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What IS the deal with the Michelin Guides?

What IS the deal with the Michelin Guides?

Old Nov 30th, 2001, 03:50 PM
  #1  
Kim
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What IS the deal with the Michelin Guides?

Could someone please tell me what it is I am missing with the Micheling Guides? Everyone talks about checking their Michelin Guide, but I looked at the Green Guide and the Red Guide at the bookstore and I don't get it. The Red Guide, especially, seems like only a listing guide - name of hotel, address and phone.

Is there more to these guides that I'm not seeing at first glance?
 
Old Nov 30th, 2001, 04:15 PM
  #2  
Christina
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I presume if someone mentions checking their Michelin guide, they are referring to the Red guide for hotels and restaurants. It is not just listings, it has descriptions, although not lengthy. Also, the ratings alone tell you a lot and if you get used to Michelin vs Gault-Millau, for example, you can sort of read between the lines. For example, I don't think Michelin includes places that have no merit at all, for example, so being in there, even if one of their new casual/good price lower-level restaurants (forget what they call that), means it's a better choice than something not listed at all. If you trust their judgment, anyway. The Green Guides are the most extensive guides I know for detailed cultural and site-specific information and history; they also have quite a few decent maps in them. Some of them serve a larger purpose and you don't need to buy other maps or guides-- for example, the Paris once has detailed layout and discussion of the Louvre, as well as Pere Lachaise cemetery. They are best for someone interest in in-depth history, not an overview or broad tourist guide. They aren't too good to use alone (although I have in Provence, with a map) as they are organized alphabetically rather than a chapter by area, for example. So, they are more a reference than a guidebook, to me.
 
Old Nov 30th, 2001, 04:21 PM
  #3  
Kim
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Do the Red Guides come in English? The one I looked at on France was all in French, and I also looked at the web site, and the same - all of the hotel and restaurant descriptions were in French even though I had clicked on English Language for the site. The questions for the search on the web were in English, but the responses were all in French. Is there an "English" Red Guide for France???
 
Old Nov 30th, 2001, 04:38 PM
  #4  
Christina
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hmmm... good question, I don't know because I read French so haven't looked for the English version. I know the Green Guides are in English, at least most of them. I would guess the Red Guides are just because they sell so many in the US, but I'm sure someone else can tell you. I use the web site for specific places to find hotels and restaurants before I go. The web site is actually more convenient than the book, in my opinion, because you can search for all places within, say, 10 miles of a certain town, whereas the printed book is just alphabetical by place, I think. I love using the web search to find alternatives within a certain distance of where I'm staying that I would not have known about or thought of looking for by town name.
 
Old Nov 30th, 2001, 04:41 PM
  #5  
BillJ
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All of us have our favorite guide "systems." Mine always includes the Michelin "Green Guide." Along with the attractions, it provides a lot of history, geography, and geo-political background in a condenced version, with references. It even suggests some movies you might want to see. I have found their 1,2,3 star system to be very reliable, in general, and try not to miss their 3 star "green" marked attractions. As for maps, the Michelin maps show scenic routes with a green line along the road, and we try to follow the "green-lined roads" whenever possible.
We have not used their red books, so can't comment. I'm content with Fodor's for food and lodging, augmented by available info here and other places.
But Fodor's and Michelin's Green Guide are my base.
 
Old Nov 30th, 2001, 06:22 PM
  #6  
Alec
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Michelin Red Guides are written in the target language of the country they cover. So France is in French, Germany in German, GB and Ireland in English etc. They all have uniform format, though, and extensive indexes in several languages at the front. But you still need some knowledge of the language to decipher the brief descriptions some of the entries now carry.

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Old Nov 30th, 2001, 06:44 PM
  #7  
Anita
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The Michelin Green Guide for Normandy is terrific. It had very good "suggested driving tours" and gave more practical and historical information of the area, specifically regarding D-Day which was the purpose of our visit, than any other guide.
 
Old Dec 1st, 2001, 05:33 AM
  #8  
Ann
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Here in England we can buy English language versions of the Red Guide so I feel sure they must be available in the States as well. They are also available in Paris - see Brentanos or WH Smith. We are using the Red Guide for France (in English) right now for our spring trip.
 
Old Dec 1st, 2001, 05:39 AM
  #9  
Julie
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I have the Michelin Red Guides for several countries and find them very helpful. The front few pages include explanations in French, German, English, etc. By a careful reading of the English translation of what the symbols alone mean, you can get lots of information about hotels and restaurants in the towns you choose to visit. When the town is large enough to also merit a map, the maps are very useful to help you locate your selected hotel or restaurant even including info on one way streets, etc. I've used these guides a long time and have gradually come to understand and use more and more of the symbols and info. What they are best for is giving an idea of what kinds of meals and lodging are available in selected towns. They can also help you check out hotels and restaurants you've read of elsewhere. An especially helpful feature is their use of red symbols. They denote especially charming or attractive hotels and restaurants. Sometimes in desparation, I've selected a hotel based only on the information in the Red Guide and not been disappointed. You have to really work with them but the payoff is good.
 
Old Dec 1st, 2001, 05:46 AM
  #10  
Ann
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I forgot to mention that whenever I look at the ViaMichelin website it automatically comes up in English throughout. The home page is http://www.viamichelin.com/viamichel...oller/HomePage. I hope this helps.
 

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