Finding and Booking Hotels in Italy and Europe
is a much different task then doing the same in your own country, not to mention one of the most important aspects of your vacation, so I will eliminate the learning curve by showing you the steps needed to find and book the Italian or European hotel that is right for you as well as finding the best Italian hotel deals.
The reason behind learning how to find a hotel is the majority of Italian hotels as well as European hotels are mom and pop type of places and can range from anywhere between 10 to 100 rooms and there are thousands of them throughout the country. There are a few chain hotels in Italy but they aren't the norm. Also many people like myself want to stay in the heart of the city so they can immerse themselves in the culture and often hotel chains are located on the outskirts of the cities.
I also know the first time someone starts searching for hotels in Italy or anywhere else in Europe they are just testing the waters of what they want and where they want to stay but if you do find a place you like very early in the search process you should make hotel reservations for it otherwise someone else could. I ask that you bookmark the reservation service’s website from here so when you are ready to book a hotel you can go straight there and save a little time or bookmark my links page which lists all the booking services I use and recommend .
The hotel booking service I preferred using was recently sold so they are no more, now I recommend my second choice but they only came in second by the slightest of margins and only because the other site was a little easier to use, so now I use Travelocity. One thing that has changed over the years as far as booking your hotel is the way you pay.
For many years most booking companies required you to pay the total bill up front, however because of the economy most hotels in Europe have come up with two ways to pay. One is you pay for the room at the time you book the room, booking this way is cheaper almost like a discount for paying in advance however paying this way is non refundable and you would lose all your money if you needed to cancel.
The other way is to put a deposit on the room and pay when you get to the hotel, this costs more but you can cancel your reservation if something came up but would pay a cancellation fee. This is now pretty much standard through out Europe and is reflected on all booking companies as they will show two prices for each room, There are some hotels that still have one price and you pay at the hotel and can cancel anytime up to a couple days before check in..
As far as finding Italian hotel deals between one service and another, it really doesn’t happen as a hotel may be listed on many different booking services it will almost always have the same price on each service. Any Italian hotel deals come from finding the hotel that best suits your needs and budget with the amenities you are looking for.
I use a number of tools to help me find the best hotel for myself, one is Google maps because I first want to find were all the sights and things I want to see are, so I can find the most central hotel location since I like to walk to all but the farthest sights.
The second tool is the hotel booking company Travelocitys website which I use on My Italian Travels because of the easy to use features for narrowing down the many hotels to choose from in whichever city or cities you may be staying.
The first thing I do for my hotel search is to pull up the Google map I made on my Google maps account so I can see all the places I want to go to I like to be in a central location to all those sights and toggle back and forth from that map and the map on the hotel booking company's site. Next I ask myself a few questions before choosing my Italian hotel's location like.
The next thing I do is to open a link to the hotel booking company's website so I can start looking over the hotels, on my site you can either click on the top link where you will see a map of Italy and can choose the city you are going to or click on the lower link and fill in the blanks or just click hotel reservations here.
It is important to put in a general date range in order to get an accurate price for when you will be there because there can be a big difference in price between high and low season. There can also be different prices for the same hotel as there is no standard room size in most European hotels and the difference in price can reflect that. Now here is where the cool feature of this site begins. Enter the city you want to stay in, as well as the date and how many people will be in the room.
Go to the top right area of the site and choose the type of currency you use so you can see the hotel price in your money. Now go to the left side of the site and enter either how much you want to spend on a room per night or if you want a room by star rating, from my experience the star rating and the price you pay pretty much match up as you pay more.
Choose what type of place you want to stay in, since this site offers much more than just hotels, the last section called city area you won't be able to fill in yet because you don't know where each area is.
Using the tools
Notice as you enter your budget or star rating as well as type of place you want to stay in, the choice of hotels on the screen changes, this is because the site is eliminating the hotels that don’t match up with your wants. Once you have all your options marked and the screen is showing you all the hotels they have to offer, choose a few hotels and click on the spot marked location, normally this is below the photo of the hotel.
For my example I chose Rome for my city but this works for any city and I choose 100 to 150 US dollars for my budget and hotels for the place I want to stay. One hotel near the top of the page shows me a hotel with a listing next to the picture saying Termini station Rome. This is telling me this hotel is in the Termini area of Rome which is listed in the city area on the left of the site.
Click on the location listed and you will see a map of where this hotel is, if you are following along with my instructions you will see a large gray area towards the middle of the map which is the Termini train station in the center of Rome. The hotel location will be marked and I use the train station as my reference point to better see where the hotel is, you can zoom out for a better view if you want.
Here is where you would switch over to your Google map which has all the sights you want to see, find reference point of the Termini train station and compare where the hotel is in relation to the things you want to see. If this is a good convenient area where you would like to stay you would just go back to the main hotel page and click Termini station in the city area section and the site will now show you only hotels in that area of the city eliminating hundreds of hotels to look over. If the Termini area isn't where you want to stay just keep looking at different hotel locations until you find an area you like but pick a reference point for comparing the maps.
Once you have picked the area you want to stay in it's time to find a hotel, I normally pick out a few hotels and look at the pictures of what the place looks like from the outside as well as pictures of the rooms. I look over the hotel reviews as well as the features of the hotel and rooms like, do the rooms have air conditioning and if so does it cost extra because some place charge up to 15 Euros extra for using the air conditioning, is there a restaurant in the hotel or do they offer a complementary breakfast.
Time to book
Once you have picked out the hotel that suits your needs in the area you like the most, the last thing to do is to make your hotel reservation. Do this by clicking the button marked "rooms available here" it will take you to the next page where you choose the type of room you want to stay in and there will be several choices as well as bedding choices. I
n the past decade it was often difficult to figure the bedding situation because of how European hotels referred to bed sizes, however over the last few years all the big booking agencies got with the hotels and standardized the wording of bed sized so everyone can understand what they are getting. However if you go to a single hotels web site rather then a big booking site they may still use their old description for beds, for this reason I have left the old way for European bed sizing on the site below.
Single room means 1 room with 1 bed for 1 person.
Double room means 1 room with 1 bed for 2 people.
Twin room means 1 room with 2 beds 1 person each bed.
Twin double room means 1 room with 2 beds with 2 people in each bed.
Triple room means 3 beds in a room 1 person in each bed.
Quad room means 4 beds in a room 1 person in each bed.
Family room for 4, 5 or 6 means one room with enough beds in the room to sleep that number of people.
Choose the room type you want by clicking book and it will take you to the last page where you fill in all the information on the screen and click book it and you are finished.
After you make your hotel reservation you will get an e-mail conformation from the hotel booking company as well as the e-mail address of the hotel you chose. Often you can send the hotel a request for a specific room based on one of the reviews that caught your eye.
Now that you know how to search for hotels in Italy I only ask that you book online through this sites links, take your time in choosing the hotel that is right for you and have a great time in Italy.
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