30 September 2015
When traveling to Italy or most places in Europe it is important to remember several things about your acommodations so you do not end up surprised or disappointed. Most of the time, it is the expectations that ruin the experience not necessarily the venue. In America we have beautiful, sleek, new hotels with spacious rooms and standard amenities however, the same cannot be said about hotels in Europe.
First of all, the star rating as it applies to hotels in Europe is based on very different factors then it is here in the US-in fact amenities are more valued than quality and the star rating is not standard across Europe. Hotels and villas are often denied stars if they are lacking an elevator, if there are not refrigerators in the rooms or telephones.
Another point to keep in mind is the age of the building you are staying in while touring. There is not a lot of new construction in Europe so while hotels may be renovated they are rarely new. The walls may be made of plaster or stone and may not be as insulated for noise like they are here which can be difficult if you are not accustomed to hearing your neighbors.
Room size in Europe is typically smaller than your standard Holiday Inn or even a Days Inn as Europeans are more familiar with residing and working in a compact environment and have adapted to being in close quarters. Not only that, but space in larger cities comes at a premium so they do more with less.
Bathrooms and showers in particular can present even the savviest of travelers with a brow raising experience. Your bathroom set up can sometimes be perplexing since most Americans are unfamiliar with how bathrooms in Europe work. Bidets, lack of shower enclosure or even curtain and a spray nozzle sticking out of the wall with a drain in the floor can unnerve most first timers. Frequently instructions will be posted nearby.
Don’t expect to see a King size bed in your hotel room, as we have already established, space is precious and there is rarely room for a king size bed or even a queen. Most of the time a double bed means two twins pushed together. The most important thing to remember is to be flexible and embrace your sense of adventure when staying abroad, the rooms may not be what you are used to or what you are expecting but that does not mean they are inherently bad. Consider it part of the fun and embrace all that Italy has to offer!