Hotel star ratings:
Hotels at the 3-star level are going to be of a basic quality, though not of the same caliber that a U.S. 3-star property would be at. While they are clean and adequate, they are much smaller, contain little to no decor and furnishing, and are not as well-appointed or as comfortable as what would be found in the U.S. They may not offer room service or other speciality services, and the hotel itself may be dated and with a very very limited amount of amenities. *Tenon Tours does not recommend 3-star accommodations in Italy.
4-star hotels in Italy are of comfortable quality and vary in cost depending on the property. The rooms are larger than 3-star properties and the level of service and amenities align much more closely with basic U.S. accommodation expectations.Typically, there are two levels of 4-star hotels in Italy, with the first being of modest quality and the second being of superior quality. Modest quality rooms will be better appointed than a traditional 3-star property, though not quite as modern and accommodating as a superior 4-star hotel. The property itself generally offers more inclusions, including a variety of room types to upgrade to, room service, an onsite bar or restaurant, and concierge service. The breakfast spread is more vast and the overall level of customer service is of a higher quality. *Tenon Tours recommends a minimum of a 4-star standard in Italy for all accommodation bookings.
5-star properties are quite like what you would imagine: Exceptional with a degree of luxury. These hotels will have the best level of comfort and pride themselves in their restaurants and overall atmosphere and ambiance.
In Italy, pricing not only depends upon star-rating, but it is also dependent upon the particular region of Italy that the hotel is located in. For example, a 5-star property in Rome, Florence, or Milan (larger cities) will be a bit less than a 5-star property in Venice and Sorrento (located on the water).
Checking In to your accommodations:
3:00 PM is the standard check-in time for all accommodation types. Generally, international flights arrive in the early morning so it’s important to remember that your room won’t be ready for a few hours after your arrival. Luggage can be stored in a secure area, so take this time to get some fresh air, stretch your legs, and explore your first destination. If it’s important that you get to your room right away, you can always book a pre night as long as the accommodation has the availability.
If you get to your room and think there is a fuse blown when the lights and TV don’t turn on, think again. Many hotel accommodations in Europe will use key cards, which guests use to access their rooms, for electricity as well. There will typically be a box in the entrance of your hotel room, where you can slip your key card in and control the consumption of energy. It’s great way to save power!
If you are traveling with electrical gadgets, make sure you know the correct frequency and voltage of the country you are traveling to before you plug anything into the sockets. Depending on the power, you might need an adapter and a converter. Items that normally require converters are mainly larger appliances such as computers, hair dryers, hair tools, sleep machines, etc. In order to use a converter you will need to also use an adapter, so we always recommend bringing both with you while traveling.
If you plug an electrical gadget into a wall socket and think there is a fuse blown when it doesn’t turn on, think again. Many outlets in Europe will have an on and off switch to also help control the consumption of energy. Just make sure the switch is turned on if you want to power anything up. There are currently 15 types of electrical outlet plugs in use today, each of which has been assigned a letter by the US Department of Commerce International Trade Administration (ITA), starting with A and moving through the alphabet. In Italy you will use Type C (two prong).
Rooms in your accommodations
A Double Room is designed to accommodate two people and will have your standard double bed, queen bed, or two single beds, depending on whether you are traveling as a couple or as individuals. At times there may be one double bed and one single bed which is commonly known as a “triple room”. Please note that king beds are not as widely available in Europe though you will have a better opportunity if you upgrade to a 5-star hotel which is on request only. Keep in mind that in Europe, king beds are more commonly two single beds pushed together. Tenon Tours cannot guarantee three separate beds for rooms of three. Hotels assign room configurations based on availability including whether a double, queen, or king bed is provided.
“Super Sized” definitely does not apply to accommodations in Europe. They’re generally going to be much smaller in comparison to American standards. Blending convenience and luxury with reasonable pricing, Italy accommodations offer clever and creative solutions that maximize comfort and minimize space. Cities are small places for huge populations, so space is at a premium. That’s why many city-center hotels only have smaller rooms. Europe is steeped in history so therefore you will have smaller and older buildings that simply don’t allow for large accommodation spaces.
Hair Dryers & Irons
Most accommodations in Europe will have modern accessories, although specific offerings vary. Most of the time you will find these in your room; however, at times you can simply call down to the front desk and they will bring you the items if they are not supplied already. We recommend you check the hotel’s website for details pertaining to complimentary and optional inclusions and services. If these items are important to you, let your Personal Travel Specialist know and we can ensure that your hotel will have all of the amenities you will need while traveling.
Showers and half doors
Quite a few accommodations in Europe will have combination bathtubs and showers. Instead of a shower curtain, there will sometimes be a door that extends half the length of the tub. Weird as it is to American standards, it still will prevent water from getting on the floor. Please also note that often times the step to get into the shower/tub is fairly high. If you have mobility issues, please let your Personal Travel Specialist know so that we can best accommodate for you. Most accommodations in Europe don’t offer washcloths as an amenity. If you use a washcloth or a loofa be sure to pack those and bring them with you!
Nearly all hotels offer Internet access in their lobbies. WiFi may only be available in the lobby area while some hotels have started offering it throughout the hotel and in guest rooms. B&B’s are also following suit. Note that WiFi isn’t always free at your accommodation. You’ll find Internet Cafés scattered throughout cities and towns, though there is a nominal fee for using the Internet at public terminals. If you are looking to disconnect while on your vacation, simply let your Personal Travel Specialist know! There are still many places to don’t have wifi for this reason.
Most other countries do not use Fahrenheit. If you have access to the climate control in your room, make sure to learn the conversions. Also, please note that you may not always have control over the temperature in your room. This is something that you can ask the concierge for assistance with if the temperature in your room is not to your satisfaction.
F = (C x 1.8) + 32
Air conditioning is not as common in the Northern regions of Italy where the climate is more moderate than areas further South. Some accommodations will have air conditioning that you can control manually in your room, though the temperatures in some hotels are controlled automatically. Many properties in Italy are hundreds of years old and have been transformed into a hotel or villa. Installing central air conditioning in these buildings would ruin the structure of the building and is virtually impossible. In Venice, in particular, this is often the case, though a 4-star or 5-star property has likely been upgraded to include an in-room unit. If having Air Conditioning in your room is important to you, please let your Travel Specialist know.
Screens in your Windows
Many hotels and villas do not use screens in their windows. You’ll want to keep that in mind if you open the window for some air at night. Also, be sure to be careful when you are traveling with young ones. Please note- If you want to have your windows open be sure to do this only at night and when your lights are off so that you don’t attract any bugs.
Hotels are your best option if you are looking for a common travel style to here in the states and want to be more centrally located. Hotels will provide standard amenities and will vary with offerings based on star level.
Traditionally known as a self-catering, country home with distinct Italian architectural details, villas are a wonderful way to step outside of the city and live as if you were a local. Although villas can be found throughout all of Italy, Tuscany, Umbria, and Sicily are the top areas to experience this unique stay. There is no better way to take in the countryside with privacy and seclusion than by staying in an authentic Italian villa!
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