Your destination, France, is decided. The flights/travel dates are booked. Now you can turn your attention to where to stay. How do you decide?
If this is your first visit to La Belle France, then there’s a treat in store. France is the most visited country in the world. And no wonder. With beaches, mountains, unspoilt landscapes, food, drink, culture and heritage to name but a few reasons to choose this fair land, plus a favourite re-location destination for “les anglais”, who can resist?
Choosing a B&B or a hotel. What’s the difference?
The B&B experience offers a unique opportunity to get an insight into the local way of life. Many B&B owners are passionate and knowledgeable about their local area, and can direct you to people and places you wouldn’t find on your own. They will make reservations for you; recommend restaurants based on their own experience (not because they get a commission).
They will spend time talking to you about what you need, and can respond quickly to problems and challenges you may have. They can be your place of refuge in a foreign land.
You will often become part of their family during the time you stay with them, sometimes meeting other family members and their friends. Sometimes you’ll have dinner with them and the family, and with the other guests.
Dinner choices are not normally offered, but usually good quality home-cooked food is served in a B&B. You’ll get to meet other travellers too, and make new friends. Recipes may be shared, and insights gained. Childrens’ toys and books may be available for you. You’ll experience a “home from home” atmosphere, that larger hotels cannot provide. A truly enriching experience for open-minded travellers.
Hotels on the other hand generally provide higher levels of comfort and amenities. If you’re looking for 4 or 5 star service, discreet waiting staff to attend to your every whim at all hours of the day and night, then a hotel is probably a better choice for you.
Look for B&Bs (and hotels) with lots of positive reviews from past guests when choosing your place to stay. Customer reviews are far more reliable than anything the owners, managers or websites say. Think about your expectations and how you’ll feel if they’re not met. Know what you need and want, and then choose your accommodation accordingly.