Recommendations for new B&B owners

Hi everyone,

well it seems we may have found a house suitable for us to convert to a B&Bin the Aude. We know about the 5 rooms or the 15 beds rule so what are your thoughts on 3 or 4 beds per rooms? We plan on having en suits with each room but are wondering what others find to be good beds per room numbers. Any other tips would also be welcome


MargoHere's a 12 bedroom house in the Corbières currently used as a gîte d'étape/hostel: only €325k

This is the basic rule to be classed 'chambres d'hôtes' or 'maison d'hôtes'. There is a way around it, however, without having to become a hotel. That is to apply (to Gîtes de France') for the label 'gîte de groupe'. This status allows you to have 8 rooms and up to 35 couchages.

Here's an example:

When we went over the 5 room threshold we were forced into the "hotel" classification. This is the point where you kiss goodbye to all your cost estimates! :-) However, being in a different league has the advantage of reducing the competition. We are now the only 3* hotel in the area.

Hi Margo,

First of all Check with your Mayor, you will require to Register with him, you also require Insurance, not just your House Insurance, and also to get your Siret No, ALL Businesses require to get this, this will also get you your Health Care Eventually!!!!

How many beds in a room, it depends on your Market, what type of area are you in, who are you aiming at walkers, family's ? do you want children ? how big are your bedrooms ? who do you think you will get, then can you seat that amount of people for breakfast? can you cope with that amount of people ? just a few thoughts if you have never run a B&B before, and yes All En-Suite is a Must.

I noticed also states that an "agrément" by Gìtes de France is mandatory. This is a very, very outdated requirement. The only required thing is to register with your local Mairie.
For me this site is now neither credible nor reliable.

The limit for chambres d'hòtes is max 5 rooms and max 15 people

Article D324-13 [Créé par Décret n°2007-1173 du 3 août 2007 - art. 1 JORF 4 août 2007]

L'activité de location de chambres d'hôtes mentionnée à l'article L. 324-3 est la fourniture groupée de la nuitée et du petit déjeuner. Elle est limitée à un nombre maximal de cinq chambres pour une capacité maximale d'accueil de quinze personnes. L'accueil est assuré par l'habitant.

I am interested to know what the 5 room 15 bed rule is?
Thanks Peter

We have 3 bedrooms: 2 with king size beds and 1 with twin beds. The twin will accommodate an extra single bed on request and one of the doubles will take a cot. This double also has an en-suite shower room. The other double and twin share a large family bathroom with jacuzzi bath and a separate shower cubicle. In addition we have a double sofa bed in the study on the ground floor. The ground floor has a cloakroom (toilet and washbasin).
The gite is advertised as sleeping 6 to 8 which gives us plenty of flexibility. I don’t think we ever considered having 2 double beds in one room.

We have four rooms, of which two with one double bed (180 x 200), one with two single beds (90 x 200) and one with two double beds (140 x 200). Our customer set seems to be mainly couples, so the demand for the room with two double beds is moderate. It is ideal for a family with two small children.
We always get good comments for the large and comfortable beds, because French normal is 140 x 190 !
I would recommend just one large double bed, and then the possibility to add an extra bed (or even two if the room is big enough). With one bed only, you offer a more spacious room for the majority of customers, couples.
Of course, everything depends on your business model and goals. We strive to offer a slightly "better" accomodation, a special place to stay, 'chambres d'hòtes de charme', and not "gìte d'étape" with bunk beds.