Chambre d'hôtes Var – une Pause en Provence

Telephone: 06 85 13 71 36 / 06 07 52 83 57

Rent a bed and breakfast in Provence, for a successful stay

What is a chambre d'hôtes in Provence and how does it work?

A bed & breakfast (chambre d’hôtes) in Provence is a furnished room in the home of a local, whose purpose is to welcome guests in return for payment, for one or more nights, including breakfast and the possibility of additional services (swimming pool, spa, sauna, etc.).
Stays can be for both tourism and business.

Guests are welcomed into the home of a local (also known as a host), who welcomes them into his or her ” guest house “. Breakfast can be taken individually or together, in the dining room, in the family kitchen or in a dedicated breakfast room. Sharing other meals is possible (mainly in the evening) when the guest house has a “table d’hôtes” function; a flat-rate contribution is then requested.

A little history about bed and breakfasts:

1) The concept of chambres d’hôtes or guest houses first appeared in Central Europe at the beginning of the 19th century. But it wasn’t until the second half of the 20th century that the company really took off.

The concept of bed and breakfast began in Germany in the early 19th century. To imitate certain wealthy families who had their own country resorts, the middle class began to stay with farmers during the summer, who offered them lodging and access to the kitchen of their home (for their staff) in return for payment. So we went to ” chez l’habitant “.
Then, at the end of the 19th century, the Austrian region of Tyrol began to offer this type of accommodation too.
But it was above all from the 1960s onwards that this type of tourism really took off, as rural accommodation evolved in terms of its form, the range of services offered, and the combination of leisure activities and ancillary services.

The initial operating principle at the time was based on a dual activity for local residents: an existing agricultural activity and an activity in the form of rural tourism. In 1912, Abel Ballif, president of the Touring Club de France, encouraged Parisians to go to the country and live like ” campagnards “, in specially equipped rooms: this was the “chambre de l’hôte”.
B&Bs then developed in town.

The exact terms ” chambres d’hôtes ” and ” maisons d’hôtes In 1948, the “Commission de Modernisation du Tourisme Français” (Commission for the Modernization of French Tourism) promoted this form of tourist accommodation, as well as that of rural gites, because at the same time there was a boom in tourism, and in rural tourism in particular. It wasn’t until the 2000s that chambres d’hôtes were legally separated from meublés de tourisme.

Although bed and breakfast accommodation has been an economic reality in France for several decades, it’s only very recently that French legislation has officially recognized the bed and breakfast rental business as a tourist accommodation activity.
This was followed by a number of regulations, including a maximum of five rooms for a guest house. Beyond this capacity, the structure is subject to other regulations, mainly those relating to hotels or furnished tourist accommodation.

To be a chambre d’hôte in Provence, as elsewhere in France, you need to comply with specific rules.
The main ones are :
* be located in the inhabitant’s home or in an outbuilding on the property
* with a warm welcome from the locals,
* be rented by the night with breakfast
* provide household linen
* WC and shower room.

2) Today, ” l’habitant ” has become a passionate operator, a true ambassador for a region, very close to his customers.

Owning and running a bed and breakfast business has become a real profession in its own right, but it’s also a passion ! You can’t just become a B&B operator – you’re either cut out for it or you’re not! In today’s competitive market, the most successful B&Bs are those run by operators who know how to take good care of their guests, and who have often gone far beyond their role as ” hosts”. “. In addition to offering rooms and breakfast, they have also perfectly understood that they need to act as ambassadors for their region. They almost take the place of the Tourist Offices in providing their customers with tailor-made, personalized advice. Ideas for visits, outings, good addresses for restaurants, etc. Some go even further by offering turnkey holidays, verging on the concept of organized travel! (bike hire already arranged, tickets for museums or shows already booked…)

Key figures:

(source Accueillir Magazine)
In 2020, some 21, 500 registered rental operators managed a total of 60,000 guest rooms throughout France, for an average of 2.8 guest rooms per guest house. The number of addresses, which had risen sharply in the 2000s, has stabilized. Today, guest houses account for 10% of tourist accommodation, but because of their small capacity, the number of beds offered represents only 2% of the total, far behind hotels, campsites and vacation rentals.

According to data collected by a B&B promotion organization, the Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur (PACA) region accounts for 12% of all B&Bs in France, including 27% in the Var and 27% in the Vaucluse.

Two departments in Provence!

Chambre d'hôtes en Provence Le Beausset

Rent a bed and breakfast in Provence, for a successful stay!

Provence covers an area of 31,443 km². It covers several départements: Vaucluse, Bouches du Rhône, Var, Alpes de Haute Provence, Hautes Alpes and Alpes Maritimes.
It has a population of around 4,781,000.

The diversity of its landscapes reflects the image of the Mediterranean Midi, a warm image of colors and scents: Provencal garrigue, rocky cliffs, blue sea, calanques, olive groves, vineyards and lavender. It’s lunchtime!
This Provençal art of living, this authenticity, this terroir and these traditions, are all values appreciated and sought after by visitors, not forgetting its gastronomy and wines.
Let’s not forget that this region has inspired famous painters such as Picasso and Cézanne, among others, and has been a source of inspiration for writers such as Pagnol, undeniably the best-known and perhaps most widely-read Provencal author.
Provence is fortunate to be home to many of France’s most beautiful villages.

So it’s no coincidence that there are over 500 guest houses in the Var and another 500 in the Vaucluse!

There are several types of B&B in Provence:
* ” classiques ” guest rooms, in houses, farmhouses, castles…
* ” insolites ” guest rooms, in perched cabins, gypsy caravans, yurts…

We chose the South for its climate and landscapes. But the South is not Provence! So we naturally settled in Provence for the diversity of its landscapes, its colors, its smells, its terroir, its gastronomy, etc. etc. etc. etc.

And in Provence, there’s the Var! It’s got it all, plus…the sea! Our bed and breakfast in Provence is positioned between Land and Sea(see previous article from September 2019) which offers a wide choice of walking possibilities. This means we can welcome guests who are looking for peace, relaxation and nature, as well as those who are more inclined to enjoy the sea and the calm of our establishment.

And when you own a guest house in Provence or B&B in Provence, it’s only natural that you invite your guests to come and enjoy Une Pause en Provence….