This post could also be titled: 'Reasons why Petite Bed & Breakfast kicks Hotel and aribnb derriere'!! Here are a few (or many) words about the very essence of what petite B&B is all about, the traditional B&B experience. By moi, Regina, Founder of Petite B&Bs.
 
The biggest difference is the opportunity to connect and have a real intimate and authentic cultural and personal exchange with the home, host and city. At a B&B you are immersing yourself in the way of life, meeting and interacting with the natives in a real way, in their intimate cozy home, communicating not just the concierge, tour guide, bus, train or information guide? (or other tourists). Staying in a B&B brings interaction, learning, open-mindedness and personal growth - all the goodies that travel can bring if that is what you are after.
 
We at Petite B&Bs want to educate travellers about what is the REAL B&B environment as opposed to boutique B&Bs, airbnbs or Hotels in an informative and objective manner. I have done so in reference to the different soul aspects of our B&B service, our niche and our passion; accompanied by some elaborate descriptions (my favourite kind) and examples that will hopefully lead you to a clear image of what to expect in our B&Bs. And I promise, with only brief cynical references to hotels or airbnb - maybe -  or differentiation purposes of course.

(any hotel lovers please understand my words are not intended to offend or dis-credit hotels, they certainly serve their purpose: a room to sleep in, some convenient services for far too much money. Oops. Forgive me)
 
The Soul of Petite B&Bs - the AUTHENTIC B&B STAY

Stay in Other peoples homes: (And not just any home, but ones that have been specially selected by Petite B&B experts for their absolute charm and authentic atmosphere and service).
 

 Whenever I walk past a beautiful or interesting home I wonder who lives inside and what the decor is like (and maybe fantasise about what it's feel like to live there). And it's more than just that common curious urge to go through other peoples bathroom cabinets or peeking into the 'off-limits' room with the door closed when no one is looking. Do you do that too? Well imagine being able to step into a typically quaint Parisian o Portuguese apartment, occupied by real regular lovely locals and living there with your host and their family (if they have one) and observing home life in another country and culture, while drinking in the atmosphere and magnificence of the typically furnished baroque, art deco, french country, Portuguese historic, modern or 18th century style french family home with generations of family photo frames on display to satisfy the fascination with 'other peoples lives'; and a host who welcomes you into their life/world to enjoy their home and give you an authentic Parisian or Portuguese experience. A B&B apartment is quite literally finding a Parisian or Portugueses home away from home. Thats why they also call it a Home Stay!

We have one gob-smacking deluxe mansion in Paris that's so exquisite it's frequently used in Travel Magazines and papers and whose interior and decor resembles that of French castles. SEE B&B Carol (pictured below) click HERE
 
 
We do note that these homes belong to real people, local residents who while they are absolutely hospitable and experienced are still regular citizens (like you and I) not professionals and they have private lives - this could mean certain rooms are off limits to guests and or certain things. Guests must still must respect the privacy and property as they pull in any home. (just think of it as if you were offering your spare room and house).
 
Unlike a hotel where you could be forgiven for forgetting which country your in until you step outside of your generic 4 walls and a bed, the B&B offers a warm intimate atmosphere. The interior life reflects the outiside world and culture and you will actually feel like you're in Paris WARNING - you may even find it difficult to leave your bnb home. 
 
Let me point out now that unless you're a millionaire and can afford one of the extravagant French hotels, then maybe superficially you might be happier in one of those. But you still don't get the complete experience and personal touch of a B&B. Keep reading...

Meeting Parisian people other than the concierge, bus, train or info guide:
Our hosts are all well educated fascinating people with fascinating lives, careers and backgrounds. Here is the list I love to boast: We have numerous artists (some are current exhibitors in museums in Paris, they offer to show you their workshops, talk to you about their work and even give you drawing or art lessons, one of our B&B apartments is quite literally the apartment that belonged to French Impressionist Pissaro, and some artists have turned their art studio into your private B&B suite).
 
We have actors, a theatre director who offers you theatre lessons and home cooked meals, interior designers, a radio personality, an antique art dealer who offers to take you along to some popular markets, photographers, journalists, lawyers, brokers, advertising rep, a chef who worked in some of the most luxurious hotels and restaurants in Paris and offers to give you French cooking lessons, several writers, an art teacher at the famous Louvre Museum, a children's book publisher, a cinema critic and so many more. 

Personal and cultural exchanges:
Viewed as special friends rather than paying customers your arrival is anticipated not simply expected (like a you-know-what Airbn-ahem). Our hosts are all lovers of travel and all view their service as a window into the world, to meet people of different cultures, exchange life experiences, share passions, share their knowledge of the city and advise you on the must do's. But ultimately our hosts love to share their love of their city with foreigners. Our hosts will spend time with you if you want it, offering to chat with you over a drink to discuss Paris and your adventures. Ha, I'd like to see a concierge do that.
 
A real value is learning about the 'real' Paris through the eyes of real Parisians. Our hosts offer: Personal guided tours of the 'real' Paris not the one in your guidebook - day tours, night tours of the city of lights, local market tours too, they will advise you on the best shows, exhibitions and restaurants to go to and generally provide the best advice. To heighten your cultural experience some hosts offer: French cooking lessons with or without a sit down meal with your hosts, French language lessons with your host, sharing stories of their family and life in Paris during their childhood - what richer experience could you find?!
 
If you select an unhosted apartment of course you wont experience the full connection you will still have an authentic home, not a furnished rental that has no Parisian soul or has not been lived in by a family, and your host will still deliver a breakfast basket and be available for any assistance and city tips anytime. The B&B service still being provided while you enjoy your privacy in a private home.
 
Please note: hosts can be very discreet and will always offer not impose their company, presence, knowledge and assistance. They all understand the importance that you also need privacy and a sense of independence even within their homes. Do not feel as though you must spend every waking moment with the hosts - they have work and their lives too.

Still there? Ok Ill keep going.

Value for money:
Ok so I'm not going to lie. Although the prices can be somewhat cheaper than a hotel (its no secret hotels are hugely expensive in Paris), many are just as expensive and a few are more expensive. But if you consider what you're getting it is truly 'value for money'. Imagine your own apartment, or if shared an apartment with a Parisian host where you still have your own private 'area' not just bedroom, often with your own private entry, terrace or tranquil garden, with all of the above mentioned experience opportunities. What do you overpay for in a hotel? - A bed, in a room, perhaps breakfast is included - and, that, is, it.
 
 
Petite Paris - www.petitebnbs.com/paris
As the happy medium between you and our Parisian host and home; the tailored service, communication and interaction starts with us. Or more accurately, moi, Regina. There is also a. automated on-line booking system where you can pick your dates, apartment and confirm. This is catered for our loyal guests who know which home they want to rebook or for those who trust in our online descriptions and images and our personalised booking To book a Parisian home away from home you must have direct contact with me. I communicate with you to help find and agree on an apartment that best suits your needs. Our hosts are not professionals, they are normal people with their individual homes and thus another reason for no online booking. The homes are obviously not like generic hotels room where the same standard room features apply to each one. Our apartments have features and elements different from each other and these need to be considered. For example some buildings do not offer lifts or have narrow staircase access therefore unsuitable for people with physical difficulties, some hosts accept families and babies, some B&B are not allergy free etc. The process of finding a suitable B&B starts with our lovingly lengthy descriptions on our web page. See our Petite Paris STUDIO HELENE by clicking above image OR HERE

Ok so thats the basic soul and essence of Petite Paris Bed and Breakfast; in as much a summary as I can manage. Can you see the difference now? When I first discovered B&B accommodation I wondered, how or why would I ever go back to a hotel stay. It was my first trip to Paris and my experience there was unforgettable. That's another story I'll save for another blog  day.
 
Regina x
Founder - Petite B&Bs