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European Delivery
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  #51  
Old 02-05-2013, 05:31 PM
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SD Z4MR SD Z4MR is offline
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Originally Posted by jtuds View Post
Booked a night at the Hilton in Innsbruck today for our first night after delivery. 109 Euros. Not the best price but for a Hilton it's pretty good. Another 15.5 Euros for parking. Could have stayed 5 miles outside the city and got free parking at a best western for $97 CDN but with the cost of parking in Innsbruck and considering the convenience of walking out the hotel and being right there, I decided to pay the premium.

We'll spend an afternoon/evening and breakfast in Innsbruck then head south toward Italy.
We stayed here on our way from Salzburg to Fussen because we had a bunch of HHonors points. I think our parking was free with our HHonors level. Fantastic views of the mountains and great views of the city. We were looking forward to going into town and walking around and finding a nice restaurant, but unfortunately it started pouring rain shortly after we checked in so we ate in the hotel restaurant. The restaurant design and decor was very, ummm, "eclectic", but the food was good! There is a casino in the same building but I don't think it's officially part of the hotel. We didn't spend any time here as it was just an overnight stop for us.

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  #52  
Old 02-06-2013, 03:00 PM
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i would suggest that anyone thinking about doing the same when touring, ie booking Hiltons, Best Westerns and similar familiar chain hotels which all look the same regardless of which country you are in, consider instead using independent hotels which you will find, in most cases, to have far more atmosphere and which will considerably enhance your European vacation!
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Last edited by john lance; 02-06-2013 at 03:01 PM.
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  #53  
Old 02-06-2013, 03:24 PM
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sno_duc sno_duc is offline
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Originally Posted by john lance View Post
i would suggest that anyone thinking about doing the same when touring, ie booking Hiltons, Best Westerns and similar familiar chain hotels which all look the same regardless of which country you are in, consider instead using independent hotels which you will find, in most cases, to have far more atmosphere and which will considerably enhance your European vacation!
Totally agree.
Look for family run gasthaus / pensions, preferable one that have been family run for generations.

It's in the same league as going to France or Italy and only eating at McDonalds. Eat where the locals eat.
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  #54  
Old 02-06-2013, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by john lance View Post
i would suggest that anyone thinking about doing the same when touring, ie booking Hiltons, Best Westerns and similar familiar chain hotels which all look the same regardless of which country you are in, consider instead using independent hotels which you will find, in most cases, to have far more atmosphere and which will considerably enhance your European vacation!
And then there are those of us who have a ton of reward points for major US hotels and use them to reduce the cost. We used a mix of Marriott/Hilton plus Euro chains and individual hotels on our trip. Free upgrades due to high-level tier achievements result in much nicer hotel rooms for the US chains plus free Internet, breakfast, mini-bar, parking, etc. We were upgraded and stayed in the Governor's Suite at the Marriott Munich for the same points we would have used for a regular room. We found that many of the non-chain hotels we stayed in were essentially similar to each other. This allows to spend more for attractions, meals, souvenirs, etc.
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  #55  
Old 02-06-2013, 03:51 PM
jtuds jtuds is offline
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Originally Posted by john lance View Post
i would suggest that anyone thinking about doing the same when touring, ie booking Hiltons, Best Westerns and similar familiar chain hotels which all look the same regardless of which country you are in, consider instead using independent hotels which you will find, in most cases, to have far more atmosphere and which will considerably enhance your European vacation!
If you can do boutique, do it, just make sure you research where you'll be parking ahead of time.

That said, when I was in Paris I stayed in a place called Eiffel Park Hotel and it was boutique through and through....however it is owned by Best Western

Last edited by jtuds; 02-06-2013 at 03:54 PM.
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  #56  
Old 02-06-2013, 07:23 PM
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Booked my hotel in Milan tonight, really wanted to go with a neat little place on the east end of the city called Nu Hotel Milan which included breakfast and parking and looked really new and modern. But I was thrown off by the fact that it was on a tight street, I couldn't see the parking area on Google streetview, and some of the booking sites said it was first come, first served parking.

So I'm back in another chain "Melia Milano" but it's on a wider, quieter street with a massive 600 space secured parking garage right beside it. 20 Euros per night though and no breakfast.

On the bright side it's half a block from a subway stop and walking distance to the Last Supper. Which I've just learned you pay $22 each to buy tickets to see and you only get 15 mins to view it. Also close to San Siro where AC Milan plays and I am trying to convince my wife to go see them play Torino on the Sunday...they got Balotelli now so I'm interested.

Anyway, so far, not so good on hotel prices. Yikes! The question is, will I be able to keep the total cost of accommodations less than the price of the flights? Not looking like it at this point.
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  #57  
Old 02-06-2013, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by jtuds View Post
Booked my hotel in Milan tonight, really wanted to go with a neat little place on the east end of the city called Nu Hotel Milan which included breakfast and parking and looked really new and modern. But I was thrown off by the fact that it was on a tight street, I couldn't see the parking area on Google streetview, and some of the booking sites said it was first come, first served parking.

So I'm back in another chain "Melia Milano" but it's on a wider, quieter street with a massive 600 space secured parking garage right beside it. 20 Euros per night though and no breakfast.

On the bright side it's half a block from a subway stop and walking distance to the Last Supper. Which I've just learned you pay $22 each to buy tickets to see and you only get 15 mins to view it. Also close to San Siro where AC Milan plays and I am trying to convince my wife to go see them play Torino on the Sunday...they got Balotelli now so I'm interested.

Anyway, so far, not so good on hotel prices. Yikes! The question is, will I be able to keep the total cost of accommodations less than the price of the flights? Not looking like it at this point.
Yup, the Last Supper viewing is timed entry. You are allowed in at your designated time slot. It's only a few people in the space at any one time. You enter through two sets of sliding glass doors, before you enter the viewing of the Last Supper. I think it's to control the humidity so that the paint won't fade as fast. It's worth the visit.
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  #58  
Old 02-07-2013, 05:10 AM
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Yup, the Last Supper viewing is timed entry. You are allowed in at your designated time slot. It's only a few people in the space at any one time. You enter through two sets of sliding glass doors, before you enter the viewing of the Last Supper. I think it's to control the humidity so that the paint won't fade as fast. It's worth the visit.
Yeah I will probably do it, but the only tickets that appear to be available are 415 the day we arrived in Milan, so I need to make sure that we're going to be able to get into the city and check into our hotel befoer we have to be at the Last Supper
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  #59  
Old 02-10-2013, 05:39 AM
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this comment caused me to promptly email the dealership and ask them to contact the BMW Canada ED Coordinator to determine how the car is handled after dropoff. Gives me the willies too. I'm not even going to let the dealership wash the car after it gets back to Canada...it's going straight to Fine Details. <--(link)
I am curious too! Although I dropped in Munich...
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  #60  
Old 02-11-2013, 04:54 PM
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Well thanks to the wonderful customer service provided by BMW Canada, I found out that dropping off in Vienna will cost me an extra $800. Nobody said this once over the last month, and the guy in Toronto coordinating it certainly could have mentioned it.

So, I decided to save myself the $800 and drop off in Munich. Now we're flying to Vienna then to Krakow. Unfortunately, we'll miss out on Salzburg/Eagle's Nest. That sucks.

At least we'll save the frustration of finding a hotel with parking or the 30 Euro per night cost. But still...wanted to see Salzburg.
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  #61  
Old 02-11-2013, 05:10 PM
GerWil GerWil is offline
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Originally Posted by SD Z4MR View Post
And then there are those of us who have a ton of reward points for major US hotels and use them to reduce the cost. We used a mix of Marriott/Hilton plus Euro chains and individual hotels on our trip. Free upgrades due to high-level tier achievements result in much nicer hotel rooms for the US chains plus free Internet, breakfast, mini-bar, parking, etc. We were upgraded and stayed in the Governor's Suite at the Marriott Munich for the same points we would have used for a regular room. We found that many of the non-chain hotels we stayed in were essentially similar to each other. This allows to spend more for attractions, meals, souvenirs, etc.
Abolutely right. You can't beat a chain when it's free (or cash & points). When you have to pay, look for the nice small hotels, and using Trip Adviser is a must. Make sure you book secured parking in advance.
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  #62  
Old 02-11-2013, 07:15 PM
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Abolutely right. You can't beat a chain when it's free (or cash & points). When you have to pay, look for the nice small hotels, and using Trip Adviser is a must. Make sure you book secured parking in advance.
Oh yeah, forgot to mention. One of the individual-owned, non-chain hotels where we stayed had the hot water boiler go out the first night so no hot water available for a shower the first morning. Since it was cool out and we were going to the Jungfraujoch that day anyway, we were able to get away without a shower. Repairs were supposed to be made that day and we had hot water that night but were to tired to shower and decided to wait until morning. Bad decision, because the boiler was out again the next morning so we were forced to take a cold shower (in the Swiss Alps!). That water was cold!

That has never happened to me in any other hotel ever and I was a heavy business traveler for three different jobs. I suppose you could say that it lent "more atmosphere" but far from considerably enhancing our European vacation, it was the second-lowest point of our 15 day stay, except for getting a flat tire and not being able to drive at Nurburgring.

I'm not saying you always need to stay in a chain hotel, but sometimes things are not as idyllic as they might be in an independent hotel. This hotel was rated in the top 3 or 5 on TripAdvisor for the town we were in. Probably just bad luck, but we won't stay there again.
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  #63  
Old 02-11-2013, 09:01 PM
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So far we only have 2 chains, a Hilton in Innsbruck and a Best Western (Melia Milano) in Milan. Everything else is small. Not by demand, but because the prices are better.
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  #64  
Old 03-06-2013, 01:30 PM
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Are there beer halls in Munich olt town that are not full on touristy like Hofbrauhaus?

I've seen some on the wiki but they're not as central. If the food isn't great at Hof and the prices are crappy, where can one go without venturing too far out of the way? Also, it appears that Hofbrauhaus only serves their own brand of beer....which I can buy here at home.
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  #65  
Old 03-25-2013, 04:42 AM
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2013 Ring Taxi dates just released and it's not running any of the days I'm there. Lame.
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  #66  
Old 03-25-2013, 07:38 AM
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... I wish they had a better way of doing taxi reservations. There's a chance they will add dates I believe, right now it looks pretty spotty. It's running the day I want but being west coast the tickets were gone before I even woke up.
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  #67  
Old 03-25-2013, 07:51 AM
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... I wish they had a better way of doing taxi reservations. There's a chance they will add dates I believe, right now it looks pretty spotty. It's running the day I want but being west coast the tickets were gone before I even woke up.
Holy shins really? Well I looked around 8am eastern so it would have been 2pm over there meaning the tickets would have been in sale for 4 hours by then. I probably missed out too
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