Rochester (New York)
How strict are hotels in Europe especially in Italy with regards to the number of people in the hotel room? I'm trying to decide if a hostel or a cheap hotel would be a better choice for 3 students. Thanks!
I agree with Christina. European hotels, for the most part, rent by person. Unlike American hotels, that rent by room. They are quite adept at making sure this policy is strictly followed. It also has a lot to do with board. If you are entitled to breakfast, half board or full board. You often run into these terms with Bed and Breakfasts and small hotels. Simply put, it describes what meals are included in the price of lodgings. B&B is breakfast only, half-board is breakfast and one other meal (usually dinner), and full-board is all meals.
It depends on the hotel but it's better to err on the side of them being restrictive. I have been in hotels in Italy where I wasn't even allowed up to a room with a friend to visit for a few minutes; they were that strict about occupancy.
Often the number of people is tied to the number of beds. The rooms are smaller (and the beds can be singles/twin beds). Additionally in Europe, the water and utilities are quite expensive -- this is partly why they're charging per person. You can find hotels that rent the room and not by the person. Contact the hotel you're thinking of booking and talk it thru with them -- maybe they'll give you a better deal. But if in doubt, err on the side of caution.
Have you looked into Airbnb? I just went to Venice and Milan over the summer and stayed at Airbnb places. Since there were several of us, we just got a whole house and once we divided up the cost between all of us, it was really affordable, so look into that!
Let alone the answers above, you might have more space with a hostel. I know that sounds contrary to any advice, ever, but if you're three students and you book early enough, you might get your own room in a hostel depending on how many bunks are in a room. With a hotel, I'm assuming you would try to cram into a room with two double beds and hotel rooms across Europe, particularly cheap ones, are notoriously small. I once stayed in Paris in a room where you could open the window and reach for a tissue from the bathroom from the comfort of your side of the bed. I'd start looking into hostels.