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Vacation rentals vs. Cheap Hotels

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Aug 13th, 2006, 09:22 AM
  #1
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Vacation rentals vs. Cheap Hotels

Hi, we want to go back to Tuscany in the next few months... still trying to decide when. We are looking for last minute offers, etc. We were also thinking of going over Christmas and New Year's Eve, but I suppose it is more expensive then.
We went a couple of years ago and rented Casina di Rosa, a vacation rental in Tuscany between Siena and Grosseto. They have a website and I will be glad to give it to you if you are interested, but I think I might not be allowed to post it here. Not sure about that... guidelines are long and in a very small font!!!

Anyway, we had a fantastic time and we did not spend much. The apartment was very clean, well equipped and perfectly located. And very reasonably priced: we spent 350 euros for 7 nights, and there were 3 of us, so less than 17 euros per person per night We saw that they have last minute offers out which are quite interesting (less than 20 euros per person if you travel in a party of 3 at the end of August, not bad, eh?!) but we were looking for somewhere different rather than going back to the same area, even if we loved it.

But, Gosh! Anything else seems to be much more expensive! How is it possible?!? We generally rent self-catering accommodation because it allows us to travel really cheap, as we can cook at home in the evening and prepare picnic food before leaving in the morning. This helps us cut on restaurant expenses, etc. enormously.

The lower prices seem to be available only in hotels, though... so I was wondering whether you could tell me how comparable staying in a cheap hotel and staying in a vacation rental like then one we rented in 2004 are. Is it expensive to eat out all the time? Can you recommend anything cheap which would allow us to have a few meals in? We also have car rental expenses, which however cannot be avoided because we love to travel off the beaten path. Thank you for your help!
MB
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Aug 13th, 2006, 09:33 AM
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This the place? http://www.casinadirosa.it/

Looks nice and reasonable. We rented an apt in Tuscany (Montepulciano) for 400 Euro. It was a 2-bedroom, sleeps 4. www.politian.com.

I think it's OK to plug sites of which you have personal knowledge and recommend.
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Aug 13th, 2006, 10:49 AM
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MollyBloom,
Check Slow Trav http://www.slowtrav.com/italy/vr/reviews.asp for vacation rentals.

Henry
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Aug 14th, 2006, 06:23 AM
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Thank you for your answers, Budman and Henry. Yes, that is the Casine di Rosa I was talking about. We had a fantastic time there. I know the reviews section on Slow Travel, I might have found it there, actually. I think it is one of their favourites now.

I was just curious to know whether some of you who travel staying in hotels could tell me if there is a remarkable difference in expenses, or rather if the two types of accommodation are comparable if one travels for two weeks or more. We generally stay in hotels only if we travel for a week-end or so, but we have always preferred to rent apartments and villas even back in the 80'. Thank you in advance for any comment you might feel like adding to this discussion.
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Aug 14th, 2006, 06:33 AM
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You may want to consider Umbria. Its very near Tuscany and has some great sights of its own, and I noticed that accommodations seem to be somewhat cheaper. We stayed in a lovely apartment on an organic olive oil farm that we found recommended here. Our apartment was 80 euro per night and included a balcony with a wonderful vista of the surrounding Umbrian countryside. If you are interested in checking it out, its Le Case Gialle. http://www.lecasegialle.it/index_ing.htm

Tracy
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Aug 14th, 2006, 06:38 AM
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MollyBloom, I just saw your last post so I will try to give my opinion.

We generally like apartments more. Hotels do come with more amenities, but we don't spend a lot of time in our room while on vacation so we don't really miss those things. I enjoy being in a neighborhood and living like a local; taking walks around our apartment and grocery shopping. I also like how homy apartments feel, especially when I'm gone for awhile. My only complaint is sometimes its difficult to find one in a really central area where this is enough to do without driving too far. But overall I prefer apartments. The lower price is just an added bonus.

Tracy
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Nov 8th, 2006, 10:58 AM
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Another vote for the Politian. We paid $450. in September for the 2 bedroom. It had a washing machine and a computer and wonderful views in what we believe is the prettiest town in Tuscany.
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