Stresa – Making Hotel Reservations in Europe

Here’s a fun fact about Europe that you should definitely know before reserving hotel rooms there: The whole reservation process is based on the number of potential occupants in the room. So, when you order up a double room (which is often just two twin beds pushed together), it’s expected that you will be sleeping in that room with your one friend. Double means two, two means two people. Therefore, one person per twin bed. It all makes sense!

Two does not mean “you with your three friends.” In Europe, that is frowned upon. Bringing your two additional smelly, sweaty friends and their giant backpacks into the hotel room that is not designed for two additional occupants is quite simply not done.

Hotel staff will attempt to courteously let you know that something is dreadfully wrong. For example, when you go to the front desk to get the wireless password, the clerk will mention that the room is for two and will subtly ask about the three others clomping up the stairs to the room. “It’s okay, they’ll just sleep on the floor,” you’ll explain before making a quick exit. This is not an acceptable excuse in Europe. One does not just “sleep on the floor.” One pays for a goddamned bed.

Ultimately, after several tense encounters trying to make the internet work, you’ll find the entire hotel staff standing in the front door of the hotel, glaring at you and your chums as you speed off to dinner. Like, literally just staring at you; the owner, his wife, his brother, several guests, all judging you as you drive away. If you’re lucky, you won’t be kicked out for breaking the rules. You’ll just be charged 20 euros apiece for breakfast (10 times the normal price!). The whole experience will feel like an episode of Fawlty Towers where you’re the ungrateful guest pissing off John Cleese, right down to the fact that all the other guests are 80 years old. Except, unlike in Fawlty Towers, where the best view you can hope for is a scenic vista of a gray English industrial town, you have a balcony overlooking Lake Maggiore and, well, it’s all kinds of incredible.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *