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  1. #1

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    Now that I'm heavily into booking our hotels I am starting to discover the subtleties of Italian hotel lingo. The results of my search on this forum suggested that a private bathroom and ensuite may not be the same thing. An ensuite being entered directly from the hotel room, while a private bathroom may be down the hall. In many of the hotel websites the description of the bathroom is somewhat vague, and frequently non existent. I would be grateful if someone could fill me in on what one should expect in a three star hotel, and what is the correct terminology to ascertain, beyond reasonable doubt, what one is getting… My marriage depends on getting this right!!!

    Thanks
    Tim

  2. #2

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    Now that I'm heavily into booking our hotels I am starting to discover the subtleties of Italian hotel lingo. The results of my search on this forum suggested that a private bathroom and ensuite may not be the same thing. An ensuite being entered directly from the hotel room, while a private bathroom may be down the hall. In many of the hotel websites the description of the bathroom is somewhat vague, and frequently non existent. I would be grateful if someone could fill me in on what one should expect in a three star hotel, and what is the correct terminology to ascertain, beyond reasonable doubt, what one is getting… My marriage depends on getting this right!!!

    Thanks
    Tim

  3. #3


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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I would be grateful if someone could fill me in on what one should expect in a three star hotel </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Actually, I have yet to see the three star hotel without a private bath (one that is in the room). I never thought of any distinction between "ensuite" (not a common term in English) and "private".

    I would be interested in learning more about it....

  4. #4

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    Here's what I was told about this by my agent who rents our home. This applies to apartment/house rental more than hotels, I think, but it is logical.

    In order to be called en-suite, the bathroom must have a direct access to a bedroom, or to a private hall/vestibule that unites the two. A private bath, on the other hand, can be next door to the bedroom, but its doorway is not necessarily in a private hallway connecting it to the bedroom. To me, it is a dubious distinction, but the rating system in Italy is, again I'm told, quite specific about this.
    Kathrine

  5. #5


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    Tims, you are correct; even though we think of them as the same in the US, a "private bath" and an "en suite bathroom" are not always the same thing. Katharine explained the difference very well. Functionally, the difference is in whether or not you need to dress or put on your bathrobe to visit the loo, or to take your shower, and in how comfortable you are leaving your normal toiletries, etc in it. With a "private bath" that is NOT also "en suite", the bathroom is supposed to be reserved for your exclusive use, but you may have to go through public areas of the hotel to reach it, and so also may not be comfortable leaving any belongings in the bathroom.

    Unfortunately, I don't know the distinctions between what is required in Italian 3-star, etc., hotels. To date, the best way I've found to verify this is to ask if the bathroom is "en suite." That term certainly works in the UK; in Italy, it's useful, but not a 100% guarantee. If you are dealing with hotels that are accustomed to British clientele, however, "en suite" should get the job done. Good luck!

  6. #6


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    I hitnk Italians can't speak English. This all there is to it. Nor they understand the value of a good translator.. So they end up translating in the most extravagant varieties of English.

    Generally, every hotel, even a 2 star hotel will have a bathroom in the bedroom.
    I am ready to bet that private bathroom and ensuite bathroom are used in the exact same sense.

    I think the question of where the bathroom is concerns only lowel level hotels 1 star sometimes 2, guesthouses (or B&B) when they are real guesthouses, that is private houses with rented rooms. In taht case the bathroom could be for your exclusive use, but I doubt it will be accessible from the bedroom itself.

    And for hostels of course.

    I think that when you book a 2 stars hotel up, your bathroom will be accessible from your room. The best option is to ask at the frontdesk when you book if you have doubts.

  7. #7
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    Where this is really important is B&B's and agriturismos. Last year we split booking locations with another couple. I always asked if baths were ensuite. If not, I didn't book. Ou friends booked two, but asked "do the rooms have there own private baths?". Ouch! not the same.
    One agriturismo gave them a room with a bath on the other side of the main house (ours was ensuite) and the other had one (not two) baths up a flight of stairs on the other side of the apartment. We did not stay there.
    Jim

  8. #8


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    Jabez and Gloria are correct....in my experience, the distinction is not made in Italian hotels at the three star level and higher. In all the hotels I have stayed at in Italy since 1993, I have always had a private, en suite bath (is that redundant?) and no client of mine has ever reported the absence of a private, en suite bath in the hundreds of hotels I have booked.

    Since the poster specified hotels in his question, I would think his marriage is safe.....

  9. #9


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    I have never had a problem in Italian hotels. Usually said private bath and it was in the room.

    I learned about the subtlety and distinction between "ensuite" and "private" at a hotel in Vancouver, though. We booked a room with private bath and were surprised to find the bath was across the hall. Okay, not many people on the floor with us, we were in the corner of the building...we thought not a problem; lesson learned and go with the flow. The problem we realized was that the bath was reserved for our use and locked itself like hotel room doors do. So we had to use a key every time we wanted in! In the middle of the night, fumbling with a key, walking into a brightly lit hallway from the dark bedroom to boot...made me look and inquire a little closer about the private bath situation in other hotels!

  10. #10
    When looking at hotel listings online, I have seen several 3* hotels (and stayed at one), where they have cheap single rooms that have private outside bathrooms. I seem to recall that Italian hotel ratings allow this for a small percentage of rooms at a 3* hotel.

    I would suggest asking if the bathroom is inside the room.

  11. #11


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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I have seen several 3* hotels (and stayed at one), where they have cheap single rooms that have private outside bathrooms. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I stand corrected...if I am looking for cheap single rooms, I will definitely ask.

  12. #12
    Premium Member

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    When I stayed in Florence a few summers ago, I needed to change the dates of my hotel. When I called to make this change, I was informed that a room for the new dates was available, but it would have a private bathroom instead of en suite. The clerk made this very clear. The hotel was a three star in the city center.

    The bathroom was down the hall about five doors from my room. Very nice, but still not as handy as in the room.

    DMae

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