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Italy Hotel Recommendations - Marriott vs Hilton vs others

Italy Hotel Recommendations - Marriott vs Hilton vs others

Old Feb 26, 19, 6:11 pm
  #1  
rht
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Programs: Marriott Titanium, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 7
Arrow Italy Hotel Recommendations - Marriott vs Hilton vs others

I am looking for hotel recommendations for a 3 week trip to Italy with my wife. I am a Marriott Titanium and a Hilton Diamond. I am particularly interested in upgrade potential from loyalty and looking for the best overall experience (25th wedding anniversary). We plan to visit Rome, Venice, Florence, and the Naples/Sorrento/Amalfi/Capri region staying 4-5 nights in each location. This will be our first trip to Italy.

I have enough Hilton points to cover the trip but only about 100K Marriott points. I currently have point reservations at the Hiltons (Venice Molino Stucky and Sorrento Palace) and the Rome Cavalieri.

I am really tempted to stay at a one of the Bonvoy properties in Venice and use cash or my limited Marriott points. Some of these properties look fantastic. I could transfer Chase UR points to Marriott IF that was the best use for the points.

Also, I'm not sure about some of the recent reviews at the Hilton Sorrento Palace. This isn't the forum for that however any recent experience is certainly welcome.

Do you have any recommendations at any of the Bonvoy properties in Italy vs. the Hiltons? If anyone has top-tier Hilton and Diamond status which would you choose? Would you just use up your available points or spend the cash? I'm also open to staying at other properties outside of these chains.

Thank you for your help.
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Old Feb 26, 19, 8:28 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: DFW
Programs: AA (PLT, 1MM),Hilton(Diamond), Marriott (Lifetime Titanium), Hertz (FiveStar)
Posts: 127
Originally Posted by rht View Post
I am looking for hotel recommendations for a 3 week trip to Italy with my wife. I am a Marriott Titanium and a Hilton Diamond. I am particularly interested in upgrade potential from loyalty and looking for the best overall experience (25th wedding anniversary). We plan to visit Rome, Venice, Florence, and the Naples/Sorrento/Amalfi/Capri region staying 4-5 nights in each location. This will be our first trip to Italy.

I have enough Hilton points to cover the trip but only about 100K Marriott points. I currently have point reservations at the Hiltons (Venice Molino Stucky and Sorrento Palace) and the Rome Cavalieri.

I am really tempted to stay at a one of the Bonvoy properties in Venice and use cash or my limited Marriott points. Some of these properties look fantastic. I could transfer Chase UR points to Marriott IF that was the best use for the points.

Also, I'm not sure about some of the recent reviews at the Hilton Sorrento Palace. This isn't the forum for that however any recent experience is certainly welcome.

Do you have any recommendations at any of the Bonvoy properties in Italy vs. the Hiltons? If anyone has top-tier Hilton and Diamond status which would you choose? Would you just use up your available points or spend the cash? I'm also open to staying at other properties outside of these chains.

Thank you for your help.
I have not stayed at many Marriott and Hilton properties in Italy but I did a 11 days trip with my wife in 2014.
We started from Milan then Venice -> Florence -> Pisa -> Florence -> Orvieto (for Civita di Bagnoregio) -> Sorrento -> Capri -> Positano -> Rome -> Pompeii/Vesuvius -> Paestum and flew back from Rome.
The only Marriott property I used was Rome Marriott Grand Hotel Flora which I spent 160k points for 5 nights.(much cheaper than it is now...)
The hotel was in a great condition but room(even with a minor upgrade to a larger king) was on the small side. It was adequate for 2 people though and my wife really loved the bathroom. We were also offered free breakfasts for two every day at the rooftop restaurant. The view was quite nice there. The location is not bad but still took good amount of walk. It was manageable IMO and still much more convenient than say the Courtyard or the Marriott Park.

At Sorrento I considered Hilton Sorrento Palace but ruled it out due to the inconvenient location. We stayed at Hotel Regina Sorrento in a seaview room. It was quite nice and much easier to walk to the ferry for Capri than the Hilton. At Florence and Milan we stayed at two cheaper local hotels very close to the train stations. In 2014 Marriott did not have that many properties in Italy...as I recall. Now you have much more choices...

I also plan to visit Italy this year to Venice and Rome with kids. For Venice my only choices are JW and Hotel Danieli. I booked Danieli mainly due to the convenient location. For Rome Westin Excelsior is my only option due to 3 people/room. The St Regis, Pantheon Iconic Rome(new hotel), or Palazzo Naiadi all are at more convenient locations and highly rated.(maximum occupancy is 2) I did also consider the Hilton Rome Cavalieri but it costs too many points and is quite far away from the closest Metro station as far as I can tell... My focus is on sightseeing so location is more important to me than amenities in the hotels or even upgrades, your preference may differ.
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Old Feb 26, 19, 9:02 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Thousand Oaks, Ca., USA
Programs: AA Ex Plat; Bonvoy Titanium Lifetime Elite;Hyatt Globalist; HHonors Diamond; United Silver
Posts: 5,986
My absolute favorite hotel in the combined chain is the Gritti Palace in Venice. A screaming deal at 60k points per night, book quick. Normally I'd never transfer UR into Marriott Reward points, but if you can take advantage of the 60k points per night that will soon go to 90 points, it's like getting a 50% bonus (still doesn't get a Marriot point to an UR point, but it's Venice). Nothing like sitting on the Grand canal for breakfast, free for titanium. But it's $$$$$, I save my points for there.

I've been at the Hilton in Rome, and decided to stay there in September; the rest of the hotels are legacy Starwood, which is really strong in Italy. Westin Florence and one of the propoerties in Sardinia. I haven't been at the Hilton's overnight, but my rakings would be high end Starwoods at the top. The Cavalieri in Rome is stunning, the Excelsior in Rome is well located. I'd suspect the latter is better on upgrades but don't have recent experience.

I think upgrades in Italy are more likely at Westins than St. Regis because the St. Regis can get a member of the Saudi Royal family booking an entire floor. I'm a bigger fish if the pond is smaller.
beachfan is offline  
Old Feb 26, 19, 9:39 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: YYZ
Programs: MR Platinum, HH Diamond, Aeroplan Diamond
Posts: 122
Personally, I would not recommend the Hilton Molino Stucky or the JW for a first trip to Venezia. I'm not saying that they are bad properties, just that I would stay on the main island for the experience of it. Nothing beats simply walking out the door and wandering the maze of passageways as opposed to waiting for a boat to shuttle you anywhere,.
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Old Feb 26, 19, 10:01 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: SJC/BUR
Programs: Hyatt Diamond, IHG Platinum, Hilton Gold, Club Carlson Gold, Starwood Gold
Posts: 499
I’ve tried two Venice properties from Marriott (Autograph and JW). Preferred the Hilton.
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Old Mar 28, 19, 10:40 pm
  #6  
rht
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Programs: Marriott Titanium, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 7
Thank you

I wanted to thank you for all your recommendations.

Our plans have changed a bit for Florence as our college age daughter will be joining us there and I am again looking for options that will now accommodate three people and also keep this reasonable. The Hiltons look too far away but are they really? The Westin looks fantastic for two people but really pricey for three. Any experience at other local hotels in Florence? How about the Sina Villa Medici Autograph Collection? It is quite a bit cheaper for three people than the Westin. How does it compare?

I have to say the Gritti Palace in Venice looks very compelling. I booked the Gritti for 5 nights on a points advance before the rates went up and rearranged my schedule hoping to get well over 200,000 Bonvoy points. I made it and transferred the remaining relatively small number of points in from UR. We are very much looking forward to trying what so many others are raving about.

We are still planning on the Rome Cavalieri.

I still have about a week before we leave to adjust my schedule so if anyone has any more recommendations for Sorrento and Florence, now is your chance. Otherwise I will report back after we return.

Thank you again for all your help.
rht is offline  
Old Mar 28, 19, 11:30 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Texas
Programs: Southwest Companion Pass, Marriott Plat, IHG Plat
Posts: 32
Iím doing Rome, Florence, and Venice later next month. 3 nights per city. Platinum elite here.

Paying cash in Rome at Palazzo Naiadi and AC Hotel in Florence. I picked AC hotel just because it was cheaper and close to the bus terminal where Iím doing a full day tour.

Then in Venice I have first night at Gritti Palace and last night at Hotel Danieli both with free night carts. Just need to figure out a hotel to pay in cash for the middle night.
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Old Mar 29, 19, 5:28 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: EWR
Programs: UA Gold, Marriott Titanium, Hilton Silver, Hertz
Posts: 341
@rht, I stayed at the Sina in Florence in 2018 and loved it. We used points and got upgraded from the base room to a nice corner room with wrap-around terrace overlooking the pool. The breakfast buffet was lovely, the hotel was peaceful, service was great all around. They have a nice happy hour at the lobby bar - buy 2 glasses of wine, get one free. We were able to walk to everything in Florence easily - with the possible exception of Piazzale Michelangelo and San Miniato. We did walk all the way there and back, but I am not saying it was easy. It definitely required a stop for a refreshing glass of Prosecco along the way.

FYI. We also stayed at the Grand Hotel Dei Dogi in Venice, where I had a AAA rate for a Panorama room (i.e. canal view). I loved the location, Cannaregio was so lovely and untouristy. But the hotel itself was good, not great. Breakfast was excellent, but a lot of other things were not such as non-working Wifi 3 out of 4 days!

And in Rome, we stayed at the Palazzo Naiadi on points. I used my SNAs and got a stunning 2-story Junior Suite overlooking Piazza Repubblica . Everything about the hotel was first class - service, breakfast, rooftop bar.
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Old Mar 29, 19, 6:56 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Italy
Programs: Accor Hotel, Hilton Honors, Emirates, Alitalia, Amex
Posts: 844
Surely Marriott have the best luxury properties in Italy, compared with other chains. Hilton have nothing comparable

but it depends on your budget. If donít have any problem to stay at Hotels with a rate 500-1000 Ä per night ...donít have any doubt about Marriott, except in Naples where they have only Renaissance and itís not located in one of the best areas of the city.

If your budget is lower and you are looking for something in the middle between what above and just nice hotels business oriented (not really located in turistic areas) I think you will find the best options at Accor and their MGALLERY properties in Milan / Venice/ Rome/ Naples/Florence
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Old Mar 29, 19, 9:27 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Plano, TX, USA
Programs: AA: EXP, 4MM; HH: Lifetime Diamond; SPG/MAR Life Plat Prem Hertz: Prez Circle
Posts: 476
Italy former Starwood properties I have stayed at are the Gritti Palace; Excelsior in Florence; and St Regis in Rome. Would recommend either the Gritti Palace or St Regis based on locations in their respective cities and the hotel experiences - although I like the Molino Stucky in Venice and have stayed there twice; it does require some planning, but the free water taxi does help as does being an easy stop on the way to the airport if you are flying in or out of Venice.
In Florence I would avoid the Hiltons due to location (the WA in Rome is fabulous and La Pergola an absolute gem, but it is not conveniently located either). We had a great stay at Number Nine in Florence - great location and fair price.
The Hilton Sorrento Palace is primarily a business hotel - five minute walk into town; convenient if you'll have a car, but feels like a Hilton, not like a hotel in Italy. Not a bad jumping off choice for Capri and Pompeii, but you'll be driving to the south shore towns.

Last edited by stewlevine; Mar 29, 19 at 9:33 am
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