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Qs about a pre-tour stay at the 1st tour hotel

After getting confirmation of our 2022 tour, I booked a one night stay at the first hotel prior to the start of the tour and a one night stay at the last hotel at the end of the tour. We've been on two prior RS tours but never extended our first or last hotel stays, mainly because I waited too long to try to do that and there were no available rooms.

I made my booking inquiries by email and mentioned to both hotels that we will be on a Rick Steves tour that is staying at the hotel. The confirmation from the last hotel says that we are confirmed for the same room used for our tour stay. How does this work for a pre-tour stay? Will we have to check out, store our bags, and then wait to see what new room the hotel or tour leader assigns to us? If we mention to the hotel when we check in that we'd like to keep our same room for the tour, do they accommodate that? I'd think the hotel would like that, so they don't have to clean the room and prepare it for new guests, but are the tour leaders okay with it? The hotel has 34 rooms in four room categories with only a 30€ difference between the least and most expensive rooms. We passed on the most expensive category but took the next one down.

Posted by
4572 posts

Vickie, whenever we've booked the tour hotel for nights before the tour, we've always been able to stay in the same room. I don't know, though, how that would play out if you've booked a higher category room than the tour has. I have heard from some tour members that they sometimes had to move.

Posted by
4 posts

How does this work for a pre-tour stay?

Just tell the hotel when you arrive that you will be on a RS tour and ask if you can keep the same room. They will generally oblige. I did have one time where I had to move rooms, but it was a situation where I was in a single and moving to a twin shared with another tour member.

Posted by
992 posts

I've never had to move on a number of RS tours, but I've always had a single room on the tour.

Posted by
129 posts

I agree with Laura - when you reserve the room and when you arrive, let them know you are with the Rick Steves tour and ask if you can stay in the same room for your stay. It's worked for me 4 times already. Worst case you do have to repack, store your bag at the hotel, and come back later.

Posted by
1932 posts

The hotel I had booked for 1 night following my 2020 (cancelled) tour confirmed that we would stay in the same room as we had been on the tour.

Posted by
905 posts

If you book a different room category (nicer) than the standard tour room, expect to have to move. We have been on two RS tours, and the first, 8 years ago, we spent two pre-tour nights in a roomy (and pricy) junior suite and were downgraded to what must have been the smallest room in all of Paris. I joke, but only a little bit. We were with our daughter so it was a triple. We barely had room to open one suitcase when the three of us were in there. I wondered if they were "level-setting" us since it was such a drastic downgrade.

Posted by
350 posts

I usually try booking a room at the hotel my tour is staying at. I'll gladly pay a bit more to avoid the hassle of packing and moving one more time on my trip. Alas, this time the price at the tour hotel was double the price at another hotel for two nights. The other hotel is good, but not as fancy. But, I plan to spend the day out and about in the city, not in the room. So, I will stay down the street and move to the tour hotel on the day of the tour. I don't mind.

Once in a while I find the price of a room at the tour hotel to be significantly cheaper through Booking.com. Normally, I don't book through them as I want the hotel to get the money not some 3rd party. But, when we are talking a 30% difference in price.....

Posted by
1572 posts

Sometimes we’ve had to move and sometimes we’ve kept the same room. I usually book with the hotel and explain at that time we’re part of a RS Tour. The “having to move” has been usually post tour and the hotel has been gracious about storing the luggage.

Posted by
2586 posts

"If we mention to the hotel when we check in that we'd like to keep our same room for the tour, do they accommodate that?"
Yes. This worked for us when we stayed 2 nights in our Bath hotel before we started our RS Best of England tour.
Our tour leader was OK with it.

Posted by
3466 posts

Will we have to check out, store our bags, and then wait to see what new room the hotel or tour leader assigns to us? If we mention to the hotel when we check in that we'd like to keep our same room for the tour, do they accommodate that? I'd think the hotel would like that, so they don't have to clean the room and prepare it for new guests, but are the tour leaders okay with it?

We've booked pre and / or post tour rooms on all but one of our RS tours. We've never had to check out, store bags, and get new room. The hotels have always accomodated us with regard to keeping the same room and the tour leaders have always been okay with those arrangements.

Posted by
860 posts

At one hotel pre-tour, they asked me to move to a nicer room. I booked a room in an annex around the corner from the main hotel. They were worried that I would want to be closer to my tour mates. I loved the room I was in and told them I would like to stay. Everyone was happy.

Posted by
903 posts

You should absolutely be able to book the same room for your pre-tour nights just like you did your post tour. Just tell them you want the same room. It has always worked great for us.

Posted by
1609 posts

“If you book a different room category (nicer) than the standard tour room, expect to have to move.”

We did the RS Switzerland tour in 2016 and booked one night pre-tour at the hotel in Lucerne. I reserved a less expensive room (without a view). We were surprised to receive an upgrade the first night of the tour and happy to move to get a nice view of the bridge. So, I guess it works both ways!

Posted by
4 posts

Our willingness to change rooms in Rome partway through our stay on a RSE tour resulted in an upgrade to a two room, super nice suite and a free drink each at the bar. The hotel was super nice about asking us to move and recognized it was a little bit of a hassle.

We packed our luggage, left it in the room we were moving from, then a hotel employee moved it to the new room while we were out enjoying the sites. We spent our last two nights (the last night on tour plus one post-tour) in the upgraded suite.

Posted by
233 posts

In Prague we booked a room at the tour hotel one night pre-tour through the hotel letting them know we were on the RS tour. It was considerably more expensive than prices on Booking.com for other nearby nights. The room was okay but the bar across the street had loud revelers until 4 am. I went to the registration desk early the next morning and asked for a quiet room. They moved us to a nicer quiet room for the nights the RS tour. Many of the tour members commented on the late night noise in their room. We didn’t say anything about our room move since it would not change their experience. You are paying good money for your trip. Speak up politely at the desk if your accommodations are subpar or noisy. The RS tours are great, but you aren’t traveling with Rick in a van and sleeping in cheap accommodations as they did in the last century. Definitely take extra days at both ends of the tour.

Posted by
41 posts

I just confirmed two pre-days at our Rome hotel and the email correspondence indicated that we would be charged the RS negotiated rate and we would be assigned our RS tour room. We looked at other hotels but didn't want the hassle of moving after two nights.

Posted by
16 posts

I am confirmed for the Heart of Italy the last week of April. And thinking about reserving the room for the night before the tour starts. The hotel listed for the first night looked more expensive than the one next door which looked equivalent to me. I was debating if the convenience of not moving is worth the extra dollars or euros. I think I will email them and ask after reading the responses here. Thanks and happy travel planning!

Posted by
9623 posts

Caryn Jean....stay in the same hotel unless the price difference is big. Much less hassle, more time for sightseeing. Or that afternoon nap if jet lag is still lingering.

Posted by
654 posts

@Barnstormer: I usually try booking a room at the hotel my tour is staying at. I'll gladly pay a bit more to avoid the hassle of packing and moving one more time on my trip. Alas, this time the price at the tour hotel was double the price at another hotel for two nights.

Just to pass on a tip here, it's worth asking if their are other rooms at a lower price in the hotel. I did a RS tour that ended in Nice. I had emailed the hotel to get the price to extend the stay & mentioned I was part of a RS tour. The quoted price was significantly higher than other hotels not overlooking the ocean. I figured the price they gave was the price, end of story. I see the room as a place to shower and sleep so I made a reservation elsewhere. When I was leaving a manager wished me a safe flight home, so I said I wasn't leaving just yet. In the end he said that if I had asked for a non-view room I would have got more or less the same rate I had elsewhere (RS put us in nice rooms!) I still would have had to pack and change rooms, but it would have been easier to just move my bag to a new room or leave it at the desk for a few hours.

Posted by
1233 posts

Following everyone's advice, I booked a room in Chartres for the night before South of France tour begins Sept 11. I emailed the hotel, asked them for the same room I would have for the tour. After a couple emails back and forth about procedure and security, I emailed them my information. Very easy and they were very responsive. Under "normal" circumstances, ie pre-Covid, I would not have booked a hotel room a year before my usual booking time.

Posted by
1010 posts

We have always stayed a couple of nights or more at the first tour hotel (6 RS tours). Usually we end up staying in the same room as we do on the tour. Sometimes there is a discount for RS tour members. When we stay at the tour hotel, we often meet other tour members beforehand.

Posted by
1 posts

This will be my second RS tour- my last one was in 2004- Village Italy..Simply wonderful! This one France my way in September 2022. Took everyone's advice and contacted our Pre-tour hotel. Everything arranged in 10 min via email. Good rate and easy. The on line reservation did not go out that far. In any event some extra time in Paris. I'm ready.... just a wee wait..
Thanks everyone!
Stew

Posted by
4657 posts

On my first RS tour, I booked a pre-tour room at the hotel and had to change rooms when the tour started, easy enough. After the tour ended in a different city I stayed in the same room for several more nights. On my second tour, I had the same room for several nights before the tour. When the tour ended in another city I stayed an extra night, but had to change rooms (to a much more expensive one).

It depends on how far ahead you book, what the hotel's room supply-demand situation is, and whether there's a serious price difference between your tour room and your on-your-own room. I think generally hotels want to accommodate tour group members who arrive early or stay late, but it isn't always possible to offer the same rooms. And if it can't be done, or costs too much, the traveler can look for another hotel nearby.