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Need suggestions for hotel/B&B/apartment for family travel

We are traveling in March with 2 of our 4 kids (our 13 and 15 year olds). I'd love some suggestions for accommodations that will house all 4 of us in one room/suite or apartment in the following areas:

Paris - not as worried about finding something here (3 sightseeing days)
Loire Valley - Tours/Orleans, probably a night in each city as we travel between them seeing chateaux (2 1/2 sightseeing days)
Cahors - mid-way stop on our way to Avignon. We will be going to see caves at Peche-Merle (1 sight-seeing day)
Avignon or Aix-on-Provence (or other locations in Provence) (2-3 sightseeing days)
Lyon - we will most likely rent an apartment via AirBnB here. We'll be here for 5 days sight-seeing and visiting family friends (ex-pats)

Any places you've stayed that were appropriate for a family. We are budget travelers, so $ is an issue. But, we don't want to be in a dump just to save $. We are probably looking at 3 star accommodations. Staff friendliness is important!


Posted by
27457 posts

When you say 3 star accommodations, do you mean on the French scale or the North American scale?

In North America more stars equals better quality. In the French system, and generally in most European countries, more stars means more amenities with no regard to quality.

By the time you are up to 3 stars you have English spoken around the clock, 24 hour desk, elevator, things like breakfast and bar. Ibis, believe it or not are 3 star normally, as are Holiday Inns.

You can save a ton of money going down a star or 3. That airbnb you will have in Lyon is unlikely to have any stars.

Posted by
3 posts

No. American "star" system: quality, not amenities. We are looking for cleanliness, general comfort, but definitely don't need loads of amenities. Thanks for that tip - didn't realize there was a difference.

We've had great luck renting via AirBnB and have found their reviews very helpful in finding a nice places to stay for very affordable prices. You do have to do your research, though.

Posted by
240 posts

Hi Kerry,

We traveled in the Loire Valley with our two teens in 2008. We stayed outside Amboise. We stayed in a lovely hotel called: Auberge de Launay. There was a "quad room". I think the kids shared a pullout sofa bed. We loved seeing the Chateau where Leonardo da Vinci lived out his last years (Clos Luce) and also seeing Chenonceau.

Have a great trip!

Posted by
145 posts

We spent two days (three nights) each in Paris and Berlin using airbnb. I don't know what your budget is like but we paid under 75 Euros per night for a family of four (one teenager and one under 10 kid). One thing I needed to ask around - maybe it should be its own thread - is what exactly should one expect from such accommodation? Overall, we were satisfied and gave good reviews, but there were definitely some drawbacks. But., like I said, as this was our first airbnb experience, I don't know if we were expecting too much from airbnb as such, or whether we were expecting too much from airbnb for the money we spent or ...?

Also, your definition of a dump might be different from mine. And my impression is that all of the required information is unavailable online to make an educated choice. And there is only so many questions one can ask a prospective host before coming across as a not so fun guest to have (or maybe not??).