I think you need to lower expectations when booking hotels in Europe. 3-4 stars there might be a little bit above Motel 6 here. I just learned to readjust my expectations. Hence I like to stay with American brand hotels because I think there is a good chance I might get a King size bed.
I just booked using Sapphire rewards for 2c per point for hotels in Italy. It's cheap and refundable. I have too many airline frequent miles for air fare so I just have to spend this for hotel.
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