We're very careful about the choice of your accommodations....
We know the hotels we use. We don't pull your hotel out of a big list of hundreds of hotels in Rome, Florence or Venice. You come to us to get hotels we know from our experience.
You'll know which hotels you're getting. Before you make a deposit on an ItalySource travel package, we'll check availability for your travel dates and identify hotels that can be used. We'll send you a website for each hotel so you can approve our selections.
Your hotel will be conveniently located. We're very demanding about hotel location. Our intent is that when you walk out the door of your hotel, you'll have the satisfaction of being at your destination, in convenient walking distance to key attractions, not out on the beltway a bus ride from the city center. This is a very big difference between what we provide and what you will get from other sources, especially from the bus tour companies and from airlines which offer air and hotel package deals. For example, when you see a great low price from an airline which includes hotels in Rome, Florence and Venice, you can bet that the hotels are not in prime locations.
Many people ask if there'll be a private bathroom. Certainly! ItalySource never books hotel rooms without private bathrooms.
Category of hotel or hotel rating. This depends somewhat on the package and also on each destination. Most hotels we provide are 4-star/first-class. In some smaller cities and towns, and in our economy packages, we may provide 3-star/superior tourist-class hotels. We can also offer 5-star/deluxe hotels at your request whenever they exist at your destinations. Or luxury packages include 5-star hotels.
Air conditioning. We understand that Americans are highly concerned about air conditionig, especially when visiting Mediterranean countries like Italy. So we watch this situation very carefully. From June through September in the big cities, such as Venice, Florence and Rome, we just never book hotel rooms without air conditioning. In countryside locations, especially in Tuscany, it is sometimes not an option to have air conditioning, but in those circumstances it is unlikely that you will miss it.
Room size. It's just a fact of life that on average, rooms are smaller at Italian hotels. You might go to Italy and get large rooms everywhere you go, but that is unlikely. It may help you anticipate this if you understand one fundamental difference between Italian and American hotels -- whereas most hotel rooms in the USA are set up with two double or queen beds so as to accommodate up to 4 people, this is absolutely NOT the case in Italy. In fact, rooms which accommodate 4 people are scarce. So when you envision your hotel room, do NOT picture the standard American motel room with two big beds. Instead, picture a smaller room with two twin beds or one queen-sized bed. But don't dismay. You can still expect a comfortable room of high quality, and it is rare that we get feedback from travelers indicating that they were unhappy with the size of their rooms. If room size is a particular issue with you, please let us know at the outset of planning your trip so we can address this matter.
How your hotel will be booked. Hotels can be booked in one of two general ways. The traditional method is to contact a hotel directly, or through an authorized booking agency for the hotel, and reserve a room using a credit card guarantee. In this case it is possible to be very specific about what category of room you're getting and what kind of view you will have. It is no longer true that if you book a hotel room directly, you will pay the highest rates. Many hotels now offer competitive rates for direct bookings. Some of the hotels use most give us very good rates for booking with them directly.
The other general way to book a hotel is by getting a "contract" rate. The whole point is to get a lower price. That's exactly what you'll be doing if you go on the internet and book through one of the many sources for so-called "discount" hotel rooms. Contract rates provide a standard room in your choice of single, double or triple occupancy. At most hotels, you will not have the option of getting a deluxe room or a suite, and you will not have a choice about a view or any special requirements you may have. Unfortunately, we must be careful about booking with contract rates, because many hotels assign their smallest and least desirable rooms for this kind of booking. Hotel managers prefer to reserved their biggest and best rooms for direct bookings.
As with packages from essentially all travel agents and tour companies, as well as what you will get if you book from an internet source, some of our packages are priced with hotel rooms at contract rates. If it's important to you that your hotel rooms be booked directly with a hotel so that you have all the options available, and if you are willing to pay a higher rate for this added service, please let us know at the outset of planning your trip.