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My daughter and I took a trip to Italy using Gate1 for our travel agent. Our trip took us from Rome, to Florence, to Venice.

Overall it was an excellent experience. All of the travel vouchers were accepted with no problems. Our shuttles to and from our hotels and airports arrived on time. Gate1 help desk people were easy to access when we had questions before we left the United States.

8 days in Italy for less than $1300 a person, including airfare from Minnesota, was an unbelievable bargain. The one thing that Gate1 could have done better was to reserve us a better hotel in Rome. The hotel was the Donatello. Guest services were very friendly and nice but the hotel was terrible.

It was in what I thought was a sketchy part of town, the 'continental' breakfast consisted of old, dry croissants and biscuits with jam and coffee and that was it. The noise level at the hotel was awful. The front door was locked 24/7 and guests had to use a buzzer to get in. We could hear the grating noise of the buzzer from our room every time it went off as people wanted back in.

We could hear water gurgling in the pipes. People were constantly traipsing past our room on old noisy wooden stores all hours of the night and into early morning. People were laughing and yelling and talking loud. We could hear kids screaming at the top of their lungs.

I got almost no sleep the two nights we were there. It was exhausting. In fairness, another couple who we met and were staying at the Donatello, were on the third floor and said that they did not experience the noise problem. So it could have been the location of our room that was the problem.

Our second hotel (Miridiana in Florence) and third hotel (Olimpia in Venice) were much better. Especially our last hotel, which was very nice with a lovely breakfast and excellent service all around. One thing that did trouble me was that we tried to call Gate1 when we first arrived in Rome because our shuttle driver was not there to greet us. My daughter called the 800 number and the local number but no one ever answered the phone.

That was worrisome but it could have been a problem with using our cell phone so I'm not sure where the difficulty was in getting through to Gate1 at that point. (Our shuttle driver arrived shortly after we tried to make the call as it turned out that our flight arrived a little early). So, overall, it was a great trip at a very low price. I would use Gate1 again in the future.

Some glitches in overseas travel are just part of the experience - especially if you are traveling on the cheap.

Perhaps the one thing I would do is try to upgrade all hotels. Just to avoid the hotel experience we had in Rome.

Product or Service Mentioned: Gate1travel Vacation Package.

Reason of review: I am happy for all of the above. .

Gate1travel Cons: Our first hotel.

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We are glad to know that overall you had an excellent trip. We certainly regret however, if the hotel accommodations caused you any disappointment or if you had any trouble reaching us by phone. Please be assured that we will share your comments with the appropriate individuals for review for the future.

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