Alternative Accommodations: 2010
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?
- Please don't post questions here. Use our Travelers Helpline.
I highly recommend house exchanges for really getting to know a locale. I have now done four of them,aa in England. I exchanged 3x with the first family as they have family in Albany. The 4th exchange was made through homebase-hols.com. I highly recommend them. They are very professional and helpful. We only exchanged house keys and cars and tht was it! The neighbors in both places were wonderful. We stayed 5 weeks for the first 3 exchanges and 3 l /2 weeks at the 4th location. They are all great friends of mine now.
Albany, OR USA Fri 12/10/2010
I highly recommend the Desota Bed and Breakfast in Galway, Ireland. It was spacious, comfortable, and the staff were excellent. Full Irish breakfast was served free of charge if you wanted, or you could just dine on the provided toast, cereal, yogurts, or fruit. At 45euro a night, this was a well-deserved "splurge" for a hostel-goer such as myself.
Seattle, WA USA Fri 12/10/2010
Our stay in Tuscany
We rented an apartment for 7 days in a villa in San Barberino through Rentvillas.com and it was wonderful. The location was excellent for taking day trips to Florence, Siena, Montalcino, Pisa and San Gimigiano. October is a beautiful time of the year to visit. The key keeper could not have been more friendly, gracious and attentive to us during our stay. The apartment was roomy, newly renovated and clean as a whistle. The kitchen was my favorite place to hang out. The view from the back of the apartment and the upstairs bedroom was absolutely magnificent. The Villa is however right beside the main highway running through the town, so the traffic noise was bothersome during the day. Our rental experience through Rentvilla was a very good one and we could not be more pleased with the suggested property rented to us.
Austin, TX USA Wed 11/10/2010
Italian Villa Rental - Villa del Castello in Torre Alfina
I heartily recommend a stay at Villa del Castello in Torre Alfina, Italy, where the town castel is just steps from the front door. Oozing charm and amenities, it's a gem getaway and a perfect base for exploring many hilltowns in the area. The villa is offered by VillaRentals.com. Check it out and make your reservations now!
New York, NY USA Sun 11/07/2010
selfcatering flat in Bath England
Best trip ever staying in central location in beautiful Bath. Flat was clean, comfortable and had most amazing view of the city. Liz was a dear and couldn't do enough to make my trip memorable. Hard to find any other accomodation that will measure up to this one. Contact email@example.com
Medford, Or USA Wed 11/03/2010
Apartment in Ostia, near Rome
We rented an apartment outside Rome in Ostia through VBRO.com, and we LOVED it. (listing #119256) It was comfortable, had wonderful rooftop views, a very handy washer, and a kitchen stocked with coffee, staples, and everything we needed for perfect stay. There were all kinds of shops and cafes nearby, and the 2-block walk to the metro station made it easy to get into Rome every day. The apartment is only a few blocks away from the seashore as well, and beautiful walks on the "lungomare" (boardwalk). We felt like real guests, almost Romans, not tourists -- and all for much less than a hotel room in Rome would cost. One tip -- if you'll be staying for more than a few days, invest in a weekly "CIS" pass for the bus/metro. It's only 16 Euro, and it enables you to ride everything (except regional trains) for a full week, as much as you want.
Kenmore, WA USA Sat 10/30/2010
Just a reminder, fellow travelers
There are quite a few good reviews here that forget to mention the name of the accommodation. Please, before you press "send", make sure you tell people the name of place where you stayed!
Fairport, NY USA Sat 10/30/2010
Tuscany Vacation - Villa Andreina
Hello Kate, Our experience, 12 of us (Mom, dad bothers & sisters and spouses) was the best of our 3 Tuscany Rent Villa vacations. Grazie Mille! Our home for the week, Villa Andreina, was even more than we expected. It was spotless, well equipped, comfortable, convenient, screened windows with a Jacuzzi that was well used and enjoyed. Even the swimming pool was entered by a couple of crazy brothers. Mario, his mom and dad were family. The dinner, cooked at the Villa by our hosts on our last night topped off what was an amazing family reunion and vacation. Roberto (dad) grilled fresh Rabbit and Fowl on/in his outside wood burning stove/oven/grill. It was absolutely to "die for." Of course mom prepared a marvelous first course of assorted Bruscetta and Prosciutto & melon. The Pastas, especially the freshly made Gnocchi & Basil was beyond Iron Chef caliber along with a fresh green salad with the tastiest tomatoes and vinaigrette imaginable. Of course the end all of end all meals had to have mom's take on Tiramisu. Unbelievable!!! Tiramisu will never be the same in the US. I guess we just have to go back to Andreina. Their excellent house wine and the roaring fire place just added to the atmosphere and festivities. Senora and Senore were magnificent hosts. What a way to end our week at Andreina in Tuscany. The location of the Villa to highways, grocery and local restaurants were perfect. Because of the location we were able to take in all of the sites that make Tuscany our favorite vacation spot. We did make one unexpected discovery. The little hilltop town of Anghairi, (spelling) about 25 minutes from the Villa. A beautiful winding drive through the Chianti hills to a marvelous little Renaissance village with an awesome museum and one of our most memorable lunches. Mahalo Nui loa for taking care of us again. Myron Staszkow and the whole Staszkow Ohana from Hawaii (Honolulu, Las Vegas, Cleveland, New Iberia, Portland & San Francisco.)
Olmsted Falls, Ohio USA Wed 10/27/2010
Review of fantastic Salzburg apartment rental
Just back from 3 wks in Europe. We had a wonderful apartment in Salzburg that I'd like to share with you all. I found it via the following link but it is listed on other sites too apparently:
This wonderful 2 b/r apartment is clean, modern and beautifully appointed. It is located just a short 5 ~ 10 min stroll, through the city walls, away from the Altstadt and is close to everything. There is a supermarket on the corner and off street parking available.
We stayed there for 4 nights in July 2010 and wished we could have stayed longer. The apartment is drenched in lots of natural light, well ventilated and has a lovely garden where you can sit comfortably to enjoy the peaceful and private leafy surrounds.
There is a fantastic Augustine Monastery Brewery just a short walk away where you can enjoy good, cheap beer and a wonderful choice of pub style meals in the large & atmospheric beer garden.
Odette and Michael, who manage the bookings, were wonderful to work with. They answered all e-mails efficiently and this made the booking process very stress free. We paid cash in full on arrival.
We hope to go back to Salzburg one day and would definitely stay at this apartment again. Private msg me if you want links to my blog with photos etc.
Hawaii USA Wed 10/27/2010
A place to stay in Theix, France
I would highly recommend staying at Le Gorvello Cafe in Theix, France. If you are traveling in the Brittany area and are near Vannes, consider driving a bit further to Le Gorvello. Le Gorvello is a small village that features a cafe and a creperie. Don and Ellen are the owners of Le Gorvello Cafe and are wonderful hosts (the speak both French and English). If you are looking for an authentic French cafe experience and a nights rest, stay at Le Gorvello Cafe.
Grand Rapids, MI USA Mon 10/25/2010
Making reservations at Religious Guest Houses
I want to recommend using "Nibiru" services in making reservations for convents or monestaries. We wanted to stay at a monestary or convent but I had difficulty in making a reservation with a credit card rather than a bank wire. I also had long delays in getting responses. I found Nibiru on a the S. Maria alle Fornaci website and just used them. They are so helpful, efficent and responded to my e-mails quickly. I could easily use my credit card to make the reservation as well.They corrected my mistake on the dates quickly as well. They did not charge much higher rates unlike some services. I could pick the exact Guest House as well. I would recommend them for such reservations!!!
Washington, MI USA Fri 10/22/2010
Cheap and nice apartment in Berlin
Just stayed in a very nice "Ferienwohnung," or vacation apartment, in Kreuzberg, one of the close suburbs of downtown Berlin. Just three minutes' walk to the nearest bus stop, which takes you in a few minutes to Checkpoint Charlie, the apartment was spacious, sleeping up to four, with kitchenette and huge bathroom. And, priced incredibly at only 60 Euros for the entire apartment. (Regardless of if you are one or four) Nearby restaurants were amazing, I had dinner each of the four nights in the neighborhood for less than 10 Euros a night, in one case, a great pizza for only 2.10 Euro! Forget about high-priced central Berlin, this is the place for relaxed sightseeing of Germany's most exciting city. For details, contact me directly. This place just opened.
Sarasota,, FL USA Thu 10/21/2010
Casa Antonella, Lake Como
My family and I recently rented a villa on Lake Como. Perched high above the rooftops of Varenna on the east shore of the lake, Casa Antonella 1 has superb views of the lake, simple elegant furnishings, a swimming pool, and loads of terraces and patios for drinking wine or dining al fresco. A dream of a place!
Southbury, CT USA Tue 10/19/2010
Wanted to share my experience with an apartment rental agency in Venice. "Magica Venezia". I had reservation until I heard what happen to my friend. It took her over two hours to meet up with the agnecy to obtain the key to the apartment. She had trouble contacting them on the phone. Once contact was made it was almost impossible to communicate because of the language difference. The agency has you contact them upon your arrival in Venice. This assumes your cell phone will work there. I cancelled my reservation and lost a 20% deposit with them because I thougth this sounded extremly difficult to go thur upon arrival in Venice. I'm going for the beautiful sites not to spend time trying to find someone with a key to my accomadations. Hope this doesn't happen to you.
Collierville, TN USA Sat 10/16/2010
Excellent Small, Quiet Hotel In the Heart of Florence
I had a fantastic stay at Hotel Davanzati in Florence. Fabrizio, his son, and his father go well out of their way to make your stay warm and comfortable. The rooms are very well cared for, quiet, and some have private or semi-private patios. I cannot recommend this hotel enough and will be staying there every time I visit Florence.
Minneapolis, MN USA Fri 10/15/2010
Wonderful B&B in Florence - Badia Fiorentina
The Badia Fiorentina is a great find. Affordable, it's located right in the heart of Florence, handy to all the major sights and with a number of wonderful restarants literally right outside the door. The rooms are comfortable and clean. The host, Bruno, is really great - friendly and very helpful. I would definitely recommend it.
Toronto, ON Canada Tue 10/12/2010
Villa in Florence countryside from Rentvillas
We rented Casa Biscotti from Rentvillas.com. It was 4 train stops from Florence at a lovely town called Pontesievve. Between the owner escorting us to the villa, the huge view over olive and grape vinyards, the peace and quiet, charming neighbors, and the lovely cottage - we were totally thrilled. We cannot wait to use Rentvillas again because of their excellent service to us, excellent properties, and making us feel that we were really taken care of.
Campbell, CA USA Sun 10/10/2010
Don't Stay at the Polish-run Convent
My husband and I stayed at Suore di Santa Elisabetta in Rome in early September 2010. According to our experience, and not denied by the front desk, our room, which faced the street, was noisy at night due to a busy street just around the corner. Also, it was extremely hot and humid. Although we made a reservation for 6 nights (9/ 7-9/13), we wanted to leave the convent after the two nights there by giving a 24-hour advance notice. (We found a nice B&B nearby on a quiet street, with an air conditioner and for the same fee.) What transpired then was rather puzzling to us: we were told that we are breaking a contract, and that regardless of when we give the notice, we would still be obligated to pay for an extra night. This was news to us, and when we asked the reception desk for a contract in writing, which by the way we had never seen in our correspondence with the convent, we were told that they don't have it but it is on their website. Due to our busy schedule with the tours, we had no time to look for an Internet cafe and verify this information and had reluctantly paid for the third night to not let this unpleasant confrontation spoil our vacation. As we arrived home, we Googled this convent and realized that it has NO website: No reservations can be made on-line, they have to be either e-mailed or faxed in, and no confirmation regarding our reservation, which was e-mailed to us months ago, contained any rules. So, we definitely feel that we have been taken advantage of and do not recommend staying there.
Suore di Santa Elizabetta
Rome, Italy, CA USA Tue 10/05/2010
Verona, L'Ospite di Frederica di Rossi
I just wanted to echo what another writer wrote about his experience in Verona. L'Ospite was a wonderful place to stay and Frederica was a most graceous host, going out of her way to help us with urgent problems that occurred upon our arrival (ATM cards and cell phone that wouldn't work.) Her tips were invaluable for our very short stay but made the start of our European trip a great first step. A beautiful location with a most gracious hostess.
Whately, Mass USA Fri 09/24/2010
Avoid St. Sebastian's in Salzburg
My wife and I booked this place based on the fact that there was supposed to be free parking in an expensive city and laundry facilities. When we arrived we were told they didn't have a space for us even though we reserved one ahead of time. We had to pay to park overnight which cost $20 and they would not reimburse us even after we showed them a copy of our confirmation with the "included" parking space. We were also relying on being able to do laundry but we were told their facilities were out of order which makes you wonder if the sheets are clean on the beds. We were then referred to another facility which was closed. All of this would still have been fine if they weren't charging regular hotel prices for their rooms. We expected spartan facilities but were willing to pay for the free parking and laundry that was supposed to be included. For the same price we could have gotten a much better room with a much better breakfast than the roll and watered down coffee and juice we received. Absolutely TERRIBLE customer service.
St. Louis, MO USA Thu 09/23/2010
Exclusive accommodation in Private Stately Home
The Castle of Gabiano, a fairy-tale location boasting more than a century of history and carrying out a hight quality wine production, is now also offering guests the opportunity to find an exclusive accommodation. The Hunting Lodge, just in front of the Manor, hosts three private flat for rent, enjoying an exclusive stay, within a timeless retreat...
Hunting lodge -Hospitality-
Gabiano, PIEDMONT, ITALY Wed 09/15/2010
Trotworth Court - Cotswolds England
A hidden gem in the Cotswolds. This 4 star hotel has a history dating back to the 14th century. The grounds are beautiful. Best of all inexpensive. We paid 54 pounds a night. Well worth it.
St Albert, AB USA Mon 09/06/2010
Pension/B&B Florence, Italy
Rezidenza il Villino,Via Della Pergola, 53 - A wonderful place to stay. Sergio & Elisabetta were friendly and helpful hosts. Rooms were comfortable. Walking distance to major Florence sites. Want to return.
Indianapolis, IN USA Sat 09/04/2010
B&B in San Gimignano, Italy
Busini Rossi Carla(Ponte a Nappo) is a beautful, fantastic place to stay. Carla and her sons were great hosts. The food was fantastic. Delightful!
Indianapolis, IN USA Sat 09/04/2010
Paris Apartment - "Coeur de Montmartre"
We loved "Coeur de Montmartre." Elegant, historic, well-appointed, great location. Four massive french windows overlooking the city. Persian rugs, antique furniture, marble fireplace. Easy walk to the Abbesses Metro, the Sacre Coeur, the Moulin de la Galette, etc. The only problem was that our stay was too short!
West Chester, PA USA Fri 08/27/2010
Apartment in Rome, Italy
I just wanted to let you know what a great week we had in Italy. The apartment was perfect for 6 of us (3 couples). Having 3 bedrooms and 3 baths allowed us privacy but the common living area and kitchen let us be together as much as we wanted. I cannot say enough about your representative to the property, Daniella. She was there when we arrived, left us a telephone to contact her and to use during our stay, and was there early Sunday morning to ensure that the apartment was left properly and to see that our driver arrived promptly to get us to the airport. She was extremely helpful in offering restaurant suggests and in going over the particulars of the apartment. It made our week more enjoyable to know there was someone to contact if we had a problem. I would highly recommend Coach House Rentals to friends and others who might be visiting Italy. Thank you for helping us find just the right apartment in the absolute PERFECT location!!
Leesville, SC USA Tue 08/24/2010
Coach House Rentals[INVALID]Rome, Italy
I just wanted to let you know what a great week we had in Italy. The apartment was perfect for 6 of us;3 couples;. Having 3 bedrooms and 3 baths allowed us privacy but the common living area and kitchen let us be together as much as we wanted. I cannot say enough about your representative to the property, Daniella. She was there when we arrived, left us a telephone to contact her and to use during our stay, and was there early Sunday morning to ensure that the apartment was left properly and to see that our driver arrived promptly to get us to the airport. She was extremely helpful in offering restaurant suggests and in going over the particulars of the apartment. It made our week more enjoyable to know there was someone to contact if we had a problem. I would highly recommend Coach House Rentals to friends and others who might be visiting Italy. Thank you for helping us find just the right apartment in the absolute PERFECT location!!
Leesville, SC USA Wed 08/18/2010
Live like a local made easy through RentVillas
We love living as 'locals' when we travel...and, have had a great experience in doing this by renting villas through Rentvillas.com. We used RentVillas to book an beautiful home for our honeymoon in France and just recently booked a fantastic farmhouse perched in the Tuscan countryside for our family vacation...it's the only way we'd plan where to stay on our holidays!
San Marcos, CA USA Fri 08/13/2010
Apartment in Nerja, Spain
Inspired by the info in Rick's Spain 2010 book, my teenage sons and I spent a week in Nerja earlier this summer. It was a great call - lots for all of us to do nearby, as well as a convenient location for day trips to Granada, Sevilla, etc. The star of the show, though, is the "Balcony of Europe," a bluff with a stunning Mediterranean view, with great beaches a short walk down either side. We stayed at an apartment in Carabeo 2002, right in the middle of town and literally 5 minutes walk from Balcon de Europa. The apartment is owned by the same couple who own the more-advertised "Casa Charlotte," which was occupied during the time we were there, but I doubt it could have topped our very comfortable and conveniently located apt - absolutely perfect. Owners are Frans and Nuttee, a charming local couple. Contact info is: +34.606 96 68 96, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kirkland, WA USA Sat 08/07/2010
Apartment rentals in Paris
We rented two different apartments for five days each (two adults, two kids 8 and 12), from Vacation in Paris (VIP), in New Jersey. Their fees, efforts and general service were outstanding. The first apartment was better than the second, but they did their best to have the owner respond to issues and it wasn't awful- we just had a property for our first five days to compare to. We gladly recommend VIP (on internet), and will use them again. Barbara Levy
Jupiter, FL USA Fri 08/06/2010
B & B in Westport, Ireland
We stayed in the best B & B in Westport, Ireland. It was a 5-10 minute walk from the town with the nicest owner and the BEST water pressure and showers. It had huge bedrooms and could not have been a better place to stay. I highly recommend it. It was the Failte/Welcome B & B. Phone # is 098-26005
Fountain Valley, CA USA Tue 08/03/2010
Superb B&B (York, England)!
I discovered a FABULOUS (reasonably priced) B&B in York, England while planning a trip to celebrate my husband's parents' 50th wedding anniversary. It is in a GREAT location, and the proprietors (Stephen Townsley and his wife) pay attention to every detail and look for every possible way to make your stay the best that it can be. It is called The Bloomsbury. It's web address is: www.bloomsburyhotel.co.uk.
Bakersfield, CA USA Tue 08/03/2010
LOUD, LOUD, LOUD apartment rental.
We just returned from two weeks in France, one of them was spent in a Paris apartment rental arranged through LOCAFLAT.com. Two days before we travelled we received and email advising LOCAFLAT was changing which apartment we were going to stay in. They assured us it was a better location and all around apartment... I don't think so!
We had seven people and the "new" apartment was much smaller (200 sq ft) and only slept 6. The original rental slept 8.
The new place was said to be in a more central location and have better access to travel around the city. We found out that meant it was adjacent to the very busy Gare Montparnasse, with TGV, Regional trains, RER, Metro and busses arriving and departing constantly. We could hear the station speaker announcements in our apartment along with the buzzer that sounds before each TGV and regional train departs.
The new apartment was directly across the street from the famous "Le Petit Journal Jazz Club" - translation... lots of noise coming in the other side of the apartment. We would have kept the windows closed to help reduce the noise and cigarette smoke coming in from all sides but we happened to stay during some very hot days. There is no AC and the apartment became a sauna if closed up.
I know Paris is a crowded city but there must be quiet places to stay... this is not one of them! I would recommend avoid staying in any apartment on Rue Du Commandant Mouchotte (we were in #8 but there are several apartments in this large building used as vacation rentals).
Medford, OR USA Sat 07/24/2010
apartment in Rome
I just returned from a week in Rome where we stayed in an apartment we rented through rentvillas.com. It was very reasonable in a great location -right by the colosseum in a bustling urban neighborhood. The rental agent in the US was terrific as was the agent who met us at the apartment in Rome. Good value and we loved living like locals, even if only for a week.
Pittsburgh, Pa USA Tue 07/20/2010
Backdoor experience leaving Croatia
Passing through Senj, we found a parking lot, a view, a sobe at $48 (300 kuna) and a most gregarious fisherman/owner/tourist information source who proudly showed us his home and his livelihood. Our room had a beautiful terrace overlooking the Adriatic, lovely bathroom. Address is Rijecka cesta 31d Senj. Phone is 38553882625. Tomljanovic Bero recommended Kanoba Val, where we had a delicious meal, just 1/2 mile south of his home. No name of hotel on outside, signs say tourist information and zimmer,camere and rooms at the north end of Senj. Charming couple. A memorable evening with a glimpse of a fisherman's life and gorgeous sunset to boot.
Blaine, MN USA Tue 07/20/2010
apartment: parking, walkability to ancient city, great owner and fabulous views in Dubrovnik
We rented Aerie Apt. 1 for three nights at A.T. Mimare 14 (Ploce) Dubrovnik through www.dubrovnikapartmentsource.com and couldn't have been happier. DAS (suggested by RS) gives clear, accurate details, pictures, real time availability calendar, best site! Dijana, the owner, gets rave reviews and deserves all of them. She reserved a parking spot (free), provided an apartment with a terrace plus balcony overlooking the ancient city, helped us arrange excellent daytrips to Montenegro and Mostar with Nino from www.adriatic-explore.com. Dijana gave simple to follow directions, the apartment was only 75 euros a night. We didn't mind the 300 plus steps up and down (great exercise) from the ancient city, just 5 minutes down, 10 up for us. Not for the faint hearted, but night and day views were simply magical from our balcony. Highly recommend!
Blaine, MN USA Tue 07/20/2010
Pink Inn, Podstrana enroute to Split, Croatia
Iveska, an outstanding hostess/owner, couldn't have been kinder and more attentive to her guests' needs. We stayed at Pink Inn, located on a bus route to Old Town, Split. See www.pinkinn.com and tripadvisor for reviews, info on Pink Inn. Parking, large balcony with a super view of the Adriatic just yards away, beach available. For just $80 a night we had a spacious apartment on the top floor. Iveska, a Canadian, provided us with great directions, helpful information, best breakfast pastries ever and hot chocolate on the terrace below. Such good memories.
Blaine, MN USA Tue 07/20/2010
Hotel in Stockholm
The Columbus Hotel in Stockholm is a very quaint, small European hotel in Sodermalm with great breakfast and courtyard, and very friendly people, not far from Stieg Larsson's haunts. Only disadvantage: no air conditioning. There in hottest summer ever but would go back in a heartbeat.
Mount Vernon, WA USA Mon 07/19/2010
Villa Torretta in Varenna on Lake Como
Villa Torretta on Lake Como in Varenna is the best accommodation. Great balcony with a beautiful view of the lake. Great breakfast included. Dinner is excellent and a wonderful value. Laura, the owner, was very friendly, accommodating and helpful. Can't wait to go back!
Minneapolis, MN USA Mon 07/19/2010
East London - Newly Refurbished Hotel - Good Value
Excellent, new hotel/apartment in East London -- Town Hall Hotel and Apartments (www.townhallhotel.com) is a very pleasant, newly refurbished hotel/extended stay facility in East London (Bethnal Green) near the Tube, Busses. My company landed me here for an extended business project and I liked it so much that I also used the Townhall as a place for my family on holiday.
The staff are awesome! Almost like family.
North Bend, WA USA Wed 07/14/2010
Beautiful Sorrento Vacation Rental
Holidays House La Terrazza is a graceful apartment of 110 square meters. It is an house built in 1900 and it has been recently renewed. The Holidays House La Terrazza is located in Sorrento centre, in the quiet neighbourhood of Sant’Agnello. This area is at 2 kilometers from the main square of Sorrento, Piazza Tasso. Near Holidays House La Terrazza there are many shops: supermarket, confectioner’s, laundry, fruit and vegetable market, restaurants etc., but at the same time this is in a very quiet area. Sorrento Holidays House La Terrazza sits in the promontory over looking the sea and the towns of Sant'Agnello and Piano di Sorrento. Situated in an enchanting lemons and oranges garden, Sorrento Holidays House offers an exceptional vista of the sea and coastline. Set among lovely hanging gardens which are typical of the Sorrento Coast, the property is in an area particularly rich in vineyards, gardens and lemon trees. The furnishings of the apartment are simple and comfortable. There is a TV, radio CD player, DVD player, cooker, fridge, freezer, microwave oven, BBQ, iron and ironing board, washing machine, hairdryer, safe, heating and car parking. The House is composed of a fully equipped modern kitchen, 3 double or triple bedrooms for 12 people maximum, a living area with double sofa bed, and 2 bathroom with shower or tub. All furnishings are tasteful and modern. There is an exclusive large sun terrace sea view of 70 sq mt with shower equipped with sun beds and sun umbrellas. The property can be easily reached by bus, train or car and there is private parking. It is a short walk down to the beach at La Marinella, or by bus to Sorrento Marina Grande where there are several excellent restaurants, boat rental services and a scuba diving centre. The bus stops which conned to Amalfi, Ravello, Salerno, Sorrento and Positano is a short walk from the property. From Sorrento and Positano there is boat service to Capri and Ischia. From Sorrento and Sant'Agnello there is train service to Pompei, Herculaneum, Vesuvius and Naples. From Salerno there is easy connection to the archeological site of Paestum. If You arrive by car, there are reserved parkings not far from the apartment. The Sant’Agnello railway station is about 800 meters away, and by train You can easily reach Pompeii, Naples etc. The nearest beach is La Marinella, which is 1200 meters away: You can go there on foot if You feel like, but If You decide to go by car, there is a car parking there. That beach is a typical Sorrento beach and You’ll find a lot of bathing establishments where umbrellas, deckchairs and a bar are available and where kids can safely swim. Sorrento area is located on a platform of a volcanic stone, 50 meters above the sea-level and there aren’t many beaches. That is the reason why You’ll see so many wooden bathing establishments here. If You look for a large beach in Sorrento area, You should go to Alimuri beach (4 Km away from the Holidays House La Terrazza) – payment car parking available. A curiosity: if You rent the Holidays House La Terrazza, consider also that each week a street market is arranged. Besides, on Monday every week in Sant’Agnello e Piano di Sorrento (about 2 Km away from the Holidays House La Terrazza) You can go to the local street market where You can find anything for very good prices. We suggest You also to visit the small but absolutely breath-taking public garden Villa Comunale of Sorrento (free entrance) from where You can admire the beautiful gulf of Naples with its symbol Vesuvius. And in the evening, if You wish to try one of the best pizzas in the area see you soon. You can rent directly from the owner http://www.SorrentoHoliday.info
London, UK Wed 07/14/2010
Agriturismo/ B&B between Rome and Naples
Via Piana Italian Country Stay is very affordable, located within stunning Italian landscape. The rooms are restored with a rejuvenated historical feel. They are clean and freshly painted with bright blankets and antique furniture. The modest bathroom is shared- bring shower shoes- since the shower is just a drain on a tiled floor. There is a clean kitchen with plenty of utensils and cookware. There is wifi in the rooms and dining room. The staff is friendly and helpful. The breakfast is nice and tailored to what guest's prefer. The Bed and Breakfast is linked with a farmstay nearby where you can socialize with an international mix of travelers and locals. There are many other activities offered, at low cost, such as cooking/language courses, horseback riding, visiting the cheese-making shepherd. You can hike to a waterfall and castle, clear directions and sometimes company is offered by the staff. They also recommend delicious local places to dine and in the summer there are endless music festivals to experience. It is a modest accommodation, presented well, and in a beautiful location, well worth the small amount of money charged.
New York, NY USA Sun 07/11/2010
B&B in Venice
I have twice stayed in a lovely B&B in Venice near the train station called the Domus Orsoni in Cannareggio. Valentina the owner was lovely both times, they take credit cards, its in a great location, and its also an art studio on the first floor. Highly recommend.
Denver, CO USA Sat 07/10/2010
Apartments in Santorini
We just stayed in an apt in Santorini the guy we went thru has a website www.private-villas.gr. His name is Aris he was such an amazing professional from booking to taking us to the airport on our way to Athens. We almost always stay in apts when on holidays but have never had the service from anyone at this level and the value for money was exceptional. He called to check if we needed anything, a couple of times all in all the best experience we have had in renting on holidays.
Melbourne, Vic Australia Sun 07/04/2010
I've stayed several times at L'Altra Luna B&B in Rome. It's just great there. The main room is large, there is a smaller room for just one person, both rooms have ensuite baths. There is a small kitchen and breakfast is provided.Assunta, the landlady speaks English as well as several other languages. She is absolutely charming. The price is right! L'Altra Luna is located just a short walk from Termini. Contact Assunta by email at email@example.com
Seattle, WA USA Fri 07/02/2010
Apt. rental in Bellagio
We rented an apt. through rentvillas.com in San Giovanni, Bellagio (called Lea). It was perhaps the best experience we have had in our six trips to Italy. The pictures on the website don't do the place justice, especially the garden, which is spectacular. The apartment is MUCH larger than it appears in the photos, and immaculately clean. The kitchen is well equipped, and contains two unusual appliances for an Italian kitchen -- a dishwasher and a microwave. The bathrooms are large, with double sinks. There are lots of doors letting in light and air, and offering access to the garden, where we sat in the evening, sipping wine and breathing in the scent of honeysuckle. We have rented six apts. from rentvillas over the last few years and been delighted with all of them. Their service is excellent.
Mary Lou Cary
New York, NY USA Wed 06/30/2010
Used Clickappart.com (someone else on this site recommended) Booked 5 nights about 6 weeks in advance. Stayed at 2 rue augreau next to the champ de mars and a 5 minute walk to Rue Cler restaurants. Had a very firm bed and was a tiny appartment, but it was 115 euro a night plus a 60 euro linens fee.
Breckenridge, co USA Tue 06/29/2010
Villa Rosa Convent/Rome
4 of us ladies stayed at this convent May 6-11 in a quad room w/private bath for a total of 120 euros per night & this was split 4 ways so a fantastic bargain for Rome. Our room spacious & w/a balcony, plenty of hot water for the 4 of us each day, nice breakfast & pretty courtyard. Sister Christina was punctual in our emails prior to our arrival & so easy to work with. She went out of her way to make sure we got a cab our last morning because it was raining & difficult to secure one because they were so busy. There is a refrigerator in the breakfast room with soft drinks & beer to purchase at cheap prices & you also have access to tea & coffee all day. Just a wonderful experience & I would highly recommend it & would stay there again myself.
Trussville, Al USA Tue 06/29/2010
apartment rental ROME
need a place to stay in ROME? i am from south dakota and this past spring i was searching for a long-term rental in rome, as i was planning on attending a 3 month long culinary course. i found positive comments on this message board about susan simcox and her tour/travel assistance in rome and sent her a quick e-mail. she responded promptly and within just a couple days, she found me an apartment. i had reservations about committing to something without meeting someone first, but susan was a great person and i couldn't have had a better experience. she's an american based out of rome, was very easy to talk to, and found me a 3 month rental with a great landlord in a great neighborhood. very knowledgeable, trustworth, and available to answer all questions i had. the rent was VERY reasonable and in line with many other rentals i viewed and inquired about. i will definately be requesting her assistance again! shoot her and e-mail and i know she'd be happy to help you! firstname.lastname@example.org
Sioux Falls, SD USA Fri 06/25/2010
Flat in Rome
We stayed at a great Studio in Rome. The price was affordable, and the location even better. The proprietor was more than helpful My husband accidentaly left his wedding ring in the flat and it was returned to the US a week later. You have to love the Italian hospitality. Contact Giuseppe if you're looking for an affordable place in the heart of Rome! I would recommend this place to anyone. email@example.com
Washington, DC USA Tue 06/22/2010
Paris Apartment in the Marais
We would definitely recommend Quentin de Pennart if you are looking for an apartment in the Marais. Here is his website: www.sogecri.com We stayed in Residence Picasso and loved it. Great location, cozy and quiet apartment. Quentin was wonderful to deal with.
Portland, OR USA Sat 06/19/2010
I would definitely recommend Castlecote Guest house in Shrewsbury, UK. The hostess was very helpful and the room was excellent, so was breakfast. My husband and I used Shrewsbury as a base to see the Ironbridge Gorge, after our stay in Wales.
Ithaca, NY USA Wed 06/16/2010
Paris Apartment Weekly Rental
Definitely recommend Pascal Zytomirski at www.rentalfrance.com for renting an apartment in Paris. Agent was waiting for us at the apartment when we arrived, and everything was explained thoroughly (in English) and handled as expected. The apartment in the Marais exceeded our expectations.
Colorado Springs, CO USA Tue 06/15/2010
Hotel in Nurnberg, Germany
If you are in Nurnberg, Germany try the Hotel Deutscher Kaiser. It's in old town and conveniently located. The best breakfast we had in our Germany travels. We went to see Rick's recommended Hotel Probst. It was very old, up a rickety elevator and scary.
Salem, OR USA Tue 06/15/2010
Paris Apartment Rental
I second Tom's post on www.rentalfrance.com and Pascal. I used them also for a Paris apartment (37 Rue St Paul) and found them excellent. Would highly recommend their service.
Auckland, NZ, USA Tue 06/15/2010
Excellent experience with sleepinitaly.com for apartment rental in Rome. We stayed in Trastevere and had a fabulous time.
St. Louis, MO USA Fri 06/11/2010
We rented a beautiful apartment in Venice at Residence Corte Nova, in the Castello sestiere. Hosts Laura, Francesco and Riccardo couldn't have been more helpful and gracious. The apartment we rented is wonderfully appointed and well-equipped, and very spacious, too. Bellissimo!
St. Louis, MO USA Fri 06/11/2010
Feels Like Home in Paris www.feelslikehomeinparis.com Helped us make our honeymoon unforgettable. Loved the bottle of champagne!!!
Brooklyn, NY USA Tue 06/08/2010
Holidays France Rentals
This is a fantastic management company! All of our contact before our arrival in Paris was prompt and professional. My boyfriend and I stayed in their Louvre Musee apartment for a week and it was exactly as advertised. The apartment had every amenity that we needed, was clean and well-kept and very centrally located (literally across the street from a Metro station and the Louvre museum). What a wonderful stay!
Boston, MA USA Sat 06/05/2010
We stayed at La Scala apartment for three days and can't say enough positive things about the entire deal. I found Serenella's apartments after trying to get a room with the nearby Trastevere Hotel, and was really excited to have more of a home base than just a hotel room. The apartment has wonderful wooden ceilings, plenty of space for one or two couples to eat and sleep, and was extremely clean and comfortable. The location is perfect for walks to St Peters, and it's only a few minutes away from all the major sites in the 'historic center'. There is a nice supermarket a couple blocks away, and tons of restaurants and cafes to choose from. We arrived with a day's worth of travel delays, completely exhausted, and having a list of recommended restaurants and a map at the outset was a nice start. I would highly recommend this apartment, and especially the owner Serenella to anyone looking for a taste of a genuine neighborhood filled with Romans as well as tourists. I hope we can come back to visit again one day!
fayetteville, AR USA Thu 06/03/2010
Highly recommend holidays-france-rentals.com (Bernard or Jeremy). We found them on the internet and along with another couple, rented a lovely Paris apartment for a week's vacation. We could not have been happier with their service or the apartment (80 Avenue Victor Hugo, 16th A). Value for the money was far greater than a hotel. This was the best vacation rental experience I've had on either side of the Atlantic.
MD USA Wed 06/02/2010
Verona Accomodation at L'Ospite di Federica Di Rossi
L’Ospite di Federica Di Rossi is an outstanding place to stay in Verona. We stayed at L’Ospite for four months (February thru May 2010) while I was working at the University of Verona on sabbatical leave. The apartment was ample and well laid out. The kitchenette had everything that would be desired. The bed was comfortable. It was good to have cable television and high speed wireless internet access. The apartment was very clean, quite and peaceful. The location of L’Opsite was perfect. Veronetta is a great neighborhood. It is about a 2-minute walk to the university and a 10-minute walk to either Piazza Bra or Piazza Erbe. Also it is about a 10-minute walk to the small train station at Porta Vescovo where you can catch all the east and westbound regional trains. There is an excellent butcher shop across the street, a fruit and vegetable seller two doors down, three cafes nearby, two pasticcerias in the next block, a fresh pasta shop three blocks away and a great down home restaurant/pizzeria that specializes in food from Puglia. The best part of the stay, however, was meeting Federica Di Rossi. She is a genuinely caring, hospitable, and quality person who really cares about her guests. She gave us a neighborhood tour and orientation when we arrived. We ate dinner with her at her favorite restaurants. She introduced us to the ExPats walking group and accompanied us on the monthly hikes in Valpolicella. Without her, our time in Verona would not have been nearly as enjoyable and rewarding. Just one last note, Verona is a great city for a vacation. I would recommend spending at least a week here to feel like you have seen most of the interesting spots in the city. It has some of the best restaurants and best wine in Italy. Also, Verona is an ideal base for a exploring this whole area of Italy. There is easy train transportation to all the major destinations (e.g. Venice, Vicenza, Mantova, Padova). Valpolicella starts 10 minutes from town. You can be on the shore of Lake Garda in 15 minutes by car. I strongly recommend coming to Verona and staying with Federica at L’Ospite.
Amherst, MA USA Mon 05/24/2010
our s. kensington flat in the nell gwyn bldg.(thru homestay) was very comfortable , clean and private. close to tube and buses. w/d, wk for 700 pounds,groceries across the street.interesting upscale, historical neighborhood. would definately stay again. thanks to our hostess tessa.
tillamook, or USA Mon 05/24/2010
Wales coast- Blenheim Palace
We traveled by car and never had a bad experience. here are 2 standouts: The Victoria hotel in Driggs,Wales,small very beautiful rural area by the sea.60 pounds per nite for 2. great dinners.Our next find was in Woodstock, close to Oxford and adjacent to Blenheim palace,we walked on the palace grounds in the evening and toured the next morning. Hamilton House our b&b, was hosted by kay Bradford. she has a beautiful garden, pleasant comfortable home and is very helpful. At the end of the block, is the bus to Oxford, a 20 minute ride. Hamilton House is small but comfortable, very clean with a congenial hostess full of good tips.A good base for exploring the cotswolds too. would love to stay again.
tillamook, or USA Mon 05/24/2010
Paris Sweet Home Apartments
I did a wire transfer for a deposit of 200 euros for the deposit on an apartment in Paris 10 days ago. I have not heard anything since from "Paris Sweet Home.com" I am afraid I have lost my money.
Murrieta, CA USA Sat 05/22/2010
My wife and I spent a week in Roma during April. Great weather, less crowded and accomodations are easier to find. We found a local by the name of Fabri, MYMAGICROME@ME.COM, and he has outstanding accomodations in the heart of Roma. Close to all the sights!
Essex Junction, VT USA Thu 05/20/2010
Normandy BandB and Gite
Rented a wonderful house in Normandy over Easter. Perfect for 2 couples or family. Lovely location for exploring the D Day beaches as well as the other lovely villages. Paul and Chris are wonderful English hosts of the Gite and their B and B next door. www.gitesofnormandy.com
Ancaster, Ont Canada Wed 05/19/2010
Just got back from a marvelous time in Rome, our first visit. Got to stay in a lovely apartment--thanks to Trastevere Apartments' "La Paglia" coming to the rescue after our hotel accommodations got flooded, literally. A marvel of compact design, this apartment featured a fully-equipped "James Bond" kitchen and was a quiet refuge from the busy nightlife of Trastevere. Would go back at the drop of a hat!
Halifax, N.S. Canada Wed 05/19/2010
We were in Rome for 8 nights, and rented an apartment through Halldis.com. The apartment was perfect, just as described, clean, and in a terrific location. The Halldis representative assisted us in finding an apartment close to Piazza Navona, with a balcony & wifi access. And the price was very reasonable. I would recommend apartment rental for vacationing in the European cities, and our experience with Halldis made this very do-able.
Waverly, IA USA Thu 05/13/2010
Florence apartment with terrace
Just a little tip from me...my wife and I have just spent a most enjoyable month of March in ideally situated, spacious,comfortable and well appointed apartment.
We could enjoy a spectacular 180 deg. vista from the balcony of typically Italian homes and apartments together with the surrounding hills and even glimpses of the snow capped Alps. At night, in the sitting room, a close up view of one of the world's most recognisable pieces of architecture- "Il Duomo".
We went to London for 3 days and the owner Francesco very kindly offered to turn the gas heating off in order to save us that cost. We paid 1300 euro for the whole month plus 70 euros
You can find this particular apartment at http://www.inflorence.co.uk/p/apartment.php?id=58. The web site is not at all a portal but is run by real local people who made sure that everything went very very smoothly.
We will use them again.
Boston, USA Wed 04/28/2010
Bad apartment experience in Rome
Just got back from two weeks in Rome. We had reserved an apartment ("Studio Ciancaleoni") through www.cross-pollinate.com for 12 nights. We stayed 2 of those 12 and paid for a hotel ("Hotel Nerva" - recommended by Rick) the rest of the time. However, we had foolishly opted out of the inexpensive insurance policy on our apartment, so after repeated emails, phone calls, etc. with cross-pollinate, all they could tell us was that they were not able to get us any money back from the guy we had paid $1300 for the apartment. (C-P is just a matchmaking service for apartment-seekers, and since we had paid for the insurance, they wouldn't do anything to save their reputation.)
So what was wrong with the apartment? The location was great, but there was mildew throughout the bathroom, and we were too stoned on dramamine and/or worn out from the long flight to study things carefully before paying the guy for it. The duvet looked like it had never been washed. They advertised it as having 2 beds, but the sheets for one were dirty. And so on. The mildew in the bathroom (and kitchenette) gave us upper respiratory infections, and then my wife got food poisoning at a nearby cafe and spent most of the first week being sick and recovering. That's when we moved to the hotel.
So unfortunately, we ended up paying twice for our accommodations. If you decided to take a chance on an apartment through cross-pollinate, definitely take out insurance!
Detroit, MI USA Tue 04/27/2010
Paris Studio Apartment with Slim
Rick mentions renting an apartment in Paris through Slim in his 2010 guidebook. Well, my family just returned from a volcano-extended stay in Paris and we can't say enough good things about Slim. He truly went out of his way to help us and was so flexible and kind. If you are ever in need of a studio in Paris, definitely give Slim a call. Thank you Rick!!!
Naperville, IL USA Mon 04/26/2010
Le Torri, San Quirico, Tuscany
We spent 3 weeks @ Le Torri. Wonderful place, great location, Gabry and his parents make you feel at home and are very helpful. Maps, ideas, directions, etc. You'll want a car to explore Tuscany.
Camano Island, WA USA Mon 04/26/2010
Cheap hotel available in Geneva for May 11-15, 2010
I've had to change my travel plans, and can't use my hotel I've booked in downtown Geneva- near the lake and across the street from the train station. Hotel is non-refundable, but is fully transferrable.
Here's the info:
Best Western Hotel Strasbourg Geneve, CH
Check-in: May 11, 2010 - 12:00 P.M. (12:00) Check-out: May 15, 2010 - 11:00 Noon (11:00) Rooms: 1
I'm only trying to recoup my costs, which are 500 Swiss Francs. Contact me and we can sort out the details. We can use PayPal for secure payment.
Delray Beach, FL USA Sun 04/25/2010
hotel in Cologne/Koln
Cologne's Classic Hotel Harmonie is highly recommended in your book on Germany. My husband and I stayed there April 14. It is not in a good area. The carpeting is tattered, dirty and garrish. An abundance of dusty plastic flowers and other odd decor assault the eyes. Think Twilight Zone. Reception was surly. Our first room was permeated by the stench of cigarettes. Ditto the hallways. Pillows deflated. At 7:30 AM loud radio news is broadcast into the hallway. The breakfast was excellent.
Prescott, AZ USA Sun 04/25/2010
I went to Europe for over a month and used websites offering apartments to rent by private owners VRBO and Homeaway. We had excellent apartments with laundry and kitchens for prices below hotels. We found that the owners were very helpful in helping us find our way around many had tourist guides and maps for us to borrow. Many times the owners were very interested in how our days were and would talk to us at length about what we did and could do in their cities.
Toronto, ON USA Sun 04/18/2010
Studio apartment in Rome
We rented a studio apt ("Remus") near the Trevi Fountain thru rentvillas.com last month. This was a terrific way to focus on the historic city. Excellent location for walking everywhere or taking the bus or metro. Good to have the option to eat in instead of out (which is quite pricey, but worth a splurge). Very quiet, as the street is closed to traffic. Two wonderful gelato shops and a vegie market just steps away. We have used rentvillas.com for many trips and swear by them. All properties are just as-advertised, and they provide good support beforehand.
Boulder, CO USA Sat 04/17/2010
We had an absolutly wonderful time in Florence. The Rebecca apartment was perfect. It was a bit of a climb to the top floor, but it was perfect. The balcony was great, we sat out in the sun above Florence drinking wine and eating bread--wonderful. The kitchen was cute and had everything we needed. The location of the apartment was great, close to San Lorenzo, the Il Centro, the Duomo. Thanks so much for a great stay ! If we come back to Florence, we will definetly stay there again. Thanks! The Melink Family You can visit the webside: www.inflorence.co.uk
USA Fri 04/16/2010
La Gardenia Todi Umbria
My wife and I were fortunate to find the "La Gardenia" apartment in Todi,a hillside town in Umbria. We were welcomed by the friendly Carlo who was very helpful with our questions.La Gardenia is on two levels and we spent most of our relaxation time on the balcony overlooking the town and the valley. We would spend the time eating local food, drink Umbrian wine and have Bocelli playing in the background. Nothing could beat this experience.We spent a few days exploring Todi and surrounds then we visited Spoleto (great place) and the little towns nearby. A highlight was seeing the Mamore waterfall (near Terni) in action on a weekend. It was fantastic! We also took the bus to Rome one day and thet was also a wonderful experience.Todi is a terrific town and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay at La Gardenia and recommend it highly. Carlo was a terrific host and we have some great memories of our time there.
Murray Bridge, S A Australia Tue 04/13/2010
renting a flat in the center of Florence
My girlfriend and I were so lucky to find a very central, weekly rental accommodation in one of the most beautiful and popular quarters of Florence -- Santo Spirito – where we rented an apartment for a whole week. We saved so much money this way. We have been planning this trip for a while and thought we could never afford a room in one of the over-priced Florence hotels. Instead what we got was a real “Room with a View” -- the rooftop view from the apartment, overlooking a charming narrow street, with a glimpse of the Santo Spirito bell tower and the cupola of the Duomo, were just great. In fact, we woke up every morning to the tolling of the bells of Santo Spirito, instead of the usual sirens or garbage trucks back home in NYC. The Oltrarno area, where the apartment is situated, if Florence’s “left bank” of sorts, and it has so much to offer in terms of art galleries, restaurants, cafes, bars and artisan shops. After a few days of exploring its streets and discovering so many great cafes, enotecas (wine bars), flea markets and antique stores, we felt like locals. What Florence hides behind its famously austere face, it more than makes up for with delightful, one-of-a-kind shops and restaurants.
And I haven’t even mentioned the museums! After an "hard day” browsing the many world-class museums and monuments, beginning of course with the city’s crown jewel, the Uffizi Gallery, it’s very relaxing to finally drop by the down the street trattorias and watch the street life. In case you couldn’t tell, we really loved it, and I recommend this experience to everyone. It was a great alternative to a conventional tourist experience, it's like "living Florence" instead of just visiting it.
New York, NY USA Sun 04/11/2010
Cheaper ways to vacation in Europe
I took my time, several hours a day, several days per week for several months. A long weekend in Paris where I could see the top item on my "bucket list".... LE TOUR DE FRANCE!, for a long weekend. I got an apartment for 2 on Rue de Colisee, just off the Champs-Elysees, for $350 USD total! I started my information search the day after the "Tour 2009" I am 63 and I needed saftey, easy walking distance, and very inexpensive. I did so well on an Airline (Iberia) and lodging I decised to fly into London and take the train down to Paris as an adventure, there too I got great deals. The second best deal I made was Ricks book on Amazon.com, then I read it, well the rest is history!
Springfield, Ma USA Sun 04/04/2010
Rome Craig's List find. A lovely young man owns a few apartments in central, historic Rome. We chanced the rental. It was really central in a 500 year old "Casa Nobile" and a real adventure. Lots of steps, but very private. We walked to everything. Giuseppe Amoroso is the landlord and very kind and concerned. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Alexandria, VA USA Fri 04/02/2010
Venice Apartment rentals
We followed Rick's recommendation in the Venice guide book and used Venice Rentals. Thank you Rick, it was great advice. They were excellent to work with and we loved our apartment. We stayed a week in the Cannaregio neighborhood and really loved it. We got a great value for the money and their personal service was truly above and beyond. We will definitely use them again. Two thumbs up for www.venicerentals.com
Tom and Rita
Crystal River, FL USA Tue 03/30/2010
Devon B & B
Just wanted to let you all know about a B&B where we stay several times a year in deepest, darkest, Devon. The rooms are comfortable and clean and the views from the house are stunning, as are all the local walks whether you prefer the Devon lanes or Dartmoor itself. For us the highlight has to be the warm welcome from John and Maureen West. For many years John and Maureen worked on the QE2, (Maureen sang and John played in a band) the tales they have to tell often means breakfast can go on for hours! All that is best about England and you never have to leave their kitchen!
Twickenham, UK Mon 03/29/2010
Last Night at Airport Can Reduce Stress of Early Morning Flight
Have an early morning flight back to the US? Instead of making a long day even longer (and more stressful), consider using some credit card points to stay at one of the hotels at the airport. My wife and I have stayed at the Sheraton at the CDG Airport in Paris which was a very pleasant, quiet, and relaxing way to make sure we were able to "answer the bell" for our early morning flight back to the States. It sure beat the drama of catching a same-day train, taxi, or bus to the airport carrying all your stuff.
Concord, CA USA Sun 03/28/2010
No one night stands on the weekends in Normandy!
This comment doesn't quite fit the category, but I didn't know where else to put it... We are traveling to Normandy and then to Belgium. On our last day, a Saturday, we will be at Mont Saint Michel and then will head to Bruges, spending one more night in France en route. Rick's guidebook warns that booking one night in Normandy on a weekend is very hard. He is right! We decided to stop at Honfleur for the night, but after trying 8 hotels I gave up. Most didn't bother to respond (which slows the process while you wait), 2 said they were full, and the last one was a hotel that quoted 425euros for one night, but when I asked for three nights, the price changed to 120 euros per night. I ended up changing our destination to Caen and found a chain hotel just off the perimeter road which accepted a one night booking for 77 euros. Weekends in Normandy are not a good time to be on the road to another destination.
GA USA Fri 03/26/2010
Amalfi Coast B&B comfy, friendly, and economical!
We recently stayed at "My Salerno Apartment... in the village"(the new location) which was outside Salerno city and in a village 'Benincasa' overlooking the Amalfi Coast. We got good directions and we had no problem getting the bus there, it taking about 20minutes or so. The apartment has a very nice view of the sea and and lots of sun as we were lucky enough to get 3 sunny days while we were visiting the area. It's a nice quiet area, there was a small supermarket and coffee bar nearby, it was accessible to connection transit stops for the Amalfi Coast, and very close to Vietri sul mare where the Italian ceramics are made. We also spent an enjoyable hike in the hills with our host exploring neighboring villages. We got lots of info and maps, and it was nice to have such access to someone that speaks native English and knows everything and had good suggestions for us. The price was reasonable, comfortable and and we loved the 'host-dogs!
Sara and Lisa
Calgary, Canada Wed 03/24/2010
Arcos, Spain - most excellent guest house
Spain, Arcos de la Frontera-- We stayed in a most wonderful place in Arcos, Casa Blues. Only 50 euros a night, plus breakfast. The owner, Nicholas, was most friendly and super helpful. The view from the place is spectacular with the town at your back door! www.casablues.com
Seattle, WA USA Thu 03/18/2010
Holiday Rentals - a cheap way to stay in Europe
As a family we book holiday rentals on www.holidayhomeland.com and especilly in the current recession i haggle very hard. But it works - i have just booked a beautiful villa in Italy for 2 weeks over the Easter and i got it for 45% less than the list price. By far the cheapest way for a family to stay in Europe. Some excellent places on this site. Highly recommend it
Dublin, na Ireland Fri 02/26/2010
Tour d'Auvergne Paris
Helen et Bruce are very nice owners who made our stay different.The location is great and quiet and it is impossible not to fall in love with neighbourhood.Both apartments and owners are absolutely charming.You have the feeling to be among thoughtful respecting caring friends who love both their neighbourhood and the place they run and share their interests, secrets and stories behind the buildings and places in the quartier with you.
Troy, Mi USA Sun 02/14/2010
Varenna maria and pietro
We booked what offered maria apartment in Varenna offering facing the lake and first floor: on arrival we have been nicely welcomed by maria and pietro in italian,both rather on their sixties and seventies,but we had to deal with heavy steps on 3 stairs, when we opened the windows, we found the wall and directly below us the main road. We have been impressed that Mary and Peter always carried and signed the treaty but did not speak even a word of English and tried to make themselves understood with their hands. We had no need of interpreters to realize that the lake view from the first floor were an invention. After we left we were troubled by requests for positive feedbacks.
Newcastle,Wa, Sat 02/13/2010
Roma :giuseppe amorosi
We rented from joseph amorosi, when I read the comments I thought they were overly positive, but instead I have to admit that I spent a wonderful holiday, the owner was always available, and with him there was no problem to solve, the house was located in an very central place, everything had to be reached on foot. Joseph has made our holiday even more 'sweet and happy, we knew we had a support in case of a need.We highly recommend this accommodation.
Arlington, Oregon USA Sat 02/13/2010
Florence Rental found on This Page!
I found an amazing deal on a Florence rental on this message board and booked it, only to find out that our trip had to be cut short due to my husband's job (see my blog below for more info). Because of this, the rental is now available for a week in the middle of July. If this fits anyone's travel plans, please check it out. NOTE: I do not benefit from posting this in any way. I do not own this rental--my husband and I are public school teachers in PA--and I've never been there. It is just a good deal I stumbled across. Also--the blog, if you choose to read it, is totally free of advertising, and exists solely for my own record keeping and for sharing the joys (and sometimes pains) of travel planning. Florence rental link is http://www.vrbo.com/117745
I'm a huge fan of this site, and I've used it throughout my entire trip planning process, which is still in progress--if you would like to read about it or learn more about this rental, please visit my blog at http://parissquared.wordpress.com/
Macungie, PA USA Wed 02/10/2010
Globtroter Krakow - great accomodations
I am always a bit concerned booking a hotel, sight unseen, relying on the hotel's website. Isn't every hotel friendly, well-located, within steps of XYZ? Well I found out about the Globtroter on the Rick Steves website and then went to the hotel's website. And guess what - it is a very friendly hotel and it is located within steps of so many of the attractions in central Krakow. Finding the hotel was a bit of a challenge, but that was a good thing. Central Krakow, around the Main Square can be a bit noisy. There seems to be a bar or a restaurant in every little nook and crannie. The hotel does not front onto the street, but rather is down a passage way and is found in the interior courtyard of several other buildings. This means that it is very quiet with no sounds coming from traffic or bar patrons. You look out your rooms, or sit on the balcony and you really do think that you have been transported out of the city. There are trees, flowers and birds.
The staff at the hotel are very friendly and most helpful. When we wanted to go on the Auschwitz - Birkenau tour, the hotel staff was there to drive us out, get our tickets and to wait for us until we were done. We also heard stories about sites along the way. It was clear that we could take as much time as we wanted and they would be there for us. The same occured on the day that we wished to go to the salt mine as Wieliczka, when the owner took us out and waited. On arrival they handed us a map with recommended places for breakfast and places for dinner. The desk was manned 24 hours a day and there was always a friendly greeting on arrival. They were also happy to simply chat about the city, the sites, or life in general. All spoke excellent English.
We had the family suite which contained 3 single beds in one room and one single bed in another. The latter also contained a small eating area. Outside our room door was access to the balcony area where it was relaxing to have a coffee or a beer. In the courtyard below was the outdoor patio for the neighbouring restaurant. That place was open during the day, but closed early in the evening. The room also had its own bathroom and shower.. Wireless internet was available and there also was a reading room with books, magazines and a computer with internet access. there was even a book exchange.
The hotel is minutes away from the Main Square, and well located for any shopping,eating, drinking or dancing that you might care to do. Be sure to spend some time shopping in the market square. Look for concerts that might pop up in some very small churches. The Globtroter was also very reasonably priced. I would go back to Globtroter in a heartbeat, and to Krakow as well. It is quite a city.
Edmonton, Ab Canada Thu 01/28/2010
Great Service in Vienna
We stayed in Vienna for a week and stayed at Mate Dependence. It's not unusual but the customer service was wonderful! The breakfast was great and the price cheap (december). The rooms were typical of small european hotels so i would recommend getting a double even if it's just one person. The staff were friendly, patient and accomodating. They also speak English.
Blacksburg, VA USA Thu 01/21/2010
I have had great luck with 2 B&B networks in London: London Home to Home www.londonhometohome.com/ and At Home in London www.athomeinlondon.co.uk/. They have a wide range of homes in the networks, in central London and farther out; we have stayed in Chiswick and near the Gloucester Road tube stop. Nice hosts, yummy breakfasts, and the chance to connect with a local. One host even did some laundry for us at no charge!
Reston, VA USA Sun 01/17/2010
Help. My father during WWII was removed from the front lines for serving almost a full year to be in charge of a rear gaurd R&R hotel, the Hotel plzen (Plzen, CZECH). I am trying to find outside photos of this hotel for my 92 year old father. Anyone that can share some is appreciated. Thank you. Steve
san diego, CA USA Sat 01/09/2010
We spent a week in Florence in November, 2009 at Soggiorno Battistero. Luca and Kelly were excellent hosts. The B&B is really central, right across from the Baptistry on the main piazza. We walked everywhere and the breakfast was in-room and perfect for getting you off for the day. It is 69 steps up to the hotel which didn't bother us at all, but might be a problem for other guests who can't climb that easily. Overall, it was a great place to stay.
Germantown, WI USA Fri 01/08/2010
Just returned from Paris. We rented an apartment in the 7th district (26 rue Saint Guillaume) from Clickapparts.com. They were very responsive to my inquiries. We called Yaniv Cohen from the Train station (as we were instructed) and he was waiting for us when we arrived on the Metro (station is about 2 blocks from apt). The apartment was everything we could have hoped for. Quiet district, close to the St. Germain des Pres Christmas Market. There is a giant grocery about three blocks away. Also just a ton of cafes and restaurants in the neighborhood. Depending on your stamina you can walk to Notre Dame in about 12 minutes and the Eiffel Tower in 21. Lourve is about 10 minutes away. An ideal location! Orsay Museum also about 9 minutes and you can pick up the RER to Versailles at the Orsay stop. I highly recommend using Clickappart! This was the first time we used an apartment rental. Normally we are campers on our summer trips to Europe.
NC USA Wed 01/06/2010
Apartment in Rome
We spent 4 nights in Rome, Dec 23-26 in an apartment (chiesa nuova) we found thru guestinitaly.com. Great location close to Piazza Navona and walking distance to anywhere else you'd want to go. Everything worked great! Also booked our transfer from FCO thru them. It cost 81euro for 5 of us, only 21euro more than the train/bus and far more enjoyable/speedy.
Pittsford, NY USA Wed 01/06/2010
Apartment in Venice
Spent 2 nights in Venice, Dec. 30&31st, having booked our apartment (sant' angelo) thru magicavenezia.com. Great experience and location. Friends of ours stayed at another of their apartments in June and also had a great experience. Much better/cheaper than hotels.
Pittsford, NY USA Wed 01/06/2010