I actually missed a visit today from a Chambre d'hote inspector but I had a phone call from another B&B owner who was visited today. I was rather taken aback by the details of the inspection and wonder if anyone else has experience of being inspected and if there are any definite legal requirements with regard to bedding/linen etc. When we opened our B&B last year, we did the usual checks and registered with the powers that be and took into account the requirements for running a Chambre d'hote. I have searched the internet today to find out if there are specific requirements with regard to the linen and curtains being fire-retardant? I have not found anything. I actually have smoke/carbon monoxide detectors in each of the bedrooms. Can anyone point me to a website or shed any light on this matter please. I have tried the CCI website as well.
We decided to request inspection to get 'regional qualification' - this is a new qualification that is neither gites de france or some of the other registered organisations that inspect B&Bs. I didn't want to belong to Gites de France as I don't particularly want to have that etiquette. We wanted to do this to comply with local requirements for advertising on the Office de Tourisme website ( ie if you don't have qualification of some sort they won't let you advertise). The qualification gives you a rebate on taxe de séjour, in our case it'll give us a 40% rebate so we thought it was worth putting our necks out.
They give you a list of requirements, this list is pretty detailed in the Vaucluse - Provence Cote d'Azur and it's easy to do a pre-check before you get your visit. I don't know how it works in other regions. I went through the list carefully and tried to make sure that everything was ok, a necessary precaution as the inspector has the same form and ticks the boxes for each room.
We had to pre-pay 100 euros for the visit ( cheque made out to the Tresor Public) and we were asked to lay up a full breakfast at 2pm, I did ask if they could come in the morning and see our breakfasts with guests, but that wasn't possible as the inspector has to visit each room in detail. We were surprised at some comments that were made - ie the coat hangars are not all the same in the wardrobe, you must deal with this immediately...comments on our choice of furniture which I found subjective ....etc..
She did insist on the prices being put out on the roadside which I find a bit difficult, a requirement that if not met could incur a 1500 euro fine..
No comments on whether we'd qualified or not and a month later we got the certificate, valid for 5 years so I'm really pleased we made the effort to do this as I think that B&Bs that don't have some kind of certification will find life difficult in the not so far future.
Don't hesitate to pm me