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Unique Lodging in France

Find the Perfect and Special Place to Stay in France


France's hotels and lodging options go well beyond the chains. There are unique lodging options like gites, logis de France and chambres d'hotes. You can stay on a farm, rent an RV or sleep on a houseboat. You can save money by camping or splurge euros on a castle stay. Find out about the various categories of accommodations and hotels in France, and how to book them.

Most of the organizations below publish books listing their accommodations. Although sometimes they are in French, they can still be useful as they are filled with pictures, rates and easy-to-understand symbols. Here is a description of each type, including details about the accomodation style.

Gîtes de France

Gîtes de France provide an inexpensive option and these stays can actually be better than a traditional hotel. Gîtes can be self-catering stays in a villa or a bed-and-breakfast type of stay. Many times, they are in the more rural areas of France.

The gîtes category encompasses many lodging styles, including chambres d'hotes (bed and breakfast), children's gîtes which host kids for stays in France, and more. To be considered a gîte, an accommodation must be approved, meet criteria and be inspected by the organization. The organization provides a corn-stalk rating from one to four stalks.

Logis de France

Logis de France is a chain of smaller hotels, mostly akin to an American inn, which are almost always connected to a fine restaurant. Sometimes dinner for two can actually cost as much as the room (but it's almost always worth it).

Farm Stays in France

Bienvenue a la Ferme, or farm stays, is a program in which participating farms meet a certain criteria and accept overnight guests. Some farms provide rooms in an inn or bed-and-breakfast type setting, while others simply offer guests a plot for pitching a tent. Usually, fresh farm produce or even meals made from the farm's bounty can be had.

Castle or Chateau Hotels in France

Chateau Hotels in France offer an indulgent and unique hotel experience. Some are surprisingly affordable as well, especially if you get outside the major cities.

River Barge Stays

River Barging is a unique accommodation and a chance to appreciate France's vast supply of rivers and canals. There are many companies that rent out self-driving, no-license-needed barges, and a mix of boat sizes accomodating a couple or a group.

Camping in France

Camping in France is a wonderfully inexpensive and surprisingly comfortable alternative. Thanks to the government's rating system, you can find four-star campgrounds that are filled with amenities like pools, nightclubs, grocery stores, restaurants and more. The bad news is these are frequently outside of town. If you plan to use public transportation, check first to be sure there is a bus to take you into town. Better yet, rent a car and have a more secure spot for baggage than a tent or locker.
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