Thursday, September 20, 2018

Apartments managed by hotels

NOTE:     This blog has no ads and I'm not beholden to hotels, cruise lines, tour companies or airlines, and that's why I can offer my readers the truth about all of the above + offer the many ways to enjoy comfort traveling for less

   The latest trend for small hotel groups in Italy as well as some other countries are the advent of apartment suites with hotel services to include half board that allows for the best of all worlds with a full English breakfast included available at the hotel—cook in for lunch and eat dinner at the hotel, or cook your own dinner.  
   Anyone who travels to a destination and uses that destination as a base to travel out of or to stay and explore must enjoy the pleasure of renting a suite apartment managed by a hotel that offers hotel services.
   The apartment suite should be either in the hotel or just steps away in another building
   Renting an apartment in preference to a hotel when traveling to a particular destination is one that encouraged me to write my first informational travel book NO MORE HOTELS IN PARIS: How To Rent An Apartment, a copy of which is in libraries worldwide (, and my book is also in permanent collection of The Library of Congress.
   Yet in the 21st century the destination apartment rental business has been taken over by startups like FlipKey and others, in addition to travel sites like TripAdvisor or Expedia, not to the best alternative as it once was in the year 2000 when my first NO MORE HOTELS Paris destination book was published.

   A word of advice, now renting an apartment in a travel destination is fraught with problems, but if you do go with a company that rents suites apartments, and you check with the tourism agency at your destination, then ask the company if it is affiliated with a hotel group, you have a better chance of resolving any problems when you find what you rented is not what you expected, especially if you don't pay for the entire stay in advance.
   The best thing to do is to negotiate a partial payment in advance, and pay a little bit extra if necessary, then do put your advance on a credit card, not a debit card.
   What happens if you do the due diligence and you get there but find you can't stay?
   First hand, I found that out this year when I visited Trieste Italy for 10 days, but when dealing with reputable companies it is possible to resolve your dispute amicably.
   I did, since my rental problem was like a business arrangement gone awry—treat the manager with respect, and he or she will be willing to negotiate a settlement.
   In my case, it was in season in Trieste, but the  manager was Italian and he suggested an Italian 4 star hotel that did not offer discounts to hotel booking websites.
   The hotel was within blocks away owned by a small Italian hotel group that offered half board at a great rate.
   When I inquired as to why the hotel didn't use the  usual hotel booking sites, the manager said that they were always full and known to Italian and European tour operators.
   The suites  manager called the hotel and they had a room available a day before the 5-days I had paid for in advance.
   I accepted it and the suites manager agreed not to charge me the tourism tax to make up for the extra day I would lose.

   See a picture of me at the hotel below, and I am smiling.
   All because I found my perfect solution to my next year's stay in Trieste—the Continental Hotel has suite apartments just across the street, Palaces Suites, offering me the best of both worlds, either half board, or the free English breakfast included in the very reasonable rate.
My stay in 2017 at the  posh Trieste Savioa Excelsior Hotel in a beautiful apartment suite with balcony overlooking the sea and with hotel services, plus full English breakfast was 2 times more expensive and they didn't offer a half board rate.