Family of 4 (40's cpl plus 12 and 15 y/o daughters) on first trip to Italy in Mid February. Seeking recommendations for lodging for 3 nights in Florence, 5 nights in Rome. Prefer rate of $150 -$200 with breakfast incl. Prefer hotels to apartments. What is a good time to book.
Go ahead and book your room now. During the Winter, hotels are not nearly as busy as later in the travel season.
There are hundreds of accommodation vacancies in both Florence and Rome. I suggest you go on Rick Steves' Graffiti Wall and look in Heroic B&B Friendliness for names in Florence and Rome. Rick also has room recommmendations in his travel book on Italy. For info on Rome, I really like RonInRome.com. His website can also teach you how to use the train system of Italy. Direct room reservations can be made on Hotels.com, Venere.com and AirBnB.com. Have a great time!
Raj, You might find it helpful to pick up a copy of the RS Italy 2013 Guidebook (available now), as that has many listings for good Hotels in both cities. It also has great information on sightseeing, restaurants, transportation, etc. You could also check your local Library and have a look at an older copy of the Guidebook to get the information you need. As this is your first trip to Italy, be sure to familiarize yourself with rail travel, as there are some potentially expensive "caveats" to be aware of. If you're travelling on Regionale trains, tickets MUST be validated in the machines near the tracks prior to boarding! If you're travelling on "premium" trains that have compulsory reservations, you MUST have reservations for the train you're riding on! Failure to observe the rules in either of these situations may result in fines which will be collected on the spot, and they're not cheap! The fines start at €50 per person and increase from there. Happy travels!
Are you looking for one room that sleeps 4 for that price, or two rooms at that price EACH or TOGETHER? For Florence, I have stayed 3 times at the Archi Rossi Hostel. Book directly through their website for the best choices and prices. They are well-located, clean, great staff. The rooms in the annexe are best - hotel-style, rather than dorm-style. Breakfast is minimal, but with their prices, you can afford to go out to a cafe. It's certainly not to early to book now, if you're going in 6-8 weeks from now. Generally the rates in Rome in February are considerably cheaper than the rest of the year. I stayed at the Modigliani Hotel on my last trip to Rome and was very pleased. The breakfast was great and free wifi too. I paid about €80/night for a double room, single occupancy.
Regarding Yvonne's post, I'll repeat what I said to her a few minutes ago in a different thread when she posted exactly the same words: - Yvonne, sorry to hear of your losses. Are you sure that the mention was here? I've searched for it and only saw one reference in passing a year ago. Could it have been elsewhere?
Are you home safely now?
Just a warning: Last week I found someone here recommending the Hotel Anfitheatro Flavio in Rome. I made a reservation as I found a fairly good deal last minute and the location seemed great. On our way to Rome we were robbed of all valuables (in front of the Holiday Inn Assago, Milan as I was still at the car) and were not able to proceed with our trip as we had no passports, vehicle registration, credit cards etc.. When I called the hotel to cancel our reservation I found no understanding whatsoever and was charged a three nights stay, not according to their regular posted cancellation policy. I called them twice and was talked to quite rudely. Comments from "If you can travel home you could travel to Rome, just take the train" to "You can't tell me everything was stolen!This is not my problem!" were yelled in quite rude tones. They would not even let me speak to the manager.
Thank you all for you posts. We were looking at one quad room and not two connecting rooms. In Florence I noticed that there we no discounts that went into January or February. I am assuming that by Jan 1 there will be some new posts listed. I was looking at the Hotel Torre Guelfo, Il Guelfo Bianco, or Residenza Il Villini. In Rome, I a looking at Raffaello Hotel, Hotel Modgliani, Residenza Cellini. Any reactions, thoughts, opinions?