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Double Bed or Two Twins

We're in the process of signing up for a couple of RS tours, and noticed that at some point, there's a choice of a double bed or two twins. We haven't shared a double for over 40 years, and neither of us is as svelte as we were in our 20s. We'd like to hear about experiences other sleeping partners have had. How has either choice worked out for you, and what would you recommend? My husband is 6'2"--might be useful information.

Posted by
2337 posts

A double bed will mean one bed large enough for two people.

A twin bed is two separate beds. Push the two beds together and you will have a double bed.

I doubt any hotel will offer the old traditional smallish "double" bed from years ago.

Posted by
64 posts

I doubt this had to do with size of bed. I think it more likely is asking do you want one bed or two beds?

Posted by
113 posts

Take the 2-bed option. You'll appreciate it when your partner has problems sleeping in european smallish rooms.

Posted by
460 posts

On a RS tour the “ double” bed is often a traditional double bed, and is smaller than a queen size bed.
In some lucky cases “ double” is indeed two twins pushed together. Out of all those RS tour nights our “double” bed was a true king size only once. After taking several RS tours with sleepless nights because of the tiny double bed, we finally got some good advice from a tour mate. She said they always pick the two bed option because then they know they will at least have as much sleeping space as a twin bed. For future RS tours we will be using the two bed option.

Posted by
759 posts

"I doubt any hotel will offer the old traditional smallish "double" bed from years ago."
My favorite room in my favorite B & B in London (I only book it when traveling by myself) has just exactly that size of bed. The traditional "double"- in between a twin and Queen.

Posted by
4656 posts

A double bed is as mentioned a bed big enough for two. In most European hotels that means a 160 or 180 cm wide bed (or two narrower pushed together).

Posted by
1036 posts

Another vote for two beds in the hotels you'll get on a RS tour. Sure, you don't see a true double in many U.S. hotels anymore - almost all have at least queen sized - but not so in many small hotels in Europe.

Posted by
2561 posts

In 44 years we have never been able to sleep comfortably in a bed narrower than American Queen size (which in UK, Queen size=American King, King size=American Q). We could do it if forced to, and were never happy. So we always book 2 twins, which ion many places they are pushed together into 1 bed. We will specifically inquire about bed size at all the places we reserve, which is not practical for the tour. Just take a pair of twins. We will not even sleep in a friend's full/double. A tour is rigorous (as are our unguided trips), why give up needed sleep just so you can be in the same bed?

Posted by
874 posts

I Just booked my first RS tour with a friend of mine and we want the twin bed set up. I was surprised to get asked about the alternative "full size" bed option if twins are not available. I checked the "No" box. I just can't sleep that cozy with anyone these days. I am sure there are many friends that are traveling together rather than just couples.


Posted by
444 posts

The last RS tour we took in 2019 of Eastern France, we had to take what was left as we booked late, which was “double bed”. Was NOT looking forward to that idea but luckily in all our locations it was never an American double bed. It was always 2 twins pushed together. Perfectly happy with that option. This time when I booked our SOI tour I did ask for twin beds, as again - not wanting the dreaded double bed, even as a possibility.

Posted by
10677 posts

Bed size varies from country to country. A British “queen” size is an American double as far as I can tell. In Italy, a “matrimonial” is a single mattress about the size of a US queen but in the north (Dolomites) they have adopted the split mattress which is very Swiss, much like two twins pushed together. YMMV but ask detailed questions based on the country(ies) you will visit.

Posted by
4804 posts

In the U.S. or in Europe when a hotel says "double" bed. I assume it's an "old fashioned" full-size bed, unless queen or king is specified. Rarely will I reserve a room with just a double (full) bed. My husband is 6-2 and he claims that I roll around a lot. When in doubt, I request 2 beds. I was on a RS Rome tour, and we had a lot of tall/big men. I did hear comments about the beds being small.

EDITED TO ADD: I called the RS office to ask about the bed preferences for our Rome tour. They did say that they will try to accommodate requests for couples that prefer 2 twins, but if there was not enough to meet the request, preference is given to single travelers who were matched up. Now the hotel for that particular tour was quite large so for at least for that tour, the likelihood of not getting a room with twins would seem to be small

Posted by
31 posts

Of course, request your preference! But as a solo traveler who paid single supplement, I was interested to learn on my last RS tour that depending on the make-up of travelers on your tour and hotels' available rooms/bed configurations, 2 twins are preferentially assigned to "singles traveling together" (as in non-couple friends/family or solos willing to share), over couples. With that said, I got one true single room with twin and all the rest doubles/queens. There were 5 single supplement-ers on my tour, so we were rotated who got singles vs doubles. Everyone is rotated in regards to floor (as in who has to climb more stairs. This doesn't apply to single-city tours.) So I would guess if there are multiple couples who check preference for 2 twins over "double", you may be rotated so that everybody sometimes gets 2 twins and sometimes share double. I have also traveled with my mom (London where 2 of us got a triple with lots of floor space; and Paris where we got 2 twins (European double?) in a tiny room where the beds were squashed next to each other (I love my mom but she snores loudly! :-D What I'm trying to say is that family-owned local hotels will have a variety of room configurations so be prepared to be flexible. Enjoy!

Posted by
18681 posts

I believe that in some parts of Europe, what we would refer to here as a std double is called a "French" bed. I know the DEHOGA (German Hotel and Restaurant Assoc) catalog of star points refers to such beds as French beds. What's more, if a hotel has DEHOGA stars and French beds, they are required to inform you in advance of your committing to a contract that their that beds are smaller than standard.

Now if a third party has made the reservations for you, they might no bother to inform you of the fact.

Also, in my experience, I've found that, except for In-ter-na-tion-al hotels, not many hotels in Germany have stars. This might be because, according to DEHOGA, to have more than one star, a hotel has to accept credit cards. and, as I have pointed out previously, Germany is a cash society and they eschew credit cards. The hotels are far better than you might expect in other countries for having no stars; I've never had a hotel in Germany that wasn't top rate in terms of cleanliness, maintenance, and safety.

Posted by
3317 posts

Another vote for requesting two twin beds. You don't want to risk having to sleep two in the equivalent to a standard U.S. double bed.
It would be best to call the RS office to find out if you could rely on having a queen bed every night on your tour, if that's what you'd prefer. You have not said which tour or tours you will be going on.

Posted by
39 posts

We asked for Best of Sicily in spring of 2022, and the Best of London tour back to back with the Best of England tour in fall of 2022. We also are on a list for this fall for Best of Paris and Best of Eastern France, but aren't holding our breath that Rick will run them.