What's your style: hotel or apartment?

Old Jan 16th, 2004, 11:29 AM
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What's your style: hotel or apartment?

How do you like to lodge?

After staying in an apartment in Venice and several timeshares through the years, hotels seem a bit cramped. Then, I save money eating in. But do I really want to shop, eat in and clean the dishes? Hmmm. I think there are pros and cons of each and I wonder about my next trip.

What's your lodging style: apartment or hotel? And, of course, why do you prefer your chosen lodging style?
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Old Jan 16th, 2004, 11:38 AM
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I've rented the same wonderful flat in London some seven or more times now and I love it. The joke is that last time for the first time I actually turned the stove on to boil some water and make tea (for iced tea). The refrigerator has only been used for cheese, milk, and juice. So the kitchen is certainly not a big thing to me, and frankly I don't travel to cook in.

But the room to relax and come back to in the afternoon without having to stretch out on the bed is a great thing.

Last year for the first time we rented an apartment in Paris and will rent the same one this summer. Frankly, I pay a little more for it than I would a really nice three star hotel, so it isn't so much for the savings. But again, it's just so much nicer to have the space. And do you really think I'm going to cook in, even for breakfast when Paul is right around the corner, along with a choice of cafes? I'd have to be crazy to even make my own coffee! Although having my own washer and dryer in the apartment is nice.

This summer we will also rent apartments for a week each in Rome, Venice, and Montepulciano, and for five nights in Cannes. So obviously, I'm really getting into the apartment mode! As my old routine of three night stays was pretty average, I'm now switching into more week long stays and the apartment idea is so much nicer for that long a stay.
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Old Jan 16th, 2004, 12:27 PM
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Hi Giselle! If we're staying more than two nights in a city, it's definitely an apartment. Mostly because of the space issue. I like having a bedroom and a living room. The very first question I ever asked on Fodors was one about cooking in our Rome apartment. I had visions of cooking up all sorts of gorgeous food, Italian style! Well that came to nothing. We had a few picnics so we used the fridge to keep the cheeses, meats and juice chilled. And the stove top was used only in the morning, to make a pot of expresso. Even still, the apartment was worth it because of the extra space, and also because it was in a largely residential neighborhood. So we had, in retrospect, a more "authentic" visit to Rome than had we stayed in a centrally located hotel.

When we were in the Amalfi Coast, we had a hotel room, but it had a balcony with two chairs, and they fed us breakfast. It wasn't as homey a feeling as staying in the apartment, but we didn't suffer! Next time, though, I'd like to find an apartment. If nothing else, it's a lot easier to pretend I'm a local and immerse myself into local culture...and isn't that fun to do, pretending that you're actually living in an exotic place, rather than just visiting?
 
Old Jan 16th, 2004, 12:29 PM
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We are a family of 5 - definitely an apartment!
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Old Jan 16th, 2004, 12:37 PM
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I prefer the apartment style vacation for getting the feel of a place. Also, being "of a certain age", I like my afternoon nap in a busy day of sightseeing; somehow in a hotel one feels that these little bits of stolen time are time wasted ("Oh, my Gawd I am paying $200 a night and I am sleeping!?!)In ones "own" apartment, one feels that this is more acceptable...indeed part of the enjoyment.

Weird, I know, but thats the way I feel...
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Old Jan 16th, 2004, 12:42 PM
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We've done both. Apartments or villas are good when you have a larger group, and it makes you feel like you're part of the city you're in rather than a mere spectator on the outside looking in.

On the other hand, hotels do add that little something called maid service, which I greatly appeciate, considering my husband and son are, well, slobs, and rather than constantly nag, I end up picking up after them to save time and energy. Besides, they're not the ONLY ones on vacation!
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Old Jan 16th, 2004, 12:51 PM
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I agree that there are both pros and cons with an apartment, but we still prefer apartments. We like having the extra space, being able to save money on meals, the feel of living like the locals, and the washing machines are a big plus so that we can pack light! I've also found that a lot of times apartments are even cheaper than most hotel rooms, as well.
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Old Jan 16th, 2004, 02:11 PM
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Patrick, do you mind if I ask what apartments you have for Rome and Montelpuciano and approx. costs. Thanks.
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Old Jan 16th, 2004, 02:22 PM
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We've done both and I definitely prefer hotels. I like being pampered during my vacations. I don't care for extra space 'cause we usually spend very little time in our room.
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Old Jan 16th, 2004, 02:34 PM
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We have never stayed in an apartment or villa - always a hotel. I have it in my head that when I am on vacation, I do not want to do anything that even slightly resembles my hectic, structured lifestyle at home. Personally, if I were in an apartment with a stove leering at me, or had to do any kind of housekeeping, I would be resentful, and end up being crabby. I work very hard 50 weeks of the year, and cook good meals every night - NO WAY AM I COOKING ON VACATION!
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Old Jan 16th, 2004, 02:40 PM
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Rome: Palazzo Olivia, which I found here and has been recommended a number of times. For the full week 950 euro. See www.palazzo-olivia.it

Montepulciano: Appartamenti al poggiolo, also found here. Paying 580 euro for the full week. See www.tiscali.it/poggiolo

Venice (although you didn't ask): private apartment owned by Lamberto Deho, and above his residence/architect studio(?) in Dosurduro. Paying 705 euro for the week total. See at www.world-world.com/properties/it-foscarini.htm
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Old Jan 16th, 2004, 02:53 PM
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I'm another hotel person...I do not want to make beds, cleans tubs, cook ANYTHING. Fortunately I can afford a larger room in a nice hotel, with a lobby so I can get rid of my husband or he, me for a little time apart.

Maybe if we were a family traveling together it would make a difference..but with just the 2 of us for only a week or so at a time , I'll take a hotel anytime!
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Old Jan 16th, 2004, 02:57 PM
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I always rent apartments. Haven't been in a hotel for 15 years or so. But then, I stay a week or more at each destination.

I really like having the refrigerator and stove. And, unlike others who posted previously, I use them. Almost 100 percent of the time I eat breakfast in the apartment. Saves a lot of time to scramble up some eggs, heat some ham, etc. I can be done eating with the dishes washed up before most of you will have your order taken at a restaurant.

And, I do not care that much for the daily maid service. I did stay at an apartment/hotel in Turkey. It had the kitchenette, but also daily maid service. What a pain. They were always arriving at the worst times, during attempts to nap, bed exercises, food preparation, etc. I would usually answer the door, hand out some towels, grab some towels and tell them to forget about the cleaning. With a washer and dryer in the apt, you can skip that towel exchange procedure, plus wash your socks, underwear, etc.

Most of all, I like coming and going without traipsing through a lobby, sometimes having to go to desk to get key, etc.

Some may find the hotel service nice when it comes to getting info about theatres, tours, etc. However, I also brazenly use these hotels by just dressing spiffily and marching up to the desk or whatever in a confident manner and inquiring about all these things. Have never been turned down or even asked if I were staying there.
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Old Jan 16th, 2004, 03:26 PM
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Patrick - thank you, thank you, thank you. That apt is Montelpuciano is exactly what I've been looking for and has the settled the big question of whether to stay in Tuscany or Umbria. It's perfect and the price is so good. Which apt do you have and have you stayed here before?
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Old Jan 16th, 2004, 03:58 PM
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Patrick - the web site doesn't seem to have an address, or email to contact them. I want to contact them to ask about availability. Do you happen to have that info. Thanks.
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Old Jan 16th, 2004, 04:05 PM
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What a lot of interesting responses.

Although I could be swayed to hotel life easily, right now I land in the apartment camp. However, if I had my druthers I'd do no -- I repeat NO -- cooking. Problem is, budget constraints require me at the stove! Bummer.

Always make breakfast, but not lunch, and I stir dinner up in the pan about 3-4 nights. It's much cheaper than eating out each meal. But I've never cooked seven nights in a row.

I know not one but two people who went to Hawaii, stayed in condos and brought ALL their food in extra suitcases AND coolers. One of them even brought a pot roast in a cooler on the airplane. The food is notoriously spendy in Hawaii, but still I got a charge out of these two packing a weeks worth of 3 squares. Maybe they're on to something: it probably cut their food budget by more than half.

My fantasy: give me room service and gorgeous restaraunts!
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Old Jan 16th, 2004, 04:52 PM
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I'm 44 and have been staying in 4 and 5 star hotels my entire life...this year I got bored and took the advice of Nikki, another poster, and stayed in apartment for my first time. For cities that I am familiar with, I will always stay in apartment going forward...for my "first time" locations, I will opt for a good hotel.
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Old Jan 16th, 2004, 05:07 PM
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I've done both, as a single traveler and as half a pair. The appeal of the apartment is more space and the facilities to make a cuppa or nosh at my leisure. I'm not a total slob (though my partner might argue that point) so don't miss daily maid service. Even at home the maid only comes once a week.
If I could afford to stay in a roomy suite and order room service with abandon then I'd probably go for the hotel. But if, for about the same cost as a three star hotel, I can get a flat, then it's the apartment for me.
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Old Jan 16th, 2004, 08:13 PM
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Try this link:
http://web.tiscali.it/no-redirect-ti...giolo_home.htm

You should be able to email from there. Or the email address is: [email protected]

We have apt. # 3, the one with the balcony. No, we haven't stayed there before, but it was highly recommended by a couple of other Fodorites.
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Old Jan 16th, 2004, 10:05 PM
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As I always have to travel on a tight budget I go apartment. Last June I went to Marmaris and through teletext (I was in UK at the time) my son & I had bedroom, sitting room with 2 settes, own bathroom of course and a large balcony where I could dry my smalls. Cooking is not what I do however it is great to be able to prepare picnics in the kitchenette. Very good value as it included all transfers and we took a bus to Ephesus & Cappadocia stayed overnight but did not feel that I was wasting money by not staying in aptmnt in Marmaris.
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