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Which hotels does the RS tour for Eastern Europe in 17 days use?

Thinking ahead for summer of 2012, we are mulling over Eastern Europe and plan to take a tour. In comparing tour companies, I can easily contrast and assess activities, but I can't compare the lodging because I can't track the ones RS uses. The 2 or 3 other possible tour companies list their hotels, and then I can hop onto Tripadvisor and research. I've called RS before and they're somewhat reluctant to give out hotel names. Anyone been on this tour recently and have a list of hotels? Thanks!

Posted by
4637 posts

Rick Steves' tours are using centrally located small hotels but not always the same. For example for Prague it's usually hotel Julian but sometimes they use other hotels.

Posted by
1555 posts

Valerie, I'm also thinking of taking Rick's tour in 2012! I'd try calling RS anyway, see what they say, but I know from looking at the online scrapbooks (on this site, under tours section), they often mention hotels. For example in Prague they used Hotel Betlem Club in 2010. Also try checking out a RS Eastern Europe guidebook and see what places are in there (not always the same as tours, but close). I know that on the three tours I have taken with RS, we stayed in much nicer hotels than I would have on my own, but they were almost always listings in his book. Remember that they get a better deal on rates because they book large blocks of rooms ahead of time, so the rates available to you may be different.

Posted by
1970 posts

In searching around various places, I can usually come up with a few of the hotel names, but it's quite labor-intensive. I was able to track most of the hotels on the Adriatic tour, but I'm leaning towards the Eastern Europe one since it covers quite a few cities I'd like to see. The only other real company contenders out there for me are Odysseys Unlimited tours and Smartours, and they both list their hotels, which are corporate sort of places, but they review out pretty well on Tripadvisor. Compared to the hotel reviews for the larger companies like Globus and Trafalgar - which are uniformly mediocre at best - Odysseys and Smartours are reasonable values. I was really hoping a list of the hotels would help differentiate the companies. I've taken an RS tour before and really liked it, but Odyssey groups are 24 max and their tour is $900 less expensive.

Posted by
379 posts

Ok, I finally found my list of hotels from the Summer 2009. Please keep in mind that they may or may not be the same but these might give you an idea of what they were like. Prague - Hotel Betlem Pustevny - Hotel Tanecnica Krakow - Hotel Orbis Francuski Eger - Hotel Korona Budapest - Hotel Erzesbet Plitvice - Hotel Plitvice Rab - Hotel Imperial
Bled - Hotel Lovec Hope this helps - it is really a great tour.

Posted by
31303 posts

Valerie, In my experience, the Hotels used on RS tours tend to vary slightly on each of his tours, probably based on availability to fit a group of 24-28 plus the Guide and Driver. I've found on tours over the last few years that the majority of Hotels have been very comfortable and somewhat "upscale". The reason that Rick's staff may be "reluctant to give out hotel names" is likely because they don't know specifically which Hotels will be used in each city, especially for a tour taking place in 2012. These are determined by the Tour Operations department, and may not be finalized until several months before the tour takes place (again because of availability). While the other tour may be $900 cheaper, it would be a good idea to consider "the whole picture". For example, are the Hotels used by the other tour also located in a central location in each of the cities (or will you need to pay for transportation into city centres for touring or dinners in the evenings). Is the other tour going to expect "gratuities" for the Guide and Driver? That will reduce your savings over the RS Tour (from what I've heard from other travellers, the tips can be substantial)! The "extras" charged by some of the other tour companies tend to add up. Finally, do the other tours provide the same amount of local tours with local Guides, along with admission to Museums or other historic sites? I've found that the RS tours provide a lot of "extras" and are therefore good value. You'll receive a list of the Hotels used by your tour a month or so prior to departure, so could check them out at that time. I've just signed up for my fifth RS tour and have no concerns at all about either the Hotels or the cost. Happy travels!