The French term chambre d’hôte refers to the countries bed & breakfast accommodations. The arrangements at a Parisian bed and breakfast can vary, but typically consist of a private bedroom and one meal, usually breakfast. If you want the home town experience of Paris, a bed and breakfast is a fantastic option.
The word chambre means room, and hôte means guest. You will see the English phrase bed & breakfast used in many listings, however don’t be surprised if you also see the French version. When looking for B&B listings you will often find Parisian hostels and budget hotels, so search for the words “chambre d’hôte” when searching for accommodations to narrow down the results.
What to Expect from a Paris Chambre d’hôte
The term ‘breakfast’ may be included in the description, but the typical Parisian breakfast is fairly minimal, so don’t expect a big morning offering. Most B&Bs in Paris will provide the same kind of breakfast for their guests that the locals would eat for breakfast themselves – which is typically a pastry, coffee or tea, and sometimes fruit or juice. If you want an American sized breakfast, you’re better off staying in a major chain hotel that offers that style of breakfast fare or searching the surrounding neighborhood for what suits your tastes.
Usually an advance deposit is required when you stay at a Paris B&B, and as some of these are private homes without a formal reception staff, they will typically ask what time you plan to arrive and depart so they can plan for your arrival. If you know roughly when you’ll get there, you may still be asked to call ahead for a more precise arrival time.
The quality of Paris B&Bs varies widely, and depends largely on the personality of the hosts. If you have questions that you cannot find an answer for on their website, contact the establishment to ask a few questions before you decide. It’s also important to remember that you are a guest in someone’s home, and there are some tips you should remember to make for a pleasant stay.
Tips for Staying in Paris Chambre d’hôte
As a guest, you’ll want to respect personal space. Do not go in areas of the home where you’ve not been given permission to go.
You may be visiting Paris for only a short time, but your hosts live there, therefore don’t make life difficult for them by being loud and disrespectful
This should go without saying, but leave everything as you find it.
The home you’re staying in isn’t likely to be a shoe free household, however Parisian streets aren’t pristine, so be sure to wipe your feet on the front doormat before entering the home.
Most Europeans tend to be very conscious of conserving water, therefore try to avoid taking long showers.
What to expect
Genuine friendly welcome
Assistance planning your sightseeing from a local expert
Breakfast included in the price
A glimpse into French family life
Respect for your privacy
A maximum number of five bedrooms
An ensuite bathroom of high standard
In many chambre d’hôte you will find entertainment such as books to read in multiple languages, games to play and information on local tourist sights. The hosts at the inn know their regions; therefore you can expect to be given good advice on where to go and what to see.
What not to expect
You may find a busy family life around you and it is not as anonymous as a hotel
There may be no lock on your bedroom door
You may not have a private table for breakfast
A bar for drinks
Access to the house during the day
What you pay
Just like at hotels, costs will vary. While the majority of bed and breakfasts are in the €60 to €100 range for the room for two people, some top ones charge over €200 a night. However they are all a good value and you get what you pay for.
Find your bed and breakfast
Now that you’ve decided to stay at a chambre d’hôte you will need some resources to search for what suits your needs. Here is a list of resources to help you with your quest.
Good Morning Paris is a service that list up to 130 bed and breakfast locations in Paris and guarantees satisfaction with their selection of hosts.
Paris Bed and Breakfasts offers a wide selection of bed and breakfasts in Paris along with ratings from other visitors.
BBPars.com offers a network of bed and breakfasts in Paris by location.
France alone makes you think of the good life. Enjoying breakfast with fresh French bread or enjoying a good glass of wine in the afternoon in Paris, the city of love, how can it get any better? Staying in a bed and breakfast is the perfect way to get to know France. Whether climbing the Eiffel Tower or strolling along the Champs-Élysées finding the right bed and breakfast can make your trip even more memorable.
Featured photo by Hollywood Hotel // Flickr