Staying Chez l’Habitant
|The city’s new manual for bed & breakfasts.|
May 11, 2005; updated July 19, 2006
Paris is rich in hotels (with 75,000 rooms) but poor in bed and breakfasts (only 300 rooms). This isn’t surprising, since the French are intensely private people and are not in the habit of throwing their homes open to outsiders. If you were invited to dinner by a Parisian friend, for example, you would be entertained in the living and dining rooms and would probably never see the rest of the apartment – there are no “tours” of the home like those commonly offered by American hosts.
This attitude is gradually changing with the younger generation, however, and now City Hall is encouraging the creation of bed and breakfasts to not only offer tourists a wider range of accommodations but also to help ease the isolation of some Parisians, half of whom live alone, and give them a chance to increase their income. The city has created a new “quality charter” specifying the standards (cleanliness, room size, comfort, service, etc.) to be met by new B&Bs, which must be approved by one of the seven reservation services that have signed the charter.
This is good news for tourists looking for a charming, inexpensive place to stay or interested in meeting the locals. They will also feel more confident about staying in a stranger’s home when they know certain standards have been met and are backed up by a professional organization. The seven B&B reservation services are:
Alcôve & Agapes:
Fleurs de Soleil:
Tel.: 06 62 37 97 85.
Good Morning Paris:
Une Chambre en Ville:
2binparis. Bed & Breakfast Paris:
Hôtes Qualité Paris: the city’s official B&B Web site: www.hotesqualiteparis.fr/
© 2005-2006 Paris Update
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