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Recently, in multiple hotels, we paid for a double bed but got two smaller beds near each other instead. The two beds can move apart during the night, if you sleep on the middle. Should we complain? Is two twin beds near each other considered a double bed? It feels a little cheap and not correct.

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I think “double bed” means that the room can accomodate two people sleeping side by side and not much more. The bed is not guaranteed to be as large as you might be used to (especially if you come from North America) and can come in many forms.

In Western/Southern Europe, I would expect only one bed, larger than a single bed but not huge. In some countries in Central Europe, it's really common to have two single beds side by side, with their own separate bed linen or, often, two single mattresses set side by side on a single bed frame. I know people in Germany (married couples) who have that at home. They wouldn't think of that as cheap or surprising in any way. There would however be some way to at least fasten the two beds together, though.

In fact, I have recently stayed at a mid-range German hotel where I got a very nice room, very spacious with all the amenities, a pillow menu, this sort of things. The bed was larger than usual and very comfy… but still came with two separate mattresses and a split between the two people sleeping in it.

International hotel chains might have a more specific terminology but I would not assume that to be universal.

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    @barotia you can complain, but I'm not sure what you expect it to accomplish. The hotel's not going to express order different bedding just because you dislike the sort they have. – Dan Is Fiddling By Firelight Aug 21 at 16:18
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    Here's a related example of something which perplexes Europeans but is normal in American homes: travel.stackexchange.com/questions/120332/… – JonathanReez Aug 21 at 16:57
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    Two separate mattresses in a single frame, depending on the type of the mattress, can actually be seen as a bonus vs a single big mattress. They help two people not to roll into each other if they don't indend to. – fraxinus Aug 21 at 17:39
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    @barotia Quite apart from the details of what happened, your answer suggests it happened to you at several different locations. That alone suggests that a complain is unlikely to bring much satisfaction. – Relaxed Aug 21 at 18:38
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    I live in Germany and I have a double bed, and it consists in two separate mattresses in a single frame. All double beds I've seen here are of this type (which doesn't mean that all of them are like that, but it is rather common). This always surprises foreigners like me but it seems to be pretty much the standard here. – Denis Nardin Aug 21 at 23:23
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I find I find this fairly common. It makes sense from the hotel's perspective because it allows them to convert a room fairly quickly from one that accommodates two people in one bed to one that accommodates two people in two beds.

I only wish that it were more common to have some sort of latch or other device to hold the beds together in case someone is lying in the middle.

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    Bring two pieces if string, spare shoelaces will do, and tie the legs together. – Willeke Aug 24 at 10:17
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Since you mentioned this is Romania, I found this guide for you.

https://www.esky.ro/ghid-de-calatorie/hoteluri/cazarea-la-hotel/tipuri-de-camere

It says that a double room can have accommodate for 2 people, with 2 beds (joint or separate).

The matrimonial is the one that has the big bed rooms, so it might have been a simple case of lost in translation.

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    Just to add for users who do not read Romanian on-line translation seems fine wit the page and it has the major benefit of telling you what to write if you e-mail the hotel. – mdewey Aug 22 at 12:46
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    Romania, such an interesting country, yes matrimonial, but on a lots of site just says double, no matrimonial option. Btw in the brackets at the matrimonial part also double is mentioned. Anyways thanks for the link. – barotia Aug 22 at 20:59
  • Sorry, I was wrong, checked the hotels page and it states that the rooms for two persons has matrimonial beds. – barotia Aug 22 at 21:19
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Hotels normally have a mix of double (rooms with double beds) and twin (rooms with two beds), and will sometimes convert twin rooms into doubles by pushing the beds together.

You can normally ask when checking in if you specifically want a room with a double bed, as they'll normally give you one if they have one available.

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    The double/twin distinction is fairly America-specific and not widely used elsewhere. – lambshaanxy Aug 22 at 14:08
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    The double/twin distinction is crystal clear in British English. That won't stop hotels trying to fob you off with a twin when you booked a double. Still, it's best when booking to explicitly say "A double, not a twin". – Dominic Cronin Aug 22 at 18:00
  • Thanks, next time we'll contact the hotel before booking. – barotia Aug 22 at 21:00

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