When it comes to vacations, you have an infinite choice of possibilities. But in France, the terms gîtes and chambres d’hôtes are often used. They’re often confused, yet each has its own characteristics. Find out more here.

1. B&Bs

A gîte is a house (or apartment) that you have full use of. It’s also known as meublé de tourisme or seasonal rental .

It must be :

  • Furnished
  • Equipped
  • Rented by the week or weekend but never by the night

You’ll find several types of gîtes, from rural to eco-gîtes. The latter have emerged with the advent of sustainable development, and are in very high demand.

Among the best known in France are the
Gîtes de France
with over 56,000 accommodations rated from 1 to 5 épis (equivalent to stars).

2. Bed and breakfast

A chambre d’hôte, on the other hand, is a home-stay. Also known as a B&B, a chambre d’hôte is a private, en-suite room in your hosts’ home. So you don’t have full use of the premises.

Here are the features:

  • Rental per night
  • Breakfast always included
  • Maximum 5 rooms per house and 15 people in total (this is known as a guest house).
  • Hotel service: bed-making and cleaning
  • The living rooms are shared

It’s a great way to discover local culture, homemade food and meet new people!

One of the most important rules is respect for the owners. While you can arrive and return whenever you like in a gîte, it’s best to let the owners know if you’re coming in late, and to be careful not to make any noise in a guest house.

There you go! Now you know the difference between gîte and chambres d’hôtes. And if you’re interested, you can also find out more about the Gîtes de France label.