Chain hotels in Italy
You know the drill: they're styled in that bland, international cookie cutter decor; they've got a set of guaranteed amenities; and their networks are spreading around the globe
Before you pooh-pooh the idea of chain hotels in Italy, take a look at the primo location of this Best Western-Hotel Cavaletto, overlooking the gondola parking lot of Venice just a few steps off Piazza San Marco.These are the chain hotels—Hilton, Radisson, Intercontinental, Hyatt Regency, Sofitel, Days Inn... Wait. That list looks familiar. Yep, we've exported our chain hotels to Europe just like we did our Starbucks and MickeyDs.
With a chain you know exactly what you're going to get ahead of time. I've always felt that sucks all the fun out of the spirit of travel, but that's just me. Some folks adore the predictability that a chain property offers them.
Major hotel chains in Italy
Best Western (www.bestwestern.com) is the one (happy) exception to that cookie-cutter rule. The chain has followed a different tack in expanding abroad. For the most part, rather than building new hotels to mirror their U.S. ones, BW has merely partnered up with existing hotels all across Europe—and we're talking four-star properties here, often historic ones to boot. So you get all the Best Western amenities you'd expect, and on the plus side the building might be a 17th century palazzo in the heart of the historic center, or some grand hotel edifice from the Belle Époque era of Grand Tourists. Neat.
Accor Hotels (www.accorhotels.com) - The French company that used to run Red Roof Inns and Motel 6 in the States has a chain hotel for every price range in Italy as well. Starting at the top of the heap they offer Sofitel (www.sofitel.com), a chain of high-end, often four- and five-star hotels around the world. The Novotel (www.novotel.com) brand is Accor's line of four-star hotels a bit more geared toward business travelers. Mercure (www.mercure.com) is the mid-range entry for the Accor brand—a bit like a high-end Holiday Inn, with plenty of standardized comforts. Getting down into the bargain basement division, Ibis (www.ibishotel.com) is the Motel 6 of Europe, with Italian branches mostly in Northern Italy (Milan, Verona, Como, Padova, Cremona, Milan-Malpensa) and now northern Florence and suburban Rome.
InterContinental Hotels (www.ichotelsgroup.com ) - Another mighty chain of familiar names—with a surprising number of properties in Italy. Italy has many Holiday Inn Hotelsand Holiday Inn Express, as well as several InterContinental Hotels and Resortsand Crowne Plaza Hotels. (So far, none from the company's other brands, Hotel Indigo, Staybridge Suites, and Candlewood Suites).
The Wyndham Hotel Group (www.roadtraveler.com) - Parent company of a gaggle of popular hotel brands in all price ranges— Super 8, Days Inn, Ramada, Howard Johnson, Knights Inn, Wingate Inn, and AmeriHost Inn. And, yes, many hotels in those famed chains are also found in Europe. There are Ramadas in Bologna, Italy and Paris, France; Days Inns in London, England and Belfast, Ireland; and (believe it or not) not one but TWO HoJos on the Mediterranean isle of Malta.
NH Hotels (www.nh-hotels.com) - Third-largest European hotel chain; recently took over the popular Italian Jolly chain of standardized 4-star hotels. Around 60 hotels in more than three-dozen destination across Italy (frequently right across from the train station). Reliable, if not fancy.
Minotel (www.minotel.com) - Around a dozen Italy hotels with double rooms starting at €50 to €130.
This material was last updated January 2011. All information was accurate at the time.
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