Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Bed and Breakfast in Italy: how to choose

If you are supposed to know exactly what to expect from a Hotel, it is not always easy to predict what you are going to get in case you are willing to book a bed and breakfast in Italy.

If with hotels the universal rating system (stars) should work properly, with other types of accommodations such as bed and breakfast, independent apartments, guest houses and country inns, the situation is quite different. In these cases you have to trust what you see and what you read.

Serious innkeepers and companies promoting these types of accommodation should be as transparent as possible. You should be able to know exactly the location (the use of an interactive map surely helps), you should be able to see as many rooms pictures as possible, a broad description and a list of facilities/amenities available at the accommodation.

What about reviews? Are they candid? I must confess that many times a review or a guest comment could be more misleading than a bad picture. How you know about other people standards and requirements? Maybe they were on a budget and for them a shared bathroom was more than ok, and they were extremely happy just for the fact that have spent 5 euros less than in another accommodation.

What makes you referent more reliable is when they offer the possibility to talk with somebody: if you are booking a bed and breakfast and you are thousands miles away, the best and most relaxing thing is to know that you have somebody to talk to and to interact with, somebody who is able to answer your questions and clarify every single doubt. Even if by e-mail or by phone you should be able to deal with humans and not with automatic systems.

Find an Italy accommodation website which deal mainly with bed and breakfast and which is listing not all of them. Choose a website with a few selected accommodation and look for pictures, maps, descriptions and read as much as possible…. And then, talk (by e-mail of phone) with somebody.

Gianluca Martini
Founder of Italia Lodging – Charming small accommodation in Italy


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