Alternative Accommodations: 2006
House swapping, convents and monasteries, college dorms... when it comes to beds, the less you spend, the more of Europe you experience. Others swear by renting a "flat" (apartment) or "villa" and becoming a temporary local. Any tips about fun, unique, or unusual accommodations?
If you plan to stay in Paris more than 90 days you will need a visa (see "Living and working in Europe). If you need to stay on a budget, try to find an apartment for the summer. There are numerous suggestions in this Graffiti Wall. Student housing of some kind may be available. WWW.fusac.fr is info designed for foreigners living in Paris.
USA Sat 12/30/2006
Longer term living in Paris
Oops posted this "room finding." i think here might be more appropriate.
Anyhow- I'm planning on living in Paris from this coming mid may to late august. I have no idea how to go about looking for a longer term residence. ant tips would be much appreciated. thanks!
Brooklyn, Ny USA Sat 12/30/2006
We have dealt with Parisbestlodge and did not encounter what you describe. Thierry was our coodinator, if such is the term. All was straightforward and we enjoyed our studio ( tho it was very small). BTW, the size of the apt was disclosed, so we knew what we were getting. The maid, who spoke only French and Polish, had our keys and codes and took the money for the rent. Bonne Chance!!!
Paul n Sara
USA Fri 12/29/2006
Paris Apartment Rentals
Does anyone know anything about ParisBestLodge.com? We are looking at getting an apartment for a week and are skeptical. They request a check in US dollars, made out to the rental coordinator (not the company) for a security deposit, then ask for cash in Euros upon check-in, when you get the keys to the place you have rented. Anyone have experience with this?
Seattle, WA USA Fri 12/29/2006
Try Hotel Montecodeno in Varenna, on the opposite shore. 10 mins by ferry from Bellagio. There are many more places in that quaint and pretty town.
Paul n Sara
USA Thu 12/28/2006
Bellagio Hotel of Apt?
Has anyone stayed in Bellagio at a Rick Steves-style place? My heart was set on Il Borgo Residence, and I found out today it is unavailable.
editors note: all questions should be posted to Traveler's Helpline
Morro Bay, CA USA Thu 12/28/2006
Try Parisbestlodge.com Dinna ken if there is a 7Arr apt available but there are quite a few in many areas and all near Metro stops. We had a small studio in Marais, just 5 blks north of Notre Dame and between St Paul and Hotel de Ville metro stations.
Paul n Sara
USA Wed 12/27/2006
Aprtment in Paris 7th
I am looking to rent an apartment in Paris for three weeks in May. I would prefer to stay in the 7th near metro and Invalides. All I need is a studio or one bedroom. Not looking for luxury, just safe and clean.
USA Wed 12/27/2006
South France / Dordogne / Beynac
When in south France my wife and I stayed at Le Tiradou in Beynac. It is a campground right around the corner from Castle Beynac. We were pleasantly suprised. The location is literally right around the corner from Beynac. The trip to Sarlat was only half an hour one way which made for a great day trip. The accomodations was a chalet which was built in 2000 with 2 bedrooms, full bath, dining room and a kitchen stocked with all utensils ( even a salad spinner ). The view was amazing. At night we had a slight view of Chateau des Milandes all lit up. The hosts were more than accomodating and were very friendly. They offered to deliver fresh baguettes every morning. They even suggested canoeing the Dordogne which was the most memorable part of the trip. We went past picturesque Castles and Chateaus. We parked the canoe on a beach right across from the castle Beynac and had a small lunch with local wine. At the time the price at the campground was about $20 per night which since then it has gone up slightly. Highly, highly suggest it. When we went it was in late May. There was hardly anyone there it was almost like we had the place to ourselves. We liked it so much we stayed 7 full days there before heading to Gimmelwald.
Wilmington, DE USA Tue 12/19/2006
Alsace and Provence
Spent two weeks in France is September-October with first week at a Gites in Beblenheim, Alsace. A one bedroom house as part of a wine producing operation. Made great base for touring Alsace. Drove south for a second week in a gorgeous home in village of Lourmarin, Luberon, Provence,found through VRBO. Home, built in 1646, was beautifully decorated and in immaculate condition and with two bedrooms allowed friends from England to join us for a week. An excellent base to tour 'Peter Mayle' country and Avignon, Pont du Gard, and Aix en Provence. One week was not long enough-such a vast amount of sites to see. Lots of markets each day in villages in the area.
Newport Beach, CA USA Sun 12/17/2006
Paris in 2006
In June of 2006 I spent a month in Paris in a great 1 bedroom apartment with all the American conveniences--washer and dryer, dishwasher, microwave, even portable airconditioner. I rented it from an American, Lisa Rothberg, who lived there for several years and is now in LA for about $2800. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and her website is www.myplaceinparis.com. The apartment is at the 5th and 13th arrondisements on a beautiful tree-lined street very close to the metro. A great location!
Lake Charles, LA USA Wed 12/13/2006
Paris apartment rental
Just got back from our Paris trip. The this site was so helpful for my planning I thought readers might enjoy some favorites from our trip: Family of four adults we rented an apartment with Chez Vous Paris, and it was wonderful. Everything was perfect, exceptional service, and they set up a taxi for your return to the airport the day of departure (which arrived exactly on time). They are a U.S. company, so you pay in dollars. Great website, www.chezvous.com Our apartment was exactly as pictured (garden party). I highly recommend this company. We were moments from the Metro and Taxi stands, so we went every where with ease.
Chicago, IL USA Fri 12/08/2006
Holiday home in Pisa
It was hard to find self-catering accommodation in Pisa. For some reasons there seem to be tons of hotels but not many holiday homes. Anyway, we found one and really enjoyed our stay and the owners' company. We recommend it: it is clean, well equipped, and well, literally few steps away from the leaning tower! We could see the top of the church from the bedroom window! Too bad they put a traffic light right in front of the window so that you cannot see the top of the tower, but it's right there. Amazing location. Behind the Tower - http://www.behindthetower.com/
UK Thu 12/07/2006
Great place to stay in Paris.
The Hotel du Champ de Mars is charming! My husband and I were treated very well. The breakfasts were great! And the Rue Cler is a lovely neighborhood.
Idaho Falls, ID USA Tue 12/05/2006
France Bound Consulting Ltd
In 2006, I rented a villa in Provence through France Bound. I found France Bound to be exceptionally reliable and helpful in the process in recommending suitable locations and guiding me through an unfamiliar process. The accommodations provided were excellent for my purposes and very well valued. Throughout the process, I worked with Kerry McKeen (email@example.com), who was very extremely responsive and helpful. When I travel to France again, I plan to use France Bound and would certainly recommend their services to other travelers.
Phoenix, Arizon USA Tue 12/05/2006
"Cheap" is a relative term, but I can say that my husband and I will be staying in a hostel in Amsterdam in May. Most of them run around 20-30 euros per person a night, but we'll be staying at the Flying Pig, which has 27 euro queen sized beds in their dorm rooms. Single price for two people, but if you don't have a significant other or close friend travelling with you this isn't really an option.
Alternatively, there is a Christian hostel called the Shelter Jordan that is only 16 euro per person per night, an excellent value, if you don't mind a zero tolerance policy vis a vis drugs and alcohol.
Look at hostel.com for listings by city with reviews.
Cincinnati, OH USA Mon 12/04/2006
Cheap places to stay in Amsterdam
Does any one know of some cheap places in Amsterdam
Austin, Tx USA Sun 12/03/2006
Places Almost Everywhere
Sara and I just spent a long time all over Europe. We greatly enjoyed it and we would like to offer what info we can re websites and companies and individuals that made things so good. In London, Royal Court Apartments near Paddington and just north of Hyde Park. Good price and location.
In Paris, Parisbestlodge.com
Rothenburg, Pension Becker
Krakow, King Hostel
Zakopane (Poland), Dom Wycasowa Cyhrla
Prague, Happy House Rentals
Vicenza (Italy), 1hr west of Venice Bob and Jenny's B&B
Paul n Sara
MA USA Thu 11/30/2006
Italy Farm Stay
I would like to share a bit about my experience at the Italy Farm Stay, near Abruzzi National Park. My stay at the Farm offered all the delights of a true Italian experience. The farm and house itself offered a unique view of rural italian life and I indulged in daily home cooked meals by the mother of the house, Maria. The farm hugs the edges of the National Park and the easily accesible trails and walks are breath taking. I enjoyed my walks for the neighborhood dogs would be the guides, enthusiasticly leading you down their favorite path. I went horseback riding through the valley along a river with an Italian cowboy and had the oppertunity to wake up early and participate in the making of goat cheese by the local Sheppard. Staying at this Farm makes one forget that they are a mere tourist passing through, but gives a true taste of the life, people and landscape in this beautiful part of the world. I would highly recommend this experience to any traveler interested in gaining a deeper understanding of Italian cutlure and life.
Portland , OR USA Fri 11/24/2006
Great B&B in Florence, Italy
On a mother/daughter vacation throughout Italy, we stayed at Panella's Residence for three nights (Nov. 21/22/23) and were completely in love with the experience. We found Panella's on trip advisor and were so glad we decided to stay there because not only is it a wonderful location (right in the heart of Florence), but the B&B can also boast an extremely gracious and friendly host and wonderful rooms and bathrooms. My mother did have one comment to make regarding the rooms: the beds were moderately uncomfortable for someone with a bad back. As we first arrived, Graziella showed us around the B&B and also provided us with a map with directions to a variety of attractions, good restaurants, and requested items (i.e. internet access points). The breakfast area was charming and has plenty of room for all guests who care to partake. Overall, we liked Panella's Residence the best of all of our B&B's (4 in total) although with all fairness to the other B&B's, which were good, Panella's did cost the most. Thanks to the Panella Family...we will most definitely return if ever in Florence again.
Louisville, KY USA Fri 11/24/2006
Need Accommodations in Oxford, England
Any suggestions for where to stay while in Oxford, England would be greatly appreciated.
DALLAS, TX USA Sun 11/19/2006
I stayed at Hotelli Finn for 3 nights while in Helsinki. While it is very central, it is a miserable place to stay. My room was not clean; you can hear everything through the walls; my radiator was broken - not ideal for mid-November this far North. I would not recommend Hotelli Finn to anyone who is looking for a clean, cozy and-or comfortable place to stay.
San Francisco, CA USA Sun 11/19/2006
Just returned from 4 nights in Rome where we stayed at the Apartment "Babuino" which was located just a couple of blocks from the Spanish Steps. 2 bedrooms & 2 baths with a lift. Owned by a designer, it was beautifully decorated and fully equiped. Arranged thru Italy Accomodations at 135E per couple per night and was much cheaper than some pensione we looked at
Wood Dale, IL USA Sat 11/18/2006
If you need a cheap, very clean and conveniently located place to stay while in Trier, I would highly recommend the Gastehaus at the Barmherzigen Bruder. It's attached to the hospital (Krankenhaus der Barmherzigen Bruder), but rooms are rented out to traveling groups and individuals. Wake up to the sounds of monks singing and church bells ringing. Breakfast is in the hospital cafeteria. My room was simple, modern and immaculate with an attached bathroom. The Gastehaus is located just a few blocks from the Porta Nigra. Phone 06 51 208 1026, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Free Wifi (get code from hospital reception desk), but you have to be in one of the hospital waiting rooms.
Vancouver, WA USA Thu 11/16/2006
Wales and Ireland
We would recommend an excellent 5 room inn at Fishguard,Wales, a departure point for car and passenger ferries from Wales to Ireland. The Hope and Anchor Inn has been totally renovated recently and promotes that the building has been a total non-smoking area since the renovations. www.hopeandanchorinn.co.uk The standard offering is bed and breakfast but it is great place wait if you have spare time as you are waiting for a ferry. Penny and Paul ( a graduate chef) have a restaurant and bar open 7 days a week. Penny is in the process of setting up a beautician room including massages.
Prior to traveling in Ireland we purchased a bed and breakfast program from Royal Irish Tours. It included a car rental and prepaid vouchers with a book of 1300 bed and breakfast locations in Northern Ireland and Ireland that honored the vouchers.
We found the locations to be excellent, with good food and in two cases outstanding quality. The B& B operators would often call ahead book our next night's B&B at no charge for the phone call. The price of gas and diesel is lower in Ireland than in Northern Ireland. Remember that Ireland uses the Euro and Northern Ireland pounds sterling.
Ireland is a great place for a driving holiday. For adventure try the road to Dingle!
Grimsby, On. Canada Mon 11/13/2006
Great Experience with Vacation in Paris
We had a lovely experience in Paris using the www.vacationinparis.com site and locating an apartment. We were met by Morgan Cannon at the apartment who gave us all the information on the apartment and answered our questions. Mr. Cannon was available by phone to help us with arrangements and we also had an abundance of good information and guidebooks available at the apartment. We were traveling with two teenagers and for the price of two hotel rooms we had three bedrooms and a nice kitchen and dining area.
Apartments in Paris are small, but great for someone wanting a short term place to eat and sleep at a great price. Families especially. They seem to try to make the small space efficient and provide the comforts that US travelers and others would expect.
We had a great experience renting a larger apartment with a lovely view of the tree-lined boulevard. I think apartments can be a way to really get to know Paris on a budget.
Last stay our romantic hotel, Hotel duc de St. Simon in the 7th arr. was just a tiny bedroom, but we were there so little and it was cute and so French! Of course, the price was so French too.
Spring, TX USA Fri 11/10/2006
Apartment in Prague
I stayed in apartment in Prague and it was simply great. I felt so good there. It was very nice apartment in so beatyfull historical building. The price was also very pleasant, safe about 40% in comparation with hotel in same location and had much more square meters. I found the place with www.homesweethome.cz and they were very helpfull, there is plenty of apartments diffrent sizes and prices.
Madrid, SP Fri 11/10/2006
We spent most of October in Europe as well. As we concentrated our trip in Austria and Germany, I'd like to recommend an oft neglected town---Augsburg, the 2nd largest town in Bavaria. Augsburg celebrated its 2000th birthday about 15 years ago and still boasts a healthy archelogical dig going on here and there, unearthng early Roman artifacts, everything from swords to food pouches.
Augsburg despite being snubbed by most tourists also boasts the most beautiful street in Germany---Maximillianstrasse..the main drag in the Altstadt, ---Family Fugger owned and operated for centuries, now just vestiges of a bygone era of extreme wealth and commerce.
Augsburg on top of everything else was a route-stop for Roman legions working their way to points north. Kind of an ancient Howard Johnsons.
Discovered a good place to crash, the Hotel Fischertor(gate of the fisherman) small, simple, great chow (breakfeast included) and a delightful host Herr Oblinger. Off the beaten path so its quiet, only 10 minutes walk to the stadtmitte (center of town) and reasonable prices to boot.
In the warmer months Herr Oblinger also owns the largest beer garden in town and loves to sling brew and song.
So for those of you tired of the typical tourists haunts, do yourself a favour and take a gander at Augsurg, a Bavarian jewel in Germanys crown..clean, well situated and I might add a fun loving population.
MILILANI, HI USA Thu 11/09/2006
B&B/Hotel - First Rate Finds!
Spent most of October in Europe, and only 1 poor accommodation. Went with only our first and last nights booked, and had great luck almost everywhere we went. I highly recommend the following B&B's (some on Rick's lists): Dingle, Ireland- The Captain's House*** Spiddal, Ireland- Tuar Beag** Bernkastel, Germany-Gasthaus Burkhard** Baden-Baden, Germany- Hotel Tanneck*** Hondrich, Switzerland(near Thun) B&B Itten (actually a farmstay)*** Paris, France Hotel de'l Alma, where we stayed for 2 nights before our reservations at Hotel Prince, both in the Rue Cler area. Staying back-to-back at both Hotels, we felt Hotel de'l Alma superior to Hotel Prince, and it was 10 Euro per night cheaper. Finally, in Cinque Terre: There are posted warnings about getting hotel/B&B rooms from people on the street. We were traveling with another couple, and we both took rooms from locals at the train station, at different hotels, and we both had excellent results. We felt those warning signs are paid for by the organized hotel bureaus. We paid 50 Euro per night for a large clean room with kitchen privileges,and a great view of the local vinyards. Had a shared bath, but that was not a problem. Rick is right: Cinque Terre is a Jewel of the Ligurian Sea. Note: If you hike the trail, the last leg from Vernazza to Monterosso del Mar requires mountain goat skills. Corneglia to Vernazza is not quite as tough, but slippery in the rain. And the last outdoor cafe in Corneglia before heading off to Vernazza is not to be missed.
Cedarpines Park, CA USA Mon 11/06/2006
Paris 5th arr. studio
My friend Victoria rents several very well located (5th and 6th arr.) studio apartments in Paris at affordable rates. I have stayed at the Notre Dame studio and a better Paris location would be hard to find. Her web page is http://www.victoria-parishomes.com
Charles A. Robinson
Lodi, CA USA Sun 11/05/2006
Apartments in Rome
Some friends and I have stayed in private apartments in Rome that were rented by Mauro. Like Angela I thought that the reviews about him could not be as good as stated. But we found out that all that is said about him and the apartments is true. The price, location and the real "Rick Steves like" experience is an added bonus for those of us who like to rub elbow's with the local people when we stay in another country. Most of the friends I was with were visiting Rome for the first time. The pick up at the airport that is a part of the apartment cost is a real bonus. We arrived tired and when we saw how far out of town the airport was we were happy to have someone with a car to drive us and the luggage right to the apartment door. Some friends and I are going to be in Rome over the Easter season in 2007 and we have again made arrangements with Mauro.
E St Louis, IL USA Sat 11/04/2006
I've recently returned from my 4th Europe trip that included days of living in mountain huts. The huts are operated by the various national alpine clubs, Austrian Alpine Club, German Alpine Club, etc. The accomodations are somewhat sparse, but you can often get a private room. The huts usually offer meal service (great food!) and many have shower facilities. All have at least sinks and flush toilets. The rates are quite reasonable. For about $75 two people can get a nice bed along with dinner and breakfast. Beverages are available. Nearly all of the huts involve hiking, but some are accessible by taxi or chairlift. There huts are generally populated by Europeans and you'll usually be one of few native English speakers. You'll hardly ever see another American. I can't wait 'til I get back to Europe for more 'hütten leben'.
Seattle, USA Fri 11/03/2006
No one has mentioned house exchanges for a while; but they can be a great, thrifty source of accommodation. We have done four, two through mutual friends and two through the house-exchange companies. We've had no problems. Our last was four weeks in Copenhagen, in an apartment ten minutes from the center. Along with it came a one-year old car and a gas card. (The man paid a flat rate for his card through his employer and kindly thought to give it to us, since he'd be paying anyway.) We have found that the last is a typical example of how exchangers extend themselves to ensure each others' good time. Of course, we reciprocate in ways that we can. If you google "home or house exchange" you'll see a number of companies. We have used Homelink and Intervac. Oh, one other thing, you probably won't be able to get an exchange in Italy. However, if you are a little flexible and open, you may have a wonderful experience, as we did in Denmark
USA Fri 11/03/2006
Cinque Terre - Vernazza
Titti Leonardini, should be the ambassador to Vernazza(Cinque Terre),not only does she speak Italian, but Spainsh, and English. If her apartment (few steps from square)is not available, she will call around to get you a room . She helps people on buses and trains find there way to and from their destinations. (email@example.com) I just love her and husband Gianni
Houston, Texas USA Mon 10/30/2006
We had several wonderful hotel experiences in Italy. These are generally 3-star accommodations, but reasonable in price. Hotel Antico Masetto in Lamporecchio is already recommended by Rick. Hotel Masolino in Panicale, a small hill town on the Tuscany-Umbria border, is a bargain at 50 Euros a night (Sept. 2006). And they run the best restaurant in town - not in the hotel, but a short walk away - excellent food at a bargain price. Go to Sirmione if you are in the area - south end of Lake Garda between Venice and Milan. Spectacular little old town. We stayed at the Hotel Flaminia on the lake (most hotels are) - nice folks, reasonable price (140 Euros for 2 for lovely lake view with blacony, less for room with a side-view of the lake).
Stanford, CA USA Mon 10/30/2006
Correction to La Casupola web-site
I provided an incorrect website for renting La Casupola in Lucca, Italy. The correct website is: http://www.knowital.com
Petaluma, CA USA Mon 10/30/2006
Villa outside Lucca
My wife Carol and I rented a 5 bdrm 3 bath villa just outside the charming walled city of Lucca. We then invited a bunch of friends to join us. The name of the villa is La Casupola, owned and operated by Richard Gladstone and his wife Suzie Fox. We found it on www.knowitallitaly.it. The owners were terrific. They set us up with a private winery tour and introduced us to a marvelous chef named Alisandra, who cooked pizzas for us in their wood-burning oven! The villa itself exceeded our every expectation. Clean, bright, airy, with plenty of room and an in-ground pool, which we used every afternoon after a day of sight-seeing. Pisa, Florence, Ricks' famous Cinque Terra are all very close by. I cannot recommend La Capusola highly enough as a family get away, or a place to rekindle life-long friendships! We even saved money by cooking at the villa on 12 of the 14 nights we were there!
Petaluma, Cal USA Mon 10/30/2006
Sobe it in Dubrovnick
It was a little intimidating to arrive fresh from the Ferry in Dubrovnick and be surrounded by so many earnest people hoping to land a resident for their Sobe. And it seemed a little chancy after all. But Tiho and his mom were so insistent that my friends and I finally decided to try it. And it turned into a marvelous experience. Nothing fancy for rooms, and either a hike or a bus ride to anywhere. But eating fresh-picked grapes from the grapevines covering the patio, warm Adriatic breezes and a fool moon, thimbles of wine provided by 'Mom', a properly prepared cup of tea just before bed time, interesting fellow guests, an actual view, non-tourist neighborhood and La Luna pizza just down the hill. Sometimes chances pay off. Lower expectations and prices can enhance a trip.
Junction City, Kansas USA Tue 10/24/2006
Apartment in Trogir, Croatia
Arrived in Trogir, Croatia with no accommodation, asked for at hotel for room but they could offer only one night but kindly said they'd phone around for us. The owner of Apartmani Stafileo came and walked us to one of 3 apartments adjacent to the historic Stafileo palace which our apt looked out to. Apt compact, new, kitchen/dining/living and separate bathroom, very quiet although 2 mins from the centre piazza and close to all the action. Can also use the little courtyard downstairs. email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tomasino Rincic is the owner, speaks excellent english, mob 091/731 7607 tel 021 808 432 or 021 885 680.
Auckland, NZ Tue 10/17/2006
Carol and I recently returned from a wonderful first trip through Italy. Italy was great, good food, good wine and very friendly people. The hotels we stayed at were excellent. Good locations, very convenient to attractions and reasonable cost. ROME-Hotel Giardino, small boutique very clean,private bath,breakfast. Katie and Sergio were great. Ala Rick Steves FLORENCE-Albergo Sole,a wonderful inexpensive small hotel 10 minute walk to everything.Very clean rooms with private bath. Anna is a fun, cheerful owner. Ala Rick Steves VERNAZZA-the Capellini Apt/room-an absolutely charming, inexpensive room on the harbor adjacent to the piazza. Clean, newly furnished with private bath. Giacomo is a very gracious owner. The best! Should be on Rick Steves list. email@example.com VENICE-Hotel Casa Cosmo-outstanding small, intimate hotel with large, very clean, well furnished rooms near the Rialto and St. Marks Sq..Large private bath was excellent.Ala Rick Steves. Highly recommend these places and would stay longer next time.
Shoreview, MN USA Tue 10/17/2006
Paris Vacation Rental -www.paris-holiday.com
After I made arrangements to rent an Vacation Rental apartment in Paris from www.paris-holiday.com I was contacted via email by Martin, an agent who represents the owner. He arranged for us to be picked up at the airport, and he purchased museum and Metro passes for us. He met us at the apartment and got us off to a good start. We were 4 people. The apartment was large and we were never cramped for space. The location was ideal. Near the Louvre and only a 2 minute walk to the Metro- which was so easy and convenient for our travels through the city. Around the corner were a small grocery and a bakery. Overall I must say that the apartment was fantastic. Great location, clean, spacious, comfortable and a wonderful agent, Sebastien, who was so helpful and gracious. I would not hesitate to rent this apartment again.
LA, CA USA Sat 10/14/2006
Hotel Maxim was beautifully located near the Duomo in Florence, clean, well maintained, free internet use, very helpful staff making reservations in advance for museums or for restaurants. Great location! Discounts for Rick Steves guests and cash honored. Enjoyable stay!
Lawrenceville, GA USA Thu 10/12/2006
Certosa Hotel, Milan
Certosa Hotel, Viale Certosa 26, Milan, was an alternative option as several of the Milan hotels in your book were either closed for renovation or non responsive. The hotel was located in a quiet area, very clean, modern, well maintained and the staff helpful. Glad we didn't stay in downtown Milan which seemed quite noisy. Using trams, metro in Milan was no problem and fare from the train station was minimal- I think 7 euro. Internet cafe site across the street and a couple good restaurants nearby, reasonable rates giving cash payment discount.
Lawrenceville, GA USA Thu 10/12/2006
Salzburg, Austria. Sept 2006- we planned on staying with Brigitte Lenglachner (recommended in Rick Steve's book The best of Europe), However Brigitte was on vacation during our planned stay and Brigitte referred us to her sister Margarete Grallert B & B which is close by. I don't think Margarete's B & B measures up to Rick's standards. The room was dark, as was the bathroom down the hall and the shower water was rationed with a coin control. (7 minutes per coin) In addition the breakfast provided was very meager.
Silverdale, WA USA Sun 10/08/2006
Vacation in Rome
I'm always suspicious of these reviews so I read only one of Mauro's before I went to Rome, I can't believe that I am now contributing to a review!!! I have to say, even from the communication I had via email with Mauro I had a good feeling about him, when we met at the airport that feeling was confirmed by first impression and grew to the unbelieveable in the next hour and a half as he drove us to the appartment. He gave us a tour of the area pointing out eating places, shopping etc., we stopped and bought a map on which he showed us loads of places of interest. He took such time and attention to make sure we were secure and informed! The apartment was lovely, in a friendly area. Nothing seems to be too much for this man, he is determined to ensure that his guests are comfortable and will get the best out of their holiday! THANK YOU VERY MUCH MAURO!!!! www.rome-apartments-for-rent.it Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Irelan Wed 10/04/2006
Pension Anorga San Sebastian Spain
Had a wonderful stay at Pension Anorga in San Sebastian, Spain. Although the owners do not speak much English, they were very friendly and helpful--it's amazing how much you can communicate just gesturing. If your travels take you to San Sebastian consider staying here.
Washington, DC USA Thu 09/28/2006
Paris Vacation Apartments
We used them in the summer of 2005. Really loved the place and the location while was quiet and it was nice to return and see Sacre Coeur every night!
Los Angele, CA USA Sat 09/23/2006
Fabulour France......What more can I say. Our trip was just three days short of a month without a problem anywhere. I booked the whole trip online with Rick Steves book by my side. All of our accomodations were great, from Paris, Amboise,Sarlat, Avignon and Nice. We only stayed at one B@B but it was probably the highlight of our trip. It was just outside Sarlat. It was called La Tour de Cause. The owners caitlin and Albert were wonderful, They went out of there way for every person staying there. The rooms were to dye for. The breakfast incredible. I had made up my mind to stay there after reading the graffitti wall comments, and believe me they were dead on. France is a wonderful place to visit, the people were friendly and our trip was so memorable. I just hope you all have the same wonderful experience as ourselves. Happy Travelling
Langley, B>C> Canada Sat 09/23/2006
Amsterdam guest house
Amsterdam and Marcel von Woerkom. We live in a world where accurate information is precious. I found about Marcel's Creative Exchange whilst searching the Internet. Trying to find a fine place to stay in Amsterdam. It was 2001, and I was working in London for a major news agency and wanted to spend a weekend in Amsterdam, so I placed a vacancy inquiry which was promptly confirmed for three nights in the Balcony room. I arrived to Marcel's creative exchange. Marcel's home, which occupies the upper two levels of a Victorian Amsterdam house in the heart of the city. A contemporary space conceived and re-built by Marcel himself at the style of Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe, and Marcel's very own style (He's was a designer for the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games). After settling in my room, I had the feeling of arriving to a friend's house. Soon afterwards, I was introduced to the other two guests in the house; a writer and an actor. Both, like myself, looking to explore the city and learn more about the people and the culture. There's no breakfast in the morning, but there's good coffee and Marcel's good advice. He provided me with sufficient information on where to go, what to do, and how to get there. This valuable information made my stay more enjoyable and my planning easier. I have stayed at Marcel's several times since 2001, and I still find that personal, unique inviting environment that somehow makes me feel as if I were a resident of Amsterdam. I believe that Marcel von Woerkom and his creative exchange have established a unique concept rarely available for world dwellers. I amply recommend you to consider you stay at Marcel's while in Amsterdam. http://www.marcelamsterdam.com
Chicago, IL USA Sat 09/23/2006
Now that my wife and I have returned safely to our home in Australia we have found some time to reflect on our trip to Singapore, Paris and Hong Kong. Without a shadow of doubt the highlight of our trip was our visit to Paris where we were fortunate enough to stay at the Studio Mazarine of parisbestlodge in the St-Germain-des-Pres area. Studio Mazarine is idealy situated for a couple who require accomodation within easy walking distance to a huge selection of restaurants, galleries and famous tourist destinations such as the cathedral of Notre-Dame, the Louvre, Napoleon's Tomb and many other interesting sights too numerous to mention. It was wonderful to come back to Studio Mazarine in the evenings to enjoy all the comforts of home such as a fully equiped kitchen, a bathroom with a shower, TV receiver with cable, DVD player with selection of movie titles, a small library of books and a very comfortable bed. The studio was very secure with two coded doors to navigate before entering the apartment which has a heavy bolted door.We felt very safe and secure living in this area walking the streets day and night without any concerns whatsoever. If we are ever lucky enough to be able to visit Paris again we will certainly be looking to stay in one of ParisBestlodge apartments if they are available. We would also have no hesitation in recommending your apartments to our friends. To sum up our experience of staying at Studio Mazarine would be to say that it is well positioned, reasonably priced, well equiped and run by a very co-operative and caring landlord. John and Liz Stankovich
John and Liz Stankovich
Encounter Bay, South Australia Wed 09/20/2006
Paris vacation apartment
Has anyone used the Paris Vacation Apartments rental service?
Groves, Tx USA Mon 09/18/2006
Rental in Ireland
We just experienced one of the most incredible lodging experiences ever. Moongate. This 300 year old remodeled and added-on accomodation is one of a kind. Sleeps 15, including a guest house. Fully stocked with towels, linens, dishes, washer and dryer, books, games, a piano, stereo, tv etc. Absolutely right out of a Harry Potter episode, or perhaps lord of the rings. Something like 7500 s.f. We had 13 people in our party, and I doubt we will ever be able to top this. Moongate cannot be adequately described. Magical, mystical, old, warm, and accomodating. Within easy driving to Cashel, Kilkenny, Waterford etc. Not cheap, but when you consider being able to cook 3 meals a day for 13, have dances in the huge music room, play darts or snooker in the game room or read in the library, it's a deal. We were all moved by the design, art, furniture, and materials used to build the place. Someone put together an incredible vision, and pulled it off. We'll be back, and soon.
poulsbo, WA USA Sat 09/16/2006
Apartment in Bayeux
We recently spent 6 days in Bayeux, Normandy and rented a one bedroom apartment next to the cathedral. Bayeux is centrally located, and is the pick up point for tours of the Normdandy DDay sights. The apartment allowed us the flexibility of eating meals in if we were too tired to go out, after a 9 hour tour. There is a supermarket in town, as well as several charcuterie, a boulangerie next door to the apartment, and many nice restaurants on the Rue Cuisinaires. http://www.gite.com/le-guillaume
san diego, CA USA Thu 09/14/2006
Spain Apartment Rentals
Spain Apartment Rentals
Check out www.loquo.com for great apartment rentals. Fast replies from everyone, most posts include a picture. We loved our flat in Barcelona.
Minneapolis, MN USA Tue 09/12/2006
Convent in Rome
Go to: www.romeguide.it/FILES/caiani.html
for info on a nice convent in Rome. I stayed there in late May/ early June and loved it. The sisters don't speak a word of English, but we got along just fine. It cost around $250 for 6 nights.
Baltimore, MD USA Mon 08/28/2006
Summertime in London
Inexpensive, comfortable, convenient.
My 15 year old daughter and I stayed in Univeristy College London accomodations this summer and enjoyed it very much. It cost around $70 a night (or less, can't remember exchange rate), it was a short walk from Euston Station--tube, train and bus connections were easy. There was a Quaker book store with free internet access that we found our last day there. It was lovely to hear Big Ben in the background every evening. Nice to have a kitchen and coin laundry in the building. It was like a VERY comfortable hostel. The only iffy part was the co-ed bathrooms. It was a bit jarring to come out of the bathroom stall and see a fellow shaving with only a towel wrapped around his waist.
CT USA Sat 08/26/2006
Renting a Flat in London
We just returned from a fabulous week-long stay in London. we rented from Coach House Rentals (http://www.chslondon.com/vr/index.htm), which I found on the visitlondon website.
the flat was outstanding, and worked wonders for our family's requirements. I would strongly recommend Coach House -- a large selection of properties in both London and now Paris, and they came as advertised!!
Weston, MA USA Tue 08/22/2006
We spent a great week at La Casa Nell'Oliveto in Umbria, Italy www.casaolivo.it. It was a very spacious and clean two bedroom apartment, rented by a friendly family living upstairs, and it cost only 40 € per night for myself and my 2 children, including breakfast.
Minneapolis, MN USA Sat 08/12/2006
Rooms to rent
Room rentals:short term:Centrally located:Copenhagen goto:www.expatriates.com
Copenhagen, Denmark Sat 08/12/2006
Instead of a hotel we stayed in Casa Spinelli in Florence
Hi there, My husband and I saved some money by renting an apartment for 4 nights in Florence this past June. We were so sick of paying 120 euros + per night for less than Motel 6 accommodations. So I googled and checked on Craiglist for vacation rentals and we found a really nice 2 bedroom apartment in the "Oltrarno" section of Florence, We paid in American Dollars about $190 per night (which is about 150 euros) which was less than most hotels that we saw on expedia! The apartment we stayed in was called "Casa Spinelli" it was very clean, the beds were very comfortable, the kitchen and most of the furniture looked brand new. It was right next to everything, yet it was on a quiet street. The web address is www.casaspinelli.com
New York, NY USA Wed 08/02/2006
I had such a wonderful time travelling in France 2 years ago that this time I'm doing it again. The last time I rented a car from Paris airport and drove straight to a cottage (self-catering gite) I rented few miles from Mount St. Michael in Normandy/Brittany region. Having been to the region before it was easy to choose where I wanted to stay. However, this time I'm planning to travel to Provence region and would appreciate any tips and advise on where I should stay. I am flying into Nice and renting a car there. I would like to rent a centrally located gite between Nice and Marseille. Any suggestions? Thanks.
USA Wed 08/02/2006
ROME ACCOMMODATIONS AND TOUR GUIDE
ROME ACCOMMODATIONS AND TOUR GUIDE: Our family of six recently stayed at Albergo Santa Chiara behind the Pantheon in Rome, Italy. It is a lovely hotel, centrally located, quite inexpensive as Rome hotels go, and we had great accommodations for our family of six. The desk clerk is a little stiff, but helpful, and his assistant, Federica, will help you with reconfirming plane reservations, etc. We spent 4 nights there, and the cost was very reasonable, breakfast included. Our tour guide was Alex of Amantidiroma.com. Alex escorted us on two days of touring historical places in his air-conditioned van. The cost was comparable to a bus tour, but we got to see more sights, and in-depth history of the places, in comfort, for the cost! We highly recommend both the hotel and tourguide for a wonderful experience in Rome. RFraser, Phoenix, AZ
Sun City West, AZ USA Wed 07/26/2006
Corniglia - Cinque Terre
I stayed in Corniglia for 5 nights. One of the more quieter towns of the five. I found an amazing air-conditioned, clean studio apartment! It is called Pensione Eleanora and it can accomodate up four people. It is super clean! Tile floors, chest of drawers, two small closets, clean bathroom with shower, fully equipped kitchen with pots, pans, plates, bowls (but no silverware). Small fridge also. No TV! Who needs it. Two twin beds tastefully placed and a queen bed. The decor reminded me of the store "Z Gallery" with earthtone colors throughout. Sheer curtains that flowed in and out of the bedroom door to the balcony. The views from the balcony are looking out to the darling town and also views of the Liguarian Sea. If you email me, I will send you pictures! I paid 80 euro a night ($100.00) as a single person and absolutely loved my stay. Just a helpful hint: You must be back in town at the train station to catch the shuttle that takes you up, no later than 8 PM otherwise it is 400 steps. I would stay there again. Eleonora's daughter Claudia speaks very good english. They were both very nice to deal with. Here is the website and if you email me, I have more pictures that I took. http://www.arbaspaa.com/hotel/Pensione_Eleonora_Corniglia/gallery.aspx
San Francisco, CA USA Sat 07/22/2006
Tuscany Home Available August 8-11
We've rented a beautiful home in a Medieval Tuscan Village for seven nights, but now can only stay four. We'd like to sell the other three nights. Its a great deal for a luxury accommodation in a very special place.
Richmond, VA USA Sat 07/22/2006
Very reliable Paris Apartment Rental
Nicole and I booked an Vacation rental apartment in Paris from www.paris-holiday.com and have only praise for our apartment and for firm's management. Our stay was our most comfortable in Paris ever and the flat's location is ideal. Their correspondance with me was prompt, clear and pleasant. Our reception at the flat was pleasant and your explanations clear. The little things they include give guests a sense of real welcome - a bottle of good Bordeaux, a bowl of fruit and chocolates, the bathrobes. There were plenty of fresh linens and towels. The apartment contains everything a visitor could want to make one feel at home - cable TV, CD player, video, etc. And everything worked well. No less important, the apartment itself is lovely and full of light. The furnishings and ornaments are simple yet tasteful and light. Needless to say, we were very pleased and will recommend you to our discerning friends. If we decide to buy a flat one day, we may be asking this company to manage it.
NYC, USA Thu 07/20/2006
Loire Valley accomodation
I would appreciate if you could share any recommendations for staying in the Loire Valley, mainly in Amboise, Chambord, Blois, or surrounding areas. I am looking for either a hotel or B&B.
San Jose, USA Thu 07/13/2006
Paris Best Lodge - Saint Guillaume
We (my wife, 1.5 yr child, & me) are planning a trip to Paris and thinking of renting an apartment from parisbestlodge.com. Wanted to find out if anyone has had experience dealing with them and specifically if anyone has stayed at the Saint Guillaume apartment http://www.parisbestlodge.com/saintguillaume.html). Would appreciate your feedback.
San Jose, CA USA Tue 07/11/2006
Seeking Flat in Oxford
Help! Looking for a one week self-catering flat in Oxford beginning July 14, 2006. Any advice? Most sites are booked already. I'm traveling with a 12 year old so must be safe.
Editors note: Questions are not allowed on the Graffiti Wall, however you can ask a questions on our Traveler's Helpline.
Seattle, WA USA Mon 07/10/2006
Limegrove hotel in Victoria
Limegrove Hotel,london This would be my choice if I am to stay a long time in UK.joyce who runs this small bed and breakfast woul lower the rates for folks who pay upfront and she would provide a kettle and other itams to make your tea or coffee,in addition to the English or Continetal breafast served in the room,besides there are number of cheap eats in the vicinity.This is a good area foy your base,close to Victoria Station.
Pasadina, Ca USA Mon 07/03/2006
sending down payment to Europe for apartment
We're renting apartments in both Paris and London and the Paris folks want us to wire the money to their Swiss bank account (ooh la la!) but our bank has told us that it will cost $40 per transfer and we were going to make the payments in three installments (it's a $2000 apartment!). So any thoughts on a cheaper easier way to get them their money? I've searched the graffitti board and the internet and have listened to the Rick Steves podcasts but haven't heard this mentioned. It's also not in his guidebook. HELP!
greensboro, nc USA Thu 06/29/2006
Self-catering accommodation Tuscany
We spent a wonderful week in Tuscany at Casina di Rosa http://www.casinadirosa.it/
The location is excellent and the house was spotless clean. The owners, Marcel and Gloria, were very helpful and friendly.
We found it mentioned here and we thought that it would be fair to confirm that it is a highly recommended rental.
USA Thu 06/29/2006
Hotel Europa Madrid
A warning about Hotel Europa in Madrid: Remodeling is taking place and the lobby looks bomb-blasted. I was shocked. In addition, the cafe is closed for remodeling and has the requisite noise during the day. Puerta Del Sol is gone, replaced with construction barricades and heavy machinery that runs into the night. I'm very disapointed in an establishment that doesn't warn about these problems on its website but "surprises" its guests with this mess. I wouldn't patronize the hotel and would look to locate off the Puerto del Sol due to the construction (slated for two years). Stayed there 6/11/06 for three nights.
Cincinnati, Ohio USA Sun 06/25/2006
Hotel Tempi in Athens, Greece
Beware if you decide to pay with a credit card at Hotel Tempi. They told us (hand writen on a piece of paper, that should have been the first warning...) what we were going to be charged, and then a few days later when we had already left the country and were able to check the bank's transaction records, they overcharged us by $30. That wasn't in conversion or transaction fees either. They just overcharged. It was a lesson learned and we paid for our rooms in cash from then on and luckily it wasn't too much money. Other than that, it was alright. Small room with no view, but great location.
Oregon USA Thu 06/22/2006
convents, monasteries, etc. in Rome
Any recommendations for convents, monasteries, or other cheaper rooms with lots of character near the major historic sites in Rome? I'm traveling with my husband and 11 year old son.
Thanks for any feedback,
Bloomington, IN USA Tue 06/20/2006
B&Bs near Sorrento and Rome and a great apartment in Le Marche
I just got back from a month long stay in Italy. I had the chance to stay in some charming B&Bs and a great apartment in Fano. Orchid Corner, a B&B in Meta (on the local train line to Naples or Sorrento) is a wonderful, warm welcoming place with just three bedrooms, one freestanding in the garden. Within easy walking distance of a great free sandy beach. There are several good restaurants in town. You can get by without a car here and use the train or buses to get to most everywhere. Web site www.orchidcorner.net. La Torretta is in Casperia, about 45 minutes from the Rome by train. It is in a hill town with dramatic views over the valley. Maureen is Welsh and speaks perfect English as do her daughters. Very comfortable rooms and a great place to decompress after a big city. Web site http://www.latorrettabandb.com/ . The apartment in Fano is owned by a couple who live in Columbus Ohio. It is very nicely furnished with a washing machine, satellite TV, internet hookup (you need your laptop) and a huge terrace that overlooks a bakery. You can smell the fresh goodies. Fano is a walled town, very flat, easy to get around by rental bike and on the Adriatic. The apartment is just outside the old town walls and about a 15 minute walk to the beach. Web site http://www.italianrealestateassist.com/rent_our_apartment.htm.
You can email me for more info.
Vienna, VA USA Thu 06/15/2006
Accomodation in Split, Croatia
Branimir Jelacic ("Yell-a-cheech") in Split, Croatia, is agent for his own apartment and the properties of some twenty other people. Most of the places he deals with are in or near the Diocletian Palace, which is right on the Adriatic. Branimir is a good guy who speaks good English (and writes, too). His website is www.budgetsplit.com, his e-mail is email@example.com, and his phone number is +385 98 1737563. Split is a very nice place to spend a few days!
Albuquerque, NM USA Wed 06/14/2006
Villa le Fornaci near Florence, Italy
My daughters and I recently stayed at a lovely, peaceful villa in the small town of Ponte agli Stolli. It is 5 minutes away from Figline Valdarno, 15 minutes from Greve in Chianti, and 20 minutes (by train) from Florence. It would be necessary to have a car if staying here, but well worth the effort. It is very reasonably priced and much less expensive than staying in Florence - even for a few days. It has 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and very spacious living areas as well as wonderful gardens and a deck with views of the surrounding hills of Tuscany. The kitchen is well-equipped for those wishing to cook and also has laundry facilities.Everything one would need for their stay is provided. We drove to the train station in Figline Valdarno each day and took the train into Florence, which is much easier than finding parking in Florence! Trains run hourly and tickets are less than 6 Euro. There are wonderful restaurants in Greve, which is a short drive with stunning views. I would highly recommend this villa to anyone looking for a relaxing place. Their we site is http://www.villalefornaci.it/home.htm
Colorado Springs, CO USA Tue 06/13/2006
Wonderful Campground in Rome!!
I would highly recommend Camping Village Roma!! The website is: http://www.ecvacanze.it/new/index.htm We just returned from a 9 day trip to Rome and stayed at this campground. Its nothing like the campgrounds in the states. Its huge and rents wonderful cabins and "chalets". There is a huge pool,restaurant, playground, internet cafe, laundry facilities, gelato cafe and free showers. The place is super clean and very well maintained. Its like a little mini city. We rented a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom chalet with a complete kitchen for 96 euro a night (linens included). The bus stop to the Metro station is right outside the campground and there is a grocery store directly across the street. Another person in my party rented a little cabin with 2 twin beds and a private bathroom for 36 euro a night. This place is a great place to stay for budget minded people who still want clean modern places to sleep- i highly recommend it.
Kaiserslautern , Germany Tue 06/06/2006
I have stayed many times at this hotel,run by everso busy Joyce and her two ladies,it's clean and inexpensive and I would visit there again. Kevin Hall
Colarado Springs, Colarado USA Sun 06/04/2006
I've been to Todi a number of times and stayed in b&bs both inside and outside the walls. My favourite is La Gardenia, a two-storey apartment at the top of a medieval townhouse, with a charming and helpful owner (who speaks good English). Each room has different period decor (some with original art/photos) and the whole place is cosy and quaint. Prices are very reasonable too. You wake up to the sound of church bells and breathtaking views of the countryside and town. (www.lagardeniatodi.com)
London, England Sun 06/04/2006
Lime Grove Hotel
I just returned from 2 weeks in Europe with my son. Based on the graffiti I took a chance on Lime Grove. The owner is very freindly indeed but that is about where the good news stopped. The rooms were not very clean and the communla shower was very unclean. There are several hotels in the very same block that were not more expensive just nicer such as the Belgrave House Hotel.
Centerville, Iowa USA Thu 06/01/2006
Stay in a Trulli and enjoy bella Puglia
We spent a great weekend in Alberobello and stayed in a trullo. Trulli are unusual bee hive shaped houses. The two brothers who run the business speak English very well. More importantly, they run a great operation and care about their clients. The trullo we stayed in was clean and nicely furnished. Generally the trulli are small but our family of six had more than enough room. This is in part due to innovative use of space like small bathrooms with a folding toilet (it works and our kids thought it was cool). Price includes breakfast at the family bar nearby. Cappucino, juice and warm cornetti were a great start to the day. The family has a small wine shop and we had an extensive tasting of wines and liquors. Alberobello is a bit on the touristy side, but not so bad as to detract from the city. The trulli are unique and the surrounding countryside is beautiful. It is a great anchor point for visiting the coast, Castel Monte, Matera, anod other sites in Puglia. Lecce (two hours away) is a bit of a stretch but definitely worth it. We ate very well at nearby reastaurants. In fact, I had one of the best steaks I have ever had (tender and served in a sauce made from one of the outstanding wines). You could save money as the trullo had a small range and a refigerator. Mimmo is the owner. E-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. Website is www.trugliepuglia.com. Highly recommended!
Naples, Italy Mon 05/29/2006
Cottage in Northern Ireland
A great find. We just spent a week in a lovely restored mill worker's cottage in beautiful County Down, near the Mourne Mountains. Quiet and private, the cosy cottage has 2 bedrooms and everything you might need. The couple who own it are delightful and even left us a basket of groceries to start us off. Easy driving distance to fishing villages, beaches, mountain hikes and wonderful scenery. About 20 miles from Belfast airport and few tourists around. www.horsetrek-ireland.com/cottages.htm
Canada Sun 05/28/2006
budget apartments in Rome
Last fall (2005)eight of my closest friends and I visited Rome. We are forever grateful to Mauro Sacchetta Cali for all that he did to make our stay so wonderful. The airport pickup was soooo wonderful after the all night flight and time change. We stayed at four delightful apartments. All were immaculately clean and well furnished. The local charm of the apartments and the neighborhoods they were in made our time very much like the backdoor experiences that Rick always talks about. We experienced the local smells, sounds and sights. We found the shopping in these areas met our budget. The coffee bars and their morning cappucino made us feel just like the locals. We were close to everything and we used the public transportation most of the time. When we chose to use a taxi the cost was very reasonable.
Now for a special word about Mauro. I thought that the rave reviews for him must be a bit over the top. But I found out just how helpful he is. He is an example of a true Italian gentleman. When half of our group became lost on their way to meet the rest of the group at a specific restuarant, the cell phone he provided was a god-send. He helped us find the place and he even came by moterbike to check that we had found each other. It was a comfort to know that he really was there for us.
The only negative during the visit was the apartment on Via Emo. The couple who stayed there were very sensitive to noise at night and found the street noise difficult. That little apartment is a sweet place for a younger couple or two friends who are 30-something or younger.
I lived in Rome for four years some time ago and I know just how difficult it can be to stay in Rome. Mauro and the budget loving apartments that he provides will make any first or second visit to Rome a much easier and pleasant time. Thanks Mauro.
East St. Louis, IL USA Mon 05/22/2006
Somewere else on lake Como
Hy, I'd like to talk about a very nice hotel near Varenna. Everything was booked out in Varenna, as usual, last Easter. A nice Lady from a Hotel in Varenna suggested we could drive to Abbadia Lariana. It was a smashing tip! There is a very nice modern Hotel in Abbadia called Park Hotel (www.parkhotelabbadia.com) and they were most fiendly and helpful! Very nice holiday even if we were OFF-Varenna!
Muenchen, Germany Thu 05/18/2006
Vacations in Paris is not a good company
We had an absolutely terrible experience with Vacations in Paris, based in NJ. In fact, the on-site manager was so rude to use that it surprised us. When we returned back to the US and complained to the head office in NJ, they told us that we were not welcome to book with them again.
Not a good experience at all and we will not be booking with them (their choice) again.
New York, NY USA Sun 05/14/2006
Severely Alternative Accomodations
Each trip to Europe I've taken always seems to include some unplanned stop somewhere for the night. . . . When you arrive in a foreign city late at night, especially in the off-off season, accomodations aren't always an option. Of course, I've only done this at least with one other person, but sleeping (or not)in a train station (strictly forbidden by the French stationmaster; but he relented after awhile) or in an abandoned portico (it was fun until it started to rain), has become an essential part of the European experience for me. It doesn't usually involve alot of sleep, and doesn't strike you as fun at the time, but after the trip is over, a night of solidarity with the homeless remains a memorable experience!
USA Sun 05/14/2006
wonderful apartment in Paris
I spent a month in Paris last November and booked an apartment with Thierry at Paris Best lodge (www.paristbestlodge.com). Located on a lovely cobbletsone street in the Marais, it was exactly as advertised and more. No hidden fees, no strange suprises, no worries. I will definitely be booking with Thierry again (a most enthisiastic and helpful host) and would highly recommend others do so as well.
Vancouver, BC Canada Tue 05/09/2006
Hi- I'm looking for self-catering accomodations in Dublin, Ireland. We need accomodations for 7 people (4 adults & 3 kids)preferably low-cost. Any suggestions on where to stay is greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Mission Viejo, CA USA Sat 05/06/2006
Christmas accomodations in Austria or Germany 2006
We are a family of 5 traveling to bavaria and austria for the Christmas holidays. We were looking for a place to stay. We were considering Garmisch and Innsbruck Does anyone have any suggestions, names of places, etc...?
San Diego, CA USA Thu 05/04/2006
Mauro Sachetta Cali
Mauro Sachetta Cali email@example.com is a good as everyone says or better. We spent 10 days in Rome this Mrch. We booked a flat with him; he did everythiing he said he would plus more. He even took us to our flight at 4:00am! He is a peach and has great integrity.
Los Olivos, CA USA Wed 05/03/2006
London and Paris Vacation Rentals
For vaction rentals in London and Paris try Coach House Rentals. They've been in business in London for 5 years and have a great reputation there. They've just started up an operation in Paris see: www.rentals.chsparis.com.
NY, NY USA Thu 04/27/2006
We recently returned from Paris and spent a delightful two weeks at Mary's Hotel. The room was clean (cheap too!), great cheap b-fast (2 euro) of OJ, croissant and crisp bread. Very conveniently located by a metro, quiet area in the Rue De La Republique. We'll stay there again
Ravensdale, WA USA Wed 04/26/2006
London Earls Court Hostle clsoed due to fire
There was a fire on April 6th. If you have a reservation there, contact them immediately through email to re-book at South Kensington or Holland Park.
Seattle, WA USA Mon 04/17/2006
Alghero Italy ( Sardenia) -Looking for lodging
I just booked a flight in June 06' to Alghero Italy ( Sardenia). My husband and I will be travelling with an 18 mo. Any accommodation recommendations are welcome, please.
Wiesbaden, Germany Sat 04/15/2006
I'm looking for low-cost, possibly University housing for a group. We plan to go to London in June, 2007. Any ideas?
Louisville, KY USA Sat 04/15/2006
Inexpensive Lodging in Europe.
My wife and I just got back from camping through Europe by purchasing a VW campervan. BUT, one thing that we learned from doing that, is that at just about every campgroud that we stayed at in 29 different countries over 2 years, we found that they all offered a very nice "bungalow" to all that searched them out. The prices were GREAT, and the accomodations were really good in most cases...just a thought.
Joel and Louise
Seattle, WA USA Thu 04/13/2006
Ditto Royal Court
As the prior poster wrote, Royal Court Apts is a good, cheap and convenient place. We stayed there in Aug2005 and will be there again this year. Paddington is less than 3 blocks and there is a tube station at foot of street where RCA is and Hyde Park is right there!
Paul n Sara
USA Tue 04/11/2006
Royal Court Apartments London
Highly recommend Royal Court Apartments in Bayswater near Paddington Station! We had a 1 bd apt for 40 pounds/night (booked in Dec 2005). The location was ideal. Just one block north of Hyde Park and the Tube. Great little market was around the corner. The apartment was well worn but was clean. Staff was polite and accomodating. We had requested a double bedded room but when we arrived, my email request did not show up in the reservation and the room had 2 single beds. They switched us to the double bed room with no problems or delays!
Edina, MN USA Tue 04/11/2006
Paris - Avoid hotel champ du mars
We just returned from Paris and Ireland. In Paris we stayed in the rue cler district at the hotel champ du mars. The room was very small (we had a triple-a double and single bed). We are non smokers. The room smelled like chain smokers had lived there, and smoke seemed to enter the room throughout the day. We opened the window at night. We faced the street and the street sounds made it difficult to sleep. The street is active late into the night and into early morning hours. Contrary to the 2005 France book we did not find the owners or most of the staff friendly. The first morning my husband went out to get espresso for me. When he returned to the hotel he was pulled aside and told he was not allowed to do that. On our last night we notifed the desk clerk that we had a 6:00 am shuttle to Beauveux airport. When we told the desk clerk he told us they turn off the elevators from 5-6:30 am and we should leave our luggage in the lobby, or be prepared to haul it down the narrow winding stairway. He also asked us to turn in the key that night or we would be charged a fee. I asked for a 4:45 am wake up call that occured around 5:00 am. We've in the rue cler district before and the staff and the rooms were fine (hotel beaugency and hotel de alma).
Seattle, WA USA Sun 04/02/2006
Rome Italy - Mauro Sacchetti Cali
I need to correct my comments on the Rome Italy - Mauro Sacchetti Cali entry below. The location is not in the Jewish Ghetto but instead close to Campo Dei Fiori.
Madison, MS USA Thu 03/30/2006
This 6 person apartment in Todi, Umbria, Italy is really great. We spent over two weeks here. It is clean and airy, located in the city's historic center and has views of the Umbrian countryside. Todi is a great location for visitng the medieval hilltowns in Umbria, and is good for kids as it has a playground and a store that sells toys. www.lagardeniatodi.com.
Evanston, IL USA Mon 03/27/2006
Rome Italy - Mauro Sacchetta Cali
I agree wholeheartedly with Judi's comments below as to Mauro Sacchetta Cali and the whole apartment experience. My family and I just returned from a week in Rome staying at the via del Pellegrino (81) apartment. It was a comfortable, clean, spacious (for Europe) place conveniently located in the Jewish Ghetto area. Mauro was waiting to pick us up at the airport and upon arriving at the apartment, briefed us on local restaurants, sightseeing, emergency assistance (the cell phone he provides with his number programmed in), as well as 'nice to know' info. He showed us the local grocery (P.S.: one of the younger guys behind the meat counter speaks a bit of English)and made sure we were situated before leaving. The apartment has a German washing machine and we figured out how to use it (yippee!) as we'd packed light. The satelite t.v. was great considering my two teenagers occasional need for something non-cultural! The location is great and within walking distance to many sites. Mauro transported us back to the airport bright and early a week later. It was nice to not have to worry about taxis, etc. I'd highly recommend contacting Mauro should you wish to experience Rome from a comfortable, easy to use apartment. Our trip was trouble free and fabulous!
Madison, MS USA Thu 03/23/2006
Cinque Terre at it's best.
My wife and I just got back from Italy. We found a place in vernazza (cinque terre) that SHOULD be in ricks books but isn't. This has got to be one of the most beautiful accomidations around. You have a small studio (small like everything in town) But you also have a PRIVATE terrace overlooking the ocean. panormic views of the caslte, sunset, cliffs... The price was very reasonable too... IF YOU ARE GOING TO CINQUE TERRE LOOK INTO THIS PLACE. the web address is www.mike-franca.com (Note to Rick Steves: Buddy you have GOT to see this one.)
Kauai, Hawaii USA Wed 03/22/2006
My husband and I booked with Romeby.com for Apartment Navona Savelli near Campo De'Fiori in Rome. We felt the price was comparable if not better than most hotels in popular areas, and we wanted to experience the culture, not hotel amenities. I e-mailed Romeby with questions and they responded in a few days. I did e-mail them in advance of my arrival time, but I would suggest calling when you land to let them know that you are arriving. We waited outside of the apartment, nervous we made a mistake for booking an apartment, for an hour after our scheduled check-in time. We finally stopped panicking and called. A Rome rental company representative came in about 20 minutes, and said they didn't know when we would be there. There is a phone number on the voucher that is the private owner or rental company. There was a problem with the apartment,and we had already noted that the landing needed repair. The rep said he needed to move us to another apartment. He walked us around two streets and showed us an apartment right off of Piazza Farnese and down one street to the Campo de' Fiori. The location was better and the price quoted was honored. It was a pleasant cash only transaction and we were satisfied. The only thing we may do differently in the future is find an apartment with windows. We didn't have any natural daylight to help get adjusted to the new time zone. The apartment felt more private than a hotel, but keep in mind that you need to be bold with the locals if you have any travel questions or concerns. While a smoother transition would have been nice when we were dragging from the flight, we will book apartments on future travels.
Jayson & Leslie Wild
Hatfield, PA, 19440 USA Tue 03/14/2006
Perfect homebase and house
We spent a week at Casina di Rosa, half-way between Siena and Grosseto. Besides being a little cosy house, very well kept and equipped, with caring touches (fresh flowers, chocolates and olive oil), and extremely clean (we were astonished to notice that plates and glasses had been polished!), the village is the perfect base to explore Tuscany. We managed to see many different areas which would have been too far to reach had we decided to stay between Florence and Siena, as we had thought. If you are interested to know the area, it is called Alta Marema and the village where we staid is Civitella Marittima. The house is Casina di Rosa www.casinadirosa.it Rose
USA Mon 03/06/2006
Apartment rentals in central Austria and the Romantic Road in Germany
During a trip to central Europe my husband and I rented two properties that we would like to recommend. One was an apartment in Wagrain a town in central Austria about 40 minutes south of Salzburg. Contact Johanna Engl through www.vacationvillas.com, property #26793. We also rented an apartment in Feuchtwangen, Germany which is along the Romantic Road. Contact Uli Metzner through www.vacationvillas.com, property #22180. Both rentals were very satisfactory: clean, comfortable, reasonable and the owners very kind and helpful.
Oakland, CA USA Wed 03/01/2006
Have to add my hurrahs for Mauro Sacchetta Cali and www.omtour.com. Researched a bit about apartment rentals at this site and on a few others, and have not regretted signing up with Mauro. This was my first time to stay outside a hotel, but it certainly won't be my last. He answered all our emails and phone calls promptly, speaks excellent English, and has a kindness and genuine interest in his clients. I wasn't too sure how everyone could say they feel like they have a friend in Rome, but that is indeed how it feels.
Two of us stayed at the Malpasso apartment, central to (within 20 mins walk of) Trastevere, Vatican City, Piazza Navona, the Jewish Ghetto, and the base of the staircase to the Gianicolo. 7 mins to Campo dei Fiori and 3 mins to a main thoroughfare of Corso Vittorio Emmanuele II.
We stayed 7 nights straddling the last week of October and the first week of November 2005. Mauro even provided a second key (guess most groups only ask for one) which allowed my companion and I to not be attached at the hip.
Mauro not only picked us up from the train station upon our arrival, but dropped us off at Fiumicino -- at 3:30AM. Now that's service. And he wouldn't let us tip him, so I am hoping to spread the good word about this guy and his company.
I've already asked him to reserve another apartment for the fall of 2007, this time much bigger as there may be eight of us. The apartment was home for me during my stay. I didn't think of it as a hotel, just a furnished apartment, and I reveled in it. You know, I followed Rick Steves' TV shows for years before I could even think of going to Italy, but having this apartment, and moving and living amongst the locals, it doesn't get any closer to the ETBD philosophy.
Lake City, FL USA Sun 02/26/2006
Truly Tiny Rooms
The "truly tiny" single rooms Rick mentions at the Hotel V-markt in Munich also come with THE most helpful staff I've ever encountered at a hotel anywhere; Liane, Hildegard & Maria. They even called long-distance and booked rooms for me in other cities at no charge.
Lexington, SC USA Sun 02/19/2006
I recently spent 2 great evenings at the Institute St. Sebastian in Salzburg. I had a 4-bed dorm room to myself. The price was right, the kids were fun, and the staff very helpful and professional. The only thing less than perfect was that breakfast was a little skimpy, but I'm not complaining for 21 euro/night.
Lexington, SC USA Sun 02/19/2006
I really must respond to the two recent negative posts about vacationinparis apartments.
My family rented from them for New Years week last year (Dec.'04/Jan'05. From our first contact with them through the end of our actual stay, we could not have had a better experience.
The staff in New Jersey and their man in Paris, Morgan Cannon, were at all times prompt, courteous and professional, and the apartment (#74 Invalides) was exactly as described and pictured on their web site, and it was immaculately clean.
Even though we already had our keys, Morgan met us at the apt. upon our arrival and spent a good 30 to 40 minutes showing us where everything was, and explaining how to operate the various appliances, etc.
I could go on, but suffice to say, we were very impressed with both the apt. and the service we received, have recommended them to others who have also been well pleased, and will definitely use them again when we next go to Paris.
Two final things: I have no relationship to this company or anyone in it. And it strikes me as curious that neither of the people who posted such extremely negative comments had the decency or courage to include their email address, so that people might inguire about the actual details of their alleged awful experience. Very strange, if you ask me!
Danville, VA USA Fri 02/10/2006
Fantastic holidays in Cannes
Hi, As we just return from Riviera and staying actually in Dordogne we want to tell how splendi was our trip to Riviera. We stayed in Cannes and we rented a fanstastic villa. We rented this villa through villa holidays limited in London and they really are professional. The villa was so great that we allready book for next summer. I forgot to tell you they are on the web. Their site is called: http://www.villas-rentals.co.uk And if you book with them, you can speak on our behalf Michael and Susan Hume
Michael and Susan Hume
Santa Monica, Ca USA Thu 02/09/2006
Limegrove Hotel Victoria London
Limegrove hotel in Victoria is run by ever so busy Joyce and her two ladies.It is cheap and clean for this area of London.If Ia allowed to give their web address.http://wwwlimegrovehotel.co.uk Tel 00442078280458. This hotel is small family run on two floors of a period town house.
Colarado springs, Col USA Wed 01/25/2006
Self catering Ireland
You can do a "google" search and just put in "self catering" and then the county you wish to see in Ireland. There are LOADS of them. Many you talk directly with the owner and dont require any sort of deposit other then your word. I have stayed in a few places that were 200 euros inclusive for the week in the wintertime. It's a great way to travel. Being able to fix your own meals at the house really cuts down on the expenses!
USA Mon 01/23/2006
Self-catering flats and homes in UK and Ireland
I love to rent a flat or a house and base from one place for a week to really explore a particular area on day trips. I fell in love with the British Isles (thanks in part to cheap fares the last few falls on Aer Lingus) and found a terrific resource in the booking agents at Great Trips Unlimited. www.gtunlimited.com.
They book self-catering accommodations in England, Ireland and Scotland, but also have a lot of good information about general travel in Europe. I booked a flat in London and a house in Dingle for my family last October, both of which my agent had visited personally. I LOVED them both. The year before I rented an apartment in Dublin and another in Edinburgh. And the folks at GTU helped me navigate the flights on Ryan Air from London to Ireland, and even booked a car for me! So if you need accommodation and advice, I highly recommend them. I am going to gather my folks and in-laws for a holiday at a wonderful Manor House in Cork. It will be more expensive than a regular house, but our family will remember it for years to come.
Berkely, CA USA Sun 01/22/2006
best value in London-South Kensington
For cheap and clean apts. in London (less then 5 min. to the Gloucester RD. underground) try Kensgate house. You'll need to send a deposit but one week is a mere 400 L. Within an easy walk are 2 grocery stores, a laundry mat, and a great pub across from the station. Rooms are effeciencies but with ample space. I found them on the web being the only place in my price range.
daytona beach, FL USA Fri 01/20/2006
apartments in rome
listed in rick: cross-pollinate.com We were pleased with the results and easy to navigate and view web site
USA Fri 01/20/2006
Agriturismo - Sicily
Not sure if this comment belongs here or the agirturismo section. However, I highly recommend Casale Delle Rose, a fantastic agriturismo near Castelgirone, Sicily. Perfect location for visiting locations areas near the Catania side of Sicily. Very scenic and the food is fresh and wonderful. Highly recommended. Their web site is: http://www.casaledellerose.com/it_index.asp
Naples, Italy USA Fri 01/20/2006
We went through lodgis.com to get a serviced apartment for a short vacation rental. While *they* spoke english, the majority of the arrangements were made directly between us and the landlord who, in our case, did not. Once you add up the hidden costs (such as public liability insurance [responsabilité civile] which the contract requires you to have, courier costs for sending the contract to them within the time limit, conversion fees for getting the money to the landlord in a form that they accept), we didn't save money.
When we return to Paris, we'll stay at a serviced apartment listed in the various travel guides -- we will *not* do business with Lodgis again.
Boston, MA USA Tue 01/10/2006
Rome Apt/Condo Vacation Rentals
Apt/Condo Vacation Rentals I just returned from Rome and rented an apt 1 block from the Cavour metro stop. It was right around the corner from markets, Colosseum, money exchange and pharmacy. It was located on a quite residential street Via Capucci. It was a loft apt that slept 6 people had a kitchen with cook ware, dishes, etc., two bathrooms, tv and ex-visitiors to the apt left several maps of different areas in Italy and travel books. It was the best. It was only $110 a night which was cheaper then the Hotel Ivanhoe right around the corner. I had a chance to see inside one of the rooms at the Hotel Ivanhoe and it was about the size of a small work cubical and cost more. The shower was so small only a 5 year old would fit to use it. Try looking into apt or condos for youe next trip. It was great to not be right on top of the person in your room and saves you money of food cause you shop at a market. No noisy fellow travelers coming in at all hours waking you from your sleep by laughing and slaming doors or some cleaning person trying to coming to clean the room.
There were 2 apts each had there own entrance and key. When we left we locked the apt door, and the outer door and dropped the key through the mail slot. We walked down the street and caught the metro to Termini trani station one stop away and took the train to the airport. My mother has difficulties walking and climbing and the apt/loft was on ground level and an easy stroll to the metro.
Here are the links to the apts.
Her name is Laura Riccetti firstname.lastname@example.org and I included a link to the loft apt so you can see what they look like. The first link is to the one I stayed in.
Here is the main site for the other apt same location. http://www.goin2travel.com/romeloft2.htm
And this site is for other apt for rent in Rome. http://www.goin2travel.com/list/rome.htm
Newport Beach, CA USA Mon 01/09/2006
We found out about Mauro Sacchetta Cali (www.omtour.com) on this site and all the positive things about him are true. We just stayed for a week at an apartment near Campo de Fiori and had a great week. Getting a ride to and from the airport was a huge benefit for our family of four. He was very helpful and welcomed us to contact him at anytime during the week if we needed to, which was nice with two younger children. Luckily we didn't have to but it was nice to feel like we had someone in case we needed anything. We will absolutely be renting an apartment through him again for our next visit to Rome.
Tuebingen, DE Mon 01/09/2006
Apartment in Todi, Italy
We stayed in a wonderful apartment in the historic center of Todi, Italy that can sleep up to 6 people. It was a comfortable home for my family of four (preschooler and toddler in tow) for the duration of our two week stay. Todi is great for families becaues it has a park with a playground! If you're interested, please email me.
Chicago, IL USA Sat 01/07/2006
If you will be in Paris, studios and other apts are available thru Parisbestlodge.com, which is terrific. Eric and Thierry will bend over backwards for you and the flats are cheap and well-located throughout Paris. We stayed in Marais in Aug 2005 and highly recommend .
Paul n Sara
USA Thu 01/05/2006
Has anyone tried friendlyrentals.com in Barcelona for apartments? They're in the book put out by the Tourism office of Spain. I'm looking for an apartment/studio with DSL, preferably wireless.
Westminster, CA USA Thu 01/05/2006
Castle in Tuscany/Umbria
Montegualandro is a beautiful castle overlooking lago Trasimeno just on the border of Tuscany and Umbria. Franca, Claudio, and Cristiana are so kind, what ever you need just ask they will go out of there way to accomodate you. We arrived to a basket filled with food, wine, and olive oil (all included in the price of the room) They provided maps and directions for day trips and told us the best places to eat and shop. You really become a part of the family! I even received a Christmas card from them. Also, they produce their own olive oil, the best I've ever had. You can buy some to take home,they will package it nicely in a carry case. www.montegualandro.com
Shakopee, MN USA Thu 01/05/2006
DON'T DO VacationsinParis.com!!!!
Absolutely terrible service from this Paris rental company. We arrived at a filthy apartment advertised as a spacious 1 bedroom that slept 4. There were pubic hairs on the linens (not changed) old Indian food in the fridge, no info on Paris whatsoever in the apartment, hair in the washbasin and bathtub, and it was so small that we all had to sleep side by side. It also smelled awful. When we complained, we did get put into another flat (at an additional charge to us), but the onsite manager (Morgan Cannon) was such a jerk about it. He refused to believe us that the first place was dirty and then when we left the second place, he invented a damage that we did not do. He also insisted on phoning us at 11:00pm even though we had a young baby staying in the apartment who was sleeping. Just stay away from this company, there are plenty others that are much better with much nicer people.
Sacramento, CA USA Tue 01/03/2006