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decisions decisions... Arezzo or ??

Due to the Continental ending its sale one day early, which caused a change in my dates, I am now arriving a day earlier and leaving a day later. This along with uncertainty about hotels is making me think twice about my current itinerary. Nothing new for me. I end up making changes to my itinerary just about every trip.

With my current itinerary, I will now be spending 5 nights in Arezzo instead of 4 nights before heading to Lucca. The B&B in Lucca is not available the day before my reservation so moving everything up a night to give me 2 extra nights at the end of my stay is out.

I did think again about spending the first couple of nights in Rome, but I am pretty much useless from jet lag the first two days and Rome would probably not be the greatest place to be wandering around in a daze.

I still have not settled on a room in Arezzo but am looking at two possibilities - Hotel Continentale and Hotel Patio.

Hotel Continentale (3 stars) does not have non-smoking rooms but does have some ok reviews. It is a business type hotel. I found only one Slow Travel review for Hotel Continentale (the only review for all of Arezzo) with comments such as “clean, comfortable, functional”, and “decor in the room was bland, functional and inoffensive”. The Venere.com reviews for Hotel Continentale are ok overall with some good/some bad. The main complaints are about noise and the decor. Cleanliness is much more important to me than the decor but nice decor would be pleasant when staying there for a few days.

Single rooms are not recommended as they are reportedly very small. There are mixed recommendations on whether or not to book the room with breakfast. A double for single use without breakfast on the hotel’s website goes for €86. The main thing that worries me about this hotel is that there are no non-smoking rooms available. After my horrible experience at Hotel Cervo, I am very wary of staying in room where smoking is allowed, especially since there are now options at many hotels for non-smoking rooms. Honestly, I am not so excited at the moment about staying at this hotel, which probably explains why I have not booked a room yet.

Hotel Patio (4 stars) is a little more expensive but does give a 10% discount when booking more than 3 nights and does have non-smoking rooms. This hotel is a small hotel and appears much more charming. I just found this hotel this morning. The few reviews on Trip Advisor are positive but I am not sure if I can trust the reviews. Venere.com does not have any reviews. The strange thing about this hotel is that some sites only mention double rooms, double rooms for single use, and suites. Venere.com gives a rate of Double Deluxe Use Single for € 115. When I wrote to the hotel, they quoted me with a rate of Single room for € 110.00 and Double room single use for € 130.00 with a 10% discount on either room if staying more than 3 nights.

I wrote back inquiring about the size of the single room and the confusion with the price quotes. It is the middle of the night now, so I probably won’t hear back until morning.

After seeing Anne’s recent photos of Florence, I thought for a few hours this morning about staying in Florence and doing a daytrip to Arezzo. I found a good B&B that has wonderful reviews with rooms available, but it was € 130 per night, not what I was hoping to pay. I also am not sure if I want to be wandering around in a daze the first couple of days during my jet lag in Florence.

And now, just as I am writing this, Orvieto popped into my head as yet another idea. I was planning a daytrip to Orvieto from Arezzo, but maybe I should look into staying in Orvieto instead and doing a daytrip to Arezzo. Why oh why do I do this to myself every year when planning my trip?

I am also not having great luck so far with Stresa hotels and am wondering if I should change the second half of my itinerary a little with that extra day at the end of my trip.

Big baseball game on TV though so I will write about the second half of my trip in another post.

Happy Sunday!!

Comments (15)

Barb Cabot:

Girasoli, I understand how confusing this part of the trip planning is. As rewarding as it is to be in control of your hotels etc. it is also hard because sometimes the clear choices are not apparent. Good luck and keep us posted on the progress.

Barb Cabot

sheri:

If you decide to stay in Arezza, I would definitely take the chance on Hotel Patio, despite the absence of reviews. I have never been to either place, but I would love to visit Orvieto. Decisions, decisions! I usually make myself crazy over things like this,too.

sandrac:

Just off the top of my head, what about spending the first two or three nights in Orvieto, and then only a couple of nights in Arezzo?

As you know, it would be pretty easy to get from Rome to Orvieto, once you land. And I think Orvieto might have enough sites to keep you occupied (especially if you're a bit dazed after a very, very long flight) for a few days. Plus, there seem to be lots of good hotel choices in Orvieto, at what looked like reasonable prices. The one day trip I made there was great, I intend to go back (which is why I was looking into hotels there last year.)

By doing that, you can still visit Arezzo but without the pressure of being stuck for almost a week there if you can't find a hotel you really like! I really enjoyed my brief visit to Arezzo last September, but if you can't find a comfortable hotel, it can put a bit of a damper on things.

I realize that means a lot of moving around, but sometimes it's unavoidable.

I do love travel planning, so many interesting possibilities!

Jane:

Hi Girasoli, yes--decision making is not always fun or easy. I hear your frustration. My two cents are--5 days in Arezzo is more than you will want. I think the idea of Florence or even Orvieto or someplace else and day tripping is a good thought. Why not think of a small village somewhere where you could sink into the rhythm and flow of life there? I can't remember where it was that Roz was in that area that she and Mike really enjoyed.

But, as you know, once there--wherever it is--will be wonderful

girasoli,

I understand your situation, been there many times. But Ii think even these indecisions are fun(maybe later).

I am a Rome Lover, but I can see how it can be hard to deal with Rome jet lagged. Although, you can spend couple lovely days just roaming Piazza Navona, and eating gelato.
Florence will be easier to deal with jet lagged, although I would think still very busy.
I like the idea of Orvieto. I would stay in Orvieto in a heartbeat. I took a day trip there from Rome, and it could not have been easier. And you could easily wander around the town for few days. And there are a lot of lodging options there.
Have fun planning and good luck!

I am sometimes amazed at how I manage to travel because I really don't do well with the unknown. Thank you so much for all of your comments. It really means a lot to me to have input from friends. I even started thinking about Siena this afternoon! I guess I need to feel in my heart just where I want to be first before making a decision but meanwhile rooms are being booked and there will be fewer choices if I don't make a decision soon.

Barb, trip planning for me is always both fun and frustrating. I keep telling myself that Arezzo is where I really want to be but then that doubt enters my brain.

sheri, I am leaning towards Hotel Patio. I might have scared the hotel away though with my second email asking more questions about the room. I should have had my friend in Italy translate my email as I am afraid they might have misunderstood my English. I could still book the room on Venere.com and still might.

sandra, thanks so much for your suggestion. Because I might end up adding another stay later in my trip I would prefer to not break up this leg and do more moving around with luggage on trains. I did think about this for a little while though. So far I am not finding great places in Orvieto either. I really would prefer a non-smoking room and there are only a few. The funny thing is that I wrote in my review (for a hotel in Orvieto that I stayed at) that because of renovations the hotel will probably be even better and I am now reading that the renovations made it more business like and less friendly and worse.

The reviews are driving me crazy. Every time I think I have found a place, I then read just one review that is bad and that one review (even though it could be an exaggeration or fake) sits with me. I know many people thought I was exaggerating with Hotel Cervo but that was real and a horrible situation and I just don't want to be in that situation again. Of course I ignore the complaints of having to carry luggage to the room or not having a doorman but the moldy towels get my attention. In some cases the singles are described as too small and the double rooms are just too expensive. If only hotel would show photos of the single rooms.

Jane, I am a zombie the first two days wherever I am. 12 hours is just too much time change to get over jet lag any sooner. I have tried everything and have learned that I just need to write off the first two days regardless of where I stay. That will give me three alert days in Arezzo and one will be a daytrip to Orvieto. If I am really bored in I will also take a second daytrip to Florence. I was worried about 5 days being too much until I thought this through.

I would love to spend time in the countryside somewhere but I don't drive. Not sure where Roz stayed but I need my first stop to be easily reached after landing in Rome since I will already be traveling for over 24 hours just getting to Italy. The one big downer about living in Hawaii is the travel to Italy. I really do appreciate your ideas and am curious as to where Roz stayed.

candi, Rome and Florence are both still very tempting. At this point finding a good hotel - clean, non-smoking, friendly and not too expensive and probably AC (after being in Italy a couple of times during big heatwaves) is my top priority. I really don't care about all of the other extras. I spent two nights in Orvieto back in 2001. It really is lovely there and that just might be where I end up going.

It'll all come together! I think you're smart to take it easy the first two days during the jet lag daze. I didn't know about the fake reviews on Trip Advisor - that's good to know. Hopefully you'll get some good news from Hotel Patio, that sounds like a good place.

Thanks Annie. I booked a room at Hotel Patio on Venere.com a few hours ago. I figured I better not wait too long since there are only a few rooms at this hotel, knowing that I could easily cancel. Meanwhile no response to my questions about the rooms. After I booked it, I received an email a couple of hours later from the hotel thanking me for my reservation and welcoming me but still not answering my questions and they replied to me from the email I sent them with the questions! I think I am going to have my friend email the hotel in Italian or maybe ask her to call them. I still am not 100% on this hotel and Arezzo but am leaning this way. I need to sleep on it... if I only could get to sleep!

Piano piano, you’ll get it all planned out. You’re a veteran at this! Hotel Patio looks nice and eclectic. I don’t see any single rooms listed there but under rooms there is a photo of a room with a twin bed but it is called a suite (?). I hope you hear from them soon and clear this mystery.

menehune:

G: It WILL come together and you WILL have a fantastic trip! Great choices - with that being said - I say go with your heart - if it's Arezzo. I spent one day in Orvieto and, granted, it was at the end of 9 filled days in Rome - it was a great respite but I know me and 3 days would be a lot in Orvieto - (another time a funny story about that place)! Anyway, let us know what you decide....

Siena, well, don't you just think that's one of the most intriguing cities in Italy?

Somewhat similarly, a friend has rented an entire B&B in Umbria (Paciano to be exact) and I am debating doing this for a few weeks in September. Although I don't have the choices you have of cities, I have to decide to do this or go to London - wish I could do both.

Anyway, I vote for whatever your heart is calling you to see more of! Such fun! Keep the fun in the planning, friend. Menehune

sandrac:

Girasoli, I know exactly how you feel -- I spend more time fretting over reviews and for some reason, the one bad review sticks in my mind and outweighs 10 good ones!!!

But Hotel Patio does look extremely interesting, and is non-smoking so that is a very big help! And the location is fantastic! It seems to be much more interesting and intimate than the Continental. Patio seems to be trying very hard to create something special, so that's exciting! And now that you know you have a place to stay, the pressure is off -- you can relax a bit and reflect on whether this is really what you want. But it does look good!

You might have to pester them with a few emails, and perhaps your friend Katia can help with a few emails as well! I've often been amazed at how careless people can be (and this includes me!) when it comes to not reading emails carefully. I latch on to one piece of information and only later realize I've missed a question or a point because I've been rushing.

Indecision 2009 for you too! Your reasons for staying longer in Arezzo are very good and I am sure you will enjoy a smaller town for your first days. And good choice not going with the Continentale, it did not sound very good!!

Let me know if you need to write something in Italian, or I can call for you too if you want. Have fun planning!

Kathy (Trekcapri):

Hi Girasoli, wow! I wish I could help you but I have never been to any of those towns. I love Siena though and wouldn't mind returning there someday. I'm finding your trip planning very interesting to read as always. I'm sure that everything will work out for you... I have some very loose plans for Ireland/Scotland this year but reading everyone's Italy plans is really making me long for Italy again!

Hope you get your hotel situation and itinerary squared away!

María, I know I will figure something out. I just always worry about hotels booking up, especially since I am starting later this year making reservations (usually do this in Jan/Feb) for summer travel. I think the room you are talking about just might be the single room. I did write to the hotel asking them if that room was the single room but got no response.

menehune, thanks for your support. If it was London or Umbria...well you know me, I would definitely vote for Umbria!

sandra, that one bad review really does stick in my mind also! I do wonder if it was me writing in English that was the problem. I usually do write in Italian when inquiring but was lazy this year and once it got complicated, I did not want to then make a mistake, causing more misunderstandings. I did think about asking Katia today but now that Chiccioala if volunteering.... explaining my questions to an English speaker would probably get better results. Although Katia speaks English, she still misunderstands things at times and might get confused with what I want to ask...so....

Chiccioala, yes, yes!! I am going to take you up on your offer. I will send you an email. Thank you so much! I am enjoying reading about your indecisions also. It looks like your trip is starting to get settled and it is not far away now. I agree about Hotel Continentale. Even though the Slow Travel reviewer recommended it, there is something that just bothers me about that hotel.

Kathy, Ireland and Scotland??? How exciting!! No problem about helping with my dilemma. I know it will all work out in the end. This is just the process I go through every year. This year, I am just sharing it with everyone :)

OK, sounds good!

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