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Albergues With Private Rooms ?

Discussion in 'Albergues - Hostels' started by BROWNCOUNTYBOB, Dec 30, 2015.

  1. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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    During our camino, my wife and I reviewed everyday the listing of Albergues from SJPDP to Santiago. This helped us decide how far to walk, what services are available in each town (ATM, Pharmacy, etc), which albergues were in the town and what services each had. When my wife developed swelling and pain in her ankle and knee, the albergue listing became essential, since we used a backpack transport service which required us to commit a day ahead which town to stay in and where to ship her backpack to.

    We shared our enthusiasm of our camino with friends and family members. My brother and his wife are seriously considering joining us for our next camino, tentatively scheduled for October, 2017. My brother said it is highly unlikely that his wife would consider sleeping in a mixed gender dormitory environment and shared bathrooms.

    During our camino we called ahead to make reservations one day ahead. On several occasions, the hospitalera asked if we wanted a private room with two beds (usually for 20 to 25 euros) or just wanted to stay in the open / group dormitory. So here's my question: does anyone have a listing of albergues that offer private room reservations? This might be a nice compromise for our camino. My wife and I can stay in the larger rooms; my brother and his wife can stay at the same albergue in private rooms. This would require them to still use shared bathrooms, but I would hope they could adjust.

    Gracias! Bob
     
  2. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    I don’t know if such a list exists Bob – Assuming that you are referring to The Camino Frances, the list that I work from at http://caminoteca.com/attachments/article/123/Albergues_Camino_Francés_2015.pdf gives the websites for most of the private Albergue’s, so, although tedious, you could probably suss out the ones with private rooms from that.



    I use the little guidebooks printed by The Confraternity of Saint James and they list all the available accommodation and although they include plenty of budget hotels that might suite you, they don’t stipulate whether the private Albergue’s have private rooms.



    I wonder if Leslie’s Download my Camino Frances ebook has this information – It would be worth asking him.


    Other than that, I can’t really help


    Good Luck and Buen Camino

    Rob
     
  3. Leslie

    Leslie Administrator

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    Thank @RJS

    I have just updated my guidebook, however there will be another update by the end of Feb. I wrote to all the albergues I could find an email address for and some are still replying after a couple of months. Because of the information they were sending me I started to include private rooms and the cost.

    Anyone who has already bought the book will get an auto update by the end of Feb, if they have that set in their kindle account. It is also now available on a few other platforms including Apple, these others make updates much easier.

    But that does not solve the problem of seperate bathrooms. Most of the twin rooms are no ensuite. But it is possible to use pensions to overcome this, there is very little difference in cost.
     
  4. Gerry Vandermaat

    Gerry Vandermaat Donating Member Donating Member

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    G'day BCBOB,

    Whilst i am not trying to shortchange Leslie's great ebook, i got most of our information from (dare i say it in this forum) John Brierley's book. It had lots of references to Albegues and whether they had private rooms and/or private bathrooms etc.

    Buen Camino
     
  5. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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    When my wife developed pain and swelling in her knee during our 2015 camino, we began sending her backpack ahead each morning via Jako Trans. This required us to decide the prior day which town we would stay in the following day and the specific albergue. So I first called the albergue to make a reservation, then called Jako Trans to confirm the backpack pickup the next morning. This routine worked well for us.

    We are planning to hike the camino again in September, 2017 with my brother and his wife. I know that the number of pilgrims will be higher in September than October. I've used some of the camino tools recommended on this website and have put together a camino schedule in terms of walking daily stages. I've also looked on line and have identified the private albergues we'd like to stay at. (My brother and wife are happy to pay more money for a double room). We are allowing a few extra days for our camino and both of our wives will send their backpacks ahead.

    I've read several posts regarding pilgrims that have made reservations for albergues in advance. My question is how far in advance will a private albergue accept an advance reservation? For those of you that have made advance reservations, did you set all of these up prior to your camino? Also, how many albergues will confirm a reservation without requiring an advance payment / deposit?

    Gracias. Bob
     
  6. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Bob - When I walked this past April/May, I did a great deal of research into the albergues in the towns that I planned to stay in. As I only had 31 days for the Camino, I did set up a pretty tight schedule. I booked most of my albergues in advance from the States. I think it's fair to say that 90%+ of the albergues that I contacted wrote right back to me.

    Most of my reservations were done by a simple email in Spanish asking if they had a bed on a certain date. Unless the place didn't take reservations at all, and these were very few, I was able to reserve a bed with absolutely no difficulty at all. If they also offered rooms, they often asked me to verify if I was looking for a bed or a room. It worked out very well. No deposit or credit card was necessary at the albergues I contacted through their websites or through email. When I got to Spain, I'm happy to report that there was not one single error on any of my reservations.

    In some cases, particularly the larger cities, it was just as easy to use Booking.com. With them, they do require a credit card to hold the reservation, but I paid in cash when I arrived. However, you need to be aware of the particular albergues cancellation policy which is usually a 24 hour notice. So, no advanced payments or no deposits required.

    I started making reservations 6-8 weeks prior to traveling. No problem getting a bed! Doing it far enough in advance shouldn't be a problem for a room either, but we both know there are fewer rooms than beds available. Once you decide upon your itinerary, contact them and see when they begin taking reservations for 2017. You're over a year out so it's probably too early at this point.
     
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  7. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Wily, thanks a lot. I used Booking.com to reserve hotels in Madrid, Pamplona, SJPDP, and Santiago and these all went well. I booked these in January for an October camino. You're right that it is way too soon to make reservations in private albergues. I have a rough draft of our hiking schedule, towns we will stay in and even preferred albergues. The only glitch we ran into during our last camino is that my wife and I really wanted to stay in the paradors in Santo Domingo de la Calzada, Leon, and Villafranca del Bierzo (Santiago was too expensive). I only made reservations a week or so ahead. A room was not available in Leon, so we decided to take a rest day there and booked the following night. This time I'll make parador reservations several months before our trip. I have an "amigos de paradores" card so can compare rates using my card with the rate that's available on Booking.com and Expedia. Thanks again. Bob
     
  8. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Our itinerary for our 2017 camino includes staying at three paradors and hotels in Burgos and Santiago. I checked several websites for room availability and costs. Interesting to see that the rates on Expedia were lower than Amigos de Paradores. Also (possibly a marketing tactic), several of the hotels / paradors I looked at on Expedia were showing "only four rooms left" at reasonable prices for rooms in September / October, 2017! So after consultation with my brother, I went ahead and booked room reservations today to lock these in. I didn't want to risk not having rooms available and/or rates being much higher by waiting later to book. With Wily's advice, I can now wait until 2017 to start making reservations for private albergues.
     
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  9. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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    In addition to Godesalco website, a few good very good websites for stage planning and information on albergues: Gronze.com provides excellent information - including map of stages, a topography map, a listing of albergues in each town, facilities, costs for bed or private room, and comments (positive and negative) from pilgrims. The downside is the information is in Spanish. Another website is WisePilgrim.com. It also shows information by stages, facilities available, costs, and comments by pilgrims. This website is in English. For both of these websites, they include a link to the Albergue's internet website and the email address to make reservations.
     
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