This may be my first Amazon review in 16+ years of membership.
I am so very disappointed in the change DK Eyewitness Guide has made to its 2021 books!
I've used DK Eyewitness Guides for 20 years and they've taken me around the world, to known and obscure places. What makes the guide books terrific are the photos that help identify what you are seeing and the schematics of historic buildings. Even when our family takes a fully-guided tour or a cruise, I buy the DK Guides so I can understand in advance what we will see. We always hire private guides when we're on our own and DK helps me think through what I want to see in advance so we can plan accordingly with the private guide.
We were to go to Egypt in 2 weeks for a fully-guided tour. I bought the 2020 Egypt DK Eyewitness Books and they are terrific. Trip was cancelled and we've quickly booked Rome and Florence for same dates. Scrambling to plan and I immediately ordered my guide books. I have books from last trip in 2005 but I wanted updates for restaurants, hotels, etc.
What has changed: historically, Eyewitness includes a section with a list of hotels, restaurants, shopping, etc. at the back of the book. The list was divided by areas of a city/region, it was comprehensive in offering choices from 5 star to 1 star and it explained the pros/cons of each hotel and restaurant. It was easy to flip to the back of the book and scan. The contents of the books have always been divided by regions/parts of city, but it was convenient to keep touring separate from logistics. This was helpful for advance planning of hotels and/or restaurants. Using the Eyewitness Guides made roughing out a tentative itinerary very easy.
NOW, in the midst of the book, embedded in the regions, are one or two dining options and, perhaps one hotel suggestion. AND, the index is no help because the page references are incorrect. For example, in the Rome book, the index says hotel recommendations for the Piazza Navona are on page 129 when, in fact, there is 1 hotel recommendation on page 131. No rankings, just a hotel name and website. This information and format is not helpful on the fly when you need a good place to take a hungry child for lunch.
Last, the cover of the Eyewitness Guides have always been solid and durable. The pages are glossy and heavy. None of mine are worse for wear, even though they've been worn hard. NOW, the cover is flimsy and the paper inside is cheap. I can't imagine the books will survive this trip, much less survive several trips or 20 years like my older copies. All said, with no help on current matters like dining, shopping, etc., I'll probably take my tried and true copies.
DK, return to old format!! This is a very bad downgrade!