Ceci c'est un hotel: A quick guide to French hotels and what to expect from them

Traditional Parisian hotels tend to be simpler and have fewer bells and whistles than Americans ones. Free HBO is considered a God-given right in the cheapest American motel.

In France, few hotels below the moderate level will even have TVs, let alone satellite channels such as CNN and BBC.

Europeans just have different standards and expectations when it comes to lodgings. Their hotels tend to focus on cleanliness and friendliness over amenities.

They're old-fashioned, somewhat worn around the edges, with small rooms and furniture that's either mismatched or aging ’60s functional units—but they're great deals.

The ratings game

French hotels are generally rated from one to five stars.

As hotels get more expensive (four- and five-star ), they get more similar to standard hotels in the U.S.—where hotels are renowned for their absolute lack of character and cookie-cutter sameness.

There's rarely a good reason to book anything fancier than a three-star, where you'll still get most of the amenities you'd expect at home, just perhaps not as standardized.

As far as the cheaper, more traditional European hotels and pensions at the one- and two-star levels, here's the "worst" of the differences you can expect to find:

A peek inside a Parisian hotel


» More hotels in Paris: Booking.com, Venere.com, Bedandbreakfast.com, Getaroom.com




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