Opinions/Advice on these hotels?

Old Jun 5th, 2004, 06:13 AM
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Opinions/Advice on these hotels?

In August, my 2 kids (20yrs and 10yrs)and I will be staying at the Best Western Montecarlo in Venice (3nights), Golden Tulip Kraft Hotel in Florence (5 nights) and Starhotel Metropole in Rome (5 nights). Does anyone have any opinions on these hotels? Recommendations for moderately typed meals near the hotels? Transportation to and from? Advice for an itinerary? Planning this trip has been overwhelming!
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Old Jun 5th, 2004, 06:15 AM
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Sorry, I meant to type moderately "priced" meals. I AM obviously overwhelmed!
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Old Jun 5th, 2004, 06:24 AM
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I think tripadvisor .com may help you.
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Old Jun 5th, 2004, 07:04 AM
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yes. I have been using this forum which has been helpful as well as tripadvisor. But, am looking for anyone who has actually stayed at these hotels, their experiences and any recommendations near the hotels.
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Old Jun 5th, 2004, 07:12 AM
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tripadvisor.com has reviews from actual people who have actually stayed at the hotels.

Did you go to tripadvisor.com?
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Old Jun 5th, 2004, 07:15 AM
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yes. the hotel reviews were helpful but very brief. some had difficulty with transportation. none offered food recommendations or how they got to and from the hotel. I chose based off these reviews and later discovered that the Kraft hotel is not considered centrally located.
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Old Jun 5th, 2004, 07:19 AM
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I am a bit nervous regarding finding places. Our recent experience in Paris, with the language barrier had us lost not only outside walking around but within the train station itself! I thought I could "wing" it in Paris but this time feel I need to be much more prepared. We missed our tour in Paris because of being ill prepared and thinking the transportation from Disneyland Paris to the location would be a breeze. (Coming from New York, I figured I could easily find my way around a train station and streets). I was wrong!
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Old Jun 5th, 2004, 07:45 AM
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Hi tkb,

In Venice your hotel is listed as being on San Marco Square.

Are you coming in from the train station or the airport?

If you go to www.multimap.com and enter your address for the Kraft Hotel in Florence, you will see that you are near the river about 1 1/2 km SW of the train station.

If you go to http://www.ataf.net/Default_EN.asp
you will be able to find bus routes that serve your hotel. It is in section 8 of the main map.

No, you are not centrally located. I think you will want a cab to get from the train station.

For your Rome hotel, www.multimap.com even has it labelled. You are about 1/2km west of the train station.

You might find the Florence part of my trip report helpful.

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34451044
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Old Jun 5th, 2004, 07:59 AM
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Ira, thank you so much and your information is very helpful! I contacted each of the hotels which gave me walking directions and stated they were close by. Except for Venice, I am coming from the airport and am to take a waterbus first before I walk across San Marco Square. When you were in Florence, did you mostly walk to the sights and restaurants? It sounds as if I may need museum reservations? In Rome, will I need advance reservations for anything or is a tour recommended? My kids and I don't mind walking, but was concerned doing so with luggage!
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Old Jun 5th, 2004, 11:17 AM
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Venice: For restaurants in Venice, I found that the book "Chow Venice" was most helpful and agreed with most of their recommendations. The restaurants are listed by neighborhood so you could probably find restaurants in close proximity to your hotel.

Rome: We took a tour with Scala Reale which was wonderful. The guides are graduate students in art and architecture and are entertaining as well as informative. Take a look at their Web site for more information. As part of their services, they give an orientation tour of Rome in an area near where your hotel is located. We found this to be very helpful on our first day and a nice introduction to Rome.

Florence: If you plan to go to the Accademia or the Uffizi, it would be wise to get tickets beforehand to avoid long lines in hot weather. We bought our tickets on line at weekendinflorence.com or you can call the museums directly.

For Florence and Rome, we found it very easy and inexpensive to take either a taxi or a bus.

Good Luck!
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Old Jun 5th, 2004, 11:54 AM
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Hi tk,

>..Venice, I am coming from the airport

You want the Alilaguna
See http://www.alilaguna.it/
It stops at both San Zaccaria and San Marco

>When you were in Florence, did you mostly walk to the sights and restaurants?

Yes. We took a bus from the train station to Pzza Michaelengelo and back, but that was it.

Florence is a lovely city to walk in.

>It sounds as if I may need museum reservations?

Uffizi and Academia Museum Reservations
The easiest and cheapest way is to call Florence 011 (U.S. international access code) 39 (Italy's country code) then 055-294-883 8:30-18:30 M-F and 8:30-12:00 Sat. Florence time. You will get an English speaking operator and in 2-3 minutes YOU CAN RESERVE FOR BOTH. This is through the reservation service at the Uffizi and costs beyond the normal entry fee only about 1.60 euro for the service. This is MUCH cheaper than the commercial booking services.

Have a lovely visit.
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Old Jun 5th, 2004, 02:41 PM
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Lorac and Ira, thank you. The information is very helpful. Will purchase the book on food, walk or take taxis, reserve my museums and keep on planning! The tours sound very interesting. Any advice for doing the Vatican, St Peters and Ancient Rome in one day!! Itinerary is filling up.
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Old Jun 5th, 2004, 03:40 PM
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Best Western Montecarlo is not exactly on San Marco, but as you go to the street directly beside the left side of the church, it is the second street. It is just steps from the square. I have not stayed there, but have stayed a couple of times at the Diana across the "street". It looks very nice.
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Old Jun 5th, 2004, 05:57 PM
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marty, since you've stayed in the area, do you have any recommendations for eating? is it a far walk from where the San Marco waterbus stop is located? Any other recommendations? Thanks!
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Old Jun 6th, 2004, 06:50 AM
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I don't have any suggestions for restaurants in the area, but there are many right around the Montecarlo. We usually just read the menus and pick one wherever we are when we get hungry! Most have outdoor seating, and you can actually see what people are eating. There are many, many choices. Any restaurant that you have heard about cannot be very far away in Venice, but may be hard to find. You are not likely to find yourself near the hotel at meal time, and being there for just 3 nights, I doubt you will be acclimated enough to track down any certain restaurants without wasting a lot of your time. I have been 6 times, and it still takes me a day to get my bearings! The hotel is very close to the waterbus stop--just walk across San Marco Square.
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Old Jun 6th, 2004, 06:55 AM
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in venice you should try to have one meal on the terrace of the gritti palace. also, harry cipriani is good.
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Old Jun 6th, 2004, 07:44 AM
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I'm glad to know there are many restaurants. My fear was I would be lost the majority of the time and not find anything anyone has recommended! Also, walking across San Marco with 2 kids and luggage didn't seem doable, but appears it is. Thank you.
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Old Jun 6th, 2004, 04:31 PM
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Remember that everyone in Venice is walking everywhere with suitcases! You will not have to cross any bridges, so it will be an easy trip.
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Old Jun 6th, 2004, 05:00 PM
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Thanks Marty. One problem solved!
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Old Jun 6th, 2004, 05:09 PM
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Just a thought~
Two kids , 20 and 10~
The 20 year old really is an adult now and you should get him/her to share rather than feel overwhelmed with taking two "kids" with you.
I know what it was like taking two kids with me who were 4 years apart when they were young, but to take a 20 year old with me would be a treat!
And I agree with taking taxis everywhere possible if you are unsure of yourself. Saves you from so much stress!
Something I do ( I am the planner mostly on our trips)..lists! lots of lists and one great guide book with one great map per city. Clip all your notes in the books, be organized and assign responsibilities to the two kids. That way the three of you are in it together instead of you being the one they will blame if anything goes awry
Have a great time and don't let anything overwhelm you !!

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