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Opt for double rather than twin rooms on tour

I am basing this advice on one tour experience only, so it might not be accurate. But just in case you’re on the fence about the type of room to request on your RS tour, I’d advise against selecting twin beds…l

On 2 prior RS tours we traveled as a family and had triple rooms. Some were wonderful, often 2 room configurations, others just fine, and occasionally one wasn’t fantastic. Overall a good experience.

On our most recent tour we traveled as a couple, and acting on what is probably way outdated intel, I selected twin rooms because once upon a time in Europe double rooms came with a very small bed. The twin rooms on this tour were almost universally less nice than the doubles I saw (even some single travelers had a larger room with a queen or king bed), small, often dark, and more poorly situated than the rooms of our fellow travelers. The room at our arrival hotel was very nice, but because we arrived a day In advance and wanted to keep the same room, they changed us to a king room. Our guide changed us to a double (actually queen) room at one other hotel, and that room was also nice. But overall we had more bad rooms than good—and one (in one of the quirkier places where some rooms are actually full sized apartments and others are dark, tiny, and smell bad) was by far the worst RS room experience we’ve ever had. If I had to do it over again I would definitely NOT have requested twin rooms!

Again, just my personal experience.

Posted by
3365 posts

Good to know! Which tour was this?

Selecting my own hotels is one of the reasons we are preferring independent travel these days.

Posted by
1811 posts

It is extremely important to rate those hotel experiences as poor so RSE won't use them again. RSE needs to get that feedback. Hotel selections is a risk when traveling as a group. It is easier to find one room for yourself than a tour finding 30 rooms. Sometimes the pickin's is slim for the tour company.

Posted by
699 posts

Yes, I did mention the hotels in my tour evaluation. Our guide was wonderful and the group meals were the best we’ve had on an RS tour, but our experience with hotels overall was only fair and at one of the hotels it was poor (ironically because a few people probably had an exceptional experience at that same hotel).

At one point our guide asked about hotel experiences and we mentioned (after the fact) that this specific room was bad; as for the rest I felt the fault was mostly my own for requesting twin rooms. I wanted to be mindful of the no grumps policy and the rooms were more disappointing than downright bad so I didn’t say anything more while actually on tour.

I remember traveling independently 30 years ago and thinking nothing of sharing a bathroom down the hall if it meant a clean room in a central location. But things have changed a lot since then, and now I can usually find a very nice room in a small centrally located hotel that doesn’t break the bank yet still seems fresh and inviting with a comfortable bed and decent shower. Of course it would be harder for the RS folks to find 15-20 of such rooms (assuming most people on tours travel as duos) but there’s a line between quirky and places I’d never consider staying at again and maybe it’s time for them to rethink some of their tour hotels. Or maybe it’s just me, in which case I need to start branching out to other tour companies. Everyone’s experience is different and I fully acknowledge that.

Posted by
1 posts

my besty and i have done three rs tours. i can say that our requests for twin beds in one room have got laughs from our married friends on the tour. they have visited our room and pretty much say this is pretty bad. generally the lowest end rooms in the hotel and typically we have the worst room in the hotel. i'd love rs to add an ability for upgraded rooms.i'd pay extra for those every time.

Posted by
95 posts

Wow! I have been 7 RS tours and have never found our twin room to be any less than the other rooms our fellow tour members have been assigned. I have noticed friends traveling as a single had some pretty small rooms, but our two twin bed rooms were always larger. While a few of our hotels have been less than perfect, we have been fortunate to have good accommodations. My concern in requesting a double bed is my experience with European beds is they tended to be smaller than American, and the concept of a queen size bed is not usually an option. With that said, I may be living in the past a bit and it could be a double bed room may now be a queen size or larger. I will need to look into this for our fall trip to Ireland.

Posted by
108 posts

I've been on 14 tours - ten of them with a shared twin room with my daughter. Overall, I'd say our rooms have been fine and comfortable. Sometimes we'd get a very large room and sometimes not. But small rooms in old buildings are not that unusual I imagine. I've shared a roommate on one tour and those rooms (obviously twin beds) were big. The rest of the time I had a single room and those have been fine - often a full bed and never as tight as some single rooms I've booked myself. I'm curious what tour you took as I've booked more in the future.

Posted by
699 posts

In response to some of the comments, as I said I’m basing this advice on one tour experience only. This was our third RS tour, so I knew what to expect, generally, when it came to hotel rooms. we had a few funky triple rooms on our first two tours, but by far more good than bad experiences.

I tried to adhere to the no grumps policy while on tour, so — other than when directly asked, at which time I referenced a room that should never be assigned to anyone on a tour (villa where some people had entire apartments, others decent rooms, and we had a dark room that smelled bad) — I didn’t complain. On this tour all but two rooms were disappointing. Based on other rooms I saw on this tour, many other rooms were nicer — some a lot nicer— and I’m guessing that part of the problem was that we selected and were assigned twin rooms. Again, only my personal experience. We were on the Village Italy tour.