Adagio: The family-friendly European hotel chain you need to know about
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Many European hotels have strict occupancy limits that can make life difficult for families. If I'm traveling with my family of four, I've pretty much given up on standard European hotel rooms in favor of vacation rentals. However, services like Airbnb often come with minimum stay requirements or costly cleaning fees that make short stays uneconomical.
Enter Adagio: the AccorHotels-managed chain of serviced apartments. With more than 100 properties, Adagio offers apartments ranging from studios to three bedrooms on a hotel model, meaning they can be rented for as little as one night without extra fees.
I've been intrigued by Adagio for a while now and finally had a chance to check out the chain this summer. Here's what I learned about Adagio and my thoughts about whether it's a good fit for families.
Seventy-five of the 112 Adagio properties are in France, 17 are elsewhere in Europe and 16 are scattered across the globe. Most are in urban areas or near tourist destinations. I stayed in one of the two properties near Disneyland Paris.
We rented a one-bedroom apartment that slept five. It featured a double bed in the bedroom and a living room with couches that transformed into three beds. The bed design was a step above your average pull-out, making sleeping more comfortable than you might expect from a sofa bed.
The room also featured a small kitchen and a table that could seat four, which was a money-saver since breakfast wasn't included in the rate. Housekeeping isn't included, either, which came as a surprise to guests not used to the Adagio model. I heard more than one guest complain about the lack of maid service during our stay. I don't think Accor does a good enough job explaining the differences between Adagio and its other traditional hotel brands during the booking process, but this may not be a big deal for a one or two night stay.
Since we were in the theme parks all day, the Adagio worked as a crash pad. The room was serviceable but by no means luxurious. The Marriott Vacation Club d'ile de France down the road was a much nicer experience, but was also more than twice the price for the dates we stayed.
You can earn points, but should you?
One selling point for Adagio is that you can earn points in the Accor Le Club loyalty program. Accor includes Fairmont, Novotel, Sofitel, Ibis and a number of other chains located mostly outside the U.S. As with most hotel chains, you must book via Accor channels to earn points in the program.
That said, Adagio earns at a 1 point per euro ratio, so a 100-euro value stay earns 100 Le Club points, compared to the full service brands that will earn 250 Le Club points for a 100-euro stay. With the new synergy between Flying Blue and Accor, you can also earn 100 Flying Blue points on the same stay.
You might wonder why I ask whether you should earn points because, after all, free points are free points, right? Not so fast. This is a case where you might do better through a different booking channel.
Accor has a flat-rate redemption model that is different from other programs. In this model, 2,000 Accor points earn a 40-euro discount, which means that you'd have to spend $2,200 to get a $44 credit. If you already stay frequently at Accor properties, then earning points may make sense. Otherwise, there are other (better) options.
Consider that on this same stay you could earn 10 points per dollar using the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card by booking on Hotels.com through Jan. 31, 2020, in addition to making progress toward earning a free night in the Hotels.com loyalty program. So the same 100-euro stay ($110 US) would earn 1,100 Capital One Venture miles plus 1/10 free stay. TPG values 1,100 Capital One miles at $15.40.
I chose to redeem points instead of spending them by booking through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal. The stay was 110 euros on Accor's website and the same price on Chase's portal. Since I have the Chase Sapphire Reserve (here's the full card review), I get 1.5 cents/point when redeeming for travel. In this case, I'd rather spend 8,100 points than spend $122.
Adagio apartments are a tool I'm adding to my tool kit for short family stays in Europe. For longer stays, I still prefer an actual vacation rental such as Airbnb, but for stays of just a night or two, the math at Adagio makes much more sense. I won't expect anything fancy, but a clean apartment that fits my kids and allows me to save on meals is a win. I just won't be bothering with Accor's points anytime soon.
For more family travel inspiration:
- When Airbnb is better than a hotel for families
- How to rent a condo for less than a hotel room with timeshare rentals
- Before you rent that summer beach house, consider this
- How to deal with strict hotel occupancy limits in Europe and beyond
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