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Tips for opening a bed and breakfast

11 Jul, 2019

Based on welcome and exchange, guest rooms are a type of accommodation appreciated by travelers wishing to meet locals during their stay. This activity is a beautiful project in which many owners are embarking on, wishing to share with travelers from all walks of life. In addition, it represents a complementary source of income. However, the operation of bed and breakfast is a regulated activity that requires certain criteria to be met. If you want to get started in this project, we give you a few tips to succeed.

The characteristics of a bed and breakfast

When an owner opens a B&B, he or she offers a room in his or her home for rent for one or more nights for a fee. According to the regulations, the owner can offer a maximum of 5 guest rooms with a limited capacity of 15 people. When booking a bed and breakfast, the traveller shares the common rooms of the house with the owner. The latter may offer additional services that the traveller can add to his reservation. Indeed, some owners offer a table d’hôtes. A real moment of conviviality, the travelers are gathered around a dinner concocted by the host of the house.

To open a guest room, the owner must respect certain standards:

  • The surface of the chamber must be at least 9 m².
  • The room must be equipped with furniture necessary for its occupation (bed, wardrobe…).
  • The host must provide access to sanitary facilities with toilets and a bathroom equipped with a shower or a bathtub and a washbasin.
  • A heating system must be installed to ensure a temperature of at least 19 degrees in the dwelling.
  • The host must provide daily cleaning of the rooms and bathrooms at no extra charge.
  • He must provide travelers with bed linen and towels.

The administrative procedures to be carried out

Before welcoming travelers in his home, the host must complete several administrative formalities in order to carry out his activity legally. First of all, he must make a declaration to the town hall to which the guest house is attached. The declarant must indicate the address of the property, the number of rooms and beds, and the rental periods of the guest rooms.

If the owner offers to rent out guest rooms on a regular and customary basis, this is considered a commercial activity. As a result, he or she must register with the SCN and choose a legal status. If he carries out this activity with several people, he has the choice between creating an SAS (simplified joint stock company) or a SARL (limited liability company). Conversely, if he is alone in this project, he may create a SASU (single-person simplified joint stock company) or an EURL (single-person limited liability company).

In addition, the owner must inform his insurer that he is embarking on a guesthouse project. It must also indicate the activities offered to travelers. It is not mandatory to take out additional insurance but it is strongly recommended. Depending on the insurance taken out, several damages can be covered: theft of the personal belongings of the tenants, risks related to activities (swimming pool, tennis…) or damage to vehicles parked in the car park of the house.

How to attract travelers?

Once the guest rooms are open, the owner should encourage travelers to come and stay with him. In order to gain visibility, it may decide to adhere to a quality label. This allows it to be part of a network recognized by travelers. Several labels exist with their own advantages and disadvantages. Depending on the label, the owner must meet precise specifications linked to the characteristics of the guest room. If you wish to join a label, find out more about its characteristics. For example, the European ecolabel is aimed at gîtes and bed and breakfasts committed to respecting the environment.

An effective solution to increase the visibility of your guest rooms is to create your own website where travelers can book online. With Amenitiz, you can intuitively create your site with an integrated booking engine. The software is very easy to use, you can update your site whenever you want. In addition, the channel manager is a tool that will simplify your life. It allows you to centralize and manage all bookings from different distribution channels. We offer you a free demonstration of our solution. To do so, please fill in the form below and we will get back to you as soon as possible. 

You now have all the keys in hand to open guest rooms. To help you, the European Union and the General Councils grant subsidies dedicated to the creation or renovation of gîtes and guest rooms. So don’t hesitate if you are interested in this beautiful project! This experience is very enriching, it will allow you to share good moments of conviviality. This concept is increasingly appealing to travelers in search of authenticity and discovery.

11 Jul, 2019