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mebe Jan 6th, 2008 02:34 PM

Hotel vs. Apartment for Single Woman
I'm leaving my family (Dh and three little kids) for a one week adventure in Rome in May.

The decision was made suddenly and now I'm scrambling to find a place to stay. I thought I found a hotel (Hotel Parlamento 940E for the week, 119E per day), but after a bit of looking around, I discovered I could rent a studio apartment for a few 100E less, in the areas I prefer (Campo dei Fiori, Piazza Narvona...)

I am already nervous about doing this trip on my own, and for some reason, the idea of staying in an apartment, instead of hotel, ratchets up my anxiety.

I have stayed in an apartment in Rome before, so I'm not sure what my problem is :)

Do you think a hotel is safer or makes more sense than an apartment -- since I'm traveling alone?


SeaUrchin Jan 6th, 2008 02:44 PM

Look at the site and make arrangements with Tim, the owner of the rental service. I know many women who travel to Rome solo and have used his apartments, including myself.

Read one of Barb's trip reports from Rome, she has rented from him a few times.

I like apartments the best when I am alone, it seems homier but others probably like front desk service, etc. If I have a book and a cell phone (which I do) I dont need a hotel.

bellastarr Jan 6th, 2008 02:53 PM

Try to relax and lose a of that nervous feeling. I'm a solo traveler (female) and agree that an apartment is a good way to go.
But I also live alone here at home, so I'm pretty independant, and considering you're used to having people around all the time, that might affect your decision, and you might also want to consider a B and B or small hotel to give you a balance of alone time and access to others.

ira Jan 6th, 2008 02:56 PM

Hi M,

>Do you think a hotel is safer or makes more sense than an apartment -- since I'm traveling alone?<

Sounds as if you are bothered about being alone in a strange city, in which you don't speak the language, and having something untoward happen.

A not unreasonable concern.

It might not be worth saving a few hundred Euro to feel anxious staying alone at night.


grapes Jan 6th, 2008 04:00 PM

Ira makes a good point. Since you are accustomed to being around people 24/7 (your family), you may enjoy knowing your hotel reception "friends" are there 24/7. Plus you have the added benefit of hotel staff for advice about activities and events in the city. Have a great time!

mebe Jan 6th, 2008 04:10 PM

Thanks again SeaUrchin -- I looked at, and they don't have what I want available.

Ira -- You are right about my worries. I asked DH's opinion, since he seems to know me best, and he thinks I'll calm down once I'm there :)

I've been over at looking into apartment reviews, agency reviews...I do like the idea of staying in an apartment, especially if it is cheaper and more space.

I don't think I need a front desk. Perhaps to call a taxi on my early departure.

About the alone thing -- I want to mix in a few day tours for my stay and I think that'll help during the day. Night time, I'm not sure what I'll do.

I think I'm starting to babble. :)

wliwl Jan 6th, 2008 04:20 PM

I think you're safe either place - but if it were me I'd prefer to stay in a hotel. Less lonely!

Sally30 Jan 6th, 2008 04:23 PM

If you are even thinking about it, I'd stay in a hotel. I think I'm a fairly adventurous person but if I were traveling alone I'd want the convenience and security of a hotel. Like the others said, less lonely, also a concierge to help with arrangements, reservations, etc and housekeeping to make your bed and clean your room every day (a major perk for me)! Also, the apartments aren't always exactly as advertised. That can be an adventure but if I were alone, I'd rather not deal with no hot water (like the apartment rented in rome) or other mishaps.

wliwl Jan 6th, 2008 04:27 PM

I'm actually REALLY jealous of this trip...

gruezi Jan 6th, 2008 04:30 PM


I vote for the hotel. I travel alone a lot although I too have a husband and children. I'm really independent and value my alone time, but in a big city it's nice to have the front desk staff to "come home to" at night and to help with reservations and such. Also, if the hotel has a small lobby or bar area you can sit there with tea or wine and your book and not feel stuck in your room when your feet are tired and you aren't up for sitting alone in a restaurant. Or if you just want to find someone safe to share you great day with.

Yes, I think a hotel is safer...but that depends on where the apt or hotel is located of course.

Have a wonderful trip and I think your husband is right. You'll be really fine whatever you decide once you get there.

WillTravel Jan 6th, 2008 05:18 PM

Based on the review someone recently gave of the Hotel Parlamento single room, I would not want to stay there for that price. It sounds too, too small (and I'm very tolerant of small rooms). It's not actually the lack of space that bothered me in that review so much as the uncomfortable-sounding feeling.

Maybe expand your hotel search a bit? I know the Hotel San Carlo has been very highly recommended. Maybe you could get a double.

Personally I would pay less than half as much as the Parlamento, and either stay in a convent or at the Hotel Julia where I stayed before, but I know everyone's preferences vary.

I think the poster SusanP, who has been to Rome several times, has some trip reports with various conveniently located Rome apartments. Maybe take a look at her reports.

For me, it's a combination of budget and convenience, but I've never been sold on the apartment idea for myself. Just as one example, one thing I like about hotels is that I don't have to worry about my arrival time or arranging a rendezvous with the apartment owner or carrying large amounts of cash. I also like staying at hotels with a 24-hour desk.

tuscanlifeedit Jan 6th, 2008 05:27 PM


It sounds like you are leaning toward an apartment, but for me, I would prefer a hotel if I were alone. Just me.

I just wanted to mention that I visited my friend's single room at the Hotel San Carlo, and it was very adequate, and quite clean.

Something you could do at night is set up a gtg or two here on the forum.

ciaolaura Jan 6th, 2008 05:36 PM

Is a B & B an option? If you choose an apartment over a hotel, make sure you know what to do and who to call in case of an emergency. If it were me, I would vote for a hotel.

I frequently travel alone and I enjoy the companionship of meeting my fellow travellers during breakfast, dinner, in the lobby bar, etc. It can be very lonely if you do not have anyone to talk to that speaks your language and is interested in befriending you.

If you are used to having your family around you at home, it may sound like a nice idea to travel on your own, but once you are there, you may change your mind and wish you had some company.

suze Jan 6th, 2008 06:02 PM

I never stay in apartments when I travel solo (though that's fine when I'm with a friend or partner). It's way too isolating imo (not necessarily unsafe just lonely).

I MUCH prefer a hotel, with a front desk where I can ask questions, a lobby I can sit in...

For myself, 119euro would be too much, but I'd keep on it and try to find a centrally located hotel for a somewhat lesser price.

I can't put it into words but an apartment, solo, for a one week trip, sounds like WAY more trouble than it's worth. I worry about the keys, meeting the owner, having to do your own laundry, no one to ask for help, etc. (and I am not a particularly nervous traveler, I've been around a bit).

nytraveler Jan 6th, 2008 06:35 PM

For one person I would definitely go with a hotel. there's no real benefit in an apartment - and you may want to use the hotel services for recos for tours, restaurants etc.

KL467 Jan 6th, 2008 06:39 PM

I would go with the hotel. It will be easier and give you a chance to interact with others.

mebe Jan 6th, 2008 07:22 PM

Thanks everyone for sharing your opinions.

I've been thinking a lot and I think that a hotel is the better choice.

I had a very romantic vision of living my "other" life as a single woman living in a foreign city in my own apartment (I think of this a lot when they my sweet twerps start crying, hitting, biting, whining-LOL!)

BUT -- I didn't consider emergency situations or the extra hassle if something goes wrong (like no hot water) or having someone make me coffee in the morning. And I never thought of taking advantage of a hotels public spaces.

I also read the review of the Hotel Parlamento and how TINY the rooms were. But it was the cheapest quote I'd been given, so far.

Residenza Canali said 165E (150E if cash). And the other hotels I liked were booked.

But I did check out San Carlo (Thanks tuscanlifeedit!) And for 125E, that might be a good option.

So I'm off on to hunt down a hotel... (after I give my daughter a bath)

I, of course, would gladly hear any other hotel recommendations. This task is daunting. :)

mebe Jan 7th, 2008 09:40 AM

Hotel Due Torri offered me a room for 130E a night. Seems like a lot, but the reviews here, tripadvisor all seem positive -- and I do like the location...

The search continues...:)

SeaUrchin Jan 7th, 2008 10:04 AM

The advantage of an apartment is that it is roomier. I have seen single rooms and some of them, even in nice hotels, are like closets.

At the Due Torri, we booked two rooms, one a double and one a single with a shared bathroom between the rooms. The single (and I don't know for sure if they offer it as a single or part of a double) was like a closet. I could not have slept in it even for one night.

The single at the Res. Canali was a bit roomier.

The apartments I have seen, even studios, are big enough to walk around in and have little kitchenettes.

cls2paris Jan 7th, 2008 10:16 AM

I second the recommendation for Hotel Julia. Don't get the smaller of the single rooms though. I did because it was for just one night and it was way too small. It was long and narrow - the width was as wide as the door plus the width of the bed. The front desk staff were very helpful, they can arrange airport shuttles for you for a lot less than you can get on your own. The breakfast was good. I am still trying to get my solo European vacation planned, I envy that you are able to do it.

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