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finding french hotels in rural/smalltown areas

finding french hotels in rural/smalltown areas

Jul 14th, 2001, 06:17 AM
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finding french hotels in rural/smalltown areas

Planning a three-week driving trip through Europe in late sept/early oct. Most of our itinerary/hotel reservations already planned (visiting germany,switz,italy) except for the final journey from northern spain to paris. this is the only area we're "playing it by ear". Has anyone experienced the "highway hotels", as described on the "drive alive" website? Sounds to me like american motels along the the highways...i've been told that these don't exist in europe. Also welcome any other driving tips/comments...thanks

Jul 14th, 2001, 07:31 AM
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In most small French towns there is a "syndicat d'initiatif" -- a kind of tourist bureau that lists places to stay. We have used them with amazing results -- farm homes, urban mansions, small hotels too small to be Michelin Red Book material. Also, during the past 20 or so years, there has been a growing movement called "gites de France" -- something like Bed-and-Breakfast. Small, round, orange-white-and-green signs at crossroads with arrows directing travelers down country lanes, etc. If you stick to the main highways, you will never find these places. You must get off onto the side roads. Sometimes they are listed at the syndicat offices in town centers.
Jul 14th, 2001, 07:45 AM
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http://www.gites-de-france.fr/eng/ is the gites de France website - they have both B & B and properties for rent by the week, sometimes by the weekend.

I haven't seen the drive alive website but increasingly at main thoroughfare junctions you can find hotels like Formule 1, Campanile etc. Rather characterless hotels but we have used them for convenience from time to time.
Jul 14th, 2001, 07:52 AM
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We used the gites on a trip to France last year. We made some reservations ahead of time and others as we went along. We loved most of the places we stayed.

Bon voyage
Jul 14th, 2001, 07:56 AM
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2 or 3 years ago we did a self directed drive tour throughout France in mid October with no reservations. We had no trouble finding inexpensive lodgings each night.We came upon only one US type of motel although there were probably many we didn't see.

We found a lot of 2 star hotels in the towns and villages we passed through. The rooms were always clean and comfortable. Usually there was a restaurant on the premises serving excellant local food at a moderate price. Enjoy your trip!
Jul 14th, 2001, 08:37 AM
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A lot of hotels, one, two and three star, are members of Logis Hotels, or Logis de France. You will often see their green sign with a fireplace symbol on hotels in towns and villages. There are also hotels of the logis group in other european countries. They have a website. If a place is a hotel or gite or chambre d'hote (sp?), there will usually be some indication given on the building. I don't think you'll have any problem playing it by ear. Have a wonderful trip!
Jul 14th, 2001, 10:01 AM
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There are plenty of "highway hotels" on your way from Spain to Paris. They are not exactly on the highway but always very close to an exit. From the very cheap FORMULE 1 (NOTE: they have no private bathroom) & ETAP hotels (private shower & wc) upto the more expensive NOVOTEL or SOFITEL and everything in between.
Check out their website: http://www.accorhotels.com/accorhotels/index.html
Jul 14th, 2001, 11:57 AM
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Also worth your while to order a guide (or print out the relevant info on your own) from www.logis-de-france.com (or.fr) - - a lot of family-run places.

Best wishes,


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