Learn French - How To Make a Reservation
Most of the French hotels have an internet website available in English. It’s more than easy to make a reservation. But if you decide to go in some small cities, like in “Le Périgord”, a region in the South West of France, known for its food and its “patrimoine historique” (historical patrimony), you may have to make a reservation by phone or by stepping in the hotel.
First, you’ll be asked the date you are moving in. The most difficult being often to clearly determine the days of the week:
In France, we use 24 hours for a day: 1PM being 13h, 2 PM being 14h, and so on till 11PM being 23h and 12PM being 0h. This is important to know both for “l’heure d’arrivée” (the check in) and “l’heure de depart” (the check out), and also “les heures d’ouvertures” (opening time). For “la durée de votre séjour” (the duration of your stay), one day is “un jour”, one week is “une semaine”, and one month is “un mois”.
You will be asked the type of « Chambre » (bedroom) you want. “Une chambre simple” (single room) with “un lit” (a bed) for one person. Or “une chambre double” (a double room) with either 1 or 2 lits. Generally, “la salle de bain” (the bathroom) or sometime only “une douche” (a shower) and “les toilettes” (the water closet) are “privée” (private) and are part of the chambre. Also, “demi pension” means half board, and “pension complete” means board. Usually, there’s a free internet connexion “sans fil” (wireless). You should check if there is “la climatisation” (air conditioner).
There are two types of restaurants in hotel. The ones where you get a menu to order, and you are “sérvi” at a table. And the ones with a “buffet en libre service” (a self service buffet)
There is some other criteria that you may want to check before doing a booking. For example, what kinds of “activités” (activities) are offered. Like “vélos” (bikes), “randonnée” (hiking), “la garde d’animaux” (animal housing), « une piscine » (a swiming pool) or a tennis court. Sometimes the animals are not accepted : « Sans animal ». Sometimes, there are no elevator: “Sans ascenseur”. This is generally the case for the very small hotels of the big cities like Paris. Something you should also make sure if you need it, it’s that the hotel provide “un accès handicapé” (a access for disable or invalid people), or doesn’t “Sans accès handicapé”.
Besides the Hotels, which can be very expensive, there are few alternatives. “Les auberges de jeunesse” (youth hostel) are inexpensive but provide little comfort. “Les gîtes” are very convivial but usually they are in the mountains for hiking or climbing. « Les maisons d’hôtes » (guest houses) are generaly located « à la campagne » (in the countryside). Basically they offer you “une chambre privative” (a private bedroom), and the Host “cuisine” (cook the meal) for you. You are invited to eat with all other clients, generally less than 10, in “la salle à manger” (the dining room) of the house. This guest house usually are ancient “bâtisse” (construction) renew by the owner to host clients. So these places are generally full of charm and very quiet. It does exist some “labels de qualité” (quality seal of approval) for these guest houses. Be sure to check them before.
“Le camping” is also very popular, and in summer, it’s very difficult to find a place without “une reservation” (a booking). There are different types of camping ground: ones with “des tentes et des caravanes” (tents and trailers) and other with tentes and caravanes and mobile home which provide more comfort but are more expensive.
The camp site are rated upon a star system (as the hotels are) and some seal of approval.
Whatever the place you choose to stay, profitez bien de votre séjour!