A Rhône with a view

TEXT: HANNAH JANE THOMPSON | PHOTOS © GÎTES DE FRANCE RHÔNE MÉTROPOLE

Underpinned by history and service, Gîtes de France du Rhône allows guests to stay in the heart of Beaujolais country, a stone’s throw from bustling Lyon.

In today’s “‘gig economy’”, in which start-ups claim to be “‘disrupting’” traditional hospitality every five minutes, it is reassuring to know that historic labels such as Gîtes de France remain strong.

Founded in 1955, Gîtes de France offers a 70,000-strong network of certified guesthouses (gîtes) and rooms (chambres d’hôtes), all of which can now be searched, contacted and booked online.

Gites are ranked using the “‘ears of wheat (épis)’” system, allowing guests to match expectations with budgets.

Gîtes de France du Rhône

The Gîtes de France label is a historic, respected stamp of quality and friendliness, offering the chance to securely book a wide variety of accommodation across the country.

Staff visit each site in person, checking everything from the comfort, the facilities and warmth of the welcome to cleanliness and decoration, and for the chambres d’hôtes specifically, the quality of the linen, and the breakfast selection.

More than 500 accommodation sites with the label Gîtes de France are available to book in the Rhône Lyonnais Beaujolais and the Métropole de Lyon region.

As Dominique Legrand, director at Gîtes de France Rhône Métropole, explains: “We offer quality accommodation with owners who welcome the clients with local knowledge.”

Visitors can search by category, finding accommodation tailored to their desires whether it be cycling, hiking, a stay on a farm, or group trips.

For wine lovers, almost 100 sites are located on vineyards themselves –- a great way to discover the ten grand crus of the Beaujolais region, the Lyonnais hills, or the Côtes du Rhône.

With properties in the heart of Lyon, guests can discover this city –- which was made a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1998 –- and its four historic neighborhoods spanning 1,235 acres, allowing visitors to travel from ancient times to the present day.

The Gîtes de France advantages do not end with accommodation:; in the Rhône, a “‘Carte Avantages’” card offers guests exclusive, discounted access to Lyon and Rhône attractions, including animal parks, wine tastings, and museums.

But it is the personal touch that truly sets Gîtes de France Rhône Métropole apart.

“We guarantee friendliness,” explains Legrand. “When the client arrives, they know they will be welcomed by real people –- not an anonymous key code box.

“Today, when people travel, they want to discover how other people actually live. We were the first network to offer tourism as a ‘home from home’.”

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