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Sasharoon please help?? Martini Hotel

Queensland
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Sasharoon please help?? Martini Hotel

Your advice always appears very knowledgeable and I am supposed to book for the Martini Hotel this week. There are no current reviews (last one 2005) and as this is our first trip to Rome with our teenage son I wanted to know if it is a good choice. We are not going till January 2008 and Travel Agent price is $1700 for 5 nights in a triple room including breakfast and transfers by shuttle to airport. Hope either you or someone else who knows the area can help. Very excited about holiday!!!

Thanks

New York
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1. Re: Sasharoon please help?? Martini Hotel

Hi,

Thanks for your vote of confidence, I appreciate it.

I honestly don't know anything about this hotel.

however, it is really poorly ranked here on TA. Given how low I would not consider staying there.

One of the reasons that I like to book my own travel now is because of the hotel my former travel agent booked my into in Florence a couple of years ago. Travel agents make their money from the hotels. Therefore they are more likely to steer you to properties where they get the biggest kickback. not necesarily the best hotel for you.

What does the $1700 equal in Euros? What are you looking to spend for the time in Rome? I'm sure that someone here, particularly the real Rome experts, the locals can come up with a better choice.

Then again, maybe they will tell you that this hotel has been renovated.

Anything else I can help with let me know,

NYC
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2. Re: Sasharoon please help?? Martini Hotel

Hi romanhols

some sites you may want to check out (along with TA reviews, to get a range of opinions)...venere.com (I've used them several times w/great success) and romeby.com (I've used veniceby.com, their sister site w/good success too). one thing I need to mention, many travel agents (including my brother) are very hardworking individuals, who do not receive kickbacks of any kind and do their utmost to make travel pleasurable for the public and corporate sectors. they've seen their commissions erode over the years (due to airline cutbacks, etc...my brother is a huge airline enthusiast by the way...knows more about flight & air travel than many people) but this does not deter them from doing a good job. I tend to do a mix of internet bookings & using my favorite travel agent (because I know he works very hard) too.

New York
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3. Re: Sasharoon please help?? Martini Hotel

Brooklynite,

When I said kickbacks what I was refering to was the commission that travel agents get from hotels. I was not insinuating that there was anything illegal or unethical going on.

But it is true that travel agents make more money from certain properties.

My manager just booked a trip for her family to Disney World. She read on the internet that the hotel that she was booked into was under renovation and that the pool was closed. My manager has two young daughers and really wanted the pool. When she mentioned this to her agent the agent told her no, that everything was fine. My manager insisted that she call the hotel and the agent was in fact told the pool was closed and there were renovations going on.

I'm sure that your brother is very hard working, but I think the point of these types of forums is to make our own opinions. Opinions based on the input of travelers like us. These forums enable us to make decisons and plan our travel ourselves and not just rely on the opinion of a travel agent.

Not that there is anything wrong with travel agents.

NYC
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4. Re: Sasharoon please help?? Martini Hotel

sasharoon

I truly enjoy reading your posts and realize we're all here to give our opinions, whether we agree or not (you and I both know how heated the NYC forum & Venice forum can get). It was the line "Therefore they are more likely to steer you to properties where they get the biggest kickback" that got me....while this may have been your experience (or rather, your manager's), to insinuate that all travel agents operate this way because certain hotels pay commissions, therefore agents steer people to these hotels is somewhat misleading...one experience does not really portray the reality. Kickback is a different concept than commission (one refers to an illegal action, the other to a low salary, augmented by a tiny percentage of sales...not unlike a waiter/waitress in a restaurant). I know from personal experience that some people are in it for the love of travel and the thrill of flight (and believe me, I don't enjoy the flying aspect the way my brother does...to me, it's a means to an end...I love the travel part, he loves both). I'm simply stating that not all agents steer people to certain places due to measly commissions...they do their research and make bookings to satisfy their customers.

New York
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5. Re: Sasharoon please help?? Martini Hotel

Brooklynite,

I have to say that I agree with you to an extent and disagree some.

to my knowledge(and I may be wrong)travel agents no longer make commissions(I will not say kickback since obviously it offends you) from booking airfare. Therefore the only income producer for them is the hotel. I hear what you are saying, and I believe a smart agent will go for the property better suited to their client. Particularly smart in encouraging return business.

However,

Romanhols agent is trying to book them into a hotel that is ranked in the lower 20% of hotels in Rome. Now we are both active on this forum and know that there has to be a better option for them in their price range.

NYC
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6. Re: Sasharoon please help?? Martini Hotel

sasha

I totally agree with you that romanhols has better options out there! truce, friend : )

New York
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7. Re: Sasharoon please help?? Martini Hotel

: )

Boston...
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8. Re: Sasharoon please help?? Martini Hotel

Hi romanhols,

What is your hurry in booking a hotel now if you are not going until January 2008? You have plenty of time to find a suitable hotel for the 3 of you. January is probably the off season also so you would get decent rates. $1700 seems quite high to me for 5 nights in January ($340.00 per night). You can book your own transfers very easily. Stefano Constantini is very highly recommended here on TA and I would check with him about a price for that time. I was trying to do a price check for you but it looks as if some of the hotels are not accepting bookings that far in advance, perhaps their rates are unknown. That is why I find it strange that you want to book now. I would suggest that you wait and see.

It is very easy to do your own hotel and transfer bookings on your own. Others here can give you assistance if you have not done this b4.

Let us know if we can help you.

May

Queensland
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9. Re: Sasharoon please help?? Martini Hotel

Thanks May that sounds like good advice. I think I will wait. It would be a pity to book accommodation that may ruin my experience.(Although I think that will be impossible). I'll keep checking for a great hotel. I did feel a bit obliged to go with the deal the Travel Agent put together but maybe I will try and book myself. I have got prices from a couple of hotels- Albergo Santa Chiara, Hotel Lancelot are two but they were much more expensive. I love the idea of the terraces overlooking Rome in the city centre but these are all expensive. Anyway thanks again.

Boston...
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10. Re: Sasharoon please help?? Martini Hotel

Hi romanhols,

Glad you have decided to wait! Think you will find yourself better off doing this.

When we went on our Med cruise last Oct. we had several fellow cruisers who stayed at the Hotel Lancelot. Everyone loved their stay there. They were all booked by the time I started looking for a hotel so we had to stay elsewhere. We went there for dinner one night pre-cruise and met 16 of our fellow cruisers. What a wonderful time we had. The food was excellent, fine dining to say the least! The hotel is very nice, it is located on a quiet side street near the Colosseum. You can walk to the Colosseum in about 5 min.

The rooms are a very good size, they have a nice bar area where you can sit and have a drink and the atmosphere is very nice there. The hotel personnel are wonderful as well - very friendly! And we weren't even staying there! I would highly recommend the Lancelot and we will stay there the next time we visit Rome. Mrs. Khan is the manager and she can book tours, limo transfers, etc. for you also.

I just checked the rates for this year (they are the same no matter when you go) and a double w/ and extra bed is E190. per night. That would be E950. for 5 nights - considerably cheaper than what your travel agent quoted you! The rate would also include breakfast. You can do a transfer yourself for about E35-45. for all of you. So you would be paying approx. E1000 and saving yourself E700 to spend elsewhere. I am not sure what currency you would be dealing with. A limo transfer from the airport to the hotel is not a big deal and very inexpensive.

There are many other nice hotels that would be very reasonable in January. Also check out www.venere.com to get some ideas of areas and prices.

Good luck.

May