If you have taken a RS tour as a solo and paid the supplement for a private room were you assigned a small single room with one twin bed? Or did you get a double room with a double bed? I’m curious how much the supplement helps.
Hi clarson3204, I've done four RS tours solo. The answer to your question is "it depends". Sometimes I had a really nice, big room with two double beds. A few times it was a small room with a single bed. All of the hotels were clean and in decent condition. To me it was important to have my own space so I was happy to pay the supplement. Is there a particular tour or hotel you're asking about?
(Some cruise ships have special single rooms.) The single-supplement would not be a marketable product if it yielded enough revenue for a double room in every location. And the dollar amount has to be posted before they have a firm list of hotels, let alone room numbers, which are often assigned on arrival day.
I’ve done 9 Rick Steves tours, 7 of them I paid the single supplement. Most of my rooms have been double sized, occasionally a small single. In Venice I had an extra small room which I dubbed a “nun’s cell”. This was on the Best of Italy in 17 Days tour back in 2016. I haven’t had a bad hotel room experience on a RS tour. They have all been clean and quiet. If I arrive early or stay post tour, I ask the hotel for a quiet room when I make my reservations.
Are you considering booking a tour? If so, which one?
I have taken 8 tours and paid the single supplement for 6 of these. I think it varies from hotel to hotel. Fewer hotels seem to have single rooms with 1 twin size bed anymore. I have had some rooms like that, but not many. I have also been given rooms with a king size bed. As already mentioned, I pay the single supplement so I don't have to share a room with a stranger. Although, I must add, the one time I did share my roommate was very nice and we got along fine. On my last tour in Oct 2022 I never had a room with 1 twin bed, they were all 1 double bed at least.
The supplement just guarantees you a private room. It isn't an upgrade.
My MIL always pays the supplement and most rooms are actually a double that she gets, though sometimes a single. All have been good.
As has been noted, it varies widely. I've done 4 RS tours solo, and haven't paid the single supplement. But one tour (best of Eastern Europe) all the other singles did pay, so by default I got my own room. The rooms I was assigned on that trip varied from a huge two double bed room at a business-style hotel to a pretty traditional tiny single bed room. On another tour, my matched roommate dropped out of the tour early, and I ended up getting a giant triple room all to myself.
This is included in the RS tour conditions about the single room situation:
Please note that a single supplement guarantees a private room — not a
larger or nicer room, as European single-bed rooms are generally the
smallest and most basic rooms the hotel has to offer!
I have done two RS tours solo, paying the single supplement. All except one room were Good to OK. But the exception ranks on my top three worst hotel rooms I have ever stayed in in 50 years. Broom closet size, not safe with a fire escape outside the window, a bed that felt like they left off the mattress. The next morning the guide changed my room. Don’t be afraid to speak up if the room is horrid and unacceptable.
Thanks for the replies. I am going to do the 7 day Rome tour in Nov and have paid the solo supplement. I am planning to book a night or two before the tour so I was hoping to book the type of room I would be assigned and not have to move later. I’ve been on only one other RS tour as a solo and it was a great experience, great rooms but this tour is 6 nights all in the same room so it just feels more important to get a good room (meaning issues of location, noise, stairs, view) right from the beginning.
If you have already booked the tour you should know what hotel you are in so you can see the room types/styles they offer. When you book your hotel ahead, make sure to tell them you're on a RS tour and that you'd like to keep the same room if possible when you transition to the tour. As long as you're not in a two or three bed room, they will probably honor that request (but they may not; depends on hotel).
I think you are ahead of the game to get there before the tour starts. Which hotel are you staying in?
I've also done a bunch of RS tours (13) and always have gotten the single supplement. I agree with others that "it depends". I think I have been in the "single bed nun's cells", hahaha, a time or two and mostly those were on the tours in England. I DID have a nun's cell in Venice last Fall but in Rome the room was a double or queen bed. (JudyB...Was that Hotel Serenissima? lol...)
Yes, it was Serenissima Hotel! The breakfast was one of the best ever!
JudyB, yes, that breakfast buffet was something else! I've never seen sandwiches on the buffets and wow, they had such a delicious selection. Often the bathrooms in the smaller singles are cramped but the particular room I had also had a very decent sized bathroom with shower.
I have taken 7 RS tours and paid for the single supplement each time. The rooms vary quite a bit. I have no complaint at all with a small, basic room. What I have not liked is when I have been an assigned room away from all the others. Some of them I felt unsafe (not because they were unsafe but as a woman traveling alone) and others just away from the group. Almost like a single room is one that is the booby prize.
I will say that the room issue is not so awful that it has not prevented me from continuing on RS tours as their guides, itineraries, location of hotels are all great. I just give myself the pep talk prior to the tour about how much I will love the tour and that it is likely I will get some rooms that are subpar and to just roll with it.
I was on the South Italy tour that begins in Rome in April, and my single room at Hotel Smeralda was in the annex across the street from the main hotel. It was tiny! One single bed and a very compact bathroom. Also, it faced the street, which could be quite noisy due to the very popular Roscioli pizzeria and bakery below. All that said, it was fine for a few nights. The supplement, for me, is essential to provide privacy after days filled with people.
I've gone solo on 6 RS tours and paid the supplement and the single rooms have varied from large to very small but all were comfortable. It was never an issue. I can only think of maybe 3 rooms over all those tours where I had a single bed - most of the time it's either a double or queen-size. But they were all interesting hotels, the beds were comfortable, and sometimes the biggest issue was the lack of an elevator and having to walk up 3 flights. But it's all part of the experience! Plus I like having the quiet time and privacy after a day spent with the group or out and about.
To put it in perspective, if you were to book your own rooms on a trip to Europe, indicating a single, you would wind up with a mix of sizes and bed configurations, just like I imagine it is on a tour. Why? Rooms are booked by the number of people staying in the room, So if you book a Double, the room will be large enough to sleep two, a Triple, sleep three, a Single, the room will be large enough to sleep one, but it could be a double or a triple, or a family room if that is all they have and are willing to put you in it.
Most hotels will not have a large number of singles, only because that limits the possibility to let that room, better to have mostly doubles, the most popular option, and put singles in a double when needed.
Thanks for commenting on your specific experiences. I appreciate the help.