Is it cheaper to stay at a local hotel or at a chain one? Do I fancy myself a princess? These questions might be answered as you read this blog post 🙂 Or you can just look through the photos. Either way, thanks for being here!
Sometimes your hotel is just a place to flop. At least that’s what I thought when I first started touring/traveling. But during the last few years I realized that with a little research you can find some hidden gems and make your vacation more meaningful and special when you stay at a local (i.e., non-chain) one of a kind place. Adjectives “boutique” and “historic” are music to my ears when I’m looking up our lodging. I get so excited! Not only do you get to feel like you’re living and breathing history, you’re also more likely to experience the local vibe and flavor. And isn’t it the whole point of traveling? 🙂
You might be surprised to hear that oftentimes staying at a boutique hotel can be cheaper than a chain one. Just before writing this blog I was researching Zurich and saw a beautiful boutique (and historic!) hotel for $50 less than Best Western Plus! That’s a lot of our hard-earned dollarinis! And you can still collect your Expedia or booking.com points while staying at these cool places. In Europe there is a plethora of them.
One of my favorite recent discoveries was the fabulous Palazzo Carletti in Italy’s picturesque Tuscan hilltown, Montepulciano. Originally a medieval building, Palazzo Carletti was extended and transformed in the 18th century into an aristocratic residence, and only quite recently became a hotel. The marble floors, the gorgeous original frescoes on walls and ceilings, as well as the views of the valley below, make you feel like royalty. Can I be Princess Marina for a day? 🙂
A few notes
– “palazzo” means “palace” in Italian. Carletti is the name of the family who owns (owned?) it
– Our room was Double Superior Alfieri room (there are only 5 rooms and each is different)
– the complimentary breakfast every morning was served in the main lobby, a jaw-dropping museum-like hall
– the location of this beautiful palace is ideal as in the heart of Montepulciano!
– parking is just outside the city walls and is paid for by the hotel
– Martina, the manager, was the coolest and most helpful/loveliest host, ever!!! You can see our photo together below.
Verdict: this place is beyond special. I can’t wait to return. And if you go to Montepulciano, I hope you can stay here too!
Click on the first photo and then click next. I put a few captions here and there.
Have you ever stayed in a historic hotel? If yes, please please tell me where, I’ll mark it on my Google Maps for future travels! Grazie mille!