How We Did It: Rome

Trevi Fountain, Rome, Italy
Rome is a sprawling metropolis that is best enjoyed on foot….until your feet get tired.

I initially wanted us to stay somewhere near Roma Termini station since it offers public transit options almost anywhere we want to go. I found us a nice 2.5-star hotel within walking distance and saved an extra 15% on Orbitz using their monthly promo code that may be used on two reservations per email address (even cancelled reservations count as a use).

That was six months out so I always book refundable rates.

Every few days after booking I randomly checked the dates for a better deal. About four months out I noticed a 3-star hotel offering a suite for $42/night near the Vatican. This was a desirable location and an amazing rate only available on one site so I booked it through their booking partner, Accor Hotels.
Accor didn't own the property, but as an independent hotel it agreed to list on Accor’s site.

A few days later the hotel emailed me claiming the rate was a mistake and if I didn't respond they would cancel the room. Instead of emailing them, I called Accor since they were acting as the third-party booking site. The agents were well meaning, but unable to help since they seem more accustomed to reservations where they own the brand. Instead, they requested I email their support team for resolution, which I did….five times. I also sent an email back to the hotel, but also didn't get a response.

Finally after weeks of waiting I decided to bite the bullet and call the hotel. After getting to the right person they explained the total price for four nights (€190) was the daily rate for the suite and wouldn't budge. That was far outside of my price range so I asked if we could downgrade to a less extravagant room for the same price. The hotel agreed and we ended up with a lovely double room.
In my experience, independent hotels are far more willing to negotiate than chains, but even they have wiggle room in pricing since most are independently owned and operated. As with airfares, a good deal is one you believe is a fair offer. In this case, I got a smaller, but adequate room, at a price equal to one in a less desirable area and hotel.

From there we decided to take public transit when needed to save our feet, but the reality was we ended up walking an exhausting 20,000+ steps a day.
How We Did It: Rome How We Did It: Rome Reviewed by Brandon on April 27, 2017 Rating: 5

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