The different types of accommodations in France

The different types of accommodations in France

French Accommodations: What are the different accommodation types in France?

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The Difference Between Chambre d'Hotes, Table d'Hote, Full Board, Half Board, Bed and Breakfast (BnB), Self Catering and All Inclusive

Chambre d'Hotes
Chambre d'hotes are the French equivalent to a guest home or a BnB, bed and breakfast. Guests will stay overnight at the home of the property owner and your stay will also include breakfast. There are a few regulations to comply with. For instance, a chambre d'hotes can only have 5 bedrooms and accommodate a maximum of 15 people. The chambre d'hotes has to be furnished, needs to be provided with linen and must include breakfast. The stay is charged on a night by night basis. If you plan to serve alcoholic drinks to your guests, you will have to request a drink license from your Mairie and comply with a training called formation permis d'exploitation.  

Table d'hôte (table of the host)
In France, table d'hôte refers to the shared dining (sometimes breakfast and lunch) offered in a vacation named chambre d'hôte (similar to "BnB", "bed and breakfast"). Every guest of a chambre d'hôte can join this meal, cooked by the hosting family. It is not a restaurant, there is only one service, the price is fixed and usually included in the vacation. Everyone sits around a large table and makes small-talk about the house, the country, and so on. What is closer in French to the meaning of table d'hôte in English is a menu ("lunch special" or "fixed menu"). It usually includes several dishes to pick in a fixed list: an entrée (introductory course), a main course (a choice between up to four dishes), a cheese, a dessert, bread, and sometimes beverage (wine) and coffee all for a set price fixed for the year between €15 to €55. The menu du jour, a cheaper version with less choice, an entrée, and the main course, the plat du jour ("dish of the day") changed every day, is usually between €9 to €15.

Full Board
Full Board means that breakfast, lunch and evening meals are included in the price but any drinks or snacks outside these meal times will cost you extra. This package is perfect for those who are happy spending the day lounging by the pool at the hotel but don't want to be restricted to what the accommodation has to offer in the evening - perfect if you prefer to experience the surrounding nightlife after dinner.

Half Board
Breakfast and dinner are both included in the price, meaning that any food or drink outside of meal times will cost you extra. Perhaps you want to book lots of daytime excursions to explore the local area or explore other activities? This means you can fill up on breakfast before you leave, grab lunch when you're out, and come back knowing you won't have to worry about cooking dinner or finding somewhere to eat when you return as the hotel will have it covered.

Bed and Breakfast (BnB)
A bed and breakfast is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and breakfast. Bed and breakfasts are often private family homes and typically have between four and eleven rooms, with six being the average. For those who like to start the day with a good hearty breakfast but don't want to be fixed to certain prearranged times for the rest of their meals, B&B is a great option. Most BnB's offer a very personal and extended breakfast while most hotels offer a buffet breakfast, so you can pile your plate high to keep your energy up until lunchtime - this is an excellent arrangement for couples and groups.

Self Catering
Self-catering is when you take care of your own meals. A self-catering holiday home or vacation rental is a self-contained property offering clean, comfortable, furnished accommodation for visitors who are also provided with the means to prepare and cook their own meals. Most BnB's offer excellent breakfasts and when you ask, quite often also lunch and or super. When you look at the excellent service you get in most BnB's you should seriously consider the Full Board, Chambre d'hôte or Table d'hôte option! Want to eat breakfast at midday? Do the kids eat dinner at 5pm, but you prefer to wait until they are in bed? Self-catering offers you the flexibility to come and go as you please and to set your own holiday timetable. No meals are included in the cost of a self-catering holiday, but you will be provided with complete kitchen facilities in your accommodation to prepare your own meals. This board basis is also perfect for those who have a selective appetite or miss their home comforts while away. It also suits those with a small budget as you can buy food at supermarkets cheaply and cook for yourself.

All-Inclusive is the best security for you to know the costs that you will have to make to have a complete vacation. All-Inclusive means that meals, drinks, soft and alcoholic, are included in the price of your stay. Usually, there is a cut-off time in the evening, which will vary depending on the accommodation that you are staying at, usually 11 pm or midnight. All-Inclusive is just great for families as there is no need to worry about all those little extras in-between meal times adding up. Ice creams and snacks are sometimes included too. Since everything is included in the package price, this is the best type of board basis for those who do not plan to venture far from the accommodation they are staying in, or who don't want to worry about carrying cash around while on vacation. But, you always have the opportunity to eat-out away from the place that you are staying in if you choose to. You may also be entitled to water sports and other activities that you would usually expect to pay for.

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