First and foremost I always looked forward to staying in luxury hotels when traveling. That changed when we took our first trip to Europe. Most important We could not afford the very expensive luxury hotels in Europe so had to stay in one’s that were far from what we are used to.
Subsequently we heard about short stay vacation apartments in Europe and on our next trip booked several along with one luxury hotel. The advantages of apartments far outnumbered staying in a small hotel room with few amenities. Now I really researched locations in Paris, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Rome, London, Croatia etc.
In all apartments we booked, the locations could not have been better, close to all things we wanted to see, close to many modes of transportation and most had a service that picked us up gave us our keys and brought us to our apartment destination. We had our own space and lots of it, privacy, and not having to listen to the kid screaming in the next hotel room. We could invite friends over and most important we had a full kitchen to prepare mainly breakfast and sometimes lunch. In all destinations we were very close to restaurants and pubs. Most were no more than $125 a night and the one hotel we stayed in was $300 a night plus had to eat all meals out. Besides fully supplied kitchens each had laundry facilities so no more washing our clothes in the bathtub and hanging them out the window to dry.
Some apartments were large with multiple units but my favorite’s were the smaller buildings where we got to know the owners who became our friends and mentors of the area.
We found one company online, the Netherlands based FG Hospitality Group to have the largest and best selections. So for our apartment rentals in Paris, Barcelona and Rome we used these online booking sites. Fast, easy to use, great maps, photos and apartment information along with things to do and see.
Don’t know about you, but if there are apartments to be had there is no comparison for me anymore. Much more relaxing and convenient than the fanciest hotels I have stayed in. For stays of 3 days or longer you will find apartments a great alternative to hotels. For families and friends traveling together they are ideal.