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booked my pre tour hotel -- 2nd time around

We were originally scheduled to go on the Best of Southern Italy tour in Sept 2020; we rescheduled for Sept 2022 when tours first opened up, but I still feel like I'm holding my breath. Unlike last time, when I planned and purchased everything well in advance, this time around I plan to wait longer before making any nonrefundable reservations. Also, I'm holding off a bit to decide what we'll be doing post-tour, since we're not sure what travel in Italy is going to look like next year.

However, I know we want to spend a few days in Rome prior to the start of the tour, so today I took my first step and re-booked our Rome hotel (a different hotel than the tour hotel, because I want to stay in a different part of Rome pre-tour). Just for the heck of it I got onto the website of the hotel I'd booked in 2020 earlier this week, and discovered that a number of room options were sold out on one of the 4 nights we will probably want to book. I also discovered that the fully refundable rate for next fall is only about $10 more, total, than the super saver non-refundable rate we booked for 2020. (After 2020, I decided I wasn't going to do anything nonrefundable again!) So this morning, I booked our room. Fully refundable up until 72 hours ahead of check in. Of course, who knows what will happen to the exchange rate in the next year. It's always a gamble in one way or another, but at least I've got the hotel I really wanted and even if the exchange rate makes things more expensive between now and then, I know I won't be out the price of a 4 night stay!

Curious as to what other people are doing about pre and post travel arrangements?

Posted by
1500 posts

We’ve had our pre and post hotels booked ( September 2022) within days of RS opening up his 2022 tours. All are refundable. We don’t have air reservations as we are using miles.

Posted by
1265 posts

I'm doing the Southern England tour that was cancelled in 2020 in late April, 2022. As with the cancelled trip, I will also be meeting friends in Bath for a few days, and spending a few days in London by myself. I've made cancelable lodging reservations for Bath and London, and bought flights with miles. I feel pretty optimistic that this will happen, but we will see.

Posted by
1517 posts

I booked the first tour hotel for one night pre-tour for South of France tour. I have not booked my independent London, Paris and Venice hotels yet, but am keeping an eye on the rates and availability. Nor have I booked flights or sightseeing; too early. Tour is September next year.

Posted by
387 posts

I'm glad that nearly everyone appears to be having success booking their pre and post tour hotels. Unfortunately I'm unable to get anywhere with my post Berlin-Prague-Vienna tour which ends May 19 in Vienna. Hotel Mailberger Hof in Vienna does not answer emails. On May 27 I contacted Hotel Mailberger Hof via Messenger on their Facebook page which hasn't had any activity since 2018. They answered my message half a day later and told me to send an email to the address we've already discussed. I told them I had done so several times in the past 2 weeks. Then they told me that they will contact their colleague who must not be monitoring mail. They also told me that they have been closed. However, no one responded to any of the emails and they appear to still be closed. The contact got quite testy with me when I tried asking again 5 months later. I also searched the travel forum and discovered that others have had the same experiences with them several years ago. The Rick Steves' rep suggested calling them but I don't see any point in turning on my calling plan for a closed hotel. Although I've had success booking 4 other hotels in the 3 tours I planned, this Vienna experience is not very encouraging and anyway I'm getting more reluctant now about multi-country tours.. This is the last piece of the puzzle and the hotel reservation is needed 2022-5-19. It may be the first tour I cancel in several months.

Posted by
4761 posts

Perhaps simply move to another hotel with better customer service? It might be simpler than cancelling an entire tour unless you no longer feel like you are interested in the tour.

Posted by
387 posts

Perhaps simply move to another hotel with better customer service? It might be simpler than cancelling an entire tour unless you no longer feel like you are interested in the tour.

We will be in at least 8 hotels in back-to-back tours and just wanted to remain in the last hotel rather than adding yet another. This will not be the reason for canceling tours though. The reason will be that 5 countries are involved and the difficulties in protocols do not seem to be easing. If anything they are worse in the Netherlands where we start. I will also consider what flights can be arranged late in December for April-May travel. We will definitely move to another hotel for the added post tour days if needed. It may not even be necessary at this point.

Posted by
689 posts

Silas, my husband and I are on that tour also. I contacted them on June 18 to reserve one night post-tour and got a response July 11, with a booking for the room. Not sure what happened with yours.

Posted by
387 posts

va from va, I don't understand it. I've tried a number of emails since May 27 and not one has been answered. I've heard privately from another person on the same tour that they found the hotel unresponsive but eventually were able to arrange reservations. I'm not sure I want to give this hotel my business at this point and have started looking at alternatives. I'm surprised that Rick Steves has any relationship with this hotel. The Rick Steves' rep wasn't helpful at all. I'm starting to feel rather offended and almost wishing to just extricate myself altogether.

Posted by
1735 posts

It’s late at night and this may sound silly, but have you double-checked the way you’re spelling the email address? I only say this because I misspelled our pre-tour hotel on our last RS tour and couldn’t figure out why they weren’t responding-I’d like blame it on spell-check,but…By the time my husband figured out the issue they were full but it worked out because we liked our default location better. We’re doing back-to-back RS tours in 2022, getting spots off the wait-list. The first tour hotel was already full, so we booked another forum-recommended B&B. We were able to get a pre-tour room on our 2nd tour.

Posted by
387 posts

Patty, I'm an IT guy, the email address used in my numerous emails is correct. I've verified it with Rick Steves and with the hotel person who is manning their instant Messenger on Facebook.

I'm now looking at hotels near Hotel Mailberger Hof so that we can extend our stay in case we don't cancel this tour - recommendations are welcome.

Posted by
1043 posts

I've booked both Pre-tour hotel (Prague) and post-tour hotel (Venice), refundable. Venice a lot of the hotels I was trying to get into were booked up so already booking that was a must. Did it back in June.

Posted by
112 posts

Wow! We are booked for back-to-back Best of Italy and then Best of South Italy tours starting in September of 2022 and ending at the beginning of October. We will be booking hotels before the tours begin in Milan, between tours in Rome, and after the tours in Naples and Ischia. However, we are working with a travel agent who has not gotten back with us yet about hotel or airline reservations. Thanks for the heads up. I'll give her a call.

Posted by
4761 posts

Jim, I just wanted to confirm that your travel agent knows the name of the first tour hotel and the last tour hotel for your tours. It really does make for a smooth transition to be in the same hotel that the tour starts or ends in.