One of the truly wonderful things about having a car
in Europe is your ability to select hotels away from
the centers of cities and towns. The advantage here
is that you can stay in places that are not heavily
touristed. Simply type in your search engine, "hotels
Germany" or "French castles" and see what pops up.
Tip: The Internet seems to be filled with website
companies who "represent" hundreds of hotels throughout
Europe. Obviously they are intermediaries that make
a commission on the rooms they book. Use these sites
to explore hotels that fit your needs and budget. However,
you are usually better off booking directly through
the hotel's own website. It's also recommended that
you call each hotel you'll be staying at before your
trip to make sure your reservation is confirmed in their
records, and carry a copy of your e-mailed confirmation
along on the trip.
It can be a bit tricky finding the specific Internet
address of many hotels. For one thing, booking sites
do not want you to deal directly with the hotels. With
a little persistence and remembering to use the national
extensions (.fr, .de, etc.), you'll quickly learn the
tricks of tracking down just about anything!.
Tip: Don't forget your hotel points! There is
no shame in mixing European hotels with American chains
during your trip. Marriott, Hilton, Sheraton and Hyatt
all have wonderful properties throughout Europe and
many offer really good values when using your points.
Marriott has a great number of hotels in Europe, especially
in the major cities. Check out their websites.