My husband I went to Rome in Oct 2007. We stayed 5 days in the Grand Flora Rome using points. To do this I had to check the web site twice a day for 2 months. Tthey will offer days, but only a few and not usually together. So I booked them as they became available. When I got all of the bookings that I wanted, I called reservaations and were able to combine the days together to use the lesser amount of points (vs using the highest as daily reservations) I could only do this with the evening Marriot Point people who were allowed to do this. Note when we checked in, the room was so small, I couldn't open my luggage without standing in the bathroom. Upon severe complaint, the only other room they could give us wasliving room of a suite. It was great!. The mattress from the couch was very comforable. We had a great bath, closet,lockbox, and the only balcony which opened up. It turned out to be a great stay, well worth all of the hours I put into getting into it, checking the site 2-3 times per day. They do put the points rooms, but they book so fast, I saw them disappear before I could book them. I wasn't the only one checking frequently.
Checking all the time for room availability when using point is needed many times and it can be exhausting. However, this is a great tip, because the savings can be so huge!
My experience with European hotels has been at Least a continental breakfast has been included during the week. If the concierge is closed most give a coupon for a free buffet breakfast.
This was the same method I used to get into the Paris Marriott. I booked individual days until I had the entire week reserved (which took several months to accomplish) and called Marriott to have the entire stay placed under one contiguous reservation for hundreds of thousands less points.
Ahh the good old days.