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6 replies
Need feedback on some hostels
desilva
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Hi everyone,

My 21day trip to western europe is almost finalized. I’ll be traveling from France to Germany through Italy and Switzerland. I’ve picked out the following hostels along the way and would like some feedback from you. Especially, if someone has stayed in one of these places, I’d really welcome their experience. I’m just looking for places to stay the nights. Nothing too fancy. Cheaper the better but I’d like private ensuites since I’m traveling with my wife. So, hope you can help me select between these choices. The following prices are what I found for two people (double/twin with ensuite settings)

Paris (3 nights) – Hotel Belfort Paris (around $248 for three nights) This was the cheapest I could find

Tours, France (for one night) – Hotel Stars Tours Sud ($60 but not so good reviews), Hotel Trianon ($89), Hotel Val de Loire ($82)

Dijon (for one night) – Hotel Stars Dijon ($48), Comfort Hotel Lons-le-Saunier ($65)

Nice, France (for two nights) – Hostel Smith ($68), Hotel & Hostel Meyerbeer Beach ($110), Villa Saint Exupery Gardens ($124 but excellent reviews, free breakfast, I guess I’ll probably go with this unless someone comes up with a really convincing alternative)

Cinque Terre (for one night) – Camere Enrica ($90) in Vernazza, Corniglia Dream Rooms ($82), Ostello Tramonti ($77)

Florence (for one night) – Fattoria del Bassetto ($96), Hostel Veronique ($92)

Rome (for three nights) – Plus Camping Roma ($179), Tiber Hostel and Camping ($148), Country Club Castelfusano ($173), Hostel Peter Pan ($182)

Venice (for one night) – Plus Camping Jolly ($53), Camping Fusina ($68), Plus Alba D’Oro Camping ($53)

Lauterbrunnen (for three nights) – Valley Hostel ($240) (I guess Mountain Hostel in Gimmelwald is an awesome place but since I’m traveling with my wife, I prefer double or at least twin rooms which are not there in Gimmelwald)
But is it manageable for couples in Gimmelwald’s Mountain Hostel? I mean, I loved what I saw in the web about the Mountain Hostel, except for the fact that it seems an ideal place for single people.

Rothenburg (for one night) – B+B ApARThotel Benji ($120) in Rothenburg

Frankfurt (for one night) – Hotel Garni Djaran ($55), City Hotel Frankfurt ($89), Hotel Jaguar Frankfurt ($63)

That’s it people.

Also, I’d like some hints on taking a nap in train stations. I mean, it seems I can cut back on a few nights’ hostel fee if I take a nap for couple of hours in a train station by taking the night trains. Would this be advisable?

Thanks for any tips in advance.

I am leaving from Salt Lake City with $16000 for 20 days
Paris, Würzburg, Colmberg, Füssen, Salzburg, Interlaken, Pisa, Rome
Requesting help with Transport, Itinerary, Sights
oldlady
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Quote:
Also, I’d like some hints on taking a nap in train stations. I mean, it seems I can cut back on a few nights’ hostel fee if I take a nap for couple of hours in a train station by taking the night trains. Would this be advisable?
Hopefully you’ll be able to find the tips in this lengthy explanation…. The possibility of napping varies widely by the train station, but I wouldn’t count on it. Many of the train stations have next to no seating, however some of the larger ones have a fairly comfortable and quiet 1st class lounge you can use with your 1st class railpass — these lounges aren’t necessarily well signed, so ask.
The big train stations handle hundreds of trains a day. The trains run on time the vast majority of the time. Two, three or more trains may leave from each platform (the biggest stations have over 20 platforms) each hour. The end result is that people don’t wait around for long periods of time, so while there may easily be two thousand people in the station, there aren’t a lot of places to sit.
The fact that the stations are usually the main transportation hub for subway, local buses, regional commuter transportation, and airport transportation plus some have full shopping malls, hotels, fast food courts, which mean the stations are extremely busy and noisy — somehow less conducive to a nap than an airport, although I don’t really know why.
Many stations completely close to the public between about midnight and 5:00 AM, with only minimal staffing to handle an arrival/connection after midnight.

Overnight trains are a good option, although they don’t always save much money over the cost of a hostel as they always require a reservation. Typical prices for a reservation (plus a day of your railpass) are 15 euros for a reclining seat, 25 euros for a berth in a 6 berth couchette and 35 euros for a berth in a 4 berth couchette. An economy double is 65 euros per berth and an economy single is 105 euros. A first class pass will occasionally get you a berth in a 4 berth for the 6 berth price and will usually get you a deluxe double or single for the same price as the economy accommodations — so always ask if you have a 1st class railpass. Also, check for on-line specials on the national rail company websites. You can sometimes buy ticket and reservation for a reclining seat for 29 to 43 euros — significantly cheaper than using a day of the railpass and paying for a reservation.

desilva
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Thanks OL, That was really helpful.

I have one more question that I couldn’t find the answer to by searching the web. I’m planning to fly from Rome to Venice (rather than taking the train) since I can book a flight for both of us around $60. However, the flight that day lands in Venice around 11PM. I’m thinking may be we can spend the night in Venice airport (so that we can avoid a night in a hostel) but I couldn’t find any reference to check if this was do-able. I mean, I’ve seen so many instances where people have gone to the airports in the night and sleep a bit if they want to catch a plane early in the morning. But if I arrive from a plane at night, am I allowed to stay at the airport till morning? Would we be asked to leave?

Anyway, till now I’ve booked hostels till Rome (So around 8 days of my itinerary is covered now). Also, taking your (and many others’) advice, I guess if worse comes to worst (that it, if our budget is not enough), we’ll drop the whole romantic road/Germany section and leave for home from Switzerland.

Again, thanks for your feedback.

I am leaving from Salt Lake City with $16000 for 20 days
Paris, Würzburg, Colmberg, Füssen, Salzburg, Interlaken, Pisa, Rome
Requesting help with Transport, Itinerary, Sights
tigrouflip
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Hey desilva, you can check out this website, as well as others like it, for an idea of whether or not its a good idea to sleep at an airport: http://www.sleepingi…

I am leaving from Atlanta, GA with $3000 for 36 days
Amsterdam, Hamburg, Berlin, Prague, Mostar, Sarajevo, Bol, Makarska, Florence, Málaga, Seville, Barcelona, Ibiza Town
oldlady
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Quote:
I’m planning to fly from Rome to Venice (rather than taking the train) since I can book a flight for both of us around $60.
I wouldn’t do this in the first place. I don’t think it’s worth it, since it will actually take longer to fly and the train gets you across the causeway into Venice where you can walk or take the vaporetto to get around as opposed to the hassle (and additional expense) of getting to Venice from Maestre. Look for cheap train tickets at trenitalia.com. I think it’s 8 euros (each) to get to the airport in Rome — the best way is by train. The buses leave from the train station, too, so getting to the Rome airport adds significant time and money to a flight. Any additional taxes, baggage fees, check-in fees, fee for using a credit card, etc. can quickly mean a cheap flight doesn’t save any money, so research all the fees before you buy a plane ticket.

You can probably save lodging by sleeping in the airport and you will definitely find cheaper lodging near the airport than you’ll find in Venice. However, if your budget is so tight that this is an issue, consider skipping Venice. Venice is delightful to stroll around regardless of your budget, but it’s not a really fun place to be counting every penny. Find out what the coffee costs before you ask for a cup, because it’s pretty easy to find out too late that you’ve purchased a $15 cup of coffee.

drowningdolly
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I stayed at Mountain Hostel in September and would highly recommend it. I also thought they had one lovers suite, but I could be wrong. It’s a very small and intimate hostel and it’s such a beautiful place, you’ll have no problem finding plenty of time and space to be alone with your wife in the alps. Plus, I think if you’re willing to sleep in a train station or an airport with your wife, the mountain hostel shouldn’t be a problem as far as other people being there. It was one of my top two favorite experiences!

I agree with OL in regards to the train to Venice. It’ll be a bigger inconvenience to fly into Venice and sleep in the airport then make your way over the next day and nobody wants to try to find a hotel in the middle of the night in Venice, the streets are confusing enough when the sun is shining! Smile

I am leaving from New York City with $5500 for 47 days
Copenhagen, Berlin, Amsterdam, London, Paris, Munich, Lucerne, Gimmelwald, Venice, Florence, Cinque Terre, Rome, Barcelona
desilva
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Thanks drowningdolly,

I’ve planned a few days in the Mountain Hostel. Guess it’s going to be a nice time out there. Thanks for the tips on sleeping in train stations. We are not considering that anymore. We’ve booked all the hostels for the entire trip now. Hopefully, this’ll be a journey of a lifetime Smile

I am leaving from Salt Lake City with $16000 for 20 days
Paris, Würzburg, Colmberg, Füssen, Salzburg, Interlaken, Pisa, Rome
Requesting help with Transport, Itinerary, Sights