Up to the year 2000, holidays were mainly taken either with the family, or in specialized accommodation run by professionals (hotels, hostels, camping sites, holiday camps and board & lodgings).
The arrival of Internet changed all this giving the public the possibility of offering their own property as bed & breakfast and holiday lets on a large scale all over France.
This dynamism brought out entirely new concepts such as urban board & lodgings, unusual rentals (cabins, yurts, caravans & river boats). Organic or ecological lodgings, well - being offers (massage, spa & spirituality) and also creative tourism (theatre, cooking & creativity courses).
This “fad” of renting between each other also brought with it several harmful prejudices against the serious owners because of the dishonest descriptions made by the others: fanciful descriptions, touched up photographs, doubtful opinions and the false marketing of bed & breakfasts with no actual owners living on the premises...
So wanting to be entirely open and honest I am going to show you all there is to know about my unusual and family accommodation in Paris.
A stay in a B&B
Whether it is a "guest house", "bed & breakfast" or "b'nb" the definition is the same: bed and breakfast are furnished rooms in the owners private home with the idea to welcome tourists for 1, 2 or several nights with a lot of different services.
Chez Bertrand is a B&B because I live on the premises and breakfast is included.
For the discretion and comfort of my guests all the rooms are independent: once inside the communal area each family has their own private entrance and does not need to share the bathroom & toilet as they each have their own. Moreover the guest rooms all have a well equipped corner kitchen where they can prepare their own breakfast & meals. The supermarket & baker’s shop are just two minutes away, I offer the breakfast as an option and only if specifically asked for.
This proximity is well appreciated by my guests because I can help them with advice on how to plan their stay in Paris, give small services such as printing out concert tickets, looking after their luggage and helping them if needed (starting the car if the battery is flat, reporting a lost mobile phone).
On the other hand I do not offer meals as this requires too much organization.
A holiday let
A holiday let (also known as short term rental holiday) is the rental of a furnished property, non-renewable with maximum stay of 90 consecutive days. Nothing could be more vague.... For me the furnished flats that I rent out in Paris are independent and classed as “Tourist Accommodation”. That is to say they were controlled by an official and independent organisation (112 criteria spread over 4 categories: equipment, services offered, accessibility & sustainable development) before allowing them to be classified in this category of Tourist Accommodation.
I do not propose breakfast in my holiday lets, but all the shops are close by and each flat has its own kitchen.
A little bit of design...
When I created the guest house Chez Bertrand in 2004 I was the first property owner to have a design guest house in Paris. At that time accommodation in a private urban home did not exist, except for some English people living in Paris who did not want to have their grown up children’s room left empty. The furnishings were very classical, a thousand miles away from a modern aesthetic look. So I decided to propose something different, designer guest rooms, both entertaining & functional painted in bright colours using contemporary materials (resin, glass, gloss paint etc.).
....and lots of unusual
Myself I was one of the first to think about an unusual decoration in Paris to go against the wave of excessive standardization, where all hotel rooms looked alike.
My clients immediately wanted to rent an unusual apartment with a 2CV Citroen disguised as a bed, lights from a Mercedes headlights and a Haribo distributer in the bedroom
Holidays are the occasion to take a break from the daily life, and nothing is better for that than to rent an apartment which is decorated originally, differently and out of the ordinary.