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Looking for recommendations for roadtrip in Italy/France

Looking for recommendations for roadtrip in Italy/France

Old Feb 12, 21, 4:26 am
  #1  
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Looking for recommendations for roadtrip in Italy/France

Hi all,

Given the uncertain situation with COVID, I am looking to spend our summer holidays doing a roadtrip from Germany towards either Italy or France.
We are from the Western part of Germany and are looking to be on the road for ~3 weeks with 2 adults and a 6-months old (no 10h+ drive on a day).
Any good recommendations on hotels to visit and places to see?
Or a good resource how we could plan the trip?
Obviously, focus on Marriott properties but not limited to it.
I do have some 500k points which I could use if worth it (compared to paying cash).
In terms of the prices, I would be inclined to stay below an average of 200 EUR per night (RC, StR, ... not needed).
Thanks in advance for any input!
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Old Feb 12, 21, 5:01 am
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One thing to keep in mind with a young one is that a 5-hour drive according to Google Maps turns into a 10+ hour drive with all of the stops for feeding, changing, dealing with crying, etc. You will be lucky to get a 2-hour nonstop stint during a nap, and that's assuming the adults don't need a break during that time. So unless you are starting from south of Frankfurt, you might not even realistically make it to Northern Italy or southern France if you are staying 3-4 nights in each place.

Add COVID on top and you might want to consider a domestic vacation in summer 2021. We all hope to have a summer travel season this year, but the pace of vaccination in the EU isn't promising...

You can search on marriott.com for an entire country, and then organise your search by map or price or whatever.
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Old Feb 12, 21, 5:26 am
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Originally Posted by t3ame View Post
Hi all,

Given the uncertain situation with COVID, I am looking to spend our summer holidays doing a roadtrip from Germany towards either Italy or France.
We are from the Western part of Germany and are looking to be on the road for ~3 weeks with 2 adults and a 6-months old (no 10h+ drive on a day).
Any good recommendations on hotels to visit and places to see?
Or a good resource how we could plan the trip?
Obviously, focus on Marriott properties but not limited to it.
I do have some 500k points which I could use if worth it (compared to paying cash).
In terms of the prices, I would be inclined to stay below an average of 200 EUR per night (RC, StR, ... not needed).
Thanks in advance for any input!
I can recommend Schloss Lieser on the Moselle bank. On March 3rd it will move from category 3 to category 4.
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Old Feb 12, 21, 5:36 am
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Originally Posted by craigthemif View Post
One thing to keep in mind with a young one is that a 5-hour drive according to Google Maps turns into a 10+ hour drive with all of the stops for feeding, changing, dealing with crying, etc. You will be lucky to get a 2-hour nonstop stint during a nap, and that's assuming the adults don't need a break during that time. So unless you are starting from south of Frankfurt, you might not even realistically make it to Northern Italy or southern France if you are staying 3-4 nights in each place.

Add COVID on top and you might want to consider a domestic vacation in summer 2021. We all hope to have a summer travel season this year, but the pace of vaccination in the EU isn't promising...

You can search on marriott.com for an entire country, and then organise your search by map or price or whatever.
Thanks for the quick reply and good food for thought!
Let‘s broaden the search to „Southwest“ Germany then 😊 I have seen some Autograph Collection properties close to Frankfurt but not yet seen a review or anything (Falkenstein Grand, Villa Rothschild, ...). Anyone with experience on these hotels? E.g., elite recognition (during COVID, pre-COVID).
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Old Feb 12, 21, 5:37 am
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Originally Posted by Travel4Love View Post
I can recommend Schloss Lieser on the Moselle bank. On March 3rd it will move from category 3 to category 4.
Thanks for that! I have already booked it for the summer after a very good stay last summer. Can only recommend this hotel as well ✌🏻
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Old Feb 12, 21, 11:21 am
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Originally Posted by Travel4Love View Post
I can recommend Schloss Lieser on the Moselle bank. On March 3rd it will move from category 3 to category 4.
This was on my list for summer 2020, pre-COVID, as was the Autograph Collection in Baden Baden.
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Old Feb 12, 21, 12:54 pm
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Originally Posted by t3ame View Post
Hi all,

Given the uncertain situation with COVID, I am looking to spend our summer holidays doing a roadtrip from Germany towards either Italy or France.
That is a fairly broad geography - Germany to Paris to Nice is certainly doable in that timeframe - or go Germany to Austria to Italy - I think one of the first things to narrow down is the places you want to see.
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Old Feb 12, 21, 4:27 pm
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One year we did a nice roadtrip that was Nice-Cinque Terre-Venice-Ljubljana-Bled-Salzburg-Munich. Some intermediate stops along the way...you could break it up so no single day was too brutal behind the wheel. About 2 weeks total...

It's probably a full day drive from your town down to the coast, but tons of stuff along the way if you want to break it up.

Disclaimer: it wasn't a Marriott trip, although there are some Marriotts along the route.
Disclaimer #2: we didn't have a six-month old in tow. Cinque Terre and Venice could be difficult to navigate with a stroller.
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Old Feb 12, 21, 5:45 pm
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We had a wonderful stay at Cristallo, in the Dolomites, 2 summers ago. I highly recommend the hotel and the beautiful area. I'm not sure where you live in Germany. Cristallo is an 8 hour drive from Frankfurt or a 4 1/2 hour drive from Munich. You could drive via Salzburg. We stayed at the Goldener Hirsch several years ago and thought it very special.
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Old Feb 12, 21, 10:45 pm
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Originally Posted by t3ame View Post
Hi all,

Given the uncertain situation with COVID, I am looking to spend our summer holidays doing a roadtrip from Germany towards either Italy or France.
We are from the Western part of Germany and are looking to be on the road for ~3 weeks with 2 adults and a 6-months old (no 10h+ drive on a day).
Any good recommendations on hotels to visit and places to see?
Or a good resource how we could plan the trip?
Obviously, focus on Marriott properties but not limited to it.
I do have some 500k points which I could use if worth it (compared to paying cash).
In terms of the prices, I would be inclined to stay below an average of 200 EUR per night (RC, StR, ... not needed).
Thanks in advance for any input!
Summer road trips to me are all about the Italian Lakes and French/Italian Riviera/Med, plus the mountains in Switzerland on the way down there. I've done many 3 week driving trips starting in Germany, even with a 2 month old (unfortunately his car seat didn't arrive with our luggage so we needed to use one from the rental car agency-terribly uncomfortable.) You have to decide between sticking to cities or just doing the smaller villages and coastline. That said, there are any number of MR properties, though I do prefer the Hyatt's connection with the SLH properties,especially in the south of France. Anyway, some suggestions to look at:

Luzern, Switerland: I've always (tried to) stayed at the Chateau Guetsch (apx 200-250 euro) up on the "hill" overlooking the town, but there is a quite nice Renaissance in town that should better fit your budget and is easy to walk everywhere;
Lake Maggiore-Ascona/Locarno The Giardino Ascona is very pleasant, though I do prefer Stressa more on the west of Maggiore, as they have the Isola Bella tour, hopefully when it's not too crowded, and a nice lunch on Isola Pescatore, I've even stayed on that island, and there are a couple good hotels, though with a lot of luggage, I'd opt for a hotel on the mainland, Borromeo Palace is great but pricy, or the Regina Palace, Astoria (cheaper), or Bristol;
In Tuscany, if you're inclined to drive south first, my son and his bride loved the La Bandita Townhouses in Castelvecchio (of course it was their honeymoon and I picked up the tab-using points.) On the way, stop in Florence and eat at the Centrale Mercato, or Paoli's or just grab a slice of pizza at Pizzeria Vesuvios as you do the walking streets; Sorry, you might have to stay a few days there;
The son and bride also did an Airbnb on the Cinque Terre that was quite reasonable and got invited to a couple dinner parties by their host. Don't remember which one though;
Head north along the coastline towards Nice/Cannes/etc and there are many MR options, though again, I'm partial to the Hyatt SLH properties , especially the Belle Rives in Antibes/Juan des Pins. But there are many choices, even heading to Mougins or Grasse.
Time permitting, I love the food in Lyon and it's easy walking. Just like Paris they say, but nicer. Old town has some grand old hotels that I've stayed in but I'm sure I can't remember many of them, and the Marriott there is just ehhh.. Or head home through Geneva and stop for some Pave Geneve at the chocolate shop at the base of the bridge, north side.

If you want to stick to MR properties, just use the hotel search using the name of the country, i.e. Switzerland, Italy, etc., and in map view it will show you all the options on your desired route.
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Last edited by rbAA; Feb 13, 21 at 7:14 pm
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Old Feb 13, 21, 2:12 am
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Originally Posted by t3ame View Post
Thanks for the quick reply and good food for thought!
Let‘s broaden the search to „Southwest“ Germany then 😊 I have seen some Autograph Collection properties close to Frankfurt but not yet seen a review or anything (Falkenstein Grand, Villa Rothschild, ...). Anyone with experience on these hotels? E.g., elite recognition (during COVID, pre-COVID).
We stayed in the Falkenstein one night during COVID times. Successfully applied a SNA for a Grand Deluxe Suite. It was an incredible hotel and location. Breakfast was first class even with COVID. Would happily return there to spend a few days. You eat breakfast overlooking Frankfurt. The rooms are huge and the main building is beautiful.
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Old Feb 13, 21, 3:09 am
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Originally Posted by pinniped View Post
One year we did a nice roadtrip that was Nice-Cinque Terre-Venice-Ljubljana-Bled-Salzburg-Munich.
Disclaimer #2: we didn't have a six-month old in tow. Cinque Terre and Venice could be difficult to navigate with a stroller.
I will never go back to Venice, though I used to go there frequently. Our last trip about 3 years ago was disappointing: too "Disneyland-esque" with hoards of groups, high costs for any and every thing from vapporato rides, entry fees when there never were any, or they were modest, not to mention the run-away inflation in accommodaton pricing-even my favorite pensione more than tripled. Rediculous restaurant costs, for lower quality of food (of course, my favorite restaurant closed as the owners retired.)
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Old Feb 13, 21, 8:00 am
  #13  
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I'd plan to stay in villages or rural hotels. You don't want to be driving into major cities, especially with a baby, and then paying a fortune for parking. Historic hotels can be inconvenient with babies and their equipment. [For example, Goldener Hirsch in Salzburg, which was mentioned above, is stunning, but has small flights of stairs connecting different sections of the building as well as an annex across the street. My suite had the bedroom down about ten steps from the living room, and there were a couple steps into parts of the bathroom too. This wouldn't be fun with a stroller.]
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Old Feb 13, 21, 1:44 pm
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Originally Posted by rbAA View Post
I will never go back to Venice, though I used to go there frequently. Our last trip about 3 years ago was disappointing: too "Disneyland-esque" with hoards of groups, high costs for any and every thing from vapporato rides, entry fees when there never were any, or they were modest, not to mention the run-away inflation in accommodaton pricing-even my favorite pensione more than tripled. Rediculous restaurant costs, for lower quality of food (of course, my favorite restaurant closed as the owners retired.)
We got lucky the last time we went - we hit Venice on a day when few (or no) cruise ships were around. Spent 2 nights there so our kids could see the highlights, but I agree with you on everything regarding high cost, lots of mediocre touristy restaurants, etc. We stayed in a nice 2-bedroom apartment that comfortably slept 5 people...it was not cheap but it was way better value than 3 small or 2 larger hotel rooms. And walking around at night when the daytrippers were gone was still very nice.

Cinque Terre is kind of similar in that the towns all empty out in the evening. It's a different (better) vibe if you're staying there a couple nights. Still touristy, but they seemed to treat you more as a guest if you were there at night.

For anyone who has Venice on their bucket list - just absolutely needs to see it once (which I do recommend) - 2021 might be a nice time to go given that cruise traffic will remain well down from its peak level even as borders reopen for land tourism. There are websites that will tell you which ships are in port on what dates, so you may be able to plan around them. (No idea how reliable the sites are.) I missed out on going to Dubrovnik before it went mainstream, so I'd like to do that one sometime before all the ships return in full force.
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Old Feb 16, 21, 1:13 pm
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via Trentalia

Venice is do-able IF properly planned. Ditto for the Cinque Terre. Two specific suggestions:
- We (family of 4) visited Venice by staying in Mestre (Four Points) & taking the Trentalia train (30 mn) to main train stn. Vaporetto or walk from there;
- We (again) took a train from Florence to the Cinque Terre. There is another hop on / hop off train which stops @ all the villages along the coast to swim, eat, etc.
Neither trip is do-able with a private vehicle i.e. abandon that idea!
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