An Englishman’s Guide to… French Accommodation

Mountain or coastal? Snow or sunshine? Ski or jet ski? Your options for a French holiday are nearly limitless – and that extends to where you lay your head after a day of skiing/drinking/eating/all of the above. At Madame Vacances, we realise it can sometimes be a challenge to choose your French accommodation, with so much on offer. So to help you know your gites from your gaffs we decided to provide a guide to our accommodation, what to expect and how some things are a little different on this side of the Channel.

French Accommodation Types


French Chalet

As quintessential to the ski-holiday experience as après, a chalet is your home away from home for a stay on the slopes. A traditional chalet is perfect for cosy relaxation after a long day on the pistes. At Madame Vacances, every chalet is different and has its own unique character, but they all provide authentic French winter comfort in the shape of spacious living areas with roaring fires, and in some cases sleeping up to 18 guests.

With a chalet your priority is location, location, location – whether you’re in 3 Valleys or Sybelles – it’s all about being close to the slopes and being close to the village. Ease of access to the piste or the après is key to making the most of your holiday. Not only does it make getting around easier (trust us, you’ll appreciate it after a hard day of skiing or a hard night of après-ing), but it puts both stunning landscapes and alpine hospitality on your doorstep.



French Villa

If you’re less snow and surging down the slopes and more gentle swim in the pool and soak up the sun, then a villa may tick the boxes for you.

A villa stay offers you a good level of privacy during your stay, with many of the villas offering by private pools and gardens. At the same time, our villas offer fantastic access to the nearby area, whether that’s the beach, the town or a nearby golf course.




An apartment is the perfect way to experience all of France’s real charm, especially in the city centre. The self-catering experience encourages you to get out of your accommodation, to interact with the locals as you stock up on the delicacies and delights that France is so well known for, from breads to cheeses.

Madame Vacances offer a range of apartments to suit every traveller to France, from family-friendly stays with activities for children, through to the perfect residence for a wine lover, with easy access to local vineyards our 25 years of experience can help you find the perfect apartment to celebrate your stay your way.


What to expect from French accommodation

Although it’s only a short hop over the channel, there are a few differences that you should be aware of. Some of these changes are minor, like driving on different sides of the road and the French preferring a square – rather than rectangular – pillow. However, some are a little bigger and are worth being aware of before your trip.

Bed Linens


You will sometimes be charged for your bed linens in France, but don’t be shocked to see this added onto your bill, it’s standard practice when it comes to accommodation. Now, the more frugally minded of you might think you’ve found a way to get around this by bringing your own linens. But apart from taking up valuable storage space in your suitcase, you might find that your linens won’t fit. French beds have different dimensions!

The easier thing can be just to pay for the linen rentals – the cost is reasonable and is often incorporated into your final bill.

Bread Delivery

French Bread

It’s not all niggly costs, though, there are some real hidden treats during a French holiday. A visit to the boulangerie is often a part of day-to-day life for many French people, however, you can sometimes go one step better. If you’re nearby to a local village, why not pop down to the local boulangerie, or ask your accommodation manager, to see if you can have bread delivered fresh every morning to your apartment or villa.

There’s not much better than waking up in the morning to find fresh, crusty French bread and pastries outside your door – still warm from the heat of the oven. It’s the perfect way to start off a traditional French day on an authentic holiday.


Ready to book yourself a fantastic French holiday? Browse our French accommodation, from the sweeping Alps to the sandy shores of Provence.

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