
Jan 25th, 2001, 07:35 PM
  #7  
Rex
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Daria - -

Elaine's list is good, but the two best resources she lists there are one in the same, and unfortunately, it seems to be "down" - - I have checked it multiple times this week, and hopefully, www.italyhotel.com - - aka www.venere.it - - will be back up soon.

In the meantime, let me suggest just two sources that will give you a useful overview.

First, (and why do we all overlook our host so?) is Fodors itself - - http://www.fodors.com/miniguides/mgr...ur_section=lod - - where you can read a little or a lot about some 70 hotels. Pretty generous from a company that makes its living selling books with this kind of information.

And lest we only praise Caesar - - some useful info from a competitor publisher - - www.timeout.com/rome/accom/index.html - - their listings are first subdivided by price and "class" - - which is a useful way to get a feel for what your money will buy you.

Once you have selected one or two that sound appealing to you, then it may be useful to come back here for "fresh" news or opinions.

As "Patrick" (and others) have pointed out here in other threads, there are few people who visit this site who have actually had the opportunity to compare multiple hotels in the same city. This is one time that a source "in the industry" (specifically in guide book publishing) makes as much or more sense as relying on individual anecdotes.

Best wishes,

Rex
 
Jan 26th, 2001, 10:21 AM
  #8  
Daria
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Thanks Rex! I appreciate your suggestions about websites. There are so many out there and it is hard to know which ones are good. Daria
 
Jan 26th, 2001, 12:44 PM
  #9  
richardab
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Try my websight. I have some info on hotels in Amsterdam and Rome. My sight also include restaurants and travel info

http://home.earthlink.net/~richardab/
 
Jan 26th, 2001, 03:34 PM
  #10  
steenie123
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I've used Karen Brown for all of my trips to Europe, and her guidebooks are dead on! I've stayed in about 20 of them in Italy, and each one was a gem.
you can also check out the website at www.karenbrown.com. I would get either her Small Inns & Hotels guide or Bed & Breakfasts one for even more inexpensive places.
 
Jan 26th, 2001, 06:29 PM
  #11  
Rex
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Daria (and Steenie)

I totally agree that Karen Brown's choices are ALWAYS good. And like fodors and TimeOut, her website provides information VERY generously - - more or less the same information she is trying to sell thorugh her books.

I recommended Fodors and Timeout simply because they provide a larger number - - and a broad cross-section. For Rome on the Italy Inns section of karenbrown, thee are only 5 choices (all expensive), and on the B&B section, there are only 7 choices.

By reading the spectrum of accommodations on fodors and/or timeout, you will have a very good framework for judging what your lodging budget will buy you. As with almost all things, you gets what you pays for.

And I wouldn't be surprised if you end up with a karenbrown suggestion!

You may also benefit from "our own" Ed Gehrlein - - with the Rome info on the incomparable www.twenj.com website - - AND you can talk directly to him here.
 
Jan 26th, 2001, 09:34 PM
  #12  
alan
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Hi I just saw yiour e-mail and thought I would include UTELL. We have used it several times over the years. They are a booking agent for about 3000 hotels around the world. I have called them up, told them our destination and hotel requirements and they have found what we are looking for, They even found the only hotel in Venice with a parking lot. You book your hotel with them and receive your confirmation in writing from the hotel. The number is 1-800-44 UTELL. I haven't used it for a couple of years but they have been very good in the past. alan
 
Jan 27th, 2001, 09:51 AM
  #13  
Daria
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Thank you all so much for your guidance!

Richard-I visited your website and it is really cool! The graphics are great. Did you do that all yourself?! I noticed you went to Rome from SF in May. My husband and I actually live in SF and will be doing the same . . .

Steenie and Rex-Thank you very much for your suggestions about Karen Brown. I have purchased a lot of travel books in my day, but I haven't even heard of her so I am grateful for your input.

Alan-Do you know if UTELL charges an additional fee for booking? I don't mind booking rooms myself if I can save an extra charge.

Thanks again everyone!
 
Jan 27th, 2001, 04:47 PM
  #14  
austin
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Alan

I use Utell for all my reservations in France
They have some many properties---or rather they represent so many properties that you cant go wrong no matter what the price range
They do not charge for your booking
Only a minor nit pick---they try to get you to prepay a deposit in order to lock in the current echange rate---give me a break! Just tell them no when they call.
Otherwise it is perfect especilly when it comes to cancelling---in most cases itis same day or at the worst 24 hours
BestWestern is also good---maybe better in terms of ease--but they just dont have the properties

AH
 
Jan 27th, 2001, 06:56 PM
  #15  
rlk
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-
Another vote for Karen Brown's books -- for Italy, it's Karen Brown's Bed & Breakfasts. Her descriptions are accurate and detailed; she often seeks out places that are reasonably priced with charm. She does include some pricier places, but again her specificity with regards to value and the nature of the accommadations make her guides very reliable.
 
Jan 29th, 2001, 10:16 AM
  #16  
Emma
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to the top.
 
Jan 30th, 2001, 01:54 PM
  #17  
Steve the Guide
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A very good site for find an hotel is www.charmingitaly.com
 
Jan 30th, 2001, 03:15 PM
  #18  
alan
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Hi Daria Sorry I haven't been back to check in a couple of days.. As far as a service charge I don't think I have ever paid one. If there is a service charge it comes from the hotel that you book from. alan
 
Jan 30th, 2001, 05:13 PM
  #19  
Robin
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I have a general piece of advice. When using the web (which I have had GREAT luck with), cross reference anything that looks interesting on as many different sources as you can come up with. Surprisingly, many sites carry different pictures, and of course it's always great to find a site with real guests' comments (at least I hope they are real!). I have done this with various general hotel sites (including those which are booking services), guidebook sites, and city directories, and then I do a final search by just putting the hotel name and city into Alta Vista to see what comes up. This may be overkill, but I think it's easier to rule a hotel in or out with more information.
 

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