Hotels: to splurge or not to splurge?

Old Oct 27th, 2005, 02:30 PM
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Hotels: to splurge or not to splurge?

Even if we have a certain budget that would allow for an expensive hotel, is there really that great a difference between a 170 euro hotel vs. a 230 euro hotel a night? I've only been to Europe once and the hotels, though small, were rarely even used besides sleeping. Your thoughts?
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Old Oct 27th, 2005, 02:36 PM
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Hi E,

Fly cheap, sleep cheap, eat well.

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Old Oct 27th, 2005, 02:42 PM
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Hi eileenferrier, I don't know your budget but unless you plan on spending a lot of time in your hotel room in Europe I would not spend more than necessary for a hotel room.

As Realtors say regarding buying real estate, location, location, location!

If you can get a hotel that is in the location that you want, clean, a good bed, decent bathroom etc. unless part of your vacation plan is to spend a lot of down time in your hotel room it is not probably worthwhile to spend more then necessary for the room.

One thing I do want is a 24/7 desk clerk. I know that is not important to some people but because of a past experience I had it is to me. Best wishes.
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Old Oct 27th, 2005, 02:54 PM
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I do understand your question, but just because one hotel is 170 and the other is 230, it doesn't mean there will be any significant difference and quite possibly the less expensive hotel could turn out to be better. It happens all the time. Hotel rates are based on many factors, not just how the room looks. Location, amenities, etc. do effect hotel rates. So quite possibly a very charming small family run hotel just at the edge of touristy stuff in the city, with no business center, no restaurant/bar attached, no swimming pool, etc, but wonderful, beautifully decorated rooms may cost less than a hotel right in the middle of the touristy area, but with somewhat shabby rooms, but having a business center or pool or whatever, makes their rates higher.....

You should actually do some research about the particular properties and not rely on rates only to determine which one is better.

That said, everybody does it the way they want. Personally I prefer the upper level chain hotels in Europe. I've stayed in enough of the so called charming local hotels to teach me a lesson and never do it again. Not saying that there were all bad, but many are. At least with the major chains I know what I'll get (about 99% of the time, there were couple of disappointments). I prefer Hiltons/Sheratons/Crowne Plaza and such. Conrads, RCs and 4Seasons when I really want to splurge, and never been disappointed with these 3. To me that's just as important as any other part of the trip. Even though I may leave the room early in the morning and come back late in the evening, I know I'm coming back to very clean, cozy, comfortable luxurious room to rest. Others look at it differently.

Only you know which group you belong to.

Have a great trip!
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Old Oct 27th, 2005, 02:55 PM
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I'm a solid three-star girl. Three-start hotels in Europe are so much nicer than those in the US and Canada. I do like a nice hotel -- part of the pleasure of a vacation, for me, is staying in a hotel. It has to be clean, nicely decorated, have pleasant, helpful service, and some sort of common room (lounge, bar, lobby, etc.). If I've exhausted myself walking around all day, I like a nice place to come back to.

On the other hand, the bed can't have better clothes than I do.
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Old Oct 27th, 2005, 03:02 PM
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It depends on the hotel. I have stayed in luxury hotels (Ritz Carlton Istanbul, for example) for less than 230E a night. You can stay in dumps for more than 230E a night. You have to do your homework and try to find the deals out there.

If you have ever stayed at places like the Crillon, Oriental Bangkok, or the Peninsula Hong Kong, you know that it doesn't matter if you are going to spend only one hour in your room. Luxury like that is worth the money. It is really something to wake up on Porthault sheets and smell the scent of live orchids in your room.
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Old Oct 27th, 2005, 03:12 PM
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ira's advice is right on. Spend the extra cash on great meals and /or unique souvenirs.
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Old Oct 27th, 2005, 03:12 PM
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One thing I forgot to mention and it may not apply to you eileenferrier because I have no idea where in Europe you will be going but...in Italy the "stars" for the hotels have nothing to do with the decor, the comfort of the beds etc. etc. The number of stars depend on the services the hotel provides such as room service, restaurant, bar/lounge etc.
Consequently you can stay in a hotel with say four stars with services that you do not care about and not have a lovely comfortable room or you can perhaps stay in a three star hotel that has a beautiful room without room service etc. But again, I do not know if this is true only in Italy or if it is true throughout Europe. Best wishes to you.
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Old Oct 27th, 2005, 03:19 PM
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I would pay more only for better location.

If you are "under" your budget, eat better, shop longer.
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Old Oct 27th, 2005, 03:22 PM
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I like to come back to a really nice hotel room, but that doesn't necessarily mean an expensive one. You need to look at evaluations on sites like tripadvisor.com to get a sense for just what will suit you.

But...having said that I must add that it's not always clear on rating sites just what the reviewer's standards are.
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Old Oct 27th, 2005, 03:29 PM
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LoveItaly,
I didn't know that about the stars in Italy. I used a comination of stars, reviews on tripadvisor and other sites, pictures (taking into account that they're not that accurate) and this site. I really lucked out then, because we stayed in three 3-stars and each one met all my requirements.
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Old Oct 27th, 2005, 03:36 PM
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Pay attention to LoveItaly's advice. We've been vaationing in Europe for over 30 years, and the most important thing is (like she said), location, location, location. She is also correct in her discussion of now stars are earned. It includes things like how long the bar is open, how many languages they speak, whether there is an elevator in a two story hotel, and many other things you may not be interested in. "Charm" is not in the list of things they use to judge a hotel's star rating.

I always tell pople to pick a hotel that's centrally located, has AC if it's likely to be hot, and stay at the least espensive one that's in the Red Michelin Guide. I tell them that their eyes will be closed most of the time they are at the hotel. I follow Ira's advice & spend my money on food. There are a few hotels that ARE the destination for me, so I'll be happy to pay the price (these are getting fewer & fewer each year).

Four weeks ago we stayed at a very nice, cheap, charmless business traveler hotel near the Toulouse airport (6:30am flight out), and ate at a fantastic Michelin 1 star restaurant.

Stu Dudley
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Old Oct 27th, 2005, 03:37 PM
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>>>>
But again, I do not know if this is true only in Italy or if it is true throughout Europe.
>>>>

yes, true all over europe. the nicest little inn will never get past perhaps one or two stars as it may not have a lift, etc.
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Old Oct 27th, 2005, 03:55 PM
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For me the most important thing about a hotel room is that can I get a good night's sleep in it. This means a good quality bed in a clean, quiet room at an appropriate temperature. After that I want a good location for what I am doing.

There is unlikely to be a great deal of difference between a room at 170 euro and 230. The price for the very same room can fluctuate more than that depending on supply and demand factors. In most markets 170 should get you a perfectly good hotel (at least by my standards). As has been mentioned looking at reviews can help avoid poor hotels.
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Old Oct 27th, 2005, 04:24 PM
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To the original question, I don't believe there likely is all that great a difference, because the example you give of 60 euro desprecancy isn't all that much. Now if you were comparing 100 to 300, then of course.

I don't agree with the "you only sleep there" theory because I love a nice hotel room. That said, a well recommended, centrally located, nice 3-star is best for me.
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Old Oct 27th, 2005, 04:24 PM
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I would have to agree with ThinGorjus. Again it all depends on your finances and if you can afford it or not, but I feel that a shabby hotel room, can "ruin" a very special trip. Last week in Paris, we arrived in a 3 star hotel that we had stayed in years before, after sitting in the room for 1/2 hour, I could not bear the idea of spending a week there. I dragged the suitcases downstairs, gave them my apologies, paid for the night, and dragged the suitcases to a 4-star hotel nearby that I was considering beforehand, but passed on since it was about 190 Euros more, but I spent one of the most relaxed weeks in Paris, and don't regret it a bit. I agree with eating the best you can in Europe, but eating only last 1-2 hours, and staying, showering in the Hotel room can be 8-10 hours of your day.
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Old Oct 27th, 2005, 04:26 PM
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My advice is to fly, sleep, and eat as well as you can afford.
When affordability is restricted, I opt to fly cheap, sleep pleasantly, and eat very well. Oh, and shop if possible.

When it come to hotels, I won't compromise on location or on pleasantness. If it can't be luxurious, okay, but it has to be a place that is not depressing, that's minimal. So I guess that I'm at least a 3-star girl myself.That's an average, I am aware that there are some lovely comfortable 2-stars, and some dingy shabby 4-stars.

I agree with TG, when a hotel is really fabulous, it's worth every minute that I spend there. For too few days, I am not scooping cat litter, I am not
cleaning my bathroom, and I am not doing my own laundry. In addition to that, I want to enjoy every minute of where I'm at, including my hotel room.
That is part of my trip. I'm on vacation.
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Old Oct 27th, 2005, 04:31 PM
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Intex, which Paris hotel didn't you like?
I found myself in a Paris two-star last January that we greatly disliked, it was shabby and reeked of smoke, and it had worn plastic furniture, and after two nights in two different rooms there, we opted to move to another hotel (a three-star) down the street for the rest of our stay.
20 euro per night more, and WHAT a difference!
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Old Oct 27th, 2005, 04:41 PM
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It depends on how you use a hotel - and how many days you'll be there.

If you'll only sleep there and stay a couple of days - just go for the basics.

If breakfast in bed, relaxing in the room - perhaps in a very comfy bath before going out to dinner is important - and you're making it a home for a week - it may be worth it to pay more (it's how we travel - but we're more snails than rushers).
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Old Oct 27th, 2005, 04:46 PM
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Elaine: Can you tell us what these hotels were?

Ginny
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