Please sign in to post.

Family rooms in Europe

Hi All,
Does anyone know if any of the main hotel chains do family rooms that accommodate 4 adults and 2 children (11 and 13) in one room
I have status with Hilton, SPG, Best western, Accor and IHG - but just about everywhere looks like I'll be up for 2 rooms..

Looking to stay in Zurich, Rome, Berlin, Cracow and Prague.

Cheers for any advice.

Posted by Nestor
Virginia
318 posts

Start looking with enough time. I found a 5 bed room in London but not in Paris. My guess is that they are few per city.

Posted by Kathy
United States
8107 posts

Your chances of finding a single hotel room that will accommodate 6 people - four of them adults - will be very slim. I don't think it's even legal in most places to put that many into a single room. Two separate rooms or a 2-bedroom apartment will most likely be what you'll end up booking.

Posted by jehb2
304 posts

I had a hard time finding hotel rooms that accommodated a family of 4 (kids ages 8 &10). We stayed outside the city center (15-20 minute train commute) which worked well. Bigger rooms and much more reasonable prices.

Posted by pat
victoria, Canada
10803 posts

6 people sharing a bathroom every morning , sounds fun .

Get two rooms .

Posted by Lo
Tucson
2677 posts

Use Booking.com to search for lodging for your group. When you put in the number of kids it will ask for their ages. They may be considered to be adults, i.e. they'll need big beds.

You can refine your results with criteria down the left side of the screen. As you mentioned, many of the options will be for 2 rooms. Many others will be for apartments.

Personally, I ignore the stars and require that the rating for the place be 8 or higher. Until this year I'd only used Booking.com to identify possibilities, then gone directly to those to book. Especially for your large group, contacting the lodging directly may produce an option not listed on Booking.com.

Posted by Heidi
1 posts

Our family of five (two adults, two adult children, one teen) traveled through several European countries in 2015 and again last Christmas. We ran into the same issue with the chain hotels.

In 2015 we used hotel points to book two rooms in the most expensive cities (Paris and London) and then booked either two rooms, an apartment, or a family room at places recommended in Rick's books in Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, and Switzerland. The prices were not outrageous. It worked out well and we ended up in some neat attic rooms.

When we traveled over Christmas this year, we used VRBO to rent apartments in Germany, Austria, and France. We stuck to listings that had multiple good reviews and ended up with great apartments in each location. We loved having a small kitchen and living area to stretch out. The apartments were the same price or less expensive that booking two B&B or hotel rooms.

Hope that helps!

Posted by Beehelp OP
Dallas
16 posts

Thank you!!! It's a nice tip to stay outside the center. Think, I have to look for some apartments , or really end up with 2 rooms . Thank you once again

Posted by Patricia
Michigan USA
155 posts

I would think carefully before staying outside the center.

  • How much of your precious Europe time are you willing to spend getting back and forth?
  • Might you want to take a break during the day? This is harder to do if the hotel is further away.
  • Transit isn't free and can add up for 6 people. if you stay centrally you can walk to most places.

To me part of the charm of Europe is staying in the historic center. Just my opinion :-)

Posted by sharon
1039 posts

We used several family rooms last summer in Ireland but they were meant for 2 adults and 2-3 kids although none of them were with chain hotels. I do not think that you will be able to find rooms that fit 6 people including 2 adults. I agree with using VRBO or airbnb for apartments.

Posted by Alan
Folsom
1431 posts

European cities rapidly lose charm the further you are from the center. The previous poster is right-you'll be wasting lots of time commuting, and the costs will add up quickly. But back to your original question-European hotel rooms are markedly smaller than American, even in American owned hotels. You would be far better off booking two rooms or apartments. Even with two rooms, four people in room will be tight. And why Zurich? Of all the many cities we have visited in Europe we found it to be lifeless.

Posted by Tim
Knoxville, TN, USA
6114 posts

Staying outside city center is cheaper for a reason...location location location is gone and travel time is up up up. No popping back to your room for a quick rest or to get something you forgot.

You've paid for this super fabulous time together in Europe - don't make a it less than fun vacation by skimping on accomodation.

Posted by Stephen
Charleston, SC, USA
830 posts

I have done this a couple of ways in the past. I am a Hilton Diamond member and used to have a ton of points. I used points to get two rooms in Rome and Sorrento and I have also used VRBO/Homeaway for apartments. We only had 4 people, so I would definitely recommend getting 2 rooms or a 2 or 3 bedroom apartment just for the bathrooms! As another poster said, if you use VRBO, stick with apartments with multiple positive reviews. If a property has no reviews, I would be skeptical.

Posted by jehb2
304 posts

I agree, it's great staying in the city center. We did so in Rome (Homeaway) and Bruges (hotel points). And if money were no object my first choice would be the city center. However, hotels in the city center are pretty expensive for families. So we had to make a choice. We could stay outside the city center and spend 5 weeks in Europe, or we could stay at hotels in the city center and spend 10 days in Europe.

We live in the Suburbs in the US. We're use to driving 30 minutes daily to go places. So for my family a 15-20 train ride was nothing. Additionally, of the 6 countries we visited at least 2 (London & The Netherlands) allowed our kids to ride completely for free and all others allowed our kids to ride at half price on public transportation. We chose hotels that literally had a train or subway station right outside their door.

I would compare actual hotel cost, transportation costs, and transportation time. All this information is accessible online and in English. That's what I did. If you can swing staying in the city center you should do it. For us, being able to spend an extended time and see more countries was totally worth the 15-20 minute commute. And for my kids (and myself) the train rides were an awesome adventure by itself.

In Rome we stayed in a really nice and affordable Homeaway apartment in Trastevere recommended by someone here on the Rick Steves forum. If I could get comparable deals like that more often that would definitely be my first choice.

Posted by cala
Birmingham, AL
1081 posts

Hotels in Europe are like real estate in the US-its all about the location. I'm willing to pay a lot more for hotels that are conveniently located. You might try convents in Rome. I don't remember the name, but we stayed at one near the Colosseum that was inexpensive enough that we got our daughter her own room that was attached to ours. You could also consider staying in Florence and making a day trip to Rome-its a great walking city and hotels are cheaper than in Rome. And 6 people in one room sharing one bathroom is my idea of a nightmare!

Posted by Anna
Germany
580 posts

While I personally would rather stay in a tent than share a room with that many people, if that's what you want, here are a few ideas that come to mind:

  • You will hardly find any hotels with rooms that size. However, some do have rooms with connecting doors, so you will have the option of privacy or contact with everyone without having to use the public hallways.
  • Hostels often have larger rooms, and usually you can book these so you have them to yourselves, and not have other travelers join you. Not meaning to do any advertising here, but I've personally seen rooms like that at A&O Hostels which is sort of a hotel/hostel mix. Not fancy, but acceptable for people like me who are way beyond the usual hostel customer age and do want a basic hotel standard.
  • Not a hotel chain at all: Would Youth Hostels be an option? They usually have rooms with a greater number of beds.
  • If all else fails, try finding a two-bedroom apartment for a mixture of privacy and togetherness.
Posted by Jill
Boulder, CO
1352 posts

I found that many hotels don't list family rooms on their websites. I emailed / called and had no trouble finding family rooms but I was looking at smaller places vs chain hotels. I agree with other posters that staying near the city center is the way to go

Posted by Barbara
Walnut Creek, CA
364 posts

You might also want to look at apartment hotels. Citidine is one. The have kitchenettes but also hotel services. You may have to get two studio apartments, but there are several locations in Paris and I believe they may also be in Rome. This way you don't have to eat all your meals out.