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Europe Hotel - how to accommodate a family of four?

Europe Hotel - how to accommodate a family of four?

Apr 15th, 2007, 04:40 PM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 136

We are renting an apartment in Florence for 3 nights in November. Going through Initaly.com. The apt we chose is the Florence Ciompi Apts...Michelangelo which sleeps 8 as we are a family of 6. The Ciompi has many apt size options and the price is reasonable. And as someone mentioned earlier in the post... you can do laundry and spread out a bit.

Initaly.com has been very helpful and their website has tons of info.

Good luck!
ChanB is offline  
Apr 15th, 2007, 05:20 PM
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Posts: 17
If you don't want to stay in a vacation rental, you can find some hotels that offer adjoining rooms that can be opened up into an "apartment". In Europe these generally fall into a category called "Residence Hotels". They often include a small cooking area with hot plates and mini fridge
kerbouchard is offline  
Apr 15th, 2007, 06:48 PM
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Spring is coming on its way. So I plan to make a trip to Spain, a Western Europe country. But I have never been on a trip abroad. So I have made my efforts to find some related to Spain. www.allmadrid.com , www.bilbaoguide.net and www.laketahoe-travel.com are my collections. I hope these can give me some help. To tell the truth I'm a little nervous. Hoping somebody can give me some suggestions.
Kerryy is offline  
Apr 15th, 2007, 06:58 PM
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kerryy: welcome to Fodors. I'd suggest you start a new thread w/ a title something like "Help w/ trip to Spain". Tacking your basically unrelated question to this long thread isn't such a good idea . . .
janisj is online now  
Apr 17th, 2007, 05:03 PM
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Hi All, Thanks for the info shared here. After spending last week on 1040, I am back working on hotels in Italy. I have come to the conclusion that apartment rental is the least expensive way (~140 euro per night) to accommodate our family of four in Rome (I still need work on other cities).

This will be our first Italy trip and though I have skimmed some travel books, I am still not oriented. I have an immediate question about location: what's the most convenient location in Rome for sightseeing - Pantheon, Campo de' Fiori, Spanish Steps, Fontana di Trevi or Piazza Navona?
hx88 is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2007, 06:55 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
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in florence try the residenza il villino
we paid 150 euro for a large lovely quad (our kids are the same age as yours)
we agree- it is too expensdive to get two rooms- there are better ways to spend your money
there are several places with quads- it just takes a bit of effort to find them
we also stayed at hotel alimandi near the vatican

we liked the free air port shuttle they offered, and also they booked a vatican tour for us the day after our arrival, so me missed all the lines- not special hotel, but reasonable and directly across from the vatican, and they have quads
4bams is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2007, 07:45 AM
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hi, hx,

good idea to go with the apartment in Rome. we had one last year for a week with our kids aged 18 & 15 and we all loved it. DS loved going out in the morning to buy croissants etc for us - still don't know how as he has no italian at all, but he always came back with the goodies and the change.

once you have located your apartment, you can look on mappy to see nearby restaurants, supermarkets etc., though if you are only there for 3 nights, you might want to put soap, loo roll, coffee and tea in your [checked] luggage. we kicked ourseleves all week that "I'd" forgotten the tea-bags.

as for the "best" area, the campo di fiori/ piazza navona are most certainly the most central and closest to what you want to see. Trevi and SS are less so.

Probably teaching my g'ma, but a good tip is to group together the sites you want to see that are in teh same area - eg in Rome, the forum and the colosseum - and don't forget the tip to buy your colosseum tickets at the Palatine Hill within the Forum [free!] - there is usually hardly any queue, as opposed to teh colosseum, where it can be huge. Worth doing, even if you don't want to go into the palatine, which is no more than "quite interesting" and might not be your priority in 3 days.

Ricksteves Rome book has a good itinerary for 2-3 days -
Day 1 -Colosseum and forum, then over to the pantheon. in the evening, stroll up to the Spanish steps.
DAy 2 - St. Peter's and the vatican museum; in the evening,

walk to the trevi fountain and the SS [again?]

DAy 3 - Borghese gallery and National Museum of Rome.

My suggestions would be to concentrate on the colosseum area on the first day - you could add the capitol hill museum, as it's very close-by, and/or san clemente church, where you can see all the layers of roman building back to pre-roman times.

then on the 2nd day, if you are staying on/near the campo di fiori, it is no distance at all to the pantheon.

if you've got a thrid day, the borghese gallery and park might be fun, but there are endless other things to do ,like castel san angelo, trastevere, mosaic churches, osita antica [a roman pompeii] etc etc.

almost too much choice!

have a great time,

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2007, 07:04 PM
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4bams - thanks for the information about residenza il villino in Florence which is the last place I still need to find a hotel. RIV earns a perfect 5.0 on Tripadvisor. 150 Euros is in my budget too. Unfortunately their website is down now and I have to check back later.

Ann, thank you for the location information. I am working with SleeInItaly for an apartment happens to be in Fiori (http://sleepinitaly.com/files/apt_sora.html). The apartment is not very big but seems newly renovated. I also like your suggested itinerary. So far, I have been only working on high-level plan and your information will be very helpful when I zoom in the details. Thank you so much.

I am very lucky to get many sound advices and suggestions. Thank you all for sharing. The followings are my updated city/hotel plan after two nights in London and 4 nights in Paris:

Day 1 noon arrive in Rome from Paris. Shuttle to apartment. Visit Rome in the afternoon and evening.
Day 2 Visit Vantican museums and St. Peter.
Day 3 Visit Rome.
Day 4 Spend at most a few hours in Rome and then drive to Siena. Stay in Florence area (TBD).
Day 5 Florence.
Day 6 Late in the day drive to Venice/Mestre. I booked two nights at Novotel Mestre (about 10 miles from Venice). Might take a night water bus along the canal.
Day 7 Visit Venice including take day water buses.
Day 8 Drive towards Nice. Might stay overnight in Milan. Would like visit Lake Como if time allows (read on this forum that the ferry ride between Varenna and Bellano is not to be missed). If Venice is so obsessive, we could spend the day in Venice too.
Day 9-10 Nice / Monaco.
Day 11 Fly home from Milan.

The plan above took into account many advices offered here, e.g., stay longer in Venice. I know it's a bit packed but hopefully it's doable before we tire out. Please feel free to comment. Thank you!

hx88 is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2007, 07:59 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 38
We have the same question. We will need a quad room in different towns in Normandy as we are planning to drive from Paris.This will be for late September.
What are the best websites to get affordable rooms for a family of four?
trvlbliss is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2007, 01:46 AM
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hi, hz88

yes your trip is doable, if a tad exhausting.

I'd be inclined to miss out Nice and Venice and leave them for another time. You are losing almost two days, just travelling to and from Nice. THat's a lot out of 11 days.

if you must go to Venice i suggest going there straight from Paris, as your current route involves quite a lot of criss-crossing.

This would give you:
Paris -Venice,
Venice- Rome,
Rome- Florence
florence -Milan-home.

However, re-reading your latest post, i guess that you are already locked into a number of options, like the hotel in Mestre.

so using your existing options, but adjusting a bit [i really would not try to get to Nice, just for one night] i would do:

paris -Rome -apartment 3 nights
Rome - Florence - apartment 3 nights
Florence -Venice - apartment 3 nights [or hotel in mestre if you can't cancel]

Venice -Milam via Lake Como - 1 night.

this fills your 10 nights but makes a lot more sense. It also solves your hotel room problem, as you'll be in apartments.

as you are prepared to rough it a bit, you'll be able to make do with one-bedroom apartments with a sofa bed in the sitting room. this should be cheaper and easier than hotels.

good luck

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2007, 05:18 PM
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rvlbliss, Have you checked Novotel.com? The hotel website has inexpensive rate for their modern rooms. They also allow up to 2 children stay free in the parent's room.

hx88 is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2007, 05:30 PM
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Hi Ann,

Thank you for your comments. You are right there are some criss-crossing in my itinerary. I also felt something wrong before but I did not know exactly what the problem is.

I agree with you a trip w/o Nice makes more senses and I just talked to my family at dinner. Thought they appreciate your input, they feel like they want to include it (they heard many good things about it from their friends). The only place they are willing to give up now is Lake Como. I will have to think about it.

Thanks again.
hx88 is offline  
Apr 24th, 2007, 01:16 AM
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hi, hx88 + family,

sorry if your family feel this unknown woman is butting in! I'm sure what ever you do you'll have a great time with folks that are so enthusiastic and energetic.

My perspective is as a mther of 2 kids now aged 19 & 16 with whom we have travelled extensively in Europe since they were younger than yours.

All kids are of course different, but for what it's worth, the most suceesful trips we have had are the ones where we have stayed still rather than toured around. mimumum 3 nights stops. [which is why in south Africa this year we're doing 4, 2, 3, 1, 2, nights - a case of "do what I say, not do what I do"]

Do your kids think they'll never have a chance to see Nice on another trip?

do they really want to spend so much time on another train just to spend the night in Nice? and back again to Milan?

you are already doing a lot of train journeys and the romance will have worn off.

I hope they know that they are carrying all their own luggage!

however, the other lesson I've learnt is that the most successful trips are the ones where the kids have the greatest input. In our case, that meant finding a theme park we could go to, as a tade off against more cultural pursuits/ gardens. [my passion].

Just in case yours like these too, just to the north of Paris, by south of Disnet, is Parc Asterix [self explanatory] and there is a great theme park on lake garda called [originally] "Gardaland".

of course, yours may be far too sophisticated for such diversions. if not, but you don't fancy it, you'll have to destroy this message!

good luck with whatever you decide,

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Apr 24th, 2007, 02:40 AM
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hi, it's me again, interfering in your trip.

assuming you are locked into flight out of Milan, here's a suggestion about how to get Nice into your itinerary:

Paris - Nice [TGV, very quick]
Nice - Venice
Venice -Florence
Florence - Rome
Rome - milan.

It's a bit more cirss-crossing than i would like but less than your original itinerary.

the train from Nice to Venice takes 8 hours or so - 2 departure X day, or you could go overnight, though you have then to change twice.

Have a look at www.bahn.de for details of timetables [for english click on internat. guests]

this gives you
Nice, 1 night
Venice, Rome & Florence, 3 each. you may have to lose a day going home, depending on how early you have to be at the airport.

if you could fly home from Rome, it is a lot easier.

you could think about reversing Rome and Florence.

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Apr 25th, 2007, 05:08 PM
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Hi Ann, we will drive inside Italy and from Italy to Nice and back. Initially I planned to take trains, even from Paris to Nice, but trains are slow (compared to flight) and stops too frequently (even the express trains). Also almost all trains we want to take require reservation and we cannot just hop on whenever we want. Driving ourselves gives us more room to adjust our schedule. For example, at the day leaving Rome for Florence, if we still want to see a few places in Rome, we can stay there until late afternoon and skip Siena; otherwise we can leave Rome early in the morning. Moneywise, renting a car is also cheaper than taking trains for 4 people.

I agree with you that it's more enjoyable to stay in a few places than touring a lot of places. However, sometimes I have to bend a bit so that I can visit a place or two that I envision we will not return in the near future. There are so many places to see, east Europe, north Europe, Greece, Russia, It's quiet unlikely we will go to Nice out of any of the above trips.

You and your family are very privileged that you are able to travel in Europe extensively. Africa is also an amazing place and many people rate it as the most want-to-see place. It probably will be on our radar screen in a few years. Do you have a trip report I can read?

Thank you for your messages and sharing.

p.s.: I booked two nights at Silla Hotel in Florence. I submitted my request on their website http://www.hotelsilla.it/en/index.htm. The owner responded immediately with a special offer of 160 euros for a family room with 4 beds for our mid-July travel. The hotel is conveniently located and has its own parking lot (with a fee). Thus by now, I have booked all our accommodations in Italy (except Milan where we will stay in an airport hotel). Thanks everyone for your kind information and help. I hope this thread will be useful for other families facing similar problem. Let me know if you have any questions.

hx88 is offline  
Apr 26th, 2007, 03:34 AM
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hi, hx -

glad your trip is coming together. your accommodation in florence looks like a good deal.

i understand wanting to drive in Italy, but don't agree that plane is quicker than train. I just googled the Paris -Nice train; it's a TGV route that takes between 5-6 hours. by the time you've got to the airport, got through customs and security, flown, got out the other end, and got into the city, I'd be surprised if it took less time to fly.

we are lucky to be able to travel in europe so much - living here [Cornwall, england] does help - though given how far it is to the rest of the UK, let alone mainland europe, not much. we usually fly from Bristol which is 3 hours drive away.

The trip is likely to be the last family holiday we take, as DD is off to university in October, and probably not wanting to accompany us again. DS has big public exams in May/June, and we originally thought to incentivise him by a trip to Venice, which he was very keen on, til we realised it would be in the middle of July.

so we though very laterally, and ended up with SA - for penguins, whale watching, and then a few days safari. the rand is quite low and it'll be their winter. Apart from DD who went to Swaziland on a college trip last year, we've never been to Africa, so we're getting quite excited.

i'll be filing a trip report on the AFrica forum when we get back. If you click on my name, you should be able to find my trip reports for Rome [April '06] and Florence [Nov' 06] both with our kids, from last year.

have a great trip,

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Apr 26th, 2007, 08:25 AM
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Hi Ann. Do you still remember which threads you posted your Rome and Florence reports? Are the threads started by you or someone else?

hx88 is offline  
Apr 26th, 2007, 09:12 AM
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I've flown and taken the train between Paris/Nice or vice versa and it is a lot quicker to fly. I don't think there is any TGV that is only 5 hrs between those points, most are 6 and the shortest is around 5:30, but that is rare. One of the main factors is that the Nice airport is right on the coast on the edge of the central city and not far from where most people stay, so it's a very short cab ride to your hotel. The flight is only about 1:20 long, and because it is within France, you don't need to be at the airport as early as international flights.

So, it may only save a couple hours total, but it does take less time. Upon arrival in Nice, you are geographically at no disadvantage compared to arriving at the train station.
Christina is offline  
Apr 26th, 2007, 01:22 PM
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hi, hx -

I just tried to find them and failed.

I thought that I'd posted them as new threards, but even though I searched for rome and florence under my name, i couldn't find anything.

If you've got any specific questions, Il try to anwer them.

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
May 14th, 2007, 12:54 PM
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Posts: 62

Hello. We just came back from Rome and would highly recommend either this apartment or this agency. Very easy to deal with as well as very reasonable prices. I cannot stop raving about this place - better than the pictures with a host that speaks English.

gamidtown is offline  
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