I am in the early planning process for a trip to Italy next Autumn. Likely itinerary: Venice, Dolomites (hiking), Florence, Tuscan hill towns (with a car - will likely book villa stays for a week or two), Rome, Amalfi coast and Sicily. While my resources are not unlimited, I do have the funds to book nicer hotels in a couple places. I am not very tolerant of heat or crowds, and was thinking that Rome might be a good candidate. I will be there in early October, probably traveling solo at that point, and probably would like a nice retreat. The Amalfi coast (scheduled for mid-October at this point, with my SO) seems like another good choice, just because it would be so much fun to have a view of the ocean and a terrace that the nicer places offer. Does this make sense? Any other suggestions? Although I'm not asking for recs at this point (it's a little early to be booking rooms), I would certainly take them. Thanks.
I guess a lot depends on how much time you think you will be spending in your hotel room, in Rome for example and which amenities you will want.
On the Amalfi Coast, I think there are many more moderately priced places (3 Italian stars) that have terraces and gorgeous views. My last trips there, I stayed at Hotel Cetus in Cetara, Hotel Margherita in Praiano and Il Nido in Sorrento and all with fabulous views from our rooms. Because the towns are built almost vertically, many places have great views and the hotels maximize that by having terraces,outdoor dining etc
I have no experience with 4or 5 star hotels in Rome so cannot help you there. We spend very little time in our hotel room, so our money goes elsewhere.
Have fun whatever you decide.
I hope you have a lot of time for this trip, so you can enjoy all those places without being rushed.
One place to consider splurging is Taormina. It's magical, but accommodations are expensive. I felt that staying in a nice place (the Casa Cuseni) really enhanced my experience there. But it was €130 for a room with a shared bathroom; it would have been something like €240 for a room with ensuite facilities. It was still worth it.
Here's my report of my hotel: https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/italy-reviews/taormina-accommodation-casa-cuseni
For the rest of the Sicily trip, I was able to get great accommodations for not much money. Here's my trip report with all the details: https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/trip-reports/sicily-palermo-caltanisetta-siracusa-taormina
Hi Mary Sue,
Like you, we like to mix up our accomodations - rustic and high end. We look for interesting, memorable places to stay i.e. a chateaux in the Loire Valley and an oast house b&B in southern England.
We loved the Hotel Poseidon in Positano. We had a room with a balcony overlooking the Mediterranean. We're still raving about the breakfast there. The hotel concierge was really great and had some good recommendations for our last day on the Amalfi coast. And that last day was one of our favorite travel memories of all our trips to Europe.
We also loved the Hotel Villa San Pio in Rome which is in a quiet, leafy meighborhood. It's a short walk to the Metro (metro stop Pyramide which is 2 stops from the Coliseum I think). Great neighborhood restaurants nearby. A very nontouristy location. There's a lovely park nearby overlooking the city and the Vatican. Also a great breakfast at this location.
Neither of these places is inexpensive. You can check them out on tripadvisor. Hope this helps.Have a great time in Italy.
We stayed in nice hotels at the beginning and end of our trip, and apartments (homeaway and airbnb) between and really liked how that worked out. We were in Italy for two weeks. If we were longer, I might book a nice hotel stay in the middle too. There's just something comforting about being brought fresh towels now and again!
Il San Pietro in Positano.
It would help to know what your idea of a splurge is. For example, I think it is way more difficult to get a good price in a hotel in Venice city center compared to Rome. So I would plan on spending more there. Do you know where you would like to stay on the Amalfi Coast?
Hi Mary Sue,
This question is difficult to give you specifics because everyone's taste is so individual for trips. When I'm planning our itineraries, I check each of the locations on Expedia to see what the general price point is per location for hotels with decent reviews in the center of the town/city. Then I can compare those prices to see where we might want a nicer hotel and why. For instance, we'll be in Rome, and I reserved a hotel that has a top-floor breakfast & evening gathering spot with great views I know we'll be walking our feet off in that city and thought this would be a nice way to start & end the day. On the other hand, in Siena we're going to stay at a place that's nice but nothing special. I know we'll want to be at the Campo in the evening, so there's no need for a special hotel.
Which locations do you want to linger at your hotel in the morning or evening?
If you would pay for a better view, will you want to be in the room seeing the view? Or would you rather be out walking & enjoy the view?
Would you feel safer by yourself in a slightly better location or hotel?
I think your question contains some of the points that are more important to you, so you may have answered your own question. : )
In Positano we stay at Villa Cocles (http://www.villacocles.com). It's on the expensive side (but not compared to a Positano hotel room and you get much more), and totally worth it. Not to mention the owner Marina is local, goes out of her way to be helpful and even does "foodie" walks and cooking classes (and will cook for you if you like). Example, she picked us up at 7am in her 197whatever convertible Fiat and drove like a madwoman (typical Italian driver) to Bomerano with us both in the passenger seat so we could do the Path of the Gods hike)...so we got a great value there (a ride to Bomerano and also a "thrill ride" along the coast...lol)...
Anyway, the "Villa" (not a giant "Villa") is an excellent size (although second bedroom is small, and not really livable), it's simply a magical property with a magical view in a magical (for me) area of Positano. Chisea Nuova is one of the oldest parts of Positano. However, Positano is a town of about 400 people, so you can get to anywhere from here on foot in 5-15 minutes. Also, you are 100 meters from the Bus stop to Amalfi/Sorrento, Bar Internazionale and all kinds of local markets (fruits and veg, seafood, butcher, etc.) and the local "in Positano" bus as well if you need it.
Anyway, that's my $0.02 - we usually just splurge for our vacations, period (without going completely insane). Why not?