Many hotels offer pension and demi-pension rates. Pension is equivalent to American Plan with three meals included in the rate. Demi-pension is similar to the Modified American Plan, MAP, which includes breakfast and lunch or breakfast and dinner.
Les Auberges de Vacances are inexpensive country inns. The Relais de Campagne and Chateaux-Hotels is an association of castles, abbeys and manor houses offering elegant accommodations and meals. The meals are expensive in some cases, more so than the cost of the rooms. Not all of the owners are your friendly host type; some are more concerned with their seignorial lineage than with service to their guests.
French hotel rooms are likely to come equipped with a bidet, not for washing your clothes, feet, or hair. They are for hygenic washing of the private parts, straddling the bidet while the water flushes up. Bathtubs often come with a hand-held shower spray, and in the smaller hotels and pensions bring your own soap.
A good many tourists select France merely to dine well. Judged by most food authorities, France is pre-eminent in cooking and restaurants. A restaurant ranked three-star by Michelin’s Guide has an accolade that insures the restaurant owner’s fortune and constant concern in maintaining the rating. The French gave the world such delicacies as pate de foie gras (pate of goose liver), escargots (snails), onion soup, frog legs, duck in orange sauce, and beef burgundy. Much of their culinary lexicon and many of their food preparation methods are now part of English and other languages.
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