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Rick's Hotels ??? Where did you stay???

Some discussion about RS hotels and a lot of presumption and guessing.

If you've done a RS tour in the last 4 or 5 years, tell us the hotels. Provides no guarantee, but maybe some insight.

I've only paid attention to the ones in Budapest:




All very nice 4 star with elevators and bus parking near. (Actually not sure about the Andrassy and elevators, but it's a 4 star so I assume).

Others on other tours? Maybe some good discoveries for us to use when not on a RS tour?

Posted by
3797 posts
This one was the most memorable, if not the most modern. It was a 2 minute walk to the entrance gate to the walled area of Carcassonne. Our room had a view of the walls and the most confusing set of shower taps I've ever encountered. The rooms were all brightly painted; ours was pink and orange with wood paneling, but somehow it worked.

Posted by
7818 posts

First of all, general Europe makes sense to me for this topic which is about hotels in a variety of countries. That said, I have posted hotel lists on the tours forum before.

It might be interesting to understand what the tour hotel selection process entails, as explained to me by a guide. First of all, the hotel needs to be able to meet the needs of a group of up to 30 people over the extensive tour season. That eliminates some perfectly fine hotels. Then they look for location and “character “. If a change in hotels is being considered they will often contact their European guides that serve the area and ask for suggestions about hotels. Finally, these hotels are frequently contracted up to three years out.

I have been in many terrific hotels on tour, many good hotels, and a few hotels that just didn’t quite match the usual standards. I’ve always enjoyed myself.

Some of my favorites:
Hotel des Alpes, Luzern
Hotel Smeraldo, Rome
Canterbury Cathedral Lodge, Canterbury

Posted by
6445 posts

I’m currently on a RS tour - the Best of the Adriatic

Ljubljana- Hotel Mrak
Bovec - Hotel Mangart
Motovun - Hotel Kastel
Plitvice Lakes National Park - Hotel Jezero
Split - Hotel Globo Split
Mostar - Hotel Kapetanovina
Dubrovnik- Hotel Aquarius

Posted by
13196 posts

editing to add: I just saw your comment on the other thread. "I know in one city the ones that have been discussed have all been 4 star tourist or business hotels ... with bus parking near, no cobblestone, plenty of elevators." Since I've done 13 RS tours I'll tell you that that situation is not typical for all the ones I've done. It IS typical of the Road Scholar tours I've done - business class + elevators. I've had to walk as much as a half a mile to a hotel in Kinsale Ireland pulling my suitcase. Somewhere on the Southern England tour we had to walk uphill from the coach park to the hotel pulling luggage. Any lodging in the Cinque Terre likely means taking a local train and then walking from the station.

I generally post the hotel names in my Trip Reports.

October 2022 - Best of Italy:

Varenna - Royal Victoria - walk from the station in Varenna
Kastelruth - Hotel Cavallino D'Oro - bus parked in bus lot and we had to get out bags up a set of stairs to the street above, then to hotel.

Venice - Hotel Serenissima - guide got water taxis so we did not have to manage on the vaporetto, then pull luggage from the boat dock to the hotel. No bridges on this one though.
Florence - Hotel Accademia - bus parked nearby but it was a level walk to the hotel
Cinque Terre - Pasquale - bus parked in Levanto, took train to Monterosso then walked thru the tunnel to the old town
Siena - Chiarusarella - bus able to park right out front
Umbria Agritourismo - Altarocca Wine Resort - had to bring bag down from bus parking which was slightly above my building
Rome - Aberdeen - bus had to stop a few blocks away in a piazza so had to pull suitcases across Rome's broken sidewalks and thru dog poop to get to hotel. Hotel was a flight of stairs up from ground level with no elevator there.

April 2019 - Best of Belgium and Holland
Ghent - Hotel Harmony
Bruges - Hotel Adornes
Delft - Hotel de Plataan
Amsterdam - Hotel Espresso

I've done 3 other tours since Covid with 2 different companies - Road Scholar and Seymour Travels. I chose the 3 tours because they have itineraries not covered by Rick so not sure listing those hotels would be helpful.

Posted by
117 posts

Our Village Italy tour June 2022:

Albergo al Fagiano, Padua;
Villa Pambuffetti, Montefalco;
Hotel Filippeschi, Orvieto;
Villa Lecchi Residenza D’epoca, Siena;
Albergo Celide, Lucca;
Albergo Primavera, Levanto;
Hotel La Bussola, Orta San Giulio

Posted by
3797 posts

I'm reminded of another hotel on our Loire to the South of France tour, I'll edit to add the name when I think of it, but I wanted to share this excerpt from my 2019 Trip Report:

Our hotel was right beside the Roman Arena but well away from the main street where our bus dropped us off. There is a warning on these tours that you may be expected to haul your luggage over cobblestones a fair distance and the hotel may not have an elevator. This warning was tailor made for Arles. About 1/2km walk, cobblestones, uphill. We had one couple in their mid-70’s on the tour who are in good shape for their age, but the wife was struggling with her suitcase and needed help from one of our tour members. I sought her out on the morning we were heading back to the bus and carried her suitcase for her. By this time, we were a close-knit group and help like this would be automatic for some of our older members. Back to the day we arrived at the hotel though, to get to our 2nd floor room meant a climb up a steep, narrow set of stairs, we got to the top, made a sharp right and down a hall, down 3 stairs and then up 3 stairs. Along the way we ran into a solo traveler in our group-early 60’s who didn’t pack light. She’s a very nice woman-a librarian, but today she was dropping f-bombs about stairs and suitcases. I couldn’t help but laugh, but also took her suitcase and got it to her room. I believe I learned a few new words that day and she swore she’d learned her packing lesson.

This is the kind of unique experience and hotel I hope for on a tour and it makes for a good story. Despite the walk and the stairs, the hotel was fine. The breakfast buffet included a powered juicer that I could make my own freshly squeezed orange juice with. I've never seen that before or since and I gave it a good workout that morning.

Posted by
1726 posts

@Allen. Was the hotel in Arles you described called Le Calendal?

Posted by
3099 posts

I have never taken a Rick Steves tour - BUT, in September 2019 a Paris and the Heart of France tour spent 2 nights in the hotel where we were staying in Bayeux. The Hotel d'Argouges is a 28-room 18th Century gem with updated plumbing and a lovely garden. It's within walking distance of the train station, with a large parking lot across the street to accommodate tour buses.

The hotel staff made an effort to ensure that their non-tour group guests did not feel "crowded out" by the tour group. We talked to a few of the RS folks, mainly because I could remember the French word for "corkscrew".

Posted by
277 posts

I remember the Aberdeen in Rome. Lovely hotel with entry courtyard but with a lot of marble steps up to the entrance and you were specifically asked to pickup your suitcase and not pull them up on their wheels because the marble was ancient. Nice hotel though. I’ve definitely gone a block or more to hotels from drop off areas in the 5 tours I’ve done. I’ll be in Prague and Budapest in Oct and will look forward to a little pampering.

Posted by
8196 posts

The only hotel name I remember from our last 2019 Sicily tour is the Hotel Ambasciatori* in Palermo where the tour started. There was already a RS tour there that left the next day after ours started. Same thing we found at our Mürren hotel, Hotel Jungfrau some years before. Manager told me they had a new RS tour dropping by every three days. So yes, the hotels have to be willing to handle and commit to a larger number of people than the smaller mom & pop places that he recommends in the guidebooks.

__ *Its the one with the rooftop breakfast area and bar on the roof thats in the photo on the Sicily tour page.

Posted by
3518 posts

I have a problem with the hotels listed for Split and Dubrovnik. Rick says that he likes to be in the heart of the city but the two hotels mentioned are too far out. They are no where near the heart of the city. I especially recommend people not to stay in Lapad cause it is a bus ride away, too far to walk. That’s just my opinion.