Thinking of running a B&B in the south of France?

The idea of owning chambres d’hote beckons many of us

Have you found yourself day-dreaming about running a chambre d’hote in France?  Maybe looking at ads of B&B for sale? Over the years we’ve had a lot of clients who were thinking about operating a B&B in the in the south of France.  Some ended up going ahead and some didn’t.

I noticed that there were two types of people.  The people who wanted to run a B&B, and the people who wanted to renovate a big house and make it into a B&B.

The big question

So, before anything else, ask yourself, do I want to run a B&B or do I want to renovate a house? If you want to run a B&B then look for a house that is already a B&B, or one that can easily become one.  If you want to renovate, forget the B&B part.

The big myth

It will cost less to renovate a big house and turn it into chambres d’hote than it will to buy an existing B&B. It won’t.  Even if you do most of the work yourself.  It’ll take you at least a year, a year when you aren’t earning anything, and will cost far more than you estimated.  Once you finally get it finished and up and running you’ll be exhausted.  And then, many of you will find out that you don’t like running a B&B.  You like renovating houses.

The reality

It’s not easy running a B&B but it can be very rewarding, you won’t necessarily become a zillionaire but you’ll survive nicely and meet tons of people.

Pick your area, explore, and then look at B&B for sale

Stay at some B&Bs while you’re exploring.  It’ll give you a good idea of what is offered. There are always B&Bs for sale.  Look at those first.  You really are going to be better of buying a going concern.

Check the local regulations

Check  local regulations governing how many rooms you can rent before your property is considered a hotel.  You have to have a licence to sell food, different licences for different meals so make sure you have the right ones.

Make a business plan

You’ll need to invest in advertising.  Budget for it.  Make sure you have a good website, one that will be found in search engines.  Think less traditional ways to market your chambres d’hote.  Do you cycle?  Offer cycling weeks – or weekends.  Cook? Market visits and then a meal.  Photography a passion?  Photography weekends.  Find clubs and let them know.

Remember, it is a business.

Potential B&B for sale in the Aude

We just listed a gorgeous house in the Montlaur, a wine producing village in the Aude, about 25 minutes south of Carcassonne.  It would make a perfect B&B.  4 bedrooms, all with ensuite bath/shower rooms, a pool, and a lovely village.  It was originally renovated by a Canadian interior designer about 7 years ago.  She planned to run it as a B&B but family issues meant that she had to leave France.

Main floor of house in Montlaur

Main floor of house in Montlaur

Contact us if you’d like to arrange a visit or have any questions.

About Sam

Sam started Aude France as a companion site to her real estate site Aude France Property so that she could have a place to write about life in the Aude. Now that she's in Canada she writes about things that can affect owners and buyers in the Aude - or anything that strikes her fancy. On Pinterest you can find her by searching for Sam Mooney or clicking this link
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