Monday, June 1, 2020

What to know about hotels in Europe

November 16, 2011 by  
Filed under travel

Hotels in Europe are not the same as hotels in the United States, sure they have beds, bathrooms, etc. but there are some big differences. Knowing what to expect, how to choose the right hotel, and how to save money can help you have a more affordable and comfortable travel experience in Europe.

Ask for a “Cheap room”- Many hotels in Europe have older rooms, rooms that need renovating, or rooms they simply don’t think Americans would be happy with. If you want to save money, and are willing to forgo things like an elevator, you need to ask the hotel manager or front desk clerk for the cheap rooms.

Know that double occupancy usually means a double bed. If you want two twins, then you have to ask for it, and you will likely pay a little more as the price is often per bed rather than per room. If you want to play it safe, just say a room for two people. That way you get the best rates, and can exchange the room out for one with a bedding situation to fit your needs.

Ask for a free city map. Most hotels in Europe provide a free city map to their guests upon request. This can save you time and money. In addition, they usually have the hotel highlighted on the map, which can serve as a reminder in case you get lost. The desk clerk can also show you on the map some of the highlights you won’t want to miss, where good restaurants are located, etc.

“C” means hot. Many Americans feel frustrated in European hotels because they can’t seem to get a warm or hot shower. This may be because they turn the lever to “C”. However, in Europe the “C” stands for Caldo, or Caliente, etc. which all mean hot in their given language.

If you want to get the best rates for great rooms, and get a real taste for the country you are visiting, consider staying in a private home. You’ll typically pay about $25–50 a bed, far less than a hotel. In Britian it is called a B&B, in France a chambre d’hôte, in Spain a casa particulare, a quarto in Portugal, etc. Know what to ask for, and enjoy the huge discounts this can result in for great rooms in great locations.

Bedding might cost you extra. This is especially true if you stay in a hostel. It might be worthwhile to bring your own pillow (some of the health regulations may not be as strict or as well enforced as they are elsewhere), and possibly a sheet to lay over the bedding provided. Otherwise, plan to pay for clean bedding, and be happily surprised if you don’t have to.

Consider camping, every town seems to have a campground with showers, washing facilities, and more. It can be a fun experience if the weather is cooperative, and will save you money.

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