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Her Five European Hotels Under US$50


How lucky we are to have Margot Classe as a member of the Journeywoman network! This travel writer is the editor of guidebooks to affordable hotels under $100 a night (for two) in Italy, France & Spain. We asked Margot to share some of her favorite economical hotel choices with us. She writes...

Dream a little...

dreaming Have you ever dreamed of going to Europe but thought you couldn’t afford it? Close your eyes. Can you picture yourself enjoying an early morning cappuccino in Rome, listening to jazz in a Paris club, or watching a flamingo dancer while sipping Sangria in Barcelona. Better still, can you imagine gazing at the canal from your bedroom window in Venice? Think it's an unattainable fantasy? Well its not. After years of traveling extensively throughout Europe researching its most affordable, charming, and family-owned hotels, I have put together a special list of six places that can be rented in Europe for an all-inclusive rate of $50 single to $99 a night for double occupancy.

How I choose my hotels... not at a dump

My criteria for selecting hotels are that they must be very clean, safe, inexpensive, centrally located and, above all, have private bathroom facilities in the room. For me, the sole purpose of a hotel room is to provide a safe place to sleep after an enjoyable day of travelling. Because I do most of my traveling by train, I used the train station as the starting point on all directions to the hotels.

Six Favorites in Europe


Castello, VENICE, Italy

Located east of San Marco and beyond Cannaregio is a quiet residential area away from the tourist hordes of Venice.

Address: Ponte dellíAnzelo 5310, 30122. Tel: 041-5227034. Fax: 041-5285551. (24 rooms., 22 w/toilet & bath or shower.) Price: 155,000-195,000L double; 260,000L triple. Breakfast (8:30-9:30am) is included in the rates & cannot be deducted. Cash only. English is spoken in this beautiful charming hotel w/beautifully furnished bright modern rooms, marble staircase, #27 is huge w/view of canal & wood-beamed ceiling, #4 is small but has 2 windows w/view of the canal & wood-beamed ceiling, #8 has 2 windows that overlook the canal, nice floors, central heating, quiet location, no elevator, 4 floors. Located on a delightful side of a canal at the junction of 3 canals where you can watch the gondolas go by. Owned and managed by Sandro Nart who is a wonderful and charming doctor of medicine. (Closed mid-Nov.-Jan.)

Piazza Navona, ROME, Italy

This is a great, safe, fascinating, medieval historic area to stay and explore on foot.

Address: Piazza San Pantaleo 3, 1st fl., 00186. Tel: 06-68803109. Fax: 06-6869265. (16 rooms, 14 w/toilet & bath or shower.) Price: 105,000-125,000L (54-64E) single; 145,000-185,000L (74-95E) double; 200,000L (103E) triple. Buffet breakfast is included in the rates. Cash only. English spoken (Serena & Victorio), satellite TV w/English channel, grand small 19th-century hotel w/simply furnished large airy bright comfortable rooms, nice floors, the best rooms are on the 5th floor (#13-19) which are beautiful, newly renovated & are air-conditioned, #11 has a wonderful view w/private bathroom in the hall, marble floors in hallway, hair driers, double-paned windows, central heating, magnificent entrance, marble stairs, terrace, elevator, 2 floors.

14e Arrondissement, PARIS, France

Left Bank-- this area around blvd. du Montparnasse tends to be lower in price and filled with the energy of young students and their professors.

Address: 4, rue du Parc Montsouris. Tel: 0145890972. Fax: 0145809272. (35 rooms, all w/toilet & bath or shower.) Price: 330-390 francs single; 330/390/440 francs double; 440/500 francs triple/quad. Breakfast (7am) at 30Fpp and can be served in the room. Visa, MC, AX. English spoken, clean, direct-dial phone, cable TV, great hotel, completely renovated villa, soundproofed comfortable rooms. w/classic decor, #633 is the best room in the house, quiet, elevator.

L'Eixample, BARCELONA, Spain

A very classy neighborhood, located 10 minutes from the Ramblas activity. The famous "La Sagrada Familia" is located here.

Address: Passeig de Gracia 32, 4th fl., 08007. Tel: 4880162/4881789. (16 rooms, 7 w/toilet & bath or shower.) Price: 3,500 pesetas single (w/sinks only); 6,100-7,100 pesetas double; 9,500 pesetas triple; 12,500 pesetas quad. Children under 5 free. No breakfast served. Cash only. English spoken, This is a nice old building. w/large comfortable old rooms, most are renovated w/modern bathrooms, rooms vary in size, #1 is pretty, sunny and has a great view, elevator, 1 floor. This is the cheapest hotel on this famous, elegant street.


This is an excellent location if you are here for the "running of the bulls."

Address: Plaza del Castillo 1. Tel: 227706. Fax: 211566. (67 rooms, 30 w/toilet & bath or shower.) Price: 4,900 pesetas single; 7,900/8,400 pesetas double; 11,000 pesetas triple. Breakfast (8-10am) at 850 pesetas pp & can be served in the room. Visa, MC, AX, DC. Limited English spoken (Raphael & Fernando), direct-dial phone, some suites, huge old elegant pink hotel w/high-ceilinged renovated rooms & old-fashioned furnishings, 39 rooms, w/balconies overlooking the street, #217 (because Ernest Hemingway stayed here) & #405 are the best, elevator, 4 floors. There are 7 rooms that are similar to #217 with the old elegance decor and hanging chandelier.

Ed. note: We included one of Margo’s Italian hotel choices in our March ‘99 newsletter. It proved to be so popular that we received very many e-mails asking where Margo’s books could be purchased. So, here’s the scoop...If you’d like to network with Margo, simply e-mail her at: or visit her website at




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