Finding Places to Stay

Finding Places to Stay

There are many different options for accommodations in Europe, based on traveler needs, preferences and budgets. In addition to vacation rentals, hotels and B&Bs, there are many other economical possibilities such as farms, convents and monasteries, and hostels. The links in this section provide general guidance in identifying, selecting and booking accommodations as well as specific resources for different kinds of accommodations.

For me, the search for accommodations is one of the most enjoyable aspects of planning a trip, but it’s also one of the most frustrating. I usually like staying in a special or interesting place, something very different than where our family would stay in the USA. And I like the “hunt”… being a “detective” who can discover that perfect place at a reasonable cost. But I also realize that it’s possible to spend an enormous amount of time in the process. I’ve spent as much time looking for a hotel for one night as I’ve spent looking for a rental where we’ve stayed for two weeks!

This page includes some of the links that have been most helpful to me in locating places to stay in Europe. I’ve focused on resources for vacation rentals and hotels (including inns and B&Bs), but I have included some links for alternate accommodations.

Enjoy your hunt!

General Information

Booking Hotels, B&Bs, and Hostels in Europe

Booking Accommodations

European Lodging and Accommodation

Guide to Unusual Places to Stay

Suggestions for “Backdoor” Accommodations

Traveler reviews

One of the best ways to select hotels and rentals is to get information and recommendations from other travelers. Here are some “neutral” websites that specialize in traveler reviews:

Trip Advisor Hotel Reviews

Booking.com Hotel Reviews

Slow Travel Hotel Reviews

Vacation Rental Reviews- Italy

Vacation rentals – France

Check the Slow Travel Website for rental reviews for other countries in Europe and the world.

Website and Guidebook Recommendations

Slow Travel Favorites (Recommended agencies and properties in various parts of Europe)

www.frommers.com

www.fodors.com

www.karenbrown.com This is one of my favorite resources for hotel and B&B recommendations in Europe.

www.sawdays.co.uk

Ben’s Bauernhof Recommended accommodations in southern Germany and Austria.

Websites to Identify and Book Hotels

These sites may offer better rates than the hotel’s own website and also offer an ease in making arrangements.

www.booking.com The site has low rates and no booking fees, and does include reviews. Your credit card used to guarantee booking but is not charged until your stay. Booking.com is part of Priceline.com.

venere.com

www.orbitz.com

www.expedia.com

www.travelocity.com

www.hotels.com

www.tripadvisor.com

Relais et Chateaux This is a network of independent luxury hotels and restaurants around the world; especially strong in France.

Best Western Best Western has a large network of good independent hotels in Europe.

Logis de France A network of 3000 independent hotel-restaurants in France.

www.eurocheapo.com Resource for budget hotels.

Vacation Rentals

What are Vacation Rentals?

What to Expect in a European Vacation Rental

How to Search for a Vacation Rental

Vacation Rentals in England

A “Slow” Vacation in Germany or Austria

Rent-by-Owner Rental Listings

Our family has rented over 30 places in Europe. We normally do rent directly from owners and have had very good success with this. Here are some rent-by-owner websites that I use and like.

Vacation Rentals by Owner:  www.vrbo.com (thousands of rental properties world-wide)

Holiday Rentals:  www.holiday-rentals.co.uk

French Connections:  www.frenchconnections.co.uk

Rentals in France:  www.gite.com

Rentals in Britain (also includes hotels and B&Bs):  www.stilwell.co.uk

Vacation Rental Agencies

If you prefer to work through an agency, here are some I recommend:

Europe:  Rent Villas

Europe:  Interhome

France/Italy/Spain:  Villa Vacations (Doorways)

Great Britain:  Rural Retreats

Great Britain:  National Trust Cottages

Paris:  Paris Perfect  (This upper-end agency has beautiful apartments in ideal locations.)

Paris:  Vacation in Paris   (This is an American-based agency with reasonably-priced rentals, many available for less than a week.)

Italy:  The Parker Company

Rome:  Rome Power

Tuscany:  Tuscan House  (We rented through this agency a few years ago and were very pleased with our rental and the agency.)

Amalfi Coast:  Summer in Italy

Venice:  Views on Venice

Hostels

www.guideforeurope.com (Backpacker resources)

www.hostels.com

www.hostelseurope.com

Convent and Monastery Stays

Staying in a convent

Staying at Convents and Monasteries

Monasteries of Italy

Monastic Doors Open for Travelers (New York Times article)

Other Options for Accomodations

Untours  Unique vacation packages that include rentals in various parts of Europe.

Castle accommodations

RV Camping in Europe

Farm stays

Agriturismo: A Guide to European Farm Stays

Links to possible farm stay locations

Farm stays in England

Farm stays in Italy

Agriturismos in Italy

Slow Travel list of agriturismo links