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Villas vs. hotels/B&Bs in Positano

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New York City, New...
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Villas vs. hotels/B&Bs in Positano

I finally booked our flight to Positano in April and now I'm trying to sort out what the best lodging option is. I'm hoping not to spend more than 150 euros per night and we plan to stay for six nights.

What are the relative advantages and disadvantages of renting a villa versus booking a hotel or B&B room? At first glance, the main difference seems to be that the hotels and B&Bs are closer to the sea than most of the villas I've seen. Is that a big advantagea? We're both young and fairly fit, so a little walking and step climbing doesn't scare us.

I guess I'm just looking for any hidden advantages or disadvantages I might not be thinking of.

Thanks in advance for the help.

Hudson Valley, NY
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1. Re: Villas vs. hotels/B&Bs in Positano

I really cannot comment on the advantage of staying in a villa, but I can comment on B&B's. I have always stayed at B&B's. it is my favorite way to go. We stayed at the Villa Rosa last june for 3 days. Let me tell you I did not want to leave. You will not be sorry if you book there. The location is amazing. You are right across the street from the Hotel Sirenuese(famous) and there rooms go for 300-3000 per nite. The Villa Rosa has a better view, breakfast is served every morning on your own terrace. The people that own/work here are wonderful. If you look at the posts on this site you will be amazed at all of the positive comments. This was the best place that we stayed on our 2 week italy vacation. The view is incredible and you are a close walk to the beach. All for 150/nite!!!! I will not stay anywhere else when I return! Book early- word is out on this gem.

Chicago, Illinois
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2. Re: Villas vs. hotels/B&Bs in Positano

We stayed at Villa La Tartana in Positano for 6 nights of our honeymoon this past September and LOVED it. The room was 150 euros per night including breakfast served on your balcony in your room every morning overlooking the sea. The oceanview rooms have an incredible view. We had room #48 and it was great. The room was clean - newer bath. No tub, but a small shower. There was a balcony with a table and a few chairs. The room also had a small fridge for snacks and beverages.

The location is great. It is about mid hill - down the hill from the Piazza de Mullini (the main piazza). You have to walk from the Piazza to the B&B because cars cannot drive there. It is only a few min walk down to the beach front and marina where the boats for Capri, Amalfi, etc...leave. We loved the location. The B&B does not have an elevator - many stairs, but with all of the eating....we needed the stairs! I loved the staff there. They were very personal and even made reservations for us on the boats for trips to Capri and Sorrento so we would be assured tickets. They made dinner reservations for us every night. We also got married while staying there and they helped with wedding details. I can't recommend this place any higher and it is in your price range. They have a website - check it out.

Boston...
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3. Re: Villas vs. hotels/B&Bs in Positano

BOth Rosa and Tarunta are owned by the same family, hence the positive stays at both i bet!

We are staying at rosa for 4 nights in July as they had a Full Sea View room availble, Tarunta only had partial, with no balcony....and we really wanted that. So we're at rosa.

My hubby and i are B&B people. We like the more relaxed feeling of them......and we're hoping Villa Rosa is as great as everyone says!

Hudson Valley, NY
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4. Re: Villas vs. hotels/B&Bs in Positano

Aimiloo-

As I posted earlier we stayed at the Villa Rosa in June of last year. YOU WILL NOT BE SORRY!!!! We actually lucked out! When I booked the room(very early) they told me they were renovating and not sure what would happend to the place. I told them I was comfortable with that and had requested a room on the very top floor. When we arrived several months later we were surprised to find that what used to be the reception on the very top floor, had now become their "suite" on the top floor. They graciously gave us that room because of my reservation request! It was gorgeous- jacuzzi tub, huge room for italian standards, new tile floors, new furniture, it was beautiful. The best part was that the room normally went for 300Euro a night, but they gave it too us for the regular room price of 150! Since this was the last 3 days of our 2 week long trip- it was a great way to end the vacation. The staff are wonderful, the views are spectacular, it is close to everything! I would not dream of staying anywhere else when I go back....and I will be going back! Have a wonderful trip....I miss it there already!

Boston...
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5. Re: Villas vs. hotels/B&Bs in Positano

thanks RPL> I'm happy they had a full view......as i didn't want a partial view with no terrace at the other place!!!

I'm so excited. roll on july!

Baton Rouge
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6. Re: Villas vs. hotels/B&Bs in Positano

We stayed at Hotel Calofornia www.hotelcaliforniapositano.it during our stay in Positano. It was the best part of our whole stay in Italy. Breakfast on the large terrace was wonderful. A scene from "Under the Tuscan Sun " was filmed at this hotel. I highly recommend it. The owners speak excellent English.

Long Island, NY
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7. Re: Villas vs. hotels/B&Bs in Positano

The following is part of an article I recently submitted to a writers' journal I belong to; I'd be happy to answer any questions about our travels in Italy addressed to PassScribe@aol.com. Sorry it's a bit long but I hope it helps you with your decision.

VILLA vs. HOTEL

When you tell your friends you rented a villa in Tuscany, the immediate response is one of awe and jealousy. The image of sitting by your own private pool beside your own, stylish house within your own property���even if it���s only yours for a week���is pretty impressive. But is it all it���s hyped-up to be, or would you be better off in a hotel? We did a lot of research on villas when we first thought about renting one and, without a doubt, there are a lot of things to consider.

While hotels are usually situated very near big cities or popular tourist attractions, villas���by their very nature of being someone���s home���can often be in remote areas. Of course, one of the reasons folks take vacations in the first place is to get away; sometimes, you may look forward to being in a serine, peaceful location, away from the crowds and noise of a city hotel. We actually considered a villa perched high above Lake Trasimeno that sounded great until we noticed a paragraph in the description warning renters to purchase all their food and supplies before driving up to the villa since the road was steep and very primitive and not the kind of thing you���d want to do too often. The road up to the villa we actually rented wasn���t much better than that.

Staying at a hotel has obvious advantages: you arrive, unpack your bags and you���re ready to go. There���s no hassle or setting things up, there���s usually a good restaurant nearby���often, right in your hotel���and many tourist attractions should be close by. If you have a problem, you call the desk and they send somebody to help you... maybe not right away, but at least there���s a person you can complain to. Some hotel rooms have fabulous views, cable TV, coffee makers, hair-driers, etc.

Of course, hotels in general also have some drawbacks: for your money, you usually get a room with a bath... you want a bigger room, or a sitting area, or a balcony, or a view? You���re going to pay extra. In Europe, air conditioning is not always included. If you���ve got a car, many hotels charge large fees to park in their garage. Some hotels, while being in a main town or city, might not be in a good area. Your room might be overlooking a busy, noisy street which could make it harder to sleep. You may arrive back at the hotel after a busy day of sight-seeing and look forward to taking a swim; upon arriving at the pool, you find that it���s closed. I���ve also had plenty of hotel/motel rooms where the toilet didn���t work well, the water wouldn���t stay in the sink long enough to shave, the air conditioner didn���t work or was too noisy; one room we stayed in had a metal stairwell attached to the other side of the wall by our bed���s headboard so we heard every person who walked (or ran) up and down those stairs!

The villa we rented in Tuscany was a spacious, two-story stone and wood-beam house, with interesting architecture and character; possibly 300 years old, it was structurally in good condition. It had an entry foyer, living room, dining room, large eat-in kitchen, three bedrooms, a large upstairs sitting area and three bathrooms. Just off the kitchen was a covered patio with a large picnic table and benches. There were a couple acres of cultivated grounds and a large pool; the view over a valley to Lake Trasimeno 15 miles in the distance was stunning. It had a large metal gate, operated by a handheld remote transmitter, and was very private, almost secluded.

Obviously, if you���re planning on doing some sight-seeing while on vacation, and using the villa as a home base, you don���t want to spend excessive time just getting from your villa to a main road, adding unnecessary travel time to your day trips. Try to find a place centrally located to the areas you want to visit. The place we rented was only about a mile from Cortona so we could easily go there to pick up supplies or have dinner in a restaurant. There was an excellent four-star restaurant less than a mile away and, if you didn���t mind a walk back up the steep hill when you were finished, was technically within walking distance. It was less than a half-hour from the Autostrada, the main artery leading to the popular cities like Florence, Sienna and Perugia.

When you stay at a hotel, you���re not only paying for a room but also expecting service; there���s usually someone to carry your luggage, make your bed and tidy the room each day, and help you if you need information or dinner reservations. If you���ve rented a villa, you���ll be pretty much on your own although it is possible to hire a cook to fix some of your meals and a maid to clean up if you so desire. But these extras will simply add to the cost of the villa, and cost is one of the areas where villas have an advantage over hotels.

The cost for six people, arriving on a Saturday and leaving on a Saturday (so, seven nights) was $3,500; even with miscellaneous fees, that rounded out to about $1,200 per couple, or only $171. per night (a villa further from a main town or without a pool will even save you more money.) I doubt that you could find a decent hotel in the Cortona area for less than $300. a night and then you���d be lucky if it had a pool; if it had a pool, you���d most likely be sharing it with other people and their noisy kids. While I���m sure there are less-expensive hotels in some areas���and bed-and-breakfasts are always an option��� you can���t beat the value in renting a villa.

On the down side, our villa was initially hard to find and its access road primitive. The owner did not speak much English and was not very helpful. There weren���t enough towels and utensils, some pots and pans were dented or had the teflon coating worn off. Several chairs around the pool were falling apart, the furniture in the living room was uncomfortable and the reception on the TV was poor. Being in the ���country���, surrounded by lots of vegetation, I shouldn���t have been surprised to find a few insects in the house and around the pool. The half-load washing machine was a joke; we wound up washing whatever we needed by hand���it was quicker and less trouble. Depending on your priorities, these may or may not be major issues.

Other disadvantages to a villa include having to bring your own food and supplies, like toilet paper and soap. On the other hand, by cooking your own meals, you can save a great deal of money otherwise spent at restaurants. You could compromise and eat all your main meals out and just stock up on snacks and beverages to enjoy for the times you���re actually at the villa. But, if you���re not planning on staying around the villa much���and enjoying what it has to offer���then perhaps you���d be better off in a hotel. On our trip, we set aside a couple days to just hang around the villa, enjoy the pool and go exploring in our immediate area; part of the experience of visiting another country is to mingle with the common folk and understand how they live. On a couple of other days, we got out early, visited someplace like Perugia, and then got back in the early afternoon to enjoy more time sipping wine, snacking and swimming at our pool.

The main drawback to a villa is simply, every one is different and you don���t really know what you���re going to get until you arrive. For that reason, I recommend getting as much information as possible in advance, ask as many questions as you can, and try to find travel sites on the web where visitors to particular properties post their comments. After our stay at the Villa Alessandra, I posted a review on TripAdvisor.com to inform potential renters of what we encountered.

Long Island, NY
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8. Re: Villas vs. hotels/B&Bs in Positano

Ooops; sorry for all those question marks in my previous reply. I guess pasting text from my word processor into the "review" didn't agree with it's format and I couldn't know until it went through.