Saturday, November 5, 2011
A Home or a Hotel in Paris
Petite Paris B&Bs vs. Paris Hotels!
We often still get guests asking "so what is your hotel like?"... So it's time to clear the air - about who we are and the difference between a Hotel and our B&Bs.
The truth is you can’t really compare the two! The atmospheres and experiences are completely different. One is a hotel (you cant get clearer than that) and other other is a 'Home' (our B&Bs).
Simply put, a hotel experience gives you all those bells and whistles such as room service, plush towels, pillow mints, laundry service and a (shoebox) bedroom that is clean and well decorated in that ‘hotel’ way! The experience is one of convenience!
Our B&Bs are 'real' homes of 'real' Parisians (literally a home away from home). It is a lodging style of accommodation where you live like a true Parisian together with your host. Oh and there are 75 B&B apartments to choose from! They all offer a more personal experience to your travels, being in a home (not hotel) environment you will experience a sense of conviviality and warmth in a family atmosphere. You can expect to feel like your staying at a friends place and you will be welcomed and treated like one rather than a paying customer. Even if you choose one of our un-hosted apartments they are still ‘homes’ so expect to find personality throughout – as you would in your own home!
You will have all the necessities you would expect at your disposal – clean towels, manchester, toiletries, quality breakfasts etc. All our B&Bs follow strict criteria for cleanliness, comfort and attention to detail and our hosts all follow very high standards of quality and service, but they are not professionals, they are everyday people, like you and I. But let me argue that they have been offering their B&Bs for years, are experienced and extremely hospitable and attentive. Professional in their own right!
You will experience real cultural exchanges and communication with our Parisians and form long friendships! Overall it’s a much richer and authentic experience and isn't that the point of travelling? ... to meet real natives and gain real cultural insight and not just interact with the concierge, tour guide, bus, train or information guide?
So thats essentially it! But Read on for more detail about us if you like...
Other people’s homes: discover what goes on behind the walls of the French home! Discover magical baroque, art deco, French country, modern or 18th century interiors, décor, furnishings and the routine of a (French) life unique to your own. Keep in mind that as homes of people with their own right to privacy there will be certain rooms and/or things that you must respect the privacy of (just think of it as if you were offering a spare room in your house). Respect, courtesy and care is key!
Meet our Parisian people: We have Artists offering art lessons, (one B&B apartments used to belong to French Impressionist Pissaro), actors, a theatre director offering theatre lessons, Interior designers, a radio personality with a B&B within arms reach of the Eiffel Tower, an antique art dealer offering guided market tours, photographers, journalists, an advertising rep, a clown - yes a clown, a chef who worked in some of the most luxurious hotels and restaurants in Paris offering French cooking lessons, singers, several writers with published cooking, children’s and architectural books, a cinema critic, and an art teacher at the Louvre Museum.
Personal and cultural exchanges: Viewed as special friends rather than paying customers your arrival is anticipated not simply expected. Our hosts are all lovers of travel and all view their service as a window into the world, to meet people of different cultures, exchange life experiences, share passions, share their knowledge of the city and advise you on the must do's. But ultimately our hosts love to share their love of their city with foreigners spending time with you if you want it, offering to chat over a drink to discuss Paris.
Our hosts offer: Personal guided tours of the 'real' Paris not the one in your guidebook - day tours, night tours of the city of lights, local market tours, they will advise you on the best shows, exhibitions and restaurants. Some offer: cooking lessons with or without a meal together, language lessons and sharing stories of life in Paris.
If you select an un-hosted apartment you will get your own private apartment and feel just like a local, going out to buy your baguettes from the bakery each day, doing your washing at the laundrette etc.
Value for money: read all of the above again!
Plus in some cases a Petite B&B will also get you your own private lounge or living area in addition to your guest bedroom, a private entry into the apartment or into your guest room separate to that of your hosts entry, a terrace or tranquil garden.
Petite Paris - What we do!
We act as the middleman between you, the guest, and your Parisian host and their B&B home. We offer a tailored service, with full communication from beginning to booking. There is no automated on-line booking system on our website. To book a Parisian home away from home you must have direct contact with us and we will communicate with you to find the best apartment and living arrangement that best suits your needs. Our apartments are all different with varying features and living arrangements and these need to be considered. For example some buildings do not offer lifts or have narrow staircase access therefore unsuitable for people with physical difficulties, some hosts accept families and babies, some B&B’s are not allergy free etc. The process of finding a suitable B&B starts with our lengthy descriptions on our web page www.petiteparis.com.au