Self Drive - cheap sleeps in France?

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Sep 5th, 2005, 03:19 AM
  #1
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Self Drive - cheap sleeps in France?

We are hiring a car in Bayeux and driving down and across France with the drop off point 17 days later at Montpellier airport.

Im wondering if there is book or guide I can buy to have as we travel or suggestions for the best way to find budget accommodation as we travel. (I dont want to spend the last couple of hours of the day door knocking and asking rates) We will of course spend more than one night in some places but the question remains the same.
We live in Australia but I guess if I hurray I could order thru amazon if there are ones available in the US
Any advice appreciated.
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Sep 5th, 2005, 03:38 AM
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Hi Cosmo, have you tried the Accor group (from 0 to 4 star hotels all around France) Envergure group as well (Kyriad, Campanile...)
https://www.envergure.fr/
http://www.accorhotels.com/accorhotels/index.html

bienvenue en France!
corinne
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Sep 5th, 2005, 03:55 AM
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I can't help with a specific guidebook on cheap lodgings but I have picked out places from the Rough Guide in the past - either just turned up or phoned ahead from the mobile when approaching the town in question, to check availability.

There are several cheap chains in France : perhaps you could make up a list of possibilities for the areas you are going from their websites ?

Ibis - (http://www.ibishotel.com) - I've stayed in several & they've been fine.

Mercure - have stayed in one & it was fine.

(Either or both of these may be members of the Accor group, I think. As may be Novotel, another chain I don't know much about.)

F1 (Formule 1) - never stayed in one but they've seemed the very cheapest when we've passed them. But may all be beside motorways & other major roads, not in towns.

When are you going ? If it's not peak season you shouldn't have any trouble just turning up, in my experience.
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Sep 5th, 2005, 04:01 AM
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In any sizeable town in France there will be a few cheap chain hotels.In Australia they would be called motels. They are normally on the outskirts of town, and run at about 25-35 euros per room (to sleep 3 people). You will see signs advertising their presence as you approach the town. Names to look out for include Formule 1, Mr Bed, Premiere Classe, Geo, Bonsai, Roi Soleil etc etc. They all have the price per room per night posted prominently somewhere on the building. Often they have an automatic book-in routine:there is a machine outside the front door which you use to book a room and get the code that opens the door of the hotel AND your room. These machines accept Australian VISA cards. The rooms are basic, some have ensuite facilities, all have TV. They are comfortable and secure. After you have located and booked into one such hotel in France, the whole routine will become very clear to you. For example, the first Formule 1 you book into will give you a booklet giving the location etc etc of every other Formule 1 hotel in the world. And the other chains work similarly. They are better and a lot cheaper than many motels I have stayed at in Australia!
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Sep 5th, 2005, 04:15 AM
  #5
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thanks very much everyone - exactly the sort of info I was hoping for. As to the formula 1 - Ive booked the one at Brussels airport prior to flying to Athens with an early start - so be interesting to see what its like.(Ill pick up a book as suggested - thanks)

We are in France from 16th Oct to 9th November with 6 nights in Paris before we pick up the hire car.Cant wait!
(Thanks adeben for the names of the cheaper chains - I wasnt familiar with any of them so itll help me keep an eye open for them)
cheers
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Sep 5th, 2005, 04:27 AM
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if you can find one (on accor website) try Etap hotel, just a few euros more than a formule1 and the shower and toilets are en suite, not to share with other customers... We tried a few of them (Paris, Nancy, London) and they were all clean and quite comfortable. DH always wants his proper toilets so no way for a formule1.
You may cancel a booking until 6 or 7pm on the same day without charges. (for the whole accor group in general)
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Sep 5th, 2005, 05:49 AM
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I wouldn't recommend cheap motels and hotels - - when you're going to la belle France and there are so many inns and gites worthy of tour consideration. Consider half board - - while you will not necessarily be served the most "top end" selection on their menu, you can get real authentic, French homestyle (in many cases) cooking, bien soignée as you can find only in France at very affordable (combined) rates.

Se www.logis-de-france.com or www.gites-de-france.com (note: this is a mixture of self-catering accommodations for extended stays, like a week, but also B&B choices - - <<chambre d'hote>>, with or without table d'hote possibilities as well).

Best wishes,

Rex
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Sep 5th, 2005, 05:49 AM
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Doble_Vergasser
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If you want a hotel rather than a Motel, then you might logis-de-france.com. I know that they several affilaites in the Tours area and may have affiliates elsewhere.
 
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Sep 5th, 2005, 06:02 AM
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I also want to recommend the Logis-de-France small hotels. No luxury but a basic, very clean room and bathroom - and usually a small Restaurant where you can eat at a very reasonable price - and the food is French and delicious!

You can book online through their central reservation office.

Enjoy France!
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Sep 5th, 2005, 06:29 AM
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and, of course, you can do a mixture of the Formule/Etap type places, espec. for strictly stop to sleep, and do the gite/logis thing in towns where you want to stay a day or two.
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Sep 5th, 2005, 06:30 AM
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ira
 
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Hi C,

Re Logis de France.

The accomodations are usually 2*.

The number of chimneys is important. The more chimneys, the better the food.

Enjoy your visit.

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Sep 5th, 2005, 08:46 AM
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Another useful option may be the Sawdays Guides, a British publication. Go to http://www.sawdays.co.uk/ and click on French Bed and Breakfasts. You can buy the guides, but there's also good info on the website.
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Sep 5th, 2005, 08:55 AM
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I recently saw a post on another thread which said establishments pay to be in the Sawdays guides.
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Sep 5th, 2005, 09:32 AM
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Gites de France is a cheap way to go:

http://www.gites-de-france.fr/eng/index.htm

They also have a book that you could purchase if you did not print out your list ahead of time. For some popular areas, you need to make reservations anyway. The web site for the Dordogne does not work, so you would have to look at the book, which you can pick up in any decent bookstore in France.

We used them and were very happy, feeling that for the price they were better than equivalent hotel accommodations.
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Sep 5th, 2005, 09:48 AM
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Don't you usually have to book a gite for a week ?
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Sep 5th, 2005, 09:52 AM
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Sorry Rex, just re-read your post & noticed you said the gites-de-france website also includes B&B.
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Sep 6th, 2005, 04:30 AM
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There may be some confusion generated by some of the posts above, so, for the record, Formule 1, ETAP, IBIS, Novotel and Mercure are all part of the ACCOR chain, and are listed here in order of cost, lowest to highest.
Formule 1 does not have en suite, but the showers and toilets are close nearby, always available, always clean, and the showers might be as good as any I have experienced in France. Further, any Logis or gite will be noticeably more expensive than the cheap chain hotels. I have often paid over the odds for 'Quaint' where I would have been better served by modern facilities, but then I have never subscribed to the notion that where I slept overnight was going to be an integral part of my experience in France: THAT came through what I did and saw during the day. I might also add that what I save on accommodation I very happily spend on restaurants that have Michelin stars, and you can be assured that those are not inexpensive!
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Sep 6th, 2005, 09:42 PM
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We like the Logis de France very much, but most didn't have internet access for our laptop. They did all have local charm and very good food. We wouldn't hesitate to stay in a Logis again.

Every few days we would stay in an Ibis to get internet access. Being a chain, you know up front what you're getting and they are modern and clean. In most the food is acceptable, not great. We'd eat at an Ibis only when it was too late to go out or we had had a fantastic noon meal and just wanted a bowl of soup or an omelette or steak/frites.

For the fun of it we did try a Formule 1. VERY heavy into functional and devoid of any charm but extremely affordable. Sort of reminded me of youth hosteling years ago. Other negative (for me at least) was that being so inexpensive, there were a lot of work crews. As the lone woman in a small breakfast bar area with 15 guys in their blues staring at me made me quite uncomfortable. But that's just me. The Formule 1 and their like cater to a specific niche.

All the aforementioned chains have booklets and maps that you can stop in and get (some charge, but it was worth it to us) once you are in France.
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Sep 7th, 2005, 12:07 AM
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Look for B&B's at the Logis de France website. http://www.logisdefrance.com
Their free guides are available in any Logis de France hotel, and when you're staying at one, the owner will gladly book the next one for you.
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Sep 7th, 2005, 01:37 AM
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i will NEVER stay in a formule 1 again.
i was alone, and there is NO ONE ON CALL all night, so if i had gotten locked out of my KEYLESS room, and inadvertantly left the little slip of paper with the code on it while i was trapsing to the hallway communal toilet at midnight.. what would i have done?

the heating in my room didn't work.. and when i complained in the morning to the now arrived desk clerk.. he just acted like "what do you expect.. nothing i can do about it".

admittedly.. it is cheap, but for god's sake.. i could have been attacked in the hallway or anything.

needless to say i didnt sleep well and couldn't wait to get out of there.

the friend who "recommended" them to me got an earful.
( turns out she had never slept in one.. but thought they were o.k. like another one of the chains.

yes.. and FULL of men.. not a good place for a woman trying to cut corners. the car is probably safer.

it is what it is.. but gets to a point.. a few extra euros is well worth it unless you are destitute.

granted.. maybe it was this one.. the others may be better? don't know and will not bother to find out.
alicante spain.
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